Recently, I made the decision to keep Go Incognito a project we continue to produce and update for years to come. This is an exciting step for the project, as I was unsure if this was something I’d ever want to touch again - given it took 2 years to produce it.
I can’t spoil too much, but it’d be awesome to receive feedback from people who have gone through some (or all) of the course, free or premium. Positive, negative, let us have it! I’d especially like to see what you would think would make things better for a v2, obviously with the exception of some of the outdated information that we’re very aware of. (Ex. The most obvious thing on my mind is there was a shortage of information for a worldwide audience. Our private shopping lesson alone wasn’t very helpful whatsoever for the crowd not in the US.)
Thank you everyone for making this project a success, and I’m excited to deliver another quality project to you all.
PS. All people who paid for premium will automatically receive v2 and future iterations. This is a lifetime thing we want to offer people.
Hey Henry, as someone who has gone through the course I believe the way you simplify and express Ideas is amazing.
I personally found it very informative and can’t really think of anything else to improve on.
However since the course’s videos gradually increase in technicality with the viewer’s threat model, I feel it would be better that (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) instead of having let’s say one video talking about everything related to VPN’s you could have one video in each section each having its own difficulty level (ex: VPN 1.0 intended for beginners: what’s a VPN → VPN 2.0 intended for intermedate folks: what VPN to use → VPN 3.0 intended for advanced folks: how to set up your own VPN etc… ). This will allow you to tailor your explanations to the intended viewer so for example you would take your time in the first video explaining what a VPN is but you would use more technical terms in the second one…
Thanks for the kind words and I’m glad you found it informative!
Production-wise & structure-wise, the concept of making 3 unique videos for each concept is not something I think would be great. Just the sheer idea of an end-user having to take a 100+ lesson course is not something that will likely be very approachable, plus it would make production an even greater nightmare. I think the best compromise here is just naturally integrating ‘threat models’/‘zones’ throughout each lesson, but executed better than before. The whole “background color” system I tried for the original GI didn’t seem to be as effective as I imagined - so coming up with a new way to categorize concepts via a good/better/best system is something I’ll think over.
Ask and you shall receive, Video 1 | Video 2 (Warning: a lot of cursing) - doing 8+ hour recording sessions was not something I particularly enjoyed and it really tested my patience, especially during a pretty stressful point in my life where any movement my upstairs neighbors made would be picked up on camera. (And no, they could not hear my cursing lol, it was just to let my own frustration out )
Yes, I remember noticing it for the 1st few episodes then forgetting backgrounds even exist lol. My solution would be having a text box in the upper right corner that changes between level 1, 2 and 3 with a small animation/sound effect for the viewer to notice.
Thanks for the morning laugh
The outcome was totally worth it, I’m sure everybody will feel the same about GI V.2.
Thanks for powering through for us!
Prepare for some hot takes by yours truly alright you ready? 3… 2… 1… go!
But wait! TLDR;
Shorten the playlist/course
Keep the video length consistent
No levels (Beginner → Advanced)
Elaborate on important topics
Lighten the mood
Alright you’re free to read on.
First things first this course needs to be waaaay shorter 60+ episodes that’s overwhelming slice that down to 20, something near that range would be accessible to me.
Each episode should be around the same length 10 minutes seems pretty good so if one vid is 3 minutes merge that topic with another video to reach the 10 minute mark. I feel like VPNs, search engines, and browsers could be bundled in a mega video of sorts it’s fine if some videos are 15 minutes or 20 but that should be the limit. And videos that are 3 minutes long are too short and don’t offer much value in my opinion I need more information to feel confident on the topic. A simple way to lengthen a video is through elaboration, avoid quick answers like “gift cards are better than privacy.com cards because they are more robust”, “Tor is better than a VPN because there is a less trust involved”, “Bitwarden is safer than Lastpass”. The first question that always comes to my head as a viewer is “why?” It may be obvious to you but the answers to some of these evade me to this day, so explain why something is the way it is. If the video is running out of time please link to an external source in the description so I can read on.
No levels! I feel like this is a mistake most youtuber’s make and it’s mostly in good faith. They have tiers for a topic so they can cater to intermediate, beginner, and expert users. This is a huge mistake it fragments the work load and is inefficient why? Because what does the audience look like the majority are beginners with some intermediates and very few advanced. The odds your advanced video resonates with an expert is astronomically low and they’re already experts they know what their doing. Make the majority of videos for beginners this really should be a course for the masses teaching privacy to the masses. Yes this means reiterating that google bad, and brave good. Or ISP bad VPN good but that’s what people need. They need these topics clearly laid out for them in a easily digestible manner. Now I’m an intermediate privacy user so I’d like some intermediate stuff but if you need to make that extra video for a facebook mom go for it my dude. The time saved only focusing on these type of vids can be used catering to other countries like you said which would be fantastic.
This is kind of a reiteration of 2) but I feel like it’s really important. There are some topics that I find alarmingly short they feel like someone teaching rocket science but half way through they stop and tell the student to figure the rest out on their own. Videos like threat models and convenience lines are enormous topics and should be covered in depth the viewer should have a complete understand of these topics before they move forward in their privacy journey. There are so many alternating view points in the privacy space so if they don’t have a solid mental framework and/or plan their ideals are going to be all over the place and they might give up all together, this is obviously undesirable. Online shopping should be covered more maybe have examples of buying on eBay or facebook marketplace or craiglist or mercari. Cover all bases in the video like using a VPN, Private Mail Box, Fake name, Alias Email, Gift Card, fake phone number. Reveal the downsides as well the grass isn’t always greener on the other side as they say. Have a video about normalizing privacy in conversations and how to use it with friends and family small things like this are really helpful! I can’t fit everything in I want in this bullet point but I hope you get the idea.
Lighten the mood a bit crack a joke do something off the wall for a change. Humans retain the most information when they are in a good mood so try and make the videos more captivating to watch. I’m a visual person so watching someone just stand in front of a colored wall with some occasional stock video is quite boring. Permissions and Settings | Go Incognito 3.3 - YouTube “Monster hanging between your legs” was a good a joke and is what I want more of it lightens the mood. Privacy shouldn’t be all about worry and sacrifice it can be about empowerment and joy as well. Now I find cursing hilarious but that’s because I’m a horrible person and you should probably stay vanilla as you are now lol. But just try and be funny in your own way even if it means going off topic for a little bit.
I’m broke and jobless so I’ll be watching the free course but your channel shows great promise. I think some excellent videos on the channel is the recent monero one with gift cards, the librem 5, and the Tesla videos. These have specificity and demonstrate privacy in the real world which is just mmmwah, chefs kiss. They aren’t made in the perspective of a rich privileged youtuber they are made in the eyes of consumer which is perfect, every video should be like this. I know not every video can be unsponsored but when you make a ranty video complaining about a product that lets us know how they’ll treat us as a customer and I appreciate that a lot. When youtubers get products for free they don’t have something on the line like we do and viewers are often left disappointed by the product irl opposed to it in a video with 10 million views. Using monero irl normalizes it and helps me understand how it works in depth and is leagues better than slamming my head against a wall reading dense documentation and articles that put me to sleep. If you consider any of these points I would be elated and thanks for being more responsive. I thought since your were a big channel you don’t talk to viewers but you even made an apology video because of it now that is something I don’t see everyday.
This is all good news Henry.
Go Incognito is what got me into the privacy/security realm to begin with.
I enjoy the format exactly how it is and I definitely think you should keep beginner, medium, advanced levels as part of the system. However you decide to do it doesn’t really matter to me.
You may be over-thinking it a little too much on how to differentiate the different levels. I thought the color coding was just fine, but simply pausing and saying “This is now for Advanced Users.” seems like it would work equally well.
I’m looking forward to the updates since I already paid!
I know it’s available on your Youtube channel but you should include the threat modeling video right near the beginning of Go Incognito.
I know it’s lesson 1.6 but the 11 minute video you did last year was better.
In Section 3.4 Passwords you recommend “leetspeak” when creating passwords (if not using a password manager).
I have taken a few other on-line courses and read a few books recently that all strongly warn against using leetspeak since it is included in all password cracking software. I believe Kevin Mitnick, Carey Parker, and Nathan House all discourage this practice.
But maybe things have changed.
I watched all of the course about two years ago and learned so much from it. Occasionally I go back and watch some of the more advanced videos to find answers to questions I have.
What I appreciate most in the course (and your channel in general) is how you stay realistic and balanced, understanding that each one has specific issues, needs and abilities.
Like you said, some of the topics were focused to US citizens. Not only payments, other topics as well, for example phone numbers (VoIP, prepaid sim etc) and PO box.
In addition to that, I think that the most important thing people can do to improve their privacy, is changing the way they think (mindset) and behave (lifestyle). You talk about these topics, but towards the end of the course and not in very detail. In my opinion, you can emphasis on this more and at the beginning of the course rather than the end.
I don’t think you need to cut down on the number of videos in the course,
if you really want to, I think you can do away with the Conclusion videos.
The introduction videos to each section are useful because they quickly explain why the following section is important.
The concluding videos are really just you reading the title of each video in the section we just watched and then giving a teaser for the next section (which is totally unnecessary since you have an intro video to the next section anyway).
Cutting those out saves about 7 1/2 minutes.
Make videos more dense (harder to understand especially for beginners)
Carry less information, i.e. give incomplete advice / recommendations.
Keep the video length consistent
Literally why? You’re either going to be padding content for time or cutting necessary info. Better to focus on the actual content, like cutting things that should be cut and adding things that should be added. Elaboration on short videos would be fine, but not for the sake of a longer video, for the sake of better understanding for the viewer. The problem with answering the “why” question is that you either have to go super in depth, which will turn a newbie off, or you oversimplify to the point of basically being wrong. If you can answer why without doing either of those things then good! I think the series did a fine job of that, but I also consider myself experienced.
No levels (Beginner → Advanced)
I think its a good idea to focus on beginner courses, those are going to be the big view hits and the people who need the most help. But you certainly shouldn’t exclude advanced. Going incognito is a process, and it requires advanced tiers because it takes advanced means to go advanced incognito.
Elaborate on important topics
See >Keep the video length consistent
Lighten the mood
Hardest disagreement of all. I don’t want to be entertained, I want to go incognito. I want clear, concise, privacy related information. The more distractions in the way the worse IMO. I actually use the series for reference some times and don’t want to have to wade through sketch comedy to find the info I’m looking for.
In the Crypto section–
If not a separate video then definitely a link to the simplest and most concise way to set up an offline wallet, and also the simplest and most concise explanation on how to acquire Monero.
I know you have other videos out there (which, perhaps you could just link to save time) but it needs to be included in the course.
I feel I’m a fairly average person when it comes to the tech world and several times I’ve made the firm decision, “Okay, I’m going to do it. I’m just going to buy some Monero.” Then I get 5 minutes into a tutorial video, my eyes glaze over, and I decide, “Maybe tomorrow.”
If I feel that way, there has to be other beginners who feel exactly the same.