File Exchange Pick of the Week

Our best user submissions

Four years of picks and reader survey results.

Steve just celebrated his second year of blogging about image processing with MATLAB. Loren has been at it for just over two years now, and the Desktop team is coming up on their first full year. That got me wondering how long this blog has been going. I was surprised to note that I have been scouring the File Exchange and making videos for this blog for four years!

It has been quite a journey doing this. Scott and I started by just mentioning our favorite files each week, then we learned to add screen shots more regularly. Scott left the blog to me at some point, and I eventually learned the joys of video blogging. There has been no looking back since then. I have moved to a much more regular schedule of video blogging, with new posts showing up twice a week.

We also just had our first reader survey. Here are the highlights of the results:

survey1.jpg

This was my first surprise. I thought that the blog was attracting more new users of MATLAB.

survey2.jpg

It looks like a fairly normal distribution of video views, with a second mode of people that watch virtually all of them. It is nice to know that people are really enjoying these videos.

survey3.jpg

With the new knowledge that this is a more experienced crowd watching the videos, it is no surprise that the advanced videos are more in demand. This knowledge is being used to guide what videos I make from now on.

survey4.jpg

When asked to comment on the videos, this tag cloud shows the phrases that were most prevalent in the comments.

I can summarize the other comments as follows:

  • Videos enhance documentation
  • The videos are good for non-English speakers
  • The videos are ‘Infotainment’
  • This is the best way to do examples
  • The videos are like a friend or tutor explaining things
  • People watch the videos to learn unexpected things
  • Videos are clearer than written documentation
  • Documentation is more for reference, not learning
  • Videos combine skills from different areas

My take aways from this survey are:

  • Make videos longer: I take this as an action item to make more series with short segments since most liked the length
  • Cover advanced topics more often
  • Get a better audio set-up
  • Encourage others to make videos
  • Consider blog name change, or splitting off the video blog since the charter of the blog has shifted from the stated purpose.

Congratulations to the winners of the random drawing- there were a lot of people in the survey, so we added some extra prizes:

  • Dennis Wouters
  • Holger Roth
  • Jouni Paulus
  • Colin Thomas
  • Markus Buehren
  • Simon-Shlomo Poil
  • Dave Jones
  • Shane Robinson
  • Sébastien Guérard

If you want to win your own gear, be sure to answer the survey at the end of each movie.

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