I’ll admit that I’ve always been skeptical of Coursera, because it just sounds… I don’t know. Cheap or something. But at the same time, I’ve gotten a ton of value out of Khan Academy, so I finally figured Why not? and signed up for Randy Picker’s University of Chicago-linked course, Internet Giants: The Law and Economics of Media Platforms.

Given the ubiquity of social media platforms in our daily lives, this seems like a big deal.

There’s some kind of mechanism with Coursera where I guess certain courses you can pay for have some kind of “proof” you took it, or like this one you can just do it for free. Which is what I’m doing. At first, I was participating in the quizzes and trying to look at the extra readings. But I also happen to have a “job” and some kind of “life,” so I’m just watching the videos in sequence, and they are great.

In actual fact, I wish there were a simple mechanism just to run through the playlist of the videos and pick up where I left off. Instead, you have to hop around through their arbitrary system of “weeks” (which has nothing to do with anything in the fragmented time-space of internet assimilation. But whatever, it’s a minor UX quibble for a product I’m able to access for free with what seems like an increasing amount of quality content. I’ve “enrolled in” but not begun one or two others, and there are quite a number of others which I wish I could bookmark, or put on a list or something and come back to later.

Anyway, highly recommend Randy Picker’s online course for excellent context on what’s going on today.