How are the panelists selected?

Candidates were hand-picked from the competitive, IT-driven environment of Silicon Valley, CA. In order to be eligible, panelists could not be connected to the manufacturers in any way. Panelists were selected through an extensive interview process. They had to possess extensive knowledge and real-world experience from being active in the field, not from simply teaching courses. They had to be opinionated and willing to express their point of view, whether it was positive or negative, and they also had to be aware of various tips and tricks that might not be universally known.

How long is the average video?

While some videos may be as short as 6-7 minutes and others may be as long as 12-13 minutes, the average ShopTalk video is about 10 minutes long. The goal of each video is to cover the topic well without belaboring the point or making the discussion longer than it has to be, to respect the viewer’s time and to make sure every minute counts.

How are others using ShopTalk?

There are three main ways ShopTalk is used.
From a management point of view, ShopTalk albums are a good way to get general information and the opinions of experts from one collective menu. For instance, if you are considering upgrading to Windows 8, you could watch the videos for an unbiased, unfiltered view of that system’s strengths and weaknesses. Bypass the sales pitch from the manufacturers and discover the truth.
ShopTalk is also used as a supplement to “How-To” courseware.After taking a course and becoming “book-smart,” users can then view ShopTalk album and become “street-smart,” gaining practical, real-world understanding of these technologies.
Lastly, ShopTalk allows people to understand what they know and what they don’t know. The user may not be aware if they’re truly proficient in these technologies until they’re watching videos where certain discussions are going over their head. It can be a helpful cue to take some refresher courses, improving the user’s understanding and making sure they’re up to par compared to their peers.

What’s the difference between using ShopTalk or searching YouTube?

If you go to YouTube and search for similar content, you’ll find it– eventually. But the search process is burdensome, and when you do find it, you’ll have no idea what that person’s background or credentials are, or if there has been any fact-checking to substantiate their claims. Shoptalk is a reputable source where the panelists have been checked and their information has been proven. Everything is in one place. Because of the panel-based approach, panelists must be able to back up their views and opinions as opposed to one unchallenged person speaking to their webcam. The panel also provides multiple points of view on any given issue.
Furthermore, ShopTalk comes with notes that are sent to you upon the completion of each video. Tracking is also provided so that you can get credit for your time, which quickly accumulates! The time you spend watching ShopTalk is meaningful, valuable education not just for you as a student, but also for your employer. Track your progress and the knowledge you’ve gained and bring it up during your next annual review!

Why was ShopTalk created?

After being in the works for two years, Shoptalk was finally created to fill a void in the IT industry: to provide students around the world with a single source menu of unbiased, unscripted, unfiltered, and relevant IT information. Often times, the only way to get that real-world, “street smart” knowledge is to be in the field for ten years, battling through different issues and learning from making mistakes. But ShopTalk accelerates that process, and allows the user to benefit from the experience of experts in a single setting, quickly and easily.

Are these stand-alone videos? Do I have to watch them in order?

ShopTalk albums are composed of stand-alone videos that are topic-based. In some cases it’s good to have previous knowledge (for instance, watching an intermediate-level album before watching the advanced level), but the individual videos are not in sequential order.

How does ShopTalk compare to going to class or reading a book?

Both classes and books are designed to be curriculum-driven, taking the user through a step-by-step process that builds upon itself. Shoptalk is an excellent supplement to either of these options, because rather than telling you how to assemble a server, for example, the videos focus on experts’ opinions of the best way to do so, common mistakes, as well as any tips or tricks useful to that process.

How often are videos updated?

Videos are updated as necessary, as the technology and information changes. At any given time, all information provided will be relevant if it’s on the menu. Anything that becomes obsolete is immediately removed, edited, or replaced.

What is the pricing for ShopTalk?

ShopTalk ranges from individual packages under $1000 all the way up to enterprise programs that are $10,000 +. Our packages provide something for everyone, no matter your budget, whether you’re an individual or a corporation.

Where is ShopTalk located?

ShopTalk is located in Silicon Valley, CA, assuring that we have a large and competitive pool of potential panelists to choose from. We are uniquely positioned in relation to San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Menlo Park, and Sacramento, giving us access to major corporations and developers, as well as a wide range of individuals and input.