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The Blog

Some calm at last (6082 registered users, 50 links)

March 1st, 2008

It’s now Saturday afternoon. We have been in Tábor precisely a year. We have been working on Learnit for a single month. Now is the first time I’ve had a moment to stop and reflect. I think I’ve done everything I can for the time being, and the flow of comments has reduced this morning. Unfortunately, we’re not seeing any data in Commission Junction. I don’t know if there’s a problem, or if people really aren’t interested in the RosettaStone ad we’re showing at the moment. We really need commissions in order to pay for the translations, and my laptop is held together with gaffer tape.

We have our first language volunteer signed up! It’s so exciting to think that we will soon be able to offer some rarer languages through Learnit - the kind that don’t get on to the automatic translators (the output of which is far from perfect anyway). I’m waiting to hear back from the Spanish translator we are paying to proofread the Spanish list, but I hope that will be done and up by the end of the weekend.

Now, should I be worried about the lack of emails? There was such a flurry after our coverage on Lifehacker that I needed to reduce the methods of contact for a while, certainly until we had added sound to Learnit, as well as info about pronunciation and additional support for people learning Chinese & Japanese (beginners obviously can’t read it, though at least Chinese and Japanese people can). Maybe people don’t really realise yet that the tool can help people learn English as well. We were getting more comments in than we could answer between the three of us. The feedback has been fantastically useful, though, and I’ve used it as a basis of a couple of the daily polls.

I’ve decided to use the blog to keep hold of the questions and answers to the daily poll. It’s been really interesting looking at the result, and with the question there, anyone who missed a question on a particular day can contribute. I need to keep an eye on the figures, if it dips too low, we’re going to have to make answering the question compulsory. Hmm, I also need to add an awareness question for Guardian Languages. Not sure how I’m going to format that one. When we have different language versions of the Learnit gadget, it’s going to be quite complex organising the daily questions and responses in different languages. Maybe I should investigate whether a market research agency would be prepared to do this for us?

We’re also going to put the user stats somewhere on the home page. I’m addicted to checking how many users we have. It is going up, but more slowly now than Lifehacker.com day. It’s really interesting to see who’s recommending us as well - we now have 50 links coming into the site and recently from sites with non-english content.

My programmer is currently asleep - we went out last night and celebrated our first year in the Czech Republic. I’d gone to The Lizard with a friend. There was a band playing Czech Bluegrass - including a double bass. The Lizard was where we went on our first proper night out here last year. The old man I was dancing with the last time said that he’d ended up on crutches for 7 months afterwards. How dreadful. After that night we’d been warned by others about the pub, along the lines ‘there be communists’… but it’s a great place, the two bar staff are fantastically friendly, and I think they may have even cleaned the toilets in recent months.

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