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Say It Right Series

Why the September changes?

Posted by kencarroll August 27, 2008 in the Group General Discussion.

Although I've stayed somewhat in the background during the discussion on the September changes I've been following it closely and trying to learn from it.

Everyone is free to pile in and make their suggestions known. I welcome this without hesitation. And although some suggestions aren't feasible, I don't think there was a comment that I didn't learn from.

But let me clarify what's going on here, lest we get confused: We're making these changes in order to develop the service and create more value for paying customers.

We have, in other words, the option of putting resources into creating ever more free materials or putting them into producing ever better resources for people who honor us by paying. We have chosen, for many reasons to do the latter. This also enables a much broader attack on innovation.

I think we've been fairly innovative over the last 3 years, and we have always done our utmost to increase the value for the learner. We've done this without ever raising prices. However, we could be doing many more improvements and new and groundbreaking things.We're not short of ideas or vision for the future. But the economics have to work. The existing team cannot do the things we know we could achieve, so we need to divert resources where they are needed.

I personally do not want the development of ChinesePod to get stale, especially when we can see that there are alternatives. We want to create the best language learning service out there and show you what we can do, but it's going to take resources.

But it's not all just about new stuff. Bill Glover made a crucial point: that we have to ensure that existing things work before pursuing new and shiny things. He is absolutely correct. In fact, we have had a team on this. They went through the entire archive testing and fixing every problem they could find. That team is nearing completion, so paid subscribers can expect fewer problems in the archive going forward. In addition, I think we need more teachers/facilitators in the community to lead and assist the learning discussions and help you learn Chinese. This, too, will happen in the near future.

I'm personally really excited about how ChinesePod will be able to help people to learn Chinese in an ever improving way. I hope no-one would deny us our greatest passion!


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