Basic CPod subscriptions free in Ireland

kencarroll
August 31, 2009, 06:56 AM posted in General Discussion

Let me tell you about a project I've been involved with in recent weeks.

As most of you know I’m Irish. You may also know that that country has been hit very hard by the global economic recession. In response, the Irish government hopes to develop a ‘smart economy’ and is encouraging people to learn new things. A good move, I think.

They’ve also invited myself to participate in the Global Economic Forum in Dublin in mid-September, where members of the Irish ‘diaspora’ will meet to see if there are things we could do to help. During pre-discussions I floated the idea of free basic access to ChinesePod to people in Ireland who might be interested. The response from both the Irish and Chinese sides was overwhelming: “Yes. Do it. Make it happen.” It’s also notable that 2009 marks the 30th anniversary of Sino-Irish Diplomatic Relations.

So, from tomorrow, September 1st, we will launch the ChinesePod Learn Chinese in Ireland initiative. We will offer basic access to ChinesePod, free of charge, to residents of Ireland until 1st May 2010, when the Shanghai World EXPO opens. I’m glad to say that both Declan Kelleher, the Irish Ambassador to China, as well as Xu Lin, Director of Hanban (the executive body behind Confucius Institutes) have offered great support for the initiative.

I have no idea what the response in Ireland will be. I guess it depends on whether the press picks up on the story or not. Chinese isn’t exactly a priority language in the country right now but I think it's timely to raise the profile of Mandarin study there. I expect a few hundred people to sign up and actually use basic the service. I believe the infrastructure will handle it without a  problem.

Either way, our absolute priority is to ensure that we do not inconvenience you, our loyal customers and learners. We are still focused on upgrading the service according to your wishes - adding the Exercises last month, for example, and adding access to a Skritter version this month for premium users. Either way we will monitor closely how things evolve over the next few days. I'll keep you posted.

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go_manly
August 31, 2009, 08:40 AM

Ken,

You say you expect a few hundred people to sign up. Just wondering, roughly how many paying customers do you have altogether?

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lotsofwordsandnospaces
August 31, 2009, 08:45 AM

Fantastic stuff, I think this site should be massively more busy, I look forward to seeing how the site changes as the numbers go up. Interesting times.

I wish you were born Scottish :)

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kencarroll
August 31, 2009, 08:56 AM

go_manly,We have many thousands of customers globally but very few from Ireland.

lotsofwords, I have no idea how many people will sign up since we don't have the means to do any great promotions for the iniative. But who knows? We shall see.

 

 

 

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Tal
August 31, 2009, 10:13 AM

It'd be great to have some new members. Right now I'm sick of looking at certain of the new member avatars on the Community/Conversations page.

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usr260809
August 31, 2009, 10:14 AM

tal_,

why are you sick?

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Tal
August 31, 2009, 10:52 AM

Sorry, I wasn't referring to you! (Your own avatar is really good actually.) I just think there maybe should be some sort of rule preventing the use of pictures of one's naked body, especially if one is at the same time gazing into a mirror with a camera in hand and a silly look on one's face.

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RJ
August 31, 2009, 12:53 PM

Tal

your're just still sore because somebody referred to your MK avatar as a "circus monkey doing eye exercises" ;-).

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calkins
August 31, 2009, 01:01 PM

tal, you didn't hear?  Cpod is merging with Facebook!

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bababardwan
August 31, 2009, 02:15 PM

Sounds great Ken.I'd love to see more Irish folk on the site.

"Either way, our absolute priority is to ensure that we do not inconvenience you, our loyal customers and learners"

..can't possibly see how it could inconvenience anyone.On the contrary I hope they've all kissed the Blarney Stone and prove to be loquacious.

"Chinese isn’t exactly a priority language in the country right now"

..I've heard there has been a bigger push to revive Gaelic,and that every teacher must be able to teach Gaelic.

"We will offer basic access to ChinesePod, free of charge, to residents of Ireland"

..does Irish ancestry,Irish rellies,or Irish Club membership count for anything? No.How about quoting a few Hal Roach jokes and wearing an Irish Rugby Jersey? Ok,ok,I know how you folk can groan about such foreigners.J/k.I hope the project goes well. :)

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RJ
August 31, 2009, 05:11 PM

Ken,

Sounds like a nice gesture. Thanks for letting us know. Green beer all around.

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kimiik
August 31, 2009, 06:00 PM

Great idea but I hope that the position of Cpod towards people from Northern Ireland was carefully prepared (map).

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Tal
August 31, 2009, 11:56 PM

@RJ - The Great Sage was always just amused by such cheek! ;)

@calkins - Don't try to scare me! (Facebook is actually currently blocked in China, and I don't care!! Now I don't have to worry my head about those regular 'friendship requests' from people I can't remember meeting, or wonder if I should feel hurt that the person I caringly sent such a request to never responded, lol. Ah, the complications of modern life.)

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Joachim
September 01, 2009, 05:26 PM

How about doing someting similiar for AfrIcans? Cooperation with China is a Big Thing in Africa these days.

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tingers
September 02, 2009, 12:22 AM

i think that's a great idea joachim.  maybe it would facilitate inter-cultural exchange and interaction.  i'm irish too and i know ireland is in a bit of a bad way right now, but surely africa qualifies for the same recognition.  great job by the way ken, delighted to have seen that lil picture at the side of facebook, i think you're going to get a lot of interest =)

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kencarroll
September 02, 2009, 02:05 AM

I think the African idean principle is really good. I just don't know how the logistics would work. For now I'm going to stick with one country rather than a whole continent!  We'd love top do more but please be in no doubt that we will not  neglect the people who are making all of this possible - you! (I guess that's just common sense.)

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jamestheron
September 02, 2009, 02:21 AM

So... how about extending this to those with any Irish ancestry?

If so, too bad I didn't wait. I just renewed with the other (premium/guided) promotion.

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kencarroll
September 02, 2009, 03:44 AM

james,

The offer to our Irish friends will only include basic access, not the whole thing.  Let me reiterate that we're still completely focused on creating as much value a we can for paying customers like you!

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jamestheron
September 02, 2009, 02:07 PM

Of course, my tongue was planted firmly in cheek.  

CPod certainly has certainly increased its offerings over time.  There is always the occasional hiccup here and there, but it's been a good value since the beginning.

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Joachim
September 02, 2009, 04:45 PM

Ken: i was cut because of the internet connection i have to use. Maybe it's an idea to start with South Africa during the football world Cup 2010. t

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fordbronco
September 03, 2009, 12:59 AM

1 vote here for Canada. Remember your roots, Hank.