I speak 17 languages.

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Taking it to the team

From the very moment I set up this blog, the intention has been that all members of The Linguist team could participate in the conversation.

Well, we’re just now opening it up to everyone at The Linguist. And here’s the introductory email that I sent to the team, explaining what’s going on, and why we’re doing what we’re doing.

Look for exciting things to happen in this space!

Hello, all.

Some of you have seen me in and around the office from time to time … I’m doing some work for Mark in a couple of areas including guerilla marketing, blogging, and so on.

Basically the situation is that we’ve got an absolutely incredible tool for learning actual usable conversational English, and we want the world to know about it. There are only three problems:

  1. The world is a big place
  2. There are lots of companies selling all kinds of English training
  3. Our marketing budget is about one millionth of a percent of McDonald’s

However, we have some advantages.

  1. our solution actually works (what a concept!)
  2. our process makes learning a language fun (just imagine!)
  3. when we get a client, we keep a client (in other words, people who like us, like us a lot!)

We know these things not because we’ve drunk the Kool-Aid and think everything we do is perfectly and incredibly good. On the contrary, we’re always tweaking and improving our system. But we know these things because this is what our clients are telling us. And we know these things because our process is proven to work.

Plus, we have a few more forces working in our favor. The internet favors smart, nimble newcomers who can gain mindshare through viral marketing techniques. Mindshare leads to market share. And market share means good things for all of us. So we’re working on a number of different things to pump up our profile and re-invigorate sales.

One of those things is the reason I’m writing you today: blogging.

If you know what a blog is, skip ahead to the next paragraph so I won’t bore you. A blog – short for web log – is a simple, easily updated website. It’s not corporate; it’s personal. It’s not formal; it’s blue jeans and an old T-shirt. It’s not PR; it’s people. It’s not the company line; it’s your line. It’s not insular; it’s connected to the whole world of information out there.

We want to open this up to all of you and give you the ability to post your thoughts on the team blog. There’s no obligation to post, and there’s no minimum (or maximum!) number of posts that we’re looking for. But when you’ve got something you want to say, here’s a place to say it.

We think that by doing this we do a couple good things. We increase our visibility in the marketplace – always good. And we become part of a conversation with the people and the market that we serve – also good.

OK. That’s the intro. But starting something is always a little more difficult and involved than simply announcing it. So: how are we going to get going?

Well, if this interests you, send me an email. I’ll set you up with an account on the site, and get you started on your first post. Some of you might appreciate doing this in-person … just let me know and I’ll schedule something with Mark where I can come in and walk you through the whole process. It’s dead easy, but it’s always nice to do it with someone the first time.

The blog is here:

Oh, and btw, Tim Bray, a prominent blogger who works for Sun and happens to live in Vancouver, has posted a set of corporate blogging guidelines that are non-fascist, common-sense, and readable. You might want to give them a once-over:

Have a great day – and I look forward to working with you to get our The Linguist story out into the wild.

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