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English LingQ Podcast 1.0, Sixty-seven: Web

Sixty-seven: Web

Steve: Hi, Jill.

Jill: Hi, Steve.

Steve: We have a special guest here today but, you know, first I was thinking we should have a name for our little thing; you know, our little discussion; our podcast.

Should we call it the Jill and Steve Podcast?

Jill: Sure. Sometimes we have special guests, like today, but…

Steve: Well, don't give away the secrets. We have a special guest here. We had a special guest the last time, Stephen Coyle and we have a special guest this time. But, seriously, this is one more in the series of podcasts that Jill and I have done where we speak on different subjects. These are transcribed; they are available at EnglishLingQ.com and we enjoy doing them. And with that, we'll move to our special guest. And who is our special guest? It's Mark from two doors over.

Mark: Well, I don't feel so much like a special guest since I am involved in a fair number of these myself. It is already the EnglishLingQ Podcast. I don't think we need another name for it. Basically, all the podcasts are discussions mostly between you two but also involving others and me a fair amount of the time, so I think that's probably good enough.

Steve: The EnglishLingQ Podcast Series it is. Now, we didn't invite you here because you're involved and have been on previous discussions. We invited you here because you have been very much involved in this whole Web 2.0, 3.0. I even heard reference to Web 4.0 world of sort of interactivity, conversations, connections between people who have common interests. It's a personal thing; it's a social thing; it's a marketing thing. I don't understand it very well. Every so often I get prodded by Mark to do certain things so I thought that Mark should come in and Jill and I, who are relative neophytes, we can ask stupid questions and you can give us enlightening answers.

Mark: Well, that whole concept doesn't sound like it should be too much of a problem; the stupid questions and enlightened answers part. Regarding Web 2.0, Web 2.0 I understand. Web 3.0, 4.0, people use those terms; I don't know if they are necessarily properly defined. I don't really know what those refer to exactly. As for Web 2.0 which is…yeah, the way we are trying to move our site at LingQ. The basic concept, at least in my mind, is that instead of just having a website the way things are going is to have a community built around an activity on a website so that, in effect, in terms of our language system where on the old Linguist the bulk of the activity was the activities on our site like reading, listening, reviewing vocabulary. We did have a bit of community there in terms of our forum and with online discussions and we did have a bit of blogging started toward the end on Vox, but all those things we're trying to make bigger and better on LingQ and to try and involve people more and to have more activities where our members can share with us, with each other, get to know each other and just build up the social interaction as it relates to language learning.

Steve: I mean, I saw it described somewhere that the initial idea with the webpage is that you simply put it up. It's like a brochure that's online, so the webpage is talking at people or is telling people something so it's very much a one-way street. Now you read about how and we see -- and maybe you can explain to us – some of these social interaction sites that have been so successful like Facebook and so forth where it's really the computer that sort of connects you to all kinds of people and so it's no longer the website talking to people who look at it. It's a lot of interaction and accessing resources and there's a sort of an ongoing multi-level conversation and sharing of personal anecdotes and so forth some of which strikes me as being, you know, how much can you take. A lot of it has to be just kind of frivolous overload and yet in all of that it's looked at very seriously by marketing people, by educators and so forth and so on. How do you sort through all the smog there to get at what's real and what's useful, in a word?

Mark: Well, not sure really where to start. There were a lot of points and questions there. To start with, yeah, regarding all the sites like Facebook and MySpace and whatever else is out there, Twitter and so on, where people are blogging or twittering or whatever you call it, putting up details of what they're up to and talking to each other and following their friends lives through their blogs and so on, that whole thing, I must say…you know, and I think none of us are in a boat where we really do that but there are lots of people who do and lots of people who spend a lot of time doing that because I don't see how else you could do that short of spending a lot of time. I mean I know even when we had our Vox blogging community you can spend a lot of time keeping up with everybody and reading everybody's posts and commenting and so on. I think to a certain degree a lot of these things have an initial…like when people first get on them there's an initial burst of enthusiasm. People spend a lot of time and then I think for a lot of people it's hard to maintain that level of enthusiasm to continuously blog about yourself and comment on other people's blogs and so on. Obviously, there are some people that do maintain it and do a lot of that and they enjoy it and that's great. I think it's sort of a recreational activity for some people.

I think, hopefully, what would be a little different with us and, you know, we should have that sort of social part that just general interest of our members who want to speak to each other and connect and so on, but what's different about our social network, if you want to call it that when we finally have it properly set up, is that people will be yes, communicating with friends but doing so in a language they are trying to learn so that, in effect, they are learning while they're having fun and interacting, which I think makes us a little bit unique.

Steve: However, you know, we have seen that in Japan we have had Japanese speakers maintaining Japanese language blogs about language learning, which seems to provide them with some level of moral support and mutual encouragement. I've seen it, like somebody will post oh, I'm so discouraged. I did this and, you know, I didn't do well and so forth and so on and then they'll get three or four Japanese language posts saying oh no, you know, kosiko (?? 7:53) or whatever, you know, you must try harder. There's a whole mutual support group there, even in their own language, so that level of social interaction with learners of your own language group is also a good thing.

Mark: Absolutely and I think that's one thing that we've said since day one is that while we believe learning on your own and using our system is the most efficient way to learn a language, we've also often said that it's difficult to continue doing it on your own all by yourself in isolation. One of the big advantages that schools have or maybe the only advantage that schools have is that they enable that social interaction between peers, which motivates you to keep going, to keep showing up everyday.

Steve: Of course, we're looking at doing two things using this new Web 2.0 social interaction on the Internet and so forth. It's not only social interaction because it's also taking advantage of resources that are available on the Internet like podcasts and so forth, which you might also maybe refer to. In fact, I won't ask all ten questions at once, so I'll give you a chance to answer them. I'll begin by saying we're looking at it from an educational point of view and from a marketing point of view. If you look at the educational side of it there are some exciting opportunities to take advantage of resources that are on the Web. Maybe you could talk a little bit about how that might work.

Mark: We have some ideas about taking advantage of podcasts and blogs in addition to all the, I don't know what you call it, not properly produced, but conventionally produced content that's available on the Web. Specifically as it relates to podcasting and blogging, obviously, we want both audio and text. Blogs don't have sound; podcasts don't have text. We are trying to figure out the best way to interest bloggers or podcasters to provide either the text or the audio and also somehow link to our site so that people can use that material to learn from. Obviously, we want to try and figure out a way that provides more sort of incoming links or traffic for us. To do that we obviously have to provide some benefit to those bloggers and podcasters. Number one: they're looking for traffic. Number two: I think a lot of bloggers and podcasters are having trouble figuring out how to monetize their podcasts and blogs, so if we can sell their content somehow through our site then there's an attraction for them. There's a bunch of ideas there. I don't really want to specifically nail down any tactic because we haven't perfected or completed our specification.

Steve: Certainly, that's a big part of our strategy just as the idea of getting the involvement of our learners as content providers and potentially tutors in their native languages and so forth, so there's that whole educational aspect of that interactivity in the Web 2.0 environment. How about on the marketing side? Do you want to comment? I mean, we all see these audio clips, video clips, Seth Goden, Guy Kawasaki and so forth and so on. You're our combination of Seth Goden and Guy Kawasaki, so how do you see on the marketing side? What is, in the end, going to work? Is it the face tying into a Facebook? Is it trying to do something on our own? How do we, you know, establish creditability that people will talk about us in a positive way? I mean, how do you see all that, in a word or ten or more?

Mark: Well, I mean, I think one of the issues that we face is that we don't have a massive ad budget to spend nor is it obvious that by spending a whole bunch of money we would make that money back because our customers are everywhere, but there's no specific…it doesn't seem like in the past we've been able to target specific groups to market to where that marketing has been cost effective because our service isn't very expensive. Basically, the cost of marketing to an individual is too high. So, we've got to try and figure out ways that we can have our members spread the word for us and that's a big part of the social interaction for sure. The more fun and the more social you can make it the more likely people are going to be able to spread it. While an individual user might think our functionality is great the chances of that friend's user thinking the functionality is great enough to come and join are just lower than the chances of their friend saying hey, I can come on. I can speak to people all over the world. I can learn a little Swahili at the same time, not that we have Swahili, but…

Steve: …yet.

Mark: Make friends; get on with my friend. I mean, all those types of things I think will help it spread more easily because in the past, even though we think our system has been effective and our members tell us it's effective, they have had trouble spreading it because it wasn't maybe as fun as it could have been, so we've tried to make it more fun and we'll see.

Steve: I think, too, in the new system A: we've made it more fun, plus it's easier to join because you can join for free. We have more levels than we've had before so I think it's going to be easier for people to come in and just play with it a little bit and if their friends are doing it and it's fun then they may be, you know, inspired to join. So, yeah, but if we leave aside our particular situation…it seems every six months there's a new killer application. I mean Skype, in a way, was a killer application and a successful one that's still there. Flicker, you know, Facebook, now it's Twitter. Do these all have legs, staying power? Do some of them come and go? How do you, as you are planning our strategy both in terms of education and marketing, know which one is a mirage that you don't want to take a flying leap at? Which ones are the ones that are going to be around that you want to, you know, influence your strategy? With a new thing popping up every three months, is that a bit, you know, stressful really in the sense that you think anything you start to do is going to be outdated in three months or six months?

Mark: I mean I don't really think that's the case. With new stuff that comes up, I mean, it's a good idea to know about the new stuff and to check it out and to be aware of what they are doing and maybe you can learn something and take some of what they're doing and plan to incorporate it some time in the future, but I think, generally, our strategy has been the same for quite a while. We've been, obviously, taking longer than we would have liked to implement it, but the basic strategy is the same and I don't see it changing where we're trying to build up a social community around language learning. Yeah, there's going to be innovations and new wrinkles and improvements all the time and we'll continue to improve our site on an ongoing basis as we go forward. The basic strategy is the same and I don't see where anything we're doing should be changed regarding those applications that you spoke about. Whether they would be lasting or not, who knows. I mean, obviously, when they take off they take off at a sharp rate and then reach a level where I think they plateau, but that doesn't mean that they don't have tens of millions of users. You know, I don't know if that…just because their growth rate has slowed doesn't mean that they're not doing well so, I guess, that would be that.

Steve: Well, you know, it's a bit like the functionality on our site. I mean there are always systems somewhere that are doing some little thing that we're not doing and so we often get people saying well, why don't you do this? Why doesn't your flashcard do that or why doesn't your dictionary do this? And, of course, you pointed out that we'll be constantly perfecting our social interaction model and we will also be adding features to our basic learning functionality. We think that the basic, the overall package, the sort of comprehensive, integrated, package we have is tremendously powerful. Are there systems out there that have little features that we don't have? For sure there are and where there are good features like that we will be looking to integrate them, but you can't always be looking over your shoulder and worrying about somebody else who has some feature, there will be. In fact, many people are going to use more than one approach to learning a language. People may books; should buy books; should do other things. They don't necessarily have to find everything possible related to learning a specific language in our system. I think what we provide still has, I think, outstanding value. Now, it's one thing for us to say it but, of course, we hope that our learners will feel the same way and spread the word.

Thank you, Mark, for giving us an expert's view on all of this. What we should follow up with in the next episode is Jill and I, a couple of people who don't know what they're talking about, talking about this. That would be interesting. Don't you think so?

Jill: Let me think on that one.

Steve: Okay. Well, thank you very much. Thank you, Mark.

Mark: You're welcome.


Sixty-seven: Web

Steve: Hi, Jill.

Jill: Hi, Steve.

Steve: We have a special guest here today but, you know, first I was thinking we should have a name for our little thing; you know, our little discussion; our podcast. Steve: Wir haben heute hier einen besonderen Gast, aber zuerst dachte ich, wir sollten einen Namen für unser kleines Ding haben. Sie wissen, unsere kleine Diskussion; unser Podcast.

Should we call it the Jill and Steve Podcast? Jill ve Steve Podcast mi demeliyiz?

Jill: Sure. Sometimes we have special guests, like today, but… Manchmal haben wir besondere Gäste, wie heute, aber ...

Steve: Well, don’t give away the secrets. Steve: Pekala, sırları verme. We have a special guest here. Wir haben hier einen besonderen Gast. We had a special guest the last time, Stephen Coyle and we have a special guest this time. Wir hatten das letzte Mal einen besonderen Gast, Stephen Coyle, und diesmal haben wir einen besonderen Gast. But, seriously, this is one more in the series of podcasts that Jill and I have done where we speak on different subjects. Aber im Ernst, dies ist noch einer in der Reihe von Podcasts, die Jill und ich gemacht haben, in denen wir über verschiedene Themen sprechen. These are transcribed; they are available at EnglishLingQ.com and we enjoy doing them. Diese werden transkribiert; Sie sind auf EnglishLingQ.com erhältlich und wir machen sie gerne. And with that, we’ll move to our special guest. And who is our special guest? It’s Mark from two doors over. C'est Mark de deux portes plus loin.

Mark: Well, I don’t feel so much like a special guest since I am involved in a fair number of these myself. Mark : Eh bien, je ne me sens pas vraiment comme un invité spécial puisque je suis moi-même impliqué dans un bon nombre d'entre eux. It is already the EnglishLingQ Podcast. C'est déjà le podcast EnglishLingQ. I don’t think we need another name for it. Je ne pense pas que nous ayons besoin d'un autre nom pour cela. Basically, all the podcasts are discussions mostly between you two but also involving others and me a fair amount of the time, so I think that’s probably good enough. Grundsätzlich handelt es sich bei allen Podcasts hauptsächlich um Diskussionen zwischen Ihnen beiden, aber auch um die Einbeziehung anderer und mir. Ich denke, das ist wahrscheinlich gut genug. Fondamentalement, tous les podcasts sont des discussions principalement entre vous deux, mais impliquant également d'autres et moi une bonne partie du temps, donc je pense que c'est probablement assez bon.

Steve: The EnglishLingQ Podcast Series it is. Now, we didn’t invite you here because you’re involved and have been on previous discussions. Jetzt haben wir Sie nicht hierher eingeladen, weil Sie involviert sind und an früheren Diskussionen teilgenommen haben. Maintenant, nous ne vous avons pas invité ici parce que vous êtes impliqué et que vous avez participé à des discussions précédentes. Şimdi, seni buraya davet etmedik, çünkü sen bu iştesin ve önceki tartışmalarda bulundun. We invited you here because you have been very much involved in this whole Web 2.0, 3.0. Wir haben Sie hierher eingeladen, weil Sie sehr stark an diesem gesamten Web 2.0, 3.0 beteiligt waren. Nous vous avons invité ici parce que vous avez été très impliqué dans tout ce Web 2.0, 3.0. I even heard reference to Web 4.0 world of sort of interactivity, conversations, connections between people who have common interests. Ich hörte sogar Hinweise auf eine Web 4.0-Welt der Art von Interaktivität, Gesprächen und Verbindungen zwischen Menschen, die gemeinsame Interessen haben. J'ai même entendu des références au monde Web 4.0 d'une sorte d'interactivité, de conversations, de connexions entre des personnes qui ont des intérêts communs. It’s a personal thing; it’s a social thing; it’s a marketing thing. Es ist eine persönliche Sache; es ist eine soziale Sache; Es ist eine Marketing-Sache. I don’t understand it very well. Ich verstehe es nicht sehr gut. Every so often I get prodded by Mark to do certain things so I thought that Mark should come in and Jill and I, who are relative neophytes, we can ask stupid questions and you can give us enlightening answers. Ab und zu werde ich von Mark dazu gedrängt, bestimmte Dinge zu tun, also dachte ich, Mark sollte hereinkommen, und Jill und ich, die relative Neulinge sind, können dumme Fragen stellen und Sie können uns aufschlussreiche Antworten geben. De temps en temps, Mark me pousse à faire certaines choses, alors j'ai pensé que Mark devrait entrer et Jill et moi, qui sommes relativement néophytes, nous pouvons poser des questions stupides et vous pouvez nous donner des réponses éclairantes. Af en toe word ik door Mark geprikkeld om bepaalde dingen te doen, dus ik dacht dat Mark binnen moest komen en Jill en ik, die relatieve neofieten zijn, kunnen domme vragen stellen en jij kunt ons verhelderende antwoorden geven.

Mark: Well, that whole concept doesn’t sound like it should be too much of a problem; the stupid questions and enlightened answers part. Mark: Nun, das ganze Konzept klingt nicht so, als ob es ein zu großes Problem sein sollte. die dummen Fragen und aufgeklärten Antworten Teil. Mark : Eh bien, tout ce concept ne semble pas être trop problématique ; la partie questions stupides et réponses éclairées. Regarding Web 2.0, Web 2.0 I understand. Web 3.0, 4.0, people use those terms; I don’t know if they are necessarily properly defined. Web 3.0, 4.0, Leute verwenden diese Begriffe; Ich weiß nicht, ob sie unbedingt richtig definiert sind. Web 3.0, 4.0, les gens utilisent ces termes ; Je ne sais pas s'ils sont nécessairement bien définis. I don’t really know what those refer to exactly. Ich weiß nicht genau, worauf sich diese genau beziehen. As for Web 2.0 which is…yeah, the way we are trying to move our site at LingQ. Was Web 2.0 betrifft, das ist… ja, die Art und Weise, wie wir versuchen, unsere Website bei LingQ zu verschieben. Quant au Web 2.0 qui est… oui, la façon dont nous essayons de déplacer notre site chez LingQ. The basic concept, at least in my mind, is that instead of just having a website the way things are going is to have a community built around an activity on a website so that, in effect, in terms of our language system where on the old Linguist the bulk of the activity was the activities on our site like reading, listening, reviewing vocabulary. Das Grundkonzept, zumindest in meinen Augen, ist, dass anstatt nur eine Website zu haben, eine Community aufgebaut wird, die sich um eine Aktivität auf einer Website dreht, so dass in Bezug auf unser Sprachsystem tatsächlich auf der Website alter Linguist Der Hauptteil der Aktivitäten waren die Aktivitäten auf unserer Website wie Lesen, Zuhören, Überprüfen des Wortschatzes. Le concept de base, du moins dans mon esprit, est qu'au lieu d'avoir simplement un site Web, la façon dont les choses se passent est d'avoir une communauté construite autour d'une activité sur un site Web de sorte qu'en fait, en termes de notre système linguistique où sur le ancien linguiste le gros de l'activité était les activités sur notre site comme la lecture, l'écoute, la révision du vocabulaire. We did have a bit of community there in terms of our forum and with online discussions and we did have a bit of blogging started toward the end on Vox, but all those things we’re trying to make bigger and better on LingQ and to try and involve people more and to have more activities where our members can share with us, with each other, get to know each other and just build up the social interaction as it relates to language learning. Wir hatten dort ein bisschen Community in Bezug auf unser Forum und mit Online-Diskussionen und wir hatten gegen Ende ein bisschen Blogging auf Vox, aber all diese Dinge versuchen wir, LingQ größer und besser zu machen und es zu versuchen und mehr Menschen einbeziehen und mehr Aktivitäten haben, bei denen unsere Mitglieder mit uns miteinander teilen, sich kennenlernen und einfach die soziale Interaktion aufbauen können, die sich auf das Erlernen von Sprachen bezieht. Nous avions un peu de communauté là-bas en termes de notre forum et de discussions en ligne et nous avons commencé à bloguer vers la fin sur Vox, mais toutes ces choses que nous essayons de rendre plus grandes et meilleures sur LingQ et d'essayer et impliquer davantage les gens et avoir plus d'activités où nos membres peuvent partager avec nous, les uns avec les autres, apprendre à se connaître et simplement développer l'interaction sociale en ce qui concerne l'apprentissage des langues.

Steve: I mean, I saw it described somewhere that the initial idea with the webpage is that you simply put it up. Steve: Ich meine, ich habe irgendwo beschrieben, dass die ursprüngliche Idee mit der Webseite ist, dass Sie es einfach aufstellen. Steve : Je veux dire, j'ai vu qu'il était décrit quelque part que l'idée initiale de la page Web était que vous la mettiez simplement en place. Steve: Demek istediğim, bir yerde, web sayfasındaki ilk fikrin sizin basitçe ortaya koymak olduğunu açıkladığını gördüm. It’s like a brochure that’s online, so the webpage is talking at people or is telling people something so it’s very much a one-way street. C'est comme une brochure en ligne, donc la page Web parle aux gens ou dit quelque chose aux gens, donc c'est vraiment une rue à sens unique. Now you read about how and we see -- and maybe you can explain to us – some of these social interaction sites that have been so successful like Facebook and so forth where it’s really the computer that sort of connects you to all kinds of people and so it’s no longer the website talking to people who look at it. Maintenant, vous lisez comment et nous voyons -- et peut-être pouvez-vous nous expliquer -- certains de ces sites d'interaction sociale qui ont connu un tel succès comme Facebook et ainsi de suite où c'est vraiment l'ordinateur qui vous connecte à toutes sortes de personnes et ce n'est donc plus le site Web qui parle aux gens qui le consultent. It’s a lot of interaction and accessing resources and there’s a sort of an ongoing multi-level conversation and sharing of personal anecdotes and so forth some of which strikes me as being, you know, how much can you take. A lot of it has to be just kind of frivolous overload and yet in all of that it’s looked at very seriously by marketing people, by educators and so forth and so on. Une grande partie doit être juste une sorte de surcharge frivole et pourtant, dans tout cela, c'est examiné très sérieusement par les gens du marketing, par les éducateurs et ainsi de suite et ainsi de suite. How do you sort through all the smog there to get at what’s real and what’s useful, in a word? Comment trier tout le smog là-bas pour voir ce qui est réel et ce qui est utile, en un mot ?

Mark: Well, not sure really where to start. Mark : Eh bien, je ne sais pas vraiment par où commencer. There were a lot of points and questions there. To start with, yeah, regarding all the sites like Facebook and MySpace and whatever else is out there, Twitter and so on, where people are blogging or twittering or whatever you call it, putting up details of what they’re up to and talking to each other and following their friends lives through their blogs and so on, that whole thing, I must say…you know, and I think none of us are in a boat where we really do that but there are lots of people who do and lots of people who spend a lot of time doing that because I don’t see how else you could do that short of spending a lot of time. Pour commencer, ouais, en ce qui concerne tous les sites comme Facebook et MySpace et tout ce qui existe, Twitter et ainsi de suite, où les gens bloguent ou twitter ou peu importe comment vous l'appelez, affichent des détails sur ce qu'ils font et parlent les uns aux autres et suivre la vie de leurs amis à travers leurs blogs et ainsi de suite, tout cela, je dois dire… vous savez, et je pense qu'aucun de nous n'est dans un bateau où nous faisons vraiment cela, mais il y a beaucoup de gens qui le font et beaucoup de gens qui passent beaucoup de temps à faire ça parce que je ne vois pas comment on pourrait faire autrement à moins de passer beaucoup de temps. I mean I know even when we had our Vox blogging community you can spend a lot of time keeping up with everybody and reading everybody’s posts and commenting and so on. Je veux dire, je sais que même lorsque nous avions notre communauté de blogueurs Vox, vous pouviez passer beaucoup de temps à suivre tout le monde et à lire les messages et les commentaires de tout le monde, etc. I think to a certain degree a lot of these things have an initial…like when people first get on them there’s an initial burst of enthusiasm. Je pense que dans une certaine mesure, beaucoup de ces choses ont une initiale… comme lorsque les gens s'y mettent pour la première fois, il y a une première explosion d'enthousiasme. Bir dereceye kadar bu şeylerin birçoğunun bir başlangıcı olduğunu düşünüyorum… insanlar kendilerini ilk aldıklarında ilk bir coşku patlaması gibi. People spend a lot of time and then I think for a lot of people it’s hard to maintain that level of enthusiasm to continuously blog about yourself and comment on other people’s blogs and so on. Obviously, there are some people that do maintain it and do a lot of that and they enjoy it and that’s great. I think it’s sort of a recreational activity for some people. Bazı insanlar için bir tür eğlence aktivitesi olduğunu düşünüyorum.

I think, hopefully, what would be a little different with us and, you know, we should have that sort of social part that just general interest of our members who want to speak to each other and connect and so on, but what’s different about our social network, if you want to call it that when we finally have it properly set up, is that people will be yes, communicating with friends but doing so in a language they are trying to learn so that, in effect, they are learning while they’re having fun and interacting, which I think makes us a little bit unique. Je pense, j'espère, ce qui serait un peu différent avec nous et, vous savez, nous devrions avoir ce genre de partie sociale qui intéresse juste l'intérêt général de nos membres qui veulent se parler et se connecter et ainsi de suite, mais qu'est-ce qui est différent à propos de notre réseau social, si vous voulez l'appeler ainsi lorsque nous l'aurons enfin correctement configuré, c'est que les gens seront oui, communiquant avec des amis mais le faisant dans une langue qu'ils essaient d'apprendre de sorte qu'en fait, ils apprennent pendant qu'ils s'amusent et interagissent, ce qui, je pense, nous rend un peu uniques.

Steve: However, you know, we have seen that in Japan we have had Japanese speakers maintaining Japanese language blogs about language learning, which seems to provide them with some level of moral support and mutual encouragement. Steve : Cependant, vous savez, nous avons vu qu'au Japon, des locuteurs japonais tiennent des blogs en japonais sur l'apprentissage des langues, ce qui semble leur fournir un certain niveau de soutien moral et d'encouragement mutuel. I’ve seen it, like somebody will post oh, I’m so discouraged. Je l'ai vu, comme quelqu'un va poster oh, je suis tellement découragé. I did this and, you know, I didn’t do well and so forth and so on and then they’ll get three or four Japanese language posts saying oh no, you know, kosiko (?? J'ai fait ça et, vous savez, je n'ai pas bien fait et ainsi de suite et ainsi de suite, puis ils recevront trois ou quatre messages en japonais disant oh non, vous savez, kosiko (?? 7:53) or whatever, you know, you must try harder. There’s a whole mutual support group there, even in their own language, so that level of social interaction with learners of your own language group is also a good thing.

Mark: Absolutely and I think that’s one thing that we’ve said since day one is that while we believe learning on your own and using our system is the most efficient way to learn a language, we’ve also often said that it’s difficult to continue doing it on your own all by yourself in isolation. Mark : Absolument et je pense que c'est une chose que nous disons depuis le premier jour, c'est que même si nous pensons qu'apprendre par soi-même et utiliser notre système est le moyen le plus efficace d'apprendre une langue, nous avons aussi souvent dit qu'il est difficile de continuez à le faire par vous-même tout seul dans l'isolement. One of the big advantages that schools have or maybe the only advantage that schools have is that they enable that social interaction between peers, which motivates you to keep going, to keep showing up everyday. L'un des grands avantages des écoles, ou peut-être le seul avantage des écoles, est qu'elles permettent cette interaction sociale entre pairs, ce qui vous motive à continuer, à vous présenter tous les jours.

Steve: Of course, we’re looking at doing two things using this new Web 2.0 social interaction on the Internet and so forth. Steve : Bien sûr, nous cherchons à faire deux choses en utilisant cette nouvelle interaction sociale Web 2.0 sur Internet et ainsi de suite. It’s not only social interaction because it’s also taking advantage of resources that are available on the Internet like podcasts and so forth, which you might also maybe refer to. In fact, I won’t ask all ten questions at once, so I’ll give you a chance to answer them. En fait, je ne poserai pas les dix questions d'un coup, alors je vais vous donner la chance d'y répondre. I’ll begin by saying we’re looking at it from an educational point of view and from a marketing point of view. Je commencerai par dire que nous examinons la question d'un point de vue éducatif et d'un point de vue marketing. If you look at the educational side of it there are some exciting opportunities to take advantage of resources that are on the Web. Maybe you could talk a little bit about how that might work. Peut-être pourriez-vous parler un peu de la façon dont cela pourrait fonctionner.

Mark: We have some ideas about taking advantage of podcasts and blogs in addition to all the, I don’t know what you call it, not properly produced, but conventionally produced content that’s available on the Web. Mark : Nous avons quelques idées pour tirer parti des podcasts et des blogs en plus de tout le contenu, je ne sais pas comment vous l'appelez, pas correctement produit, mais produit de manière conventionnelle qui est disponible sur le Web. Specifically as it relates to podcasting and blogging, obviously, we want both audio and text. Plus précisément en ce qui concerne le podcasting et les blogs, évidemment, nous voulons à la fois de l'audio et du texte. Blogs don’t have sound; podcasts don’t have text. We are trying to figure out the best way to interest bloggers or podcasters to provide either the text or the audio and also somehow link to our site so that people can use that material to learn from. Nous essayons de trouver le meilleur moyen d'intéresser les blogueurs ou les podcasteurs à fournir soit le texte, soit l'audio, et également un lien vers notre site afin que les gens puissent utiliser ce matériel pour apprendre. Obviously, we want to try and figure out a way that provides more sort of incoming links or traffic for us. Évidemment, nous voulons essayer de trouver un moyen qui nous fournisse plus de liens entrants ou de trafic. To do that we obviously have to provide some benefit to those bloggers and podcasters. Number one: they’re looking for traffic. Numéro un : ils recherchent du trafic. Number two: I think a lot of bloggers and podcasters are having trouble figuring out how to monetize their podcasts and blogs, so if we can sell their content somehow through our site then there’s an attraction for them. Numéro deux : je pense que beaucoup de blogueurs et de podcasteurs ont du mal à trouver comment monétiser leurs podcasts et leurs blogs, donc si nous pouvons vendre leur contenu d'une manière ou d'une autre via notre site, il y a une attraction pour eux. There’s a bunch of ideas there. I don’t really want to specifically nail down any tactic because we haven’t perfected or completed our specification. Je ne veux pas vraiment définir de tactique spécifique car nous n'avons pas perfectionné ou complété nos spécifications.

Steve: Certainly, that’s a big part of our strategy just as the idea of getting the involvement of our learners as content providers and potentially tutors in their native languages and so forth, so there’s that whole educational aspect of that interactivity in the Web 2.0 environment. Steve : Certes, c'est une grande partie de notre stratégie, tout comme l'idée d'impliquer nos apprenants en tant que fournisseurs de contenu et potentiellement tuteurs dans leur langue maternelle, etc. Il y a donc tout cet aspect éducatif de cette interactivité dans l'environnement Web 2.0. . How about on the marketing side? Do you want to comment? I mean, we all see these audio clips, video clips, Seth Goden, Guy Kawasaki and so forth and so on. Je veux dire, nous voyons tous ces clips audio, clips vidéo, Seth Goden, Guy Kawasaki et ainsi de suite et ainsi de suite. You’re our combination of Seth Goden and Guy Kawasaki, so how do you see on the marketing side? Sen Seth Goden ve Guy Kawasaki'nin birleşimisin, pazarlama tarafında nasıl görüyorsun? What is, in the end, going to work? Is it the face tying into a Facebook? Est-ce le visage lié à un Facebook ? Facebook'a bağlanan yüz mü? Is it trying to do something on our own? Est-ce qu'il essaie de faire quelque chose par nous-mêmes ? Kendi başımıza bir şeyler yapmaya mı çalışıyor? How do we, you know, establish creditability that people will talk about us in a positive way? Comment pouvons-nous, vous savez, établir la crédibilité que les gens parleront de nous de manière positive ? Hoe stellen we vast dat mensen op een positieve manier over ons zullen praten? İnsanların bizden olumlu yönde konuşabilecekleri güvenilirliği nasıl tespit ederiz? I mean, how do you see all that, in a word or ten or more? Je veux dire, comment voyez-vous tout cela, en un mot ou dix ou plus ?

Mark: Well, I mean, I think one of the issues that we face is that we don’t have a massive ad budget to spend nor is it obvious that by spending a whole bunch of money we would make that money back because our customers are everywhere, but there’s no specific…it doesn’t seem like in the past we’ve been able to target specific groups to market to where that marketing has been cost effective because our service isn’t very expensive. Mark : Eh bien, je veux dire, je pense que l'un des problèmes auxquels nous sommes confrontés est que nous n'avons pas un budget publicitaire énorme à dépenser et qu'il n'est pas évident qu'en dépensant tout un tas d'argent, nous récupérerions cet argent parce que nos clients sont partout, mais il n'y a pas de… il ne semble pas que dans le passé nous ayons pu cibler des groupes spécifiques à commercialiser là où ce marketing a été rentable parce que notre service n'est pas très cher. Basically, the cost of marketing to an individual is too high. Fondamentalement, le coût du marketing pour un individu est trop élevé. Temel olarak, bir bireye pazarlama maliyeti çok yüksektir. So, we’ve got to try and figure out ways that we can have our members spread the word for us and that’s a big part of the social interaction for sure. The more fun and the more social you can make it the more likely people are going to be able to spread it. Plus vous pouvez le rendre amusant et social, plus les gens seront en mesure de le diffuser. While an individual user might think our functionality is great the chances of that friend’s user thinking the functionality is great enough to come and join are just lower than the chances of their friend saying hey, I can come on. Bien qu'un utilisateur individuel puisse penser que notre fonctionnalité est excellente, les chances que l'utilisateur de cet ami pense que la fonctionnalité est suffisamment grande pour venir nous rejoindre sont juste inférieures aux chances que son ami dise bonjour, je peux venir. Bireysel bir kullanıcı fonksiyonelliğimizin büyük olduğunu düşünürken, fonksiyonelliğin gelip katılmak için yeterince büyük olduğunu düşünen arkadaşının kullanıcısı ihtimalinin düşük olduğunu düşünüyor olabilir. I can speak to people all over the world. I can learn a little Swahili at the same time, not that we have Swahili, but…

Steve: …yet.

Mark: Make friends; get on with my friend. Mark: Arkadaş edin; arkadaşıma devam et. I mean, all those types of things I think will help it spread more easily because in the past, even though we think our system has been effective and our members tell us it’s effective, they have had trouble spreading it because it wasn’t maybe as fun as it could have been, so we’ve tried to make it more fun and we’ll see. Je veux dire, tous ces types de choses, je pense, l'aideront à se propager plus facilement parce que dans le passé, même si nous pensons que notre système a été efficace et que nos membres nous disent qu'il est efficace, ils ont eu du mal à le diffuser parce que ce n'était peut-être pas aussi amusant que cela aurait pu être, alors nous avons essayé de le rendre plus amusant et nous verrons.

Steve: I think, too, in the new system A: we’ve made it more fun, plus it’s easier to join because you can join for free. Steve : Je pense aussi que dans le nouveau système A : nous l'avons rendu plus amusant, en plus il est plus facile de s'inscrire parce que vous pouvez vous inscrire gratuitement. We have more levels than we’ve had before so I think it’s going to be easier for people to come in and just play with it a little bit and if their friends are doing it and it’s fun then they may be, you know, inspired to join. So, yeah, but if we leave aside our particular situation…it seems every six months there’s a new killer application. Donc, oui, mais si nous laissons de côté notre situation particulière… il semble que tous les six mois, il y a une nouvelle application qui tue. Dus ja, maar als we onze specifieke situatie buiten beschouwing laten... het lijkt erop dat er elke zes maanden een nieuwe killer-applicatie is. I mean Skype, in a way, was a killer application and a successful one that’s still there. Je veux dire que Skype, d'une certaine manière, était une application qui tue et une application réussie qui est toujours là. Skype, bir şekilde, bir katil uygulama ve hala orada olan başarılı bir uygulama oldu. Flicker, you know, Facebook, now it’s Twitter. Do these all have legs, staying power? Est-ce que tout cela a des jambes, de l'endurance? Bunların hepsinde bacakları var mı, gücü kalıyor mu? Do some of them come and go? Est-ce que certains d'entre eux vont et viennent? Bazıları gelir ve gider mi? How do you, as you are planning our strategy both in terms of education and marketing, know which one is a mirage that you don’t want to take a flying leap at? Alors que vous planifiez notre stratégie à la fois en termes d'éducation et de marketing, comment savez-vous lequel est un mirage auquel vous ne voulez pas faire le grand saut ? Stratejimizi hem eğitim hem de pazarlama açısından planlarken, hangisini atlamak istemediğiniz bir serap olduğunu biliyor musunuz? Which ones are the ones that are going to be around that you want to, you know, influence your strategy? Quels sont ceux qui vont être autour de vous et que vous voulez, vous savez, influencer votre stratégie ? Çevrenizde olmak istedikleriniz hangileridir, biliyorsunuz, stratejinizi etkileyebilir mi? With a new thing popping up every three months, is that a bit, you know, stressful really in the sense that you think anything you start to do is going to be outdated in three months or six months? Avec une nouvelle chose qui apparaît tous les trois mois, est-ce un peu, vous savez, vraiment stressant dans le sens où vous pensez que tout ce que vous commencez à faire sera obsolète dans trois mois ou six mois ?

Mark: I mean I don’t really think that’s the case. Mark : Je veux dire, je ne pense pas vraiment que ce soit le cas. With new stuff that comes up, I mean, it’s a good idea to know about the new stuff and to check it out and to be aware of what they are doing and maybe you can learn something and take some of what they’re doing and plan to incorporate it some time in the future, but I think, generally, our strategy has been the same for quite a while. Avec de nouvelles choses qui arrivent, je veux dire, c'est une bonne idée de connaître les nouvelles choses et de les vérifier et d'être au courant de ce qu'ils font et peut-être que vous pouvez apprendre quelque chose et prendre une partie de ce qu'ils font et prévoyons de l'intégrer dans le futur, mais je pense que, de manière générale, notre stratégie est la même depuis un certain temps. We’ve been, obviously, taking longer than we would have liked to implement it, but the basic strategy is the same and I don’t see it changing where we’re trying to build up a social community around language learning. Nous avons évidemment pris plus de temps que nous l'aurions souhaité pour la mettre en œuvre, mais la stratégie de base est la même et je ne la vois pas changer là où nous essayons de construire une communauté sociale autour de l'apprentissage des langues. Yeah, there’s going to be innovations and new wrinkles and improvements all the time and we’ll continue to improve our site on an ongoing basis as we go forward. Ouais, il va y avoir des innovations et de nouvelles rides et améliorations tout le temps et nous continuerons à améliorer notre site de manière continue au fur et à mesure que nous avançons. The basic strategy is the same and I don’t see where anything we’re doing should be changed regarding those applications that you spoke about. Whether they would be lasting or not, who knows. Qu'ils soient durables ou non, qui sait. I mean, obviously, when they take off they take off at a sharp rate and then reach a level where I think they plateau, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have tens of millions of users. Je veux dire, évidemment, quand ils décollent, ils décollent à un rythme soutenu et atteignent ensuite un niveau où je pense qu'ils plafonnent, mais cela ne veut pas dire qu'ils n'ont pas des dizaines de millions d'utilisateurs. You know, I don’t know if that…just because their growth rate has slowed doesn’t mean that they’re not doing well so, I guess, that would be that. Vous savez, je ne sais pas si cela… ce n'est pas parce que leur taux de croissance a ralenti qu'ils ne vont pas bien, alors je suppose que ce serait ça.

Steve: Well, you know, it’s a bit like the functionality on our site. Steve : Eh bien, vous savez, c'est un peu comme la fonctionnalité de notre site. I mean there are always systems somewhere that are doing some little thing that we’re not doing and so we often get people saying well, why don’t you do this? Je veux dire qu'il y a toujours des systèmes quelque part qui font une petite chose que nous ne faisons pas et donc nous avons souvent des gens qui disent bien, pourquoi ne faites-vous pas cela ? Why doesn’t your flashcard do that or why doesn’t your dictionary do this? Pourquoi votre flashcard ne le fait-il pas ou pourquoi votre dictionnaire ne le fait-il pas ? And, of course, you pointed out that we’ll be constantly perfecting our social interaction model and we will also be adding features to our basic learning functionality. Et, bien sûr, vous avez souligné que nous perfectionnerons constamment notre modèle d'interaction sociale et que nous ajouterons également des fonctionnalités à notre fonctionnalité d'apprentissage de base. We think that the basic, the overall package, the sort of comprehensive, integrated, package we have is tremendously powerful. Nous pensons que l'ensemble de base, l'ensemble, le genre d'ensemble complet et intégré que nous avons est extrêmement puissant. Are there systems out there that have little features that we don’t have? Existe-t-il des systèmes qui ont de petites fonctionnalités que nous n'avons pas ? For sure there are and where there are good features like that we will be looking to integrate them, but you can’t always be looking over your shoulder and worrying about somebody else who has some feature, there will be. Bien sûr, il y en a et là où il y a de bonnes fonctionnalités comme celle-là, nous chercherons à les intégrer, mais vous ne pouvez pas toujours regarder par-dessus votre épaule et vous soucier de quelqu'un d'autre qui a une fonctionnalité, il y en aura. In fact, many people are going to use more than one approach to learning a language. En fait, beaucoup de gens vont utiliser plus d'une approche pour apprendre une langue. People may books; should buy books; should do other things. They don’t necessarily have to find everything possible related to learning a specific language in our system. I think what we provide still has, I think, outstanding value. Now, it’s one thing for us to say it but, of course, we hope that our learners will feel the same way and spread the word. Maintenant, c'est une chose pour nous de le dire mais, bien sûr, nous espérons que nos apprenants ressentiront la même chose et passeront le mot.

Thank you, Mark, for giving us an expert’s view on all of this. What we should follow up with in the next episode is Jill and I, a couple of people who don’t know what they’re talking about, talking about this. Ce que nous devrions suivre dans le prochain épisode, c'est Jill et moi, un couple de personnes qui ne savent pas de quoi ils parlent, en parlons. That would be interesting. Don’t you think so?

Jill: Let me think on that one. Jill : Laissez-moi réfléchir à celle-là.

Steve: Okay. Well, thank you very much. Thank you, Mark.

Mark: You’re welcome.