500 Year Vision

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learnit moves


Last night M got learnit up and running on Google Gadgets. This is great because the Orkut launch is in the last week of February, and seeing as the two systems share the same code, if it works on Google Gadgets, it’ll work on Orkut. Likewise it should be a relatively simple move to put it out as a desktop application.

On Monday I’m meeting with a telecommunications company who have a bespoke, secure VOIP system. They work with companies such as Siemens on a broad range of products, and are very interested in learnit. We would like to set up the text message part of the system with them – where users can choose to have their learnit list sent to them by text message once (or however many times they like) a day. This will create revenue for both of us. I need to find out if they can also organise the sound file to be sent to user’s phones, but this would be a later stage project. Currently users will need to come to our web site to hear sound to go with their list.

The sound on learnit will be available to fully registered users who have agreed to our terms & conditions. In order to do this, we need to know some basic demographics (but not any Data Protection legislated details!) that we will be able to provide to sponsors, such as age, location & profession. I’ve also been thinking about or (copyrighted) 10 second survey methodology – we could splice this into the  widget so that users answer one simple question every day – so they can practice their English, and we can gather interesting & useful information.

I’ve been recording the sound for learnit over the last couple of days. My voice will be fine for the beta version & until we have the revenue available for a professional voice over person. The sound is aimed at those learning English, rather than English speakers learning languages. English pronunciation is without reason, and is what makes our language such a challenge. I have students who have worked on their English for years, but without speaking or listening practice they find it very difficult to understand a native speaker. On the other hand, a couple of students who regularly watch films in English, listen to music or Radio 4, sound practically fluent.

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