No, I haven’t been dead for the last couple of weeks, just focused…:-)
Two main things to talk about today – the joys of marketing, and the joys of building frameworks for new SSi courses.
Let’s do marketing first – get the pain out of the way and keep the pleasure for last…;-)
I did a follow up test last week, with a shorter video and a headline that made it clear that this was how much Spanish Phil and Alison had learnt in a single day. And… I made it possible for people to download the first lesson directly from the landing page, since at least one person had suggested that once people try the first lesson, they’ll want more – a thought I would like to agree with!
Nope, no dice.
Didn’t work any better. We had a lot more shows of the video because of fixing the https issue, but we still had a dramatically low registration rate, even after waiting a week to see how many people would download the first lesson and then come back for more.
I think that I’ll have to take the first lesson off the page, reluctantly – it looks as though we need to inspire people a little more first of all! So I’m thinking, a la Codecademy, of having a mini-lesson of about three or four minutes available with a nice big play button on the landing page, and then having a two field registration form available right underneath it (which requires a bit of technical fiddling).
I also started thinking about a booklet about language learning – a kind of ‘how to’ collection of ideas – but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that what I’m most interested in right now is dramatically accelerated acquisition.
Great – I’m sure that would be interesting to a lot of people – but we really need to have a few more examples of successful accelerated learning using our approach!
Which brings me onto frameworks…
We could have a go at intense sessions (I want to see what we can do in 2 days, and in 5 days) with our existing materials – but they’re not perfect for that approach, mostly because I wrote them about five years ago.
Over the last year or so, I’ve been working on a new, central framework which is aimed at being easier to adapt to multiple languages, and a much more efficient version of the ideas I’ve been working on for the last five years.
I’ve got 16 sessions written, plus an additional 5 quick start lessons for people doing a two-day immersion course (designed to make it possible to stop using English after the first three or four sessions), and we’ve started recording them for Welsh (northern only at the moment).
The first of those 16 are being adapted into Dutch and Spanish by Louis and Gaby – we should be recording the first 5 for Spanish with Gaby and Pilar very soon – but I threw a spanner into the works.
It was all Louis’ fault, really…:-)
I came back from our trip to the Netherlands and realised that I’d got Lesson 5 of the 16 completely wrong – it belonged as an adjunct to the tourist course, not as part of the main course.
So I ditched it, and re-wrote it, and that meant altering Lessons 6 to 16, and then asking Louis if he’d mind re-recording Lesson 5 and onwards for the Dutch.
I think he’s almost forgiven me. The first rush of agony is over, at any rate…;-)
I think I’ve almost forgiven myself, too. It felt like a small mountain of extra work, but I’m convinced that it was the right thing to do, and the new Lesson 5 is much, much better.
So as soon as Catrin and I have recorded the first 15 sessions (we’ve already done the 5 quick start ones) and I’ve imported them all (groan moan – Ifan is doing some brilliantly exciting stuff with an online version of the lesson software which will mean we can leave the pain of importing sound files behind us, but it’s not ready yet) – we’ll be ready to go hunting guinea pigs.
Once we’ve guinea pigged the Welsh, we’re going to go hunting some celeb guinea pigs, and then see if we can get some celeb guinea pigs for the Spanish.
Which will bring us back to the marketing – a celeb or two on video on the landing page talking about their experiences with our approach should make a difference…:-)