We just wanted to announce that we’ve made a few more adjustments to the italki website. We hope these changes will make it easier to use, and find information that is relevant to you. Here’s a short list of what’s new:
New home pages for Answers, Notebook, and Groups – we’re trying to make it easier for you to find interesting questions, notebook entries, and discussions. If you’re logged in, these pages will now show you information based on your personal preferences.
Rankings for Answers and Notebook – We’ve made a small ranking system as a way of saying thank you to the people who contribute to the italki community. Thanks!
Language Homepage (example: Chinese) – Now you can see what’s the latest updates for every language at italki.
Sharing Buttons – If you run into something interesting on italki, you can easily share it on the rest of the web.
And many more changes…
While we know these changes can be a little confusing, we really hope that italki is becoming more and more useful. Please tell us what you think through our feedback button. We’re very interested to know how you think we can make italki an amazing place to learn a language online!
We’re writing to let you know we’ve been changing italki.com to make it easier for you to learn a language and make friends around the world. If you haven’t been on italki for a while, you have to see what’s changed.
We reorganized the website to make it easier to see and respond to what your italki friends are doing. We’ve also restructured the user profiles to make it easier for other italki users to help you with answering your questions, correcting your notebook, and replying to your group posts. We think you’ll find the new site easier to use, friendlier, and more useful for learning a language. There are too many improvements to list here, so login to italki and see the changes for yourself!
New Features – Notebook
We’ve mentioned a few weeks ago that we now have the Notebook, which is where you can practice and improve your writing skills. You can get corrections from other italki users, as well as correct other people’s writings. We hope you’ll take the opportunity to help others, as well as share information about your culture.
If you’re looking for a teacher or a language product, you should take a look at our improved marketplace. If you think learning a language is expensive or if you just need extra help, you should definitely try an italki teacher, or check out language products like SpeakENG. We’ll be releasing even more improvements in this area soon.
One tip we’d like to mention is that for users that are experiencing slowness on italki, we now have the ability to turn off the chat. For some users, this may dramatically improve the speed of the site.
We have even more changes coming, and please keep your feedback coming as well. We hope you like the new site (and tell your friends!). We’re doing our best to make italki a great place to learn a language and make friends around the world.
The World Expo is about to start in Shanghai, and we are excited to be here. Shanghai has been under construction for years in preparation for this event, and now the world will be able to see the results of that work.
This year’s Expo theme is Urban Development, and there will be numerous pavilions dedicated to how we can improve the way we live. We think this theme is very timely, given the level of urbanization in China, and the problems it faces in terms of sustainable economic growth. Events like the Expo present a great opportunity for people to exchange ideas about these increasingly universal issues.
italki is also trying to facilitate the exchange of ideas, virtually through the internet. Even though technology has driven the costs of communications to almost zero, language still represents a significant barrier in communication. It’s hard to imagine how people can work well together to tackle global issues if they cannot communicate well with each other.
If you are coming to the Expo (or are just curious), try posting it on your blackboard or in your notebook. Many italki users are interested in meeting in person, and there are lots of members in Shanghai (where we are based)! If you also happen to be in town (for the Expo or otherwise), please come and stop by — we like using Skype, but we’d love to meet you in person!
We’re excited to now offer China UnionPay on italki. China UnionPay is China’s largest interbank payment network, and almost every ATM card in China supports China UnionPay. For many Chinese, paying with their bank card is one of the most convenient methods of purchasing products and transfering money. By simply going to any ATM machine, a person can use their card to directly transfer money to another card.
When you use China UnionPay on italki – you’ll first be taken to China UnionPay’s payment gateway. Afterwards, you’ll be asked to choose which bank issued your card. Each bank will have its own payment process — most will let you transact online with your bankcard.
We hope this allows more users in China to get access to italki teachers and italki marketplace partners. We also want to say keep paying attention to the blog, because we have many more improvements coming soon.
We just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Lantern Festival and Year of the Tiger. The Lantern Festival is traditionally the last day of the Chinese New Year Holiday (also known as the Spring Festival Chūnjié 春节), and it is a festival that is supposed to bring good luck and hope.
We hope that everyone’s 2010 is off to a great start. At italki, we’re really excited about this year, because there is so much to do. We’ll be putting a lot of effort this year into improving the site, and building features to make it easier for you to learn a language. Thanks again for being part of the italki community, and we’ll work to make the Year of the Tiger our best year yet.