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Tianjin42

The Chairman's Bao

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TheChairmansBaoTeam

Hey thanks for all the comments, 

 

I hear what your saying. Xiaokaka, this is actually the price point we think we are going to go in at initially. Over the next month we endeavour to increase article output to 4 / day, slightly weighted towards the lower levels. No implemented features will ever have an impact on article output or the quality of each and every article - this is key for us. 

 

What we may do is then is have a couple of different pricing structures which unlock the different features. The main one of which is the ability to contact the authors for Q&A. This obviously won't be wanted by everyone, but could be included on a higher pricing structure due to the costs associated with providing this service. 

 

Tianjin, unfortunaly not. Traffic will never be high enough to cover operating costs. 

 

Thanks all, 

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lechuan

As an alternative to a subscription, would it be possible to buy packs of consumable credits that you can use to unlock articles?

 

I personally get horrible value out of subscriptions as I tend to use them for a while, not use them for 6 months, then get back into them.

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TheChairmansBaoTeam

Would you mind please letting me know which articles the audio isn't playing on please?

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TheChairmansBaoTeam

Thanks! Where in the world are you?

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imron
Perhaps more marketing could eliminate the problem?

I know nothing about TCB's audience numbers, but it's unlikely.  If you don't have millions of users, advertising is not going to provide enough revenue to support any sort of decent app development.

 

I agree with lechuan that buying packs would be nice.

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imron
Thanks! Where in the world are you?

 

From underneath his profile pic:

  • Location:北京

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TheChairmansBaoTeam

Yeah your right Imron. We are currently at about 15,000 users and 70,000 website visits per month - nowhere near enough to cover operating costs through advertisements, let alone app development.

Lechuans idea is a good one and something I'm going to look into. Im no developer but I imagine it will entail a fair bit more web work and time to implement though.

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imron
We are currently at about 15,000 users and 70,000 website visits per month - nowhere near enough to cover operating costs through advertisements, let alone app development.

As a user, I would also prefer to pay a reasonable amount for an ad-free experience, where reasonable is defined as more than you would make off me personally through ad revenue.

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laowhiner

Your site is worth paying for, but I would expect all keywords and grammatical explanations to be in Traditional Characters as well as Simplified when you monetize it. 

 

Another suggestion: the HSK3 articles are spoken very slowly. I would prefer they were spoken at a natural rate. 

 

It could be helpful if you had a comments section under each article for people to discuss it. This is probably a bad suggestion, but what if you left the untranslated Chinese articles sans audio keywords, etc. on the website and let people comment on them even if they weren't subscribers? You might end up with some native Chinese helping your readers.

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TheChairmansBaoTeam

Hi there, 

 

This is certainly one of the features needing implementing prior to subscription and should be within a week or so both in-app and on the website. 

 

The speed at which HSK 3 articles are spoken at is certainly an ongoing debate amongst the team and one which we cannot seem to come to clear conclusion on. We think we are going to keep audio speeds, relevant to the HSK level, but try and integrate a speed-up/slow-down audio feature within the app. It's early days and knowing quite how this will sound is hard to tell right now, however this is our best idea yet. The obvious issue is, and certainly one thing I struggled with personally when at HSK 3, was that 'natural rate' was always too hard and I constantly found my self having to tell people to slow down! 

 

A comment/feedback section is another feature we plan to implement in the coming months, although this will not be immediate. 

 

Unfortunately, leaving untranslated article on our site, especially after subscription could land us in a bit of trouble and would require requesting permission for each and every article. The idea is good, but in reality it will be rather hard to put into place. Legally, we have to even ensure that articles are not translated sentence by sentence. The writers actually read articles and re-write the entire thing in their own words. Believe it or not, not doing this is still can infringe copy write despite being in a completely different language. 

 

Thanks,

Matt

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Wei-Ming 魏明

Wonderful!

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dnevets

Just installed this. Excellent app. Wish I'd had this years ago. Any chance of having the articles read by a range of speakers? I've just tried a sample at hsk 5 and 6 levels and they're all read by the same person. Might be nice to have a mixture of male and female voices, plus the voices of some older people. Perhaps even some slightly different accents?

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ouyangjun

Just some comments from my side and how I'd use Charimans Bao and what I'd be willing to pay for.

I read only your HSK6 and HSK5 articles (unless a lower level headline really catches my interest). I like the content of these articles and it allows me to acheive my goal of reading one Chinese article per day without much thought or effort into finding an article. (Note: Other resources used are Weixin news accounts that I follow)

I did not download your app, because I'm not keen on clogging up my phone with a bunch of apps. If I can access the website as easily from my phone, then that is the method I prefer and what I have been using with the TCB. I actually open your website through Pleco Web Reader, which allows me to easily capture new vocab in my Pleco flash cards, which is the preferred method for me to capture new vocab (whether that be reading, speaking, watching a movie, etc). I put a high amount of emphasis on keeping my learning material centralized, and not having it spread across many applications (possibly other users would also see value in the ability to seamlessly link vocab learned on TCB to their preferred vocab learning resource).

I understand I'm not using all of TCB functionality by doing this, but I think you may find with more advanced independent learners do not need all of the extra add-ons (especially once they have good electronic dictionaries). Earlier I saw you mention being able to contact the teacher, this is not a service I'd use, because if I have a question on something (eg. Grammar) I can just as easily go to Baidu and find my answer immediately.

I really like what you're doing and hope it works out for you. I do see value in the service, but at the prices you mentioned earlier there is no way I'd pay that amount of money. Possibly you can look at different levels of membership with access to different content, for example the most basic membership only being the articles and audio (I do like the audio in the HSK6 articles). For this, I'd be willing to pay a few dollars. If this was a few years ago I'd be willing to pay more, because at lower levels it is sometimes very difficult and frustrating trying to find reading content that you can enjoy reading and comprehend. This is likely more of your target audience (HSK3/4 clientele working their way to HSK6 and above). I'd be willing to bet they'd pay more for the service than persons already at these levels.

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TheChairmansBaoTeam

Hey Dnevets, 

 

We actually have a team of 5 'audioists'. It must just be coincidence that the two listened to were by the same one. You are certainly right though that we need some male speakers. Believe it or not, we seriously struggle hiring male teachers to do this type of work - not quite sure why! We are working on it though :) 

 

With regards to accents, we originally went down this route but ran into so many issues with pronunciation and therefore quality control - we have since decided to go with standard Mandarin accents. 

 

Hope this help and glad you like the app! Please kindly leave a review if you have time :) 

 

Cheers, 

 

Matt

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TheChairmansBaoTeam

Hey Ouyangjun,

 

You are certainly right. For your level, the prices mentioned probably are not worth it and developing various subscriptions for various levels is a good idea and something we will look to implement in the near future.  For now unfortunately, we will have to proceed down our current route, purely because of the time it will take to implement such systems. 

 

It's a shame you won't download the app though, they certainly make everything a lot easier! 

 

Thanks for the feedback anyway :)

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Naphta

Hi, I downloaded the app a few days ago and I think it is great. I've been using it to read HSK 5 and 6 level news and I like it a lot. As some others have suggested, I would rather pay per article than a monthly subscription, as I already have a long list of texts to read and I will use Chairman's Bao only as a complement. I don't think I'll pay $10 a month for two or three articles a week, because it isn't really that difficult to find more or less suitable news on the net and process them with the Chinese Text Analyser to get the glossary...

 

As laowhiner says, it would be great to have grammar explanations in traditional script as well. And if the app could remember the choice of traditional characters, instead of having to do it manually each time, it would be even better. Some news from Taiwan would just make it perfect.

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TheChairmansBaoTeam

Hi Naphta,  

 

I understand what your saying and it's something we will definitely look at in the future but unfortunately is not something we have time to change now. 

 

However, the grammar explanation issue should be resolved across the app and website within 1-2 weeks.

 

Regarding Taiwanese news, can you recommend any good sources? :) 

 

Thanks 

 

Matt

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amanda92

Hi TCB,

 

I really like your app and I try to fit in one article a day. Is there a chance that someone like me could be able to contribute news stories to the app?

 

Also would be nice to be able to open words in other apps such as Pleco to check the dictionary meaning and other sample sentences. 

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