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Tianjin42

The Chairman's Bao

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imron
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.

Are you going to keep any content open?

 

I ask because I remember from the early days of ChinesePod, when they took most of their content behind a paywall I stopped using the site (I only listed to the occasional advanced podcast and so a subscription didn't provide any sort of real value), and eventually stopped recommending it to others because it was no longer something I was using and I couldn't see the content they were providing.

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TheChairmansBaoTeam

Hi Amanda,  

 

Thanks for kind feedback. When you say contribute, do you mean simply suggesting news articles for us to work on and convert? Or actually write themselves? 

 

Regarding a copy/paste feature, we hope to have this implemented in the very near future :)

 

Thanks,

 

Matt

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TheChairmansBaoTeam

Hi Imron, 

 

We will yes. 5 articles, 1 for each level will remain completely unlocked and renewed every few days. This is to give users that 'free option', but also acts as a sample for users to see exactly what they can get from TCB. Words Libraries, bookmarks etc etc. will all also be unlocked. 

 

Thanks, 

 

Matt

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TheChairmansBaoTeam

Hi Amanada, 

 

I'm not sure of your nationality or level in Mandarin but unless it's on par with our native HSK experienced Chinese teachers, i'm afraid not! We have very strict employment terms and quality control procedures to ensure all articles are of the highest quality - having non-native, or inexperienced Chinese teachers is a definite no for us. 

 

Before officially founding TCB, this was my method of learning Mandarin! Unfortunately though, once it became an actual Mandarin learning platform I sadly had to stop :( One thing we have thought of is perhaps having a community area where students can write & discuss each others articles. This won't happen anytime soon but is one idea that has been thrown in the air? 

 

Thanks Amanda, 

Matt

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Naphta

Another good feature would be an offline mode. I can only access offline the new texts, but not the older ones, even if I have previously read them with my phone.

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TheChairmansBaoTeam

Hey Naphta,

We plan to make all bookmarked articles completely available offline. You should see this update within a month or so :)

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GotJack

Review of Premium Service- Chairmans Bao

4/5 stars overall

 

I recently signed up for a month to the premium service and I have to say overall have really enjoyed it. Its made reading alot more enjoyable, and has kinda switched from a chore to a choice. The website really suits me, because I can read it at work during down time, but easily switch away if necessary (as oppose to say memrise, where i have a timer counting me down, committing me to ten continuos minutes of activity) . I really like the structure of article, keywords, grammar, idioms (and ability to listen to text) and I love the ability to chose via HSK level (in fact i think this is the strongest selling point).

 

My only complaints would be, frequently the app on my phone takes ages to update. IE i open it, and it has a swirling circle for along time, attempting to update articles. Id say 1/3 time I cba waiting, and i switch to pleco for some flashcards. This is just on my phone

 

All in all, Id say its the 2nd best Chinese product (behind pleco) and is absolutely central resource for me. I am however working, so have money to spend, and I wonder if you could do a cheaper rate for students? I know i wouldnt have paid this much when i was studying!

 

But yeah, overall, great. Thanks for making learning Chinese more pleasant

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Mati1

Some thoughts.

I registered today (freely) and tested the page a bit.

One still has to register to get access to the full (easier to compare) feature listing of the paid version and to the the prices.

 

"Create an account in order to subscribe and unlock our integrated live dictionary, ..."

Actually this works in the free version which is nice.

Also: "However, a small amount of sample news articles remain unlocked with full features to unpaid users."

The above wouldn't make sense otherwise. Full features are great for testing the service.

I saved a word and now I can't find it for review, making me wonder where it was saved to. Could it be that not all features are available for testing?

There is still no light subscription, only the full package. TCB's main value is it's content: carefully written graded articles with audio. Having to pay for bonus content feels a bit wasted if you personally never use it, more so advanced page features. I believe many would welcome a light subscription only providing content for a slight price reduction.

 

When reading the traditional characters version it would be nice to have the traditional characters in the keywords list as well. Without that one has to mark the characters which will show the traditional character in the live dictionary at least. I consider that a temporary solution only.

 

The recorded audio of the lesson I tested was very silent, making me want to max out the volume setting on my system. When I do that and some other audio pops up it will nearly blow me out of the chair. Not cool. That reminds me, when I tested the app last year I noticed that the volume of the read aloud articles and the vocabulary was completely different, making it unpleasant enough not to listen to the words' audio, hence making it useless for me.

The live dictionary on the webpage does not have a playback button (not sure about the wordbank since my word did not show up there). Does the webpage provide the same vocabulary audio that the app has (had)?

 

20 % of the time the page did not work at all (broken connections). I don't know if this only happens today. In case the server is located in mainland China and this is a general "Chinese firewall" problem, relocating the server should help tremendously and might also reduce the response time. I wonder how big the percentage of your customer base is who use TCB from within the mainland.

(Does the Chinese firewall also slow down traffic going into China, or only block it completely if in the blacklist?)

 

I very much like the fact that you are now offering articles from HSK 1 upwards. With several new articles added every day I have to say good job! (Are you aiming to release one new article per HSK level daily? :mrgreen:)

 

TCB is a service that every learner should try out. As so often, the return of investment depends on the personal time invested.

Please fix the volume of your audio recordings. It should be possible to equalize all your audio recordings automatically in one go with the right tool. (I just don't know if mp3s can be changed in such a way without reduction of quality, or if you have to apply the volume to the original recordings and recompress everything.)

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TheChairmansBaoTeam

Dear Jack, 

 

Thanks for the kind words about the site and we do apologise for any issues you may be facing. We are aware of this and are doing everything we can right now to sort things. Within 3-4 weeks time, a complete new build of TCB will be released for Beta testing. This will not only incorporate new functionality, but also significant speed improvements across the platform. 

 

Mati, thank you also for your very constructive input and feedback.

 

In particular with regards to the audio, this is the first feedback we have had in this respect and we absolutely will act upon it. Within the new build will be traditional characters in the keywords, however server-side developments have taken a front seat within the past months. 

 

We are aware of the issues within China currently and as a foreign company who can't register there legally, we are currently mirroring our servers within Hong Kong, Taiwan and Seoul to improve things. Geo-proximity is the main issue with this hence why you may have experienced these issues in the past.

 

We aim to produce one lesson at each HSK level each day, however as a minimum we will always produce one lesson at each level every two days due to a very strict editorial process, which often takes up to four days to produce a single lesson. Each year we publish 1,600 lessons. 

 

We would like to keep in touch with you about developments and my personal email is [email protected]

 

Thanks and all the best,

 

Sean

 

49 minutes ago, Mati1 said:

't know if this only happens today. In case the server is located in mainland China and this is a general "Chinese firewall" problem, relocating the server should help tremendously and might also reduce the response time. I wonder how big the percentage of your customer base is who use TCB from within the mainland.

(Does the Chinese firewall also slow down traffic going into China, or only block it completely if in the blacklist?)

 

I very much like the fact that you are now offering articles from HSK 1 upwards. With several new articles added every day I have to say good job! (Are you aiming to release one new article per HSK level daily? :mrgreen:)

 

 

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艾墨本

Noticed today that the TCB website is significantly faster on the mainland relative to what it was previously. If anyone was holding back on using this site because of this, consider checking it out again.

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艾墨本

Some questions on the way the vocabulary lists work:

  1. The "bulk items" option menu doesn't have a select all or select all words on the current page. Is there a way to bulk select items so I don't have to go one by one?
  2. The stroke diagrams are great in their implementation. Has @TheChairmansBaoTeam considered adding in button to go step by step or show the whole flow in a similar fashion to Pleco? Pleco does this so well.

On another note regarding the audio playback, a skip back 15/30 seconds button would be nice to really drill a specific phrase or sentence. 

 

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TheChairmansBaoTeam

Hi 艾墨本,

 

Firstly thanks for letting us know about the China loading speed issues. It's great to hear our server side changes have made a big difference. 

 

Regarding your points; 

1. This functionality is actually in the pipeline, although our primary focus is on releasing the new website and apps at the moment. Once these are released (Website should be released this weekend) and stable, we will begin implementing these extra functions. 

2. The Stroke/Draw Order functionality is actually developed by a partner of ours. I will forward your feedback on to them though, but it will ultimately be them who determine whether they will proceed with this 'step by step' functionality. 

 

On a side note, users may experience slight downtime over the coming day or so whilst we migrate to our new website. This new build will speed things up even further, and will come with some new and improved functionality. Attached is a couple of screenshots! 

Thanks all and we hope you enjoy the new website! Please let us know your feedback.

 

Team TCB

Article.png

Homepage.png

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艾墨本

It all looks great! Thank you for the response @TheChairmansBaoTeam.

 

I noticed there are no "sample" tags in your sample screen shot. Please keep the samples as I now people who only use those since they can't afford the full version. I think your rotating sample method is a very good compromise as i is currently implemented.

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TheChairmansBaoTeam

Hi 艾墨本,

 

Not to worry, all samples will remain - these screenshots were just created using a premium account. 

 

Thanks 艾墨本! 

 

Team TCB

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i__forget

Nice update of the website! I haven't checked after the update, but before the update on Android when i clicked on some words the popup with the translation would load but it wouldn't show the translation, it kept showing "Loading". Have you been aware of it?

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TheChairmansBaoTeam

Hi there, 

 

Glad you like the new website! Can you check to see if the problem is persisting after the update? If so, please send a screenshot to [email protected] and we will look into this further for you. 

 

Thanks! 

Team TCB

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wannabe chinese speaker

Does anybody know if there is a contact email for the Chairman's Bao? This seems to be an excellent resource but I ran into difficulties while registering and found myself with two subscriptions, managed to cancel one and the other was pending when I last was able to access the site. Since then I see the bank has paid the subscription but I cannot log into the site. 

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roddy

Merging the above post with the answer.

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