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2013 has already been here for several weeks, but because of the sensible character learning challenge, I didn’t have time to post an article discussing the past and future of this website. Better late than never, they say, so here it is. In this article I will share some thoughts about what happened in 2012, but I will also talk about my plans for 2013. As usual, I appreciate feedback.
- What did you think of Hacking Chinese in 2012?
- What do you expect from Hacking Chinese in 2013?
Last year, I did set some vague goals for 2012, but in retrospect, few of them were carefully thought out and they reflect my thinking at the time of writing rather than serious plans. Quite a few things have happened during 2012, though:
- I published 58 articles
- I’ve restructured the website once
- I’ve tweaked the website numerous times
- I’ve added an Hacking Chinese elsewhere page
- The number of visitors has almost tripled
- 371 learners signed up for the weekly newsletter
- I tweeted 1761 times about learning Chinese
- I got 3590 new followers on Twitter
- I’ve received 377 new likes on Facebook
My personal top ten articles from 2012
- A guide to Pinyin traps and pitfalls
- The time barrel: Or why you have more time than you think
- Listening strategies: Problem analysis
- Listening strategies: Improving listening speed
- A language learner’s guide to reading comics in Chinese
- Learning Chinese with StarCraft 2
- Recording yourself to improve speaking ability
- Don’t try to improve everything at once, limit your focus
- The importance of counting what counts
- Learning Chinese in the shower with me
Hacking Chinese in 2013
To begin with, my plan is to keep on roughly like I have before. As long as both you and I are happy with that, I see no reason to change the spirit of Hacking Chinese. Thus, I’m not likely to stop doing things I have been doing up until now. I will, however, expand Hacking Chinese and try to make the website part of my long-term plans.
I’m not sure readers realise how much time I invest, but I can tell you that it will be impossible to keep this up forever without receiving something in return. Rather than focusing less on Hacking Chinese, I will try to focus more and see if you are willing to support me.
Here are a few things I will do in 2013:
- Write two e-books – I have detailed plans for two books which should definitely be published in 2013, hopefully before the summer. If you want to get in on the discussion, you can join the feedback mailing list here. The first book will focus on overcoming common problems when learning Chinese, the second will have a slightly broader focus and look at language hacking and how to get the most of the time you invest.
- Chinese Guild - I’m working with something seriously awesome with Jacob Gill (iLearnMandarin) and Niel de la Rouviere (Confused Laowai). I’m not going to tell you much about it now, but if you look at our different areas of expertise, I think you might be able to guess. More information will be available shortly, stay tuned.
- Hire me – Even though I have never advertised for it, learners sometimes ask me for more ambitious language coaching or other services related to Chinese learning. Since this is what I plan to do in the future, I’m going to keep on experimenting with this in 2013. If you have any ideas or suggestions, let me know!
Of course, a year is a very long time and it’s hard (impossible) to predict what’s going to happen. The three things above will be fairly important and will definitely be carried out, but apart from this, who knows? I’ve always believed in the opportunity cloud. I keep both my eyes and mind open for new ideas and opportunities.
As I mentioned earlier, I have poured hundreds of hours into Hacking Chinese during 2012. Do you know why I did it? Mostly because of the great feedback that keeps streaming in. It seems like most people like what I write and find it helpful. That makes writing worthwhile. Recently, I’ve also realised that I have the potential to inspire people, which might be even more powerful. Exactly how I will develop this in the future remains to be seen, but for now let it suffice to say a big thank you to all readers!
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