Update 2016-07-24: Added Phonescoop glossary to Telephones > General.
A big post with lots of vocabulary lists from online dictionaries of words related to ICT (information and communication technology): telephones, computers and networks & systems like the internet, the worldwide web and e-mail. Go to the list and click on the words to see definitions, examples, pronunciation etc.
This vocabulary can be useful for our classes on: using the telephone, mobile phones, technology, office work, digital marketing, innovation, e-mail, communication etc.
Update 2016-12-30: Updated ESLPod links to Lizhi.fm. See ESL Pod Links Broken for more info.
Update 2016-11-18: Fixed Culips #1 link. Added Culips #164.
Update 2015-12-11: Added Business English Pod 134.
Whether we call it a coffee shop, coffee house or café, a place where we can buy and drink some coffee is a part of many people's everyday lives, be it just for the coffee, or somewhere to hang out with friends, go on a date or even take your laptop and do some work.
More info on coffee shops / coffee houses / cafés:
Here are some podcasts on coffee and coffee shops.
Update 2017-03-22: Added The English We Speak & China version for LearnEnglish. 2017-03-03: All ESLPod.com links changed to Lizhi.fm. For more info, see this post: ESLPod Links Broken. Updated About.com to TheBalance, although the videos are gone. 2016-03-11 : Removed dead Videojug and Howcast links. Added 2 About.com videos. 2015-09-05: added ESL Podcast 1096 – Improving Online Reviews
2014-12-06: added Pearson Education Marketing podcast on E-marketing and new media. 2014-09-13: added Macmillan podcast about viral videos and INTEAD podcast about digital marketing know-how 2014-04-26: added China232.com podcast about Web 2.0 2014-04-05: added Business English Pod Video Vocab 37 & 38 (Internet Marketing)
Digital marketing includes marketing over the internet and cellular networks, to personal computers, smartphones and tablet computers etc.
Below are some useful videos and ESL podcasts you can watch & listen to about digital marketing.
You can listen to these ESL podcasts (especially designed for learners of English) online on your computer, or you can download the MP3 and listen to them on your computer, MP3 player, smartphone etc.
The audio is free, but sometimes other features ("premium features") require payment.
These links will take you to videos on websites which are not blocked in China (except for the Business English Pod videos, for which I have provided separate download links for users in China), and which usually have transcripts (sometimes already shown on the same page as the video, or sometimes you have to press a button that says "Transcript").
Summary: As someone who is not fluent in Chinese, I cannot rely on Tencent 腾讯/QQ for microblogging (or indeed anything). So I'm not using Tencent and now I'm trying LinkedIn instead.
Update 2013-11-15: Once again, Tencent Weibo is denying me access to my account without explanation and without a way to resolve the problem in English.
I used to use a Tencent Weibo microblog to give my Chinese students useful or interesting links related to English, China, business etc. But back in June, I had a major problem with it: I could no longer access it at all. I wrote about that in my blog post here.
Any attempt by me to fix the problem would lead to lots of untranslated pages in Chinese. So I e-mailed their international support. The only response I had from Tencent was a link to instructions about what to do when you lose your password.
There were several problems with this:
I continued to try to resolve this problem communicating in English with Tencent / QQ International, via e-mail and via their blog (which is what you get taken to when you click on "Help").
No luck for me with Tencent
I never had another reply from Tencent International's e-mail, despite me writing twice more.
Tencent won't let me log in, so I can't access my Tencent microblog at all.
Even though I'm putting in the right password, I get an error about "restricted account access".
I clicked on the link, and it all changes to Chinese. So much for the international version in English. As soon as there's a problem, it all reverts to Chinese, with a lot of important text (e.g. action buttons) actually presented in image format, so I can't use translation software to help me understand it.
I tried guessing and various things but eventually got stuck here:
I tried googling and tried one piece of advice on the web, which didn't work but I did end up with the e-mail address for QQ International help.
I emailed them, and they sent me back a link to a blog post with instructions in case of a lost password. I didn't lose my password, but I'm trying it anyways.
That post explains in English how to get a new password (the whole process in Chinese again) using annotated screenshots.
I've managed to complete the first couple of steps, but then comes one that's not explained. It asks for 3 "Friend's Account Numbers". Which is fine if you use QQ instant messenger and have those numbers saved or written down somewhere.
But I don't use QQ messenger, I only use Tencent for microblogging. So I don't have any such numbers. I can't even access the IDs of my microblog followers (to try using those instead of QQ numbers) because I have to sign in to see those.
I've posted a comment on that blog article about this problem, and I await an answer. If there isn't one, I'll try writing QQ International support again.
The irony? When I have a China-related tech problem, I tell people and ask for help using Tencent Weibo. But this problem means I can't even do that.
I'll post about any future developments.
During my class Jobs 2 today, I wanted to give a student a link to some results on an American jobs website. He works in sales for ERP, so I did a search on IT jobs site Dice.com.
I wanted to put the link for the search results in the chat box, but it wouldn't enter. I finally realized it was because the URL was too long... way too long... insanely long:
I had to backspace through all that to get rid of it, and then I used Bitly to make a shorter link. Bitly is an URL shortening service, that makes long web addresses short. It took that gigantic URL and turned it into http://bit.ly/H4StbV . It is especially useful on microblogs like Twitter.
On Chinese microblogs like Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, URLs are shortened automatically. E.g. on my Tencent microblog that superlong URL is shortened to just http://url.cn/3VYoRK .
I mentioned Bitly in Links During Online Classes and today it was a real lifesaver.
With communications technology like the Internet and the telephone system, people in different places, cities, countries, continents and time zones can talk to each other.
My students do it when they have conference calls with customers, suppliers or colleagues in other countries. I do it every time I give a class online. So this is an issue that affects all of us.
I just found an article with tips on making these communications successful, from GigaOM, a website focused on online business.Meeting Planner, to help me check time in China (where my students are) and Mexico (where I now live). (I also use a small free program from Microsoft called Time Zone, for Windows XP. It's a clock that can show the time in 5 different places.)
It also discusses language and preparation issues, like speaking slowly and sending documents in advance.
Today I gave a class, Life Level III - Computers Are Everywhere.
My students and I talked about how computers and the internet are so important to how we live now: both our work lives and our personal lives. I mentioned a few things (programs, websites etc) and I'd like to write a post about them with info and links.
Doing things via the internet/websites instead of directly on your own computer.
Anything from webmail (Hotmail, Yahoo Mail) to online customer relationship management (Salesforce.com) is cloud computing.
Having an extra copy of data, in case the original is lost or damaged.
flash drive or external hard drive; print out copies; or make back-ups on tape or optical disks (CD, DVD, BD).
But now you can also do it via the "cloud": there are online backup services. One I use is Crashplan, which lets you & your friends help back up each other: safe encrypted back-ups of your data are stored on their computer, and their back-ups are stored on yours. That way it's free.
I also use Dropbox. It's not technically a backup service. It's online storage (access your files from any computer with a browser), online synchronization (install Dropbox on two computers and files on one computer will automatically appear on the other) and online sharing (you can share a folder on your computer with a friend and the files in that folder can be accessed by your friend). I use it to have extra copies in case of a problem (like back-up), share files with friends and co-workers, and have the same files on all the computers I use (2 at home, 3 at work).
Dropbox's free plan is limited in size, but you can get more free storage by referring other people to their service. So if you click this Dropbox link and complete the procedure of joining Dropbox, I get more space. :)
EDIT: I just found out Dropbox is yet another site with problems caused by the Great Firewall of China. >:( There is a way around: change the hosts file. Open it, and add this to the end:
There's another similar service NOT (yet) blocked by the GFW: SugarSync. Here's my referral link for SugarSync, i.e. if you use this link to join Sugarsync, I get more free space :)
Program or service that stores all your passwords.
I have made all those mistakes :) and finally I started using a password manager.
Personally, I use KeePass, a free open-source program. I only need to remember one password (the one for KeePass) and the program remembers all the different passwords for logging on to work computers, websites etc. I save my KeePass in my Dropbox folder so that I can access it from anywhere.
There is also a "cloud" solution: LastPass, an online service that works with your web browser and stores your passwords.
Well, these are just a few links and ideas on software and services I've used, related to issues discussed in today's class. I hope you might find it useful.
Update 2017-01-22: Added V.QQ.com clip and links.
Update 2011-05-12: I'm sorry, I just realized/remembered that of course Youtube is blocked in China. I will research some way to upload this video to a video site accessible in China.
I'm teaching a course on writing e-mails for business, with the first class focusing on tone: formal, neutral or casual.
I've also just started watching a British comedy series called The IT Crowd, which has a funny scene directly related to this issue.
Here's the clip (or click here to see it bigger on Youtube):
For people in China, I have found the clip on V.QQ.com and have embedded it below. The part about e-mail starts at 1'54".
In fact, V.QQ.com offers viewers in China the chance to watch the whole series:
Just created my page on Weebly, as I only just found that my students in China couldn't see my existing pages on PBworks and Blogspot; the Communist government blocks those domains.
I googled up a web page with some handy links:
How to Check If Your Website Is Blocked In China or Not
Using the links there, I confirmed that my PBworks and Blogspot pages were not accessible in China. I've also confirmed that this Weebly website is. For now.
G.A.L.E.S.L. / joe3
Some tips and links on learning English.