2012: A Look Back on Textkit

With 2012 behind us and the start of a new year, this is often a good time to reflect on what has happened and prioritize and envision new goals and objectives.  For Textkit there has been both good and bad in 2012.

The Good
The good is that organic site traffic and downloads of textbooks has been consistent and strong.   Direct traffic and traffic through site links is also equally strong.

A rising trend in 2012 is the ever increasing use of mobile and tablet devices. This tells me that it’s time to install a mobile version of the website which is easy to do using a WordPress plugin. Also good are the Facebook Likes. Facebook and social sharing continues to grow and it’s great to see Textkit likes grow on a daily basis.

The Not So Good
The ‘Textkit Answers’ section of the site was a failure. It was a question and answer style tool that is very popular elsewhere. It just didn’t get enough traction and participation from experts who had the skills to answer the questions.

Another point of failure this year in 2012 is the Textkit forum which has seen slow activity from past years.  The failure in the forum is entirely my fault through lack of maintenance, moderation and activity.  I have made the commitment to re-engage because despite forum technology appearing quite old, it is still a very useful education tool.

Looking Ahead in 2013…
Textkit is at a crossroads.  We have met and solved the challenge of posting online textbooks and readers. When we began this project over a decade ago, it was very difficult to find free and quality Latin and Greek study material.  Fast forward to today and with the help of Textkit, Project Gutenberg, Google Books and others, we now live in a world of easy access to all kinds of amazing study material.

Still, Textkit is at a crossroads because with less demand for our library (happily so) and with so many changes in devices, social media, bandwidth, big data there is both the mandate and opportunity for us to change in order to meet the demands of today’s beginning Greek and Latin learners.

I have been thinking for the past two years on what that change should look like.  I have some great ideas, but the reality is that I cannot make positive changes alone.  At the very inner core of what Textkit is and will always be is a learning community. I see Textkit as a tool that doesn’t just connect content, it connects people.

A fundamental challenge with learning Ancient Greek and Latin is that there are so, so few of us out there and even fewer who have the skills and time to teach and mentor.  But how can Textkit better solve this challenge and help participate in keeping Classics alive?  How can Textkit help connect the learners with the teachers in a way that is productive and engaging?

These questions are why my thoughts have been for the past two years.  With that, I would like to announce a new Textkit project which I will share more about in the coming weeks.

The project is ‘Songbirds of Troy‘.

Thank you and I wish health and happiness to everyone in 2013.

Kindly,
Jeff

About Jeff Tirey

Jeff Tirey, Textkit Founder.
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4 Responses to 2012: A Look Back on Textkit

  1. Greg says:

    I’m sure that maintaining textkit is a thankless task, so I just wanted to take time to say “thank you” for all the work you’ve done on it. I too, am disappointed that the “answers” section didn’t take off, but at least you tried, and it makes me happy that this is a place where things like that can be attempted in an effort to improve the site, even if they don’t pan out. Textkit has been a huge boon in my never-ending struggle to improve my classical language skills, and I want to thank you, and the textkit regulars who help out with all our questions.

  2. Pingback: Songbirds of Troy – Project Introduction: Part 1 | Textkit

  3. Jeff Tirey says:

    Thank you for the kind words Greg.

  4. Edgardo de la Vega says:

    This website continues to kindle my interest for the Classics (i.e. Latin mostly). However, the ancient Greek language is not far behind for exploration & study. Consequently, these two languages have somehow sparked an additional interest for Classical Arabic & Italian as well.

    What an effect! Thank you.

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