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Posts Tagged ‘press’

Ebaby! on Think Out Loud, Gawker

Friday, June 29th, 2012

opbEach morning, Think Out Loud hosts a live conversation on the radio about a topic of interest to Oregon Public Broadcasting listeners. It’s a show everyone in Oregon knows, so imagine our excitement when after seeing the Wall Street Journal story we helped with, they asked English, baby! CEO John Hayden to come on the air and talk about slang.

You can listen this episode here. It also features a student from a local ELS school. It’s great to hear him go back and forth with John about learning a language. John also shares a classic story about how he once accidentally proposed to a woman in Japan.

Another even more surprising response to the WSJ article was this post on Gawker making fun of it. Of all the sources in the story, they only quoted John in their post. We’re glad they singled us out though–it’s nice to be made fun of by such a popular gossip site! I hope we get on TMZ next.


English, baby! in the WSJ

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Today’s edition of The Wall Street Journal includes an article about American slang that features several quotes from English, baby! co-founder and CEO John Hayden. It’s an honor to be alongside so many exciting companies and fascinating individuals in this story in one of our country’s most well-respected and widely read publications.

We had fun looking at our most popular English lessons and terms gathering information for the story, too. We can’t really give too much thought to what slang people want to learn and why. The writer of the piece, Alina Dizik, did a great job of pressing us to think hard about these questions and including some great perspectives and anecdotes in the piece.

I especially like the story about Jie Teng, a business student in China who misused the term “hook up.” This is exactly the situation we had in mind while creating an upcoming lesson on the term “fool around.” We walked a fine line to make it clear that this term has plenty of innocent meanings–and a not-so-innocent one–without being over the top.

In fact, I think someone like Jie Teng is often who we have in mind when we create our lessons in general. She’s driven and studying English for a purpose. It’s crucial that we be honest with her and show her how Americans really speak so that she can pursue her goals. Our members trust us not to lead them into embarrassing mistakes, and we take that responsibility very seriously.




Ebaby! in the Media: Dime Magazine, Pitchfork and More

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

English, baby! in Dime Magazine
Dime Magazine, a New York-based basketball magazine that publishes in the US and China, features a full-page story on our basketball English lessons starring NBA players in its September edition. They let me pick the best quotes from the videos for the story. Click on the image to read it and download the whole issue here.

Our mission to help the world learn English from athletes and entertainers has garnered a lot of media attention since the last press round-up on this blog. Our lessons with world-famous DJ Girl Talk were covered by the Vatican of indie music, Pitchfork, as well as Prefix Magazine, Melophobe, The Miami New Times and The Music-RX. Our lessons with hip-hop legends Bone Thugs-n-Harmony got us back on the pages of XXL Magazine and HipHop DX.

Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia let us go through his suitcase before a road game for a fashion English lesson, and our pal Sekou Smith of NBA.com’s Hang Time blog gave us some love (link disabled due to lockout) as did the always kind Ball In Europe, and even the Hawks official site, which also covered our lesson with All-Star Al Horford (again, lockout = 404).

With our Portland Timbers now in the MLS, we’ve been focusing a lot more on soccer this season. A lesson with fan-favorite Gambian defender Futty Danso won the heart of Timbers blog, Dropping Timber. Lessons with French star Aurelien Collin landed us on soccer blog No Short Corners and Sporting Kansas City’s official Twitter feed.

Finally, Lindsay Pulsipher, an actress from one of my favorite TV shows, True Blood, recently appeared on Ebaby! and the Truebies took notice on sites such as True-Blood.net and TrueBlood-Online.com. The interview even made the local “Stardar Report” of Byron Beck. It’s nice to be popular.

Celebrity English Lessons Get International Attention

Friday, February 11th, 2011

A major Lithuanian newspaper, lrytas.lt, recently created a news story out of our English lesson with Lithuanian NBA star, Žydrūnas Ilgauskas. In the Google translation, you can see how the author pulled quotes from our interview and put them together in the newspaper style. The story has been getting good traffic–it has more than 70 comments.

The Celebrity English Lessons we feature periodically on English, baby! have gotten lots of media attention since the last time we posted an update like this (though we have been posting some as we go, like the various places that picked up our Sheryl Crow lesson).

An Australia-based basketball site, A Stern Warning, also covered our Ilguaskas lesson, as well our English lessons with Carmelo Anthony and Rip Hamilton. Cleveland.com, the website for the daily newspaper there, The Plain Dealer, picked up that pair of NBA lessons too and thetruthsports.com really got a kick out of our discussion with Carmelo about his nickname in China. Denver Stiffs, a local Nuggets blog, gave it some love as well.

XXL, the leading hip-hop magazine, posted our English lesson with Tech N9ne, as did The Boom Box, who also included E-40’s Ebaby! lesson.

Finally, if you’re going to interview Weird Al, you’d better hope it gets a friendly post from yankovic.org. Fortunately, ours did.

I’m sure we’ve missed some coverage of our lessons, so if you notice any we haven’t posted here, please leave a comment. Feel free to direct us to sites you like to read that might interested in posting our English lesson videos as well!

Ebaby! Gets Top Ten Reviews Silver Award

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

2010 is still a few weeks away, but English, baby! has already got its first award of the year! Top Ten Reviews put together a list of the best ESL sites and we got the silver award. Yeah, I know, where was the gold? Well, you know what? Silver looks better with our orange and blue colors anyway. So there.

Seriously though, the review Wanda Richards wrote is the most in-depth analysis of the website put together by any journalist so far. She touched on every aspect of the site, from member submitted lessons to the chat room. It’s clear that she signed up for an account and spent some time–long enough to get our weekly newsletter which she wrote about too!

I especially love that Wanda came up with ways that English, baby! could be used by native speakers of English, such as finding pen pals overseas. But the best quote has to be this one:

English, baby! could be the poster child for social media integration for online English learning.

Thanks! That’s exactly what we strive to be. It’s nice to be understood.

Ebaby!'s Iranian Conversation on OPB

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

All last week, the world watched the news unfold about Iran’s election and the subsequent protests over the results. But with traditional reporters on lock down in hotel rooms, social media sites have become the main source on this story. With more than 10,000 of our one million members based in Iran, Ebaby! has seen several forums pop up complete with Iranian voices from all sides of the issue.

Kristian Foden-Vencil, a reporter for Oregon’s NPR affiliate, OPB, took interest in the increased political activity on our site and stopped by the office on Thursday for about an hour. He spoke with Ebaby! CEO John Hayden as well as our resident English teacher, Alexis Nelson, about how the site work helps people learn English and is home to some very unique dialog on Iran. The four-minute piece (which contains a clip from our latest episode of EXTREME English, baby!) aired several times yesterday.

To join the discussion about the Iranian election or see what our global user base has to say, take a look at the forum mentioned in the story as well this one, the longest one on the topic on our site. English, baby! is glad to provide a place where people from all countries can share their thoughts on the situation in Iran in a common language.

Slang from the Past!

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

While we were working with our local newspaper on this story they just published about us (click here for more behind the scenes info on this story), one idea that came up was to do a “hot and not” list of our slang lessons. That is, a list of recent lessons on cool slang and a list of older, out-dated slang lessons.

The idea was ultimately scrapped, but not before I spent a couple of hours creating just such a list. While I am proud to say that we never actually did a lesson on “gettin’ jiggy wit it,” here are six slang lessons that either because of the context or the ever-changing nature of slang, are now rather amusing.

6.old G” –  First off, the quote in this lesson comes from rapper Jadakiss. Um, who? But furthermore, I think even old Gs realize it’s not 1992 anymore and have quit talking about how gangsta they are.

5.dope” – While this term is still commonly used (although not around anyone’s grandmother, of course), what dates this lesson is one of the example sentences that was used: “Mark bought a dope CD yesterday. It’s by this group called the Gorillaz. Have you heard of them? I think they’re from England.”

4.  girlie men” – This one probably hasn’t seen much use since Hanz and Franz were on SNL, but the kicker here is that the quote for this lesson comes from none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger,  of Terminator and now Governor of California fame.

3.wife beater” – I’m glad this one went out of style. I haven’t heard anyone call an undershirt a “wife beater” in several years. It used to be kind of sketchy to walk around wearing a “wife beater.” Now it’s probably sketchier to use the term “wife beater” to talk about anything other than a criminal.

2. off the hook” – This phrase truly died only recently when Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele starting using it in interviews frequently. Nothing kills slang like someone who is completely and totally uncool using it to try to be cool.

1. the three R’s” – I’ve come to learn that some crazy stuff happened before I started working here two years ago, but even I am surprised that this phrase became an Ebaby! lesson. I mean, most of our out of date stuff comes from the ’90s. I don’t know how far back you have to go to get to when this was a cool phrase. Maybe you could ask Donald Trump, who gives us the lesson’s quote.

So there you have it, the “not” list. The “hot” list isn’t nearly as funny. That’s probably why this idea never made it into the newspaper. But nonetheless, here’s what I came up with.

5.bail out” – If you wanted to read a newspaper after October 2008, you needed to know this one.

4.Joe six-pack” – It’s hard to believe it’s been less than a year since the US presidential election launched an unknown plumber into fame. Give this one 5 more minutes and it will be in the “not” pile.

3.such as” – While not really slang, this one counts as “hot” because it was inspired by the incredible and viral misuse of this term by Miss South Carolina.

2.dialed in” – Maybe it’s just me, but I hear this one all the time now.

1.watered down” –  And finally, in the age when any band that was popular at any time can come back and make money on a tour with one or even zero original members, this one comes to us from Rage Against the Machine, who reached their prime back when most of the “not” list was in style and remained dormant until last year.

Portland Newspaper Feature on Ebaby!

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

With both free and Super Memberships, user generated lessons and celebrity lessons, social networking and direct help from a live Ebaby! teacher, English, baby! does a lot of things for a lot of people.

For the last few weeks, we’ve been working with Ryan Fleming at Willamette Week, our hometown, Pulitzer Prize-winning newsweekly, on a story that hit the streets of the Portland area this week. Often when Ebaby! gets mentioned in the press, it’s for a specific thing we do (like when the LA Times featured one of our celebrity lessons). And that’s great! But Ryan did a wonderful job of exploring many aspects of our site.

The article features quotes from one of the members we met in Beijing and one of the most active teachers on our site, as well as an excursion into our archives of more than 3000 lessons. And the illustration by Jonathan Hill that accompanies the article is probably the best visual representation of the Ebaby! mission created to date. So head over to wweek.com and leave a comment!

English, baby! is a Weird Business

Friday, May 8th, 2009

English, baby! is kind of a crazy business. In our press release about reaching 1 million members, we mention almost a dozen features or services we provide, and since 95% of the people who use those services are outside the US, it can make our business seem even weirder to people here at home.

Barry Moltz, who hosts a popular small business radio show called Business Insanity Talk Radio took note of these facts and invited Ebaby! CEO John Hayden to be one of his guests for an episode called the “The Weird Business Show” alongside the entrepreneurs behind Fantasy Baseball Sherpa, ParkingSpots.com, a home staging company, a phone company for people who have had their phone disconnected and more (a clip of just John’s portion of the show is on our press page). It was a lot of fun to learn about other “weird” businesses.

Ebaby! in Successful Promotions Magazine

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

The April issue of Successful Promotions not only features Miley Cryus on the cover, it also has a five page story on viral marketing dos and don’ts by Kenneth Hein, a managing editor at AdweekMedia. The article outlines lessons that can be learned from the elven efforts of OfficeMax, a Carl’s Jr. mobile campain launched at a Lakers game, as well as anecdotes about 7-Eleven, Burger King, Axe, and a company you might have heard of called English, baby!

Kenneth tells the tale of our bonus guerrilla marketing sucess at the Beijing Olympics (we thought we were just making videos for marking later–turned out we were marking on the ground as well). Take a look at the portion of the article that’s about us here and the whole thing here. We’re really happy to have been included with such good company in such a good story.