DailyThem.es is a social writing platform that wants to help English learners improve their language skills in an enjoyable and non-intimidating way. The concept behind the site is simple. Each day, users are encouraged to write 100 words about any subject they want, and then exchange feedback with other writers. Users also get access to analytics that tell them what language errors they tend to make.
The site is aimed at English-language learners ranging from high school students to young professionals. DailyThem.es currently has more than 1,000 users from about 50 countries. While peer-to-peer commenting is encouraged, users have the option of paying for a subscription writing program to get additional learning material and feedback from professional reviewers.
DailyThem.es was started by three friends who met while studying at Yale. They include COO Nikhil Seshan; CTO Harley Trung, who founded Techstars-backed startup SocialSci, a survey platform for scientific researchers; and CEO Hassan Siddiq, who previously worked in the financial industry in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Siddiq says that DailyThem.es is “modeled on a writing course that has been taught at Yale College for more than a century, in which students are required to write short pieces every day and receive feedback.” The site’s goal of 100 words a day was set because “our young user base has short attention spans and prefers to do things over mobile.”
The goal of DailyThem.es is to help its users become comfortable enough with their English ability to participate in conversations on Twitter and other social media instead of just being passive observers. Ultimately, the site’s founders hope that there will be more interaction among Internet users in different countries.
“We are disheartened to see that a large majority of English as a Second Language users cannot write fluently after 12-16 years of formal education, and shy away from global Internet conversations,” Siddiq said in an email.
“As a result, many countries have developed their own local Internet communities which are increasingly isolated from the mainstream Internet. For instance, Twitter and Weibo almost have the same product but are divided into English speaking and Chinese speaking audiences, respectively.”
Doing a bit of personal writing each day is also a great habit for anyone to cultivate. Siddiq says DailyThem.es’ most active users log-in between two to five times per day and write four to seven posts a week. The site’s most popular posts are read by about 100 people and users write about a wide range of topics, ranging from biology to more personal, diary-like entries.
DailyThem.es’ main competitors from a language-learning perspective include Grammarly. DailyThem.es advantage over Grammarly, Siddiq says, is that Grammarly’s fully automated corrections are often inaccurate. They can also be difficult for non-native language learners to understand.
The site is now targeting users from East and Southeast Asia, with a focus on China. DailyThem.es goal is to encourage people who have already become accustomed to using social media like Sina Weibo onto English-language networks.
“We want to serve as a bridge between non-English and English platforms, enabling Weibo users to eventually participate in English-medium platforms,” Siddiq says.
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