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Thread: To answer questions or issues on TEFL Watch site

  1. #31
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    Re: To answer questions or issues on TEFL Watch site

    LDMA, thats cool...just knowing an ethical boundry does exist is good, but hearing some guidelines for their use would be informative as well.

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    Re: To answer questions or issues on TEFL Watch site

    Quote Originally Posted by bobman_y2k

    After that, I think thats about it...will try and put together a summary as samvines did that may, more accurately, quote you.
    I'm sure Phil will appreciate that.

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    Re: To answer questions or issues on TEFL Watch site

    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Phil
    I took a lot of stick for doing that at the time (and an equal number of people said it was the only reason they checked the board) I've got no plans to start doing it again. It was a little bit naughty.
    Yeah, and I think this was the one reason I initially signed up for the forum was to complain about the treatment recruiters were getting from Ajarn.com.

    I ask you, find me another recruitment site anywhere else in the world where the webmaster makes sarcastic little editorials on the job ads it receives.
    LDMA - Ajarn Forum Admin
    -------
    Don't get me wrong - I don't want a 'serious' board but I'd like posts to be either genuinely amusing, informative and/ or thought provoking.
    Ian McNamara - July 2000

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  4. #34
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    Re: To answer questions or issues on TEFL Watch site

    But some of the ads were justified in getting sarcastic comments. Just because it doesn't happen doesn't mean it shouldn't!

  5. #35
    Senior Member Array Bangkok Phil's Avatar
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    Re: To answer questions or issues on TEFL Watch site

    Quote Originally Posted by bobman_y2k
    The interview continues...sorry Phil!
    What do you consider the hardest part of maintaining the jobs forum?
    Posting 30 jobs at 6.00am because I have to leave for work at 6.30.
    -----
    Quote Originally Posted by bobman_y2k
    What about the paid adverts? What criteria do you use to accept an ad?
    The same as for bronze ads with the one big exception being that you don't actually need to name the school you are recruiting for. This has eliminated probably 50% of the agencies posting on ajarn.com but whether it's eliminated the 'dodgier' 50% I really couldn't say.

    This 'pay and display' policy was brought in to stop agencies taking the piss and posting several times a week (often under different names and e-mail addresses)
    Basically agencies could build their whole business model around ajarn.com's job page and it wouldn't cost them a bean.

    Anyone who registers for an account with ajarn.com in order to browse resumes or post jobs has to provide a contact phone number, a contact name, and a FULL postal address.
    -----
    Quote Originally Posted by bobman_y2k
    But some of the ads were justified in getting sarcastic comments. Just because it doesn't happen doesn't mean it shouldn't!
    It was good fun. I loved doing it. But it wasn't very professional.
    -----
    Quote Originally Posted by bobman_y2k
    Does Ajarn have any moral or ethical boundries when accepting job ads from organizations that have been known in the past to be less than honest with their teachers?
    Possibly. If I know those teachers personally. I'm not going to say that this school or that school is bad because I got one email from someone or there's a twelve-page thread on TEFL Watch.

    I can only think of one organisation that I've banned from posting on the ajarn jobs board and that's the two British guys who operated the school out of Patpong. I personally knew two teachers who'd worked there and had to wait an unacceptable length of time to get paid. I approached the school in question and they admitted their guilt in a roundabout way.

    Actually that's an interesting story because a forum member contacted me to help him get money from that school in Patpong. I contacted the owners on his behalf and he got money owing to him (I don't think it was the full amount but he got something)
    Next thing I know, he's slagging me off on the forum. It's probably when I decided that if a teacher contacted me for help, my reply would be 'sorry buddy, you're on your own'

    I'm sure other forum members might remember that incident better than me.
    -----
    Quote Originally Posted by bobman_y2k
    LDMA, thats cool...just knowing an ethical boundry does exist is good, but hearing some guidelines for their use would be informative as well.
    There is no set of rules or guidelines written in stone. I analyse each job ad on its own merit.
    I might reject an ad because the job description is too short and contains very little information.
    I will reject any ad that says no black teachers.
    I've rejected ads for all sorts of reasons in the past.

    A lot depends on what mood I'm in.
    Last edited by Bangkok Phil; 13th August 2007 at 18:15. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    The worst job in Thailand must be the man who has to sit down with a blue marker pen and mark a number two on the two-baht coins to stop people thinking they are one-baht coins.

  6. #36
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    Re: To answer questions or issues on TEFL Watch site

    Quote Originally Posted by bobman_y2k
    But some of the ads were justified in getting sarcastic comments.
    I never saw any sarcastic comments. The comments were short, and well deserved. People just off the plane were well served by them.

    One thing I have noticed in the new system is the tidying up of non-native English posters. It looks professional on the site but it takes the advantage away from posters who have a native speaker contact. That is not a complaint, just an observation.

  7. #37
    Senior Member Array Bangkok Phil's Avatar
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    Re: To answer questions or issues on TEFL Watch site

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwiling
    One thing I have noticed in the new system is the tidying up of non-native English posters. It looks professional on the site but it takes the advantage away from posters who have a native speaker contact. That is not a complaint, just an observation.
    The advertisers who post on the jobs board take it a lot more seriously than they did 3-4 years ago. I don't want to sound arrogant and say that we've 'scared off' a lot of the idiots, but it does seem to be the case. As I said earlier, any employer / recruiter that does not supply full contact details is instantly rejected.
    The days have gone when some admin girl who can barely write English is told to post a job on ajarn for a 200 baht an hour teacher. By and large they don't get a foot in the door. Perhaps they should because while many might scoff, that 200 baht an hour job might be just what a particular teacher is looking for.

    When I partnered up with Gez from TEFL Asia (who I happen to think is a webmarketing genius) one of the first things he said was you need to know the details of everyone who is using the database - all those that post resumes. All those that register to post jobs.

    In this day and age you need to know exactly who is using your services and be able to contact them immediately. This has caused a lot of schools to buck their ideas up.
    Last edited by Bangkok Phil; 13th August 2007 at 19:28.

  8. #38
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    Re: To answer questions or issues on TEFL Watch site

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwiling
    I never saw any sarcastic comments. The comments were short, and well deserved. People just off the plane were well served by them.
    I disagree and I think Phil was sensible in stopping it. As a recruiter, such comments were unhelpful especially when we were advertising at standard market rates for back then here, and unhelpful comments about hoping the beach would be free at those salaries and that I sounded a real card, were not appreciated. As I said before....there's not a recruitment site in the world that gives editorials on jobs it considers "crappy"...I don't feel it's a recruitment site's place to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Phil
    Actually that's an interesting story because a forum member contacted me to help him get money from that school in Patpong. I contacted the owners on his behalf and he got money owing to him (I don't think it was the full amount but he got something) Next thing I know, he's slagging me off on the forum. It's probably when I decided that if a teacher contacted me for help, my reply would be 'sorry buddy, you're on your own' I'm sure other forum members might remember that incident better than me.
    FrankieB...I remember it well. That was the actual thread that prompted the creation of Thai School Watch one drunken night. Here it is. http://ajarnforum.net/vb/showthread.php?t=2856

  9. #39
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    Re: To answer questions or issues on TEFL Watch site

    Quote Originally Posted by LDMA
    Indeed, that's why I originally founded Thai School Watch, I just lacked the stomach for supporting the users that inevitabley swarm to that kind of site.
    I sometimes wish and don't wish that the site had survived back a little bit longer because it would be known that I was the first person to start the Thailand Grey/Black List.
    Are you actually reading this? Do you think I care?

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    Re: To answer questions or issues on TEFL Watch site

    Yeah, but my version actually had reports, membership and discussion in it....you did come up with the inspiration, I grant you, but the forum format that I launched worked better....your side of the story in this whole affair is interesting care to keep going a bit further with it?

    It was a joy to catch our local AUA manager tutting at it the week after it launched...and having El Tel slag me off on one one site and praising my alter ego Watchman on the other. Personal security fears prompted the first shutdown, it got given to another admin, who had a halfhearted three months at it, before I took it on again, with tighter moderation, and got membership figures to about 1500 in three months before I realised that my heart wasn't in it and around New Year 2005 gave it to a third party who turned it into TEFL Watch.
    Last edited by LDMA; 13th August 2007 at 20:57.

  11. #41
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    Re: To answer questions or issues on TEFL Watch site

    Posted by Nemesis 13th August
    The only thing I'll fault Bangkok Phil on is removing the link from Ajarn to TEFLWatch. Why did it happen? He'll give a dozen different reasons but the one he gave me is two fold. He had a meeting with axis of evil schools and they were pressuring him because they thought he was the owner of TEFLWatch AND he had noticed that several schools that were advertisers on his site found themselves listed on TEFLWatch and he felt it was bad for business.
    Thanks Nemesis for a very well-written and very reasonable post. I've taken just one paragraph here that I'd like to comment on but before I do I'd like to commend the stance that the TW boys are taking on this discussion. No one's throwing their toys out of the pram. It's as it should be - a bunch of adults discussing a topic that we all have different opinions on.

    I must confess that I have an extremely poor memory for past forum / internet events. These are not things I conveniently forget but they just don't seem to stick in my head. You could have sat me up all night long with an endless supply of blank paper and I would never have remembered it was FrankieB who was the employee I 'helped out'. Along comes Louis (who has a remarkable memory for every single thing a poster has ever said) and he fills in the blanks.

    However, I do remember the time when I took the link to TW off the ajarn homepage and I don't need to give you anywhere approaching a dozen reasons. I'll give you just one. My marketing partner told me that linking ajarn.com to a site where many of the advertisers are 'slagged off' by anonymous people with an obvious axe to grind was just insane. Had the forum been moderated better (and oh boy is it tough to moderate a site of that nature) we may not have removed the link. To be honest the thought of removing the link had not crossed my mind.........but Gerard mentioned it and it slowly sank in that he was probably right.

    Removing the link had nothing whatsoever to do with meeting half a dozen school representatives that TW rather cruelly and unfairly dubbed the axis of evil. In fact I found that rather pathetic.

    This is what actually happened on that day.

    For those with decent memories, my meeting with these schools was originally a meeting with just one school. I was invited by the foreign academic director to discuss why it was so difficult for them to find and retain teachers under the new MoE regulations (you'll remember that this was the time of school raids by immigration, etc, etc) The foreign A.D in question also said in his invitation e-mail that his school was being criticized on TSW.
    I was adamant in my reply that I had nothing to do with TSW and I was not willing to discuss his school's position on TSW at any meeting, so don't even bother.

    The foreign A.D accepted and we arranged a time to meet at the school. I went along with pen and paper to write an article for ajarn.com on the topic of 'what difficulties schools are facing hiring new teachers'

    Unfortunately when I walked into the meeting room, there were representatives from six schools who had all come to find out how they could be taken off TSW.
    When I showed them the palm of my hand, shot a look of exasperation to the foreign A.D, and told everyone present that I was nothing to do with TSW, there was a great sigh of disappointment. They'd got the wrong guy. I turned the conversation back to the original reason I was there.

    I was not pressured by any representative from any school because they knew I couldn't help them.
    My advice was 'if you don't like what's written about you on TEFL watch then contact the admin of the site. It's nothing to do with me'

  12. #42
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    Re: To answer questions or issues on TEFL Watch site

    Ah, here we are....Whitey launched his grey list in October 2004 some 6 months before I launched TSW. To my knowlege it never got a single report.

    http://ajarnforum.net/vb/showthread.php?t=560

  13. #43
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    Re: To answer questions or issues on TEFL Watch site

    Quote Originally Posted by LDMA
    Yeah, but my version actually had reports, membership and discussion in it....you did come up with the inspiration, I grant you, but the forum format that I launched worked better....your side of the story in this whole affair is interesting care to keep going a bit further with it?

    It was a joy to catch our local AUA manager tutting at it the week after it launched...and having El Tel slag me off on one one site and praising my alter ego Watchman on the other. Personal security fears prompted the first shutdown, it got given to another admin, who had a halfhearted three months at it, before I took it on again, with tighter moderation, and got membership figures to about 1500 in three months before I realised that my heart wasn't in it and around New Year 2005 gave it to a third party who turned it into TEFL Watch.
    You got 1500 members in 3 months because you required people to register before they could even read any comments. That was uncool in my opinion. I never visited it because I just didn't want to register to read what people had to say.

    More important are unique daily visitors and page views and the reach you have. TEFLWatch has more basis on my Grey List than the Thai School Watch Forum. For example, they both used wordpress. I'm sure the admin, old, new or whatever would tend to agree with me.

    Also, if I recall, TEFLWatch didn't rise from the ashes of the demise of Thai School Watch but rather it was started after TSW had closed. It was started with a new domain, a new mission, and a totally new format. Only a few posts were copy and pasted to the new forum if I recall correctly.
    -----
    It got several postings, but one thing is clear, LDMA, people like to bitch and complain on a forum. It's their nature.
    Last edited by Whitey; 13th August 2007 at 21:24. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  14. #44
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    Re: To answer questions or issues on TEFL Watch site

    Thanks for the answers, I really appreciate it and hope the guys over at tefl do also.

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    Re: To answer questions or issues on TEFL Watch site

    Unfortunately when I walked into the meeting room, there were representatives from six schools who had all come to find out how they could be taken off TSW.
    Did you get the feeling at that point that you had been "set up" Phil, or just put it down to a misunderstanding.

    In any case, it's good to know that these folks know that TEFL Watch is out there, and watching.

    Must have been rather "uncomfortable" to say the least.

    Thanks for being so forthcoming with your comments here by the way. I think everyone appreciates that.
    When being run out of town, get in front of the crowd and make it appear like a parade.

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