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Phuket: Teaching the teachers

PHUKET: Ajarn.com is a popular Thailand-based TEFL site, best-known for its popular jobs page, but also containing a wealth of articles, blogs, features and help and advice on teaching. The Phuket News speaks with ‘Bangkok Phil’ Williams, the man responsible for overseeing the site for the past eight years.

Tuesday 15 January 2013, 09:06AM

1. The site has changed significantly since it was opened as a ‘hobby site’ by Ian Mcmanara in 1999. You have run the site since 2003, what changes have you introduced over the years?

Almost 100 per cent of the site content that you see today is down to changes I’ve made over the years. It’s probably not the answer you want but the simple answer would be – everything.

2. What are the most popular sections of the site?

The vast majority of traffic goes to the jobs page of course, but apart from that the most popular sections are the blogs and the cost of living section. People love to know what other people spend and have a glimpse at their respective lifestyles, as it were.

3. Where are your readers typically from?

Roughly 85-90 per cent of the traffic comes from Thailand and the remaining 10 per cent are from all over the world, with probably readers from The Philippines, US and UK making up the bulk of that.

4. Have you found that the demographic of your readership has changed?

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Difficult to say unless you can actively gather data on visitor’s ages and so on (which we don’t do). I would hazard a guess thought that the demographic hasn’t changed a great deal, but there are probably a higher percentage of guys in their 20s these days

5. What has been the strangest question you have received from a reader?

I don’t really get strange questions. Most people want answers to the same old questions: Will I find work in Thailand? Will I find work without a degree? And so on. Mostly people just want some sort of reassurance. I don’t answer questions where the answer can already be found on the site because I just don’t have the time I’m afraid. I encourage readers to take their time and look around the site. Ajarn.com has an awful lot of information but one needs to spend the time looking for it.

6. What are your future plans for Ajarn.com?

To continue doing what it does now I guess. People recognise it as the number one TEFL site in Thailand and I don’t think there’s any need to tinker with a winning formula.


Visit ajarn.com here

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