Ok, alright, you can stop cheering now. The challenge wrapped up over the weekend and I was notified today that I was successful. So now that I'm filthy rich, I plan to keep learning Chinese, instead of retiring to the Bahamas. I know, I am a wild one.
What is italki 2014 World Cup?
In short I put up 200 ITC ($20) pledging to spend 25 hours language learning through their site, within a 60 day period. If I win I get 400 ITC ($40) and my bet returned. This should be an easily attainable goal of about three lessons a week during the 2 month duration of the challenge. Surprisingly only 53% completed the challenge. They have some cool stats on most hours completed by country, and most hours completed by language, if you're interested.
Thanks italki for being awesome!
I want to thank italki for putting on the challenge and being so encouraging. I think they did several helpful things for us participants. They encouraged people to make a video pledge and post it onto their FB, G+, or the like. Their data showed that people who did this were more likely to complete the pledge. Another thing was they put up a big FAQ page full of useful info. I checked it a few times. They also reminded you via the website message system weekly about the challenge. This reminder would let you know roughly how many hours you should have completed, and what the current leaderboard looked like. Another thing that was nice was the countdown clock on the main site. You knew exactly how much time you had left. What I hope they do for next time is add a "hours scored", or "#/25 completed" section up there also. Currently you have to go to sessions and do a manual count if you wanted to know how far along you are.
How did I do?
My work towards completion was not linear. With holiday's, and business trips in the middle, I had to be mindful of my schedule. To compensate for my traveling I did roughly 4 sessions a week during the first 2 weeks and the last 2 weeks. Even with one trip to Colorado, and another to Florida I ended up clocking in 31 hours. That's just over 3.5 hours a week. Not too shabby in my opinion.
With this challenge completed I look forward to the next italki challenge. In the mean time my next big Chinese goal is the HSK IV. I take it this month on the 17th. I'm not yet ready for it, but I am working towards that as fast as possible. Wish me luck!