One Million Euro Backing for Myngle and the Hot Teacher Affair

First of all the news that started this affair about “hot teachers”. Myngle.com got a backing from Radobank about 1.000.000 Euros. I first heard about it via Twitter and yesterday Myngle got a post on techcrunch.com. Well, just another post you might think. But no, one sentence in this very post started the fire:

Unfortunately, we were unable to confirm if all the female teachers are as hot as Milagros.

It’s all about the word “hot” of course.

You can read the post in the Myngle forum that started the “outrage” over here.

First of all I think the sentence is taken out of context. The whole quote in the techcrunch blog is:

Below is a screenshot and a cheesy introduction video about Myngle.
Unfortunately, we were unable to confirm if all the female teachers are as hot as Milagros.

Cheesy introduction video + hot Milagros. That is neither sexist nor offensive. It’s infact a good summary of this introduction video.

But as discussions or riots always start for a good reason behind the obvious it got me thinking:

Do you have to be “hot” to be successful? And if yes, is there a proof for this theory.

It brought me back to my “Turning Teachers into Rockstars” presentation. As a part of it I explained that you have to turn yourself into a brand to be successful.

Let’s face it. The internet is a medium that works to a huge percentage over pictures or in other words first impressions. PeopleĀ  always tend to click on something “hot”. In my presentation I gave my profile picture as an example. I could have used the “original” version. A nice girl, standing in her garden. But is this the impression I want to give to my clients? Am I a gardener? Or famous for standing around in gardens?

If I look at the avatars of the most successful teachers on Myngle for example, I can determine some important facts:

  • They are clearly recognizable
  • Foto is of a good quality
  • Avatar has not been changed for a longer period or sometimes even never

All these are rules which are followed when companies build a brand, too. You need a good, recognizable logo or face that attract people to buy. I will write an extra article about this.

The discussion is now turning towards “Does Myngle represent their teachers in the right way? If not, how can teachers ensure to be represented correctly?” Very interesting indeed! Especially when you follow the discussion about “Is Myngle turning into a school?”

If we take Myngle as a language market place (even techcrunch mentions this in their post) teachers are responsible for their reputation on their own. According to the “bad neighborhood” factor they had to decide if they want to offer their services on the platform or not.
If we take Myngle as a language school, teachers are more concerned about the image of the company they work for.

What is the case?

Another point that made me think is the following. Techcrunch is a blog made for people who are already interested in the internet and innovation. So basically the kind of people you would imagine to take lessons online. But why are there only two or three comments on this article that show interest in learning online? Does this mean the “giant market” is not there (yet)? Again, worth another blog post.

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  • China_Mike

    Another interesting post. As always you ask some interesting questions. The more I try to define Myngle the more I think in terms of a talent agency- not a market, not a school. They are nurturing a pool of talent and they rent that talent out on an hourly, weekly, yearly basis.

    In a school it would be inappropriate to use the word “hot” to describe a collective of teachers. But talent agencies often use the word “hot” to describe properties (i.e. people) that are currently quite “popular”. In a talent agency “hot” is used to describe popularity. Most other places, especially used in conjunction with a pretty girl, it suggests “sexiness”.

    Maybe the use of this word revels more about Myngle than they themselves understand.

  • http://www.kirstenwinkler.com KirstenWinkler

    First of all, I contacted the author of the post, Robin Wauters of techcrunch.com. I told him about the effect his post had in the teacher community of Myngle and asked him what he really meant. This is his answer:

    “lol, seriously? I was kinda making fun of the video primarily, that it was cheesy and only showing the kind of people you’d see in an orange juice commercial.

    People need to get a sense of humor.”

    I think there is nothing more to add.

    As I am always referring to teacher Rockstars (it’s like a mantra these days) I see Myngle or other platforms more as a manager. The manager tries to get us some gigs and “promotes” us and for this he gets a percentage of the payment. I will write more about this in the second episode of my “documentary”.

  • China_Mike

    Interesting words flying around these days to describe Myngle- a school, a managed market, a talent agency, a manager. Like you, I am searching for a definitive description. I like to think it matters.

  • http://www.kirstenwinkler.com KirstenWinkler

    Would be easier if Myngle itself would give us an explanation. But then, what should we talk about ;)?

  • China_Mike

    The weather:)

  • China_Mike

    The big question, assuming the CV is an attempt by Myngle to evaluate quality, what kinds of quality should they be evaluating?

    If it isn’t an attempt to evaluate quality, then why ask for the CV?

  • http://www.kirstenwinkler.com KirstenWinkler

    I think it has something to do with this new sentence on the Myngle teacher list:

    “All teachers have been selected and trained by Myngle”

    Selection does not equal quality. It may imply it but…

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