The students are working out the price for the stuff they are selling!
Quite a few people have been asking exactly what work I do. I think some people are confused, as they know I work at Sriwittayapaknam School, but I am not a teacher there. What I do is work on a special Internet project called Srinai Web (srinaiweb.com) in their computer centre.
Sriwittayapaknam School has one of the largest Internet projects in the country. They have more than 25 dot com sites. Most of them are about Thailand but there are also e-learning sites for learning languages, science, maths etc. Although all of these web sites are free for people to use, the school still makes some money from its e-commerce projects. They use this money to pay for the servers to host the web sites and also to employ ex-students like myself.
I talked to you before about the e-commerce project we have at thaihypermarket.com. I spend a lot of my time running the bookstore which sells books about Thailand culture and for learning Thai. I also use my experience to teach Grade 9 students about e-commerce.
I have to teach them all the things they need to know about doing business online which isn’t that easy. However, some of them are quite clever and learn very fast. I taught them how we choose products to sell, how we set the price and most importantly how we accept credit card payments on the Internet.
We even let the students sell their own products online and give them marks depending on how many things they sold. All of the students have to come up with an idea of what they want to sell. Also work out the price. It is not that easy. You cannot set the price too high because people wouldn’t buy it. Then, you cannot set the price too low because you might have to send the product again if something went wrong!
The students who were able to successfully sell a product then got full marks in this course. Oh yes, they also got to keep the profit! It has become the most popular course and the students really love it. Some of them even came up to help during the lunch break or whenever they had free-time. There were two or three that were really keen on helping so we have employed them to work for us during the summer holidays!
When I am not working in the book store, I am working on two of my main web sites: thailandlife.com and learningthai.com. Both of these have weekly deadlines and I have to come up with new pages and lessons all of the time. Then there are the message forums and chat rooms, which I have to visit and answer any questions I can.
As well as the school web sites we work on, we also make web sites for different people here in Thailand. Our biggest client is the Channel 11 talk show called “Morning Talk” (morningtalk.com). We have to do daily updates for this web site. However, they sometimes don’t send the information until late at night!
Between the book store and the web sites I am kept very busy 7 days a week. I don’t mind working like that because it is a hobby too. But some jobs can be long and boring. Especially the ones I have done before! So, it is good that Srinai Web is now making enough money for us to hire other people to help us work. I can then give some of them, who are younger than me, some of my boring jobs!
Really, Srinai Web is just a small school project that has grown and grown! We are now thinking about setting up a proper company, which will be very interesting. We are trying to get advice at the moment on the best way of doing this. Maybe if anyone who is reading this has had some experience they might like to write and give me some tips. I will tell you more about this in the future.