I worked on the English Online project for close to four years. We started in 2007 with a simple goal 'to promote the learning and teaching of English in China'. With nearly 300 million active learners of English and 400,000 teachers of English, I didn't think it would be a difficult sell. And it wasn't. Users signed up in their tens of thousands and visits regularly topped 30 million a year. But in my view, these kind of metrics only tell part of the story.