Discussion Forum Inspiration

So last night, as I spent hours trying to unfollow all the unnecessary discussions I was automatically subscribed to, opening them all individually in new tabs, just so I could click the unfollow discussion button, I came up with some ideas for the discussion forum to make it easier to use. You would go to the discussion page, and it would look essentially the way it does now aesthetically. But now, you would have oh so many more options!

1.) Discussion “Importance:” Instead of having to rifle through lots of discussions to find that important one you followed a couple months back, introducing a Starred Discussion Feature! Just imagine the possibilities!

2.) Sorting Followed Discussions: Imagine if you could sort your followed discussions by forum. New sections to help sort more easily would also be added, such as “Starred,” and “Your Posts.” (I don’t know about you, but it irritates me so much when I can’t find my own posts.)

3.) Choosing a Forum: You would have all the same forums that you have now, but with a new category for discussing privately. Maybe it could be specialized so that you can post it to all your followers or just one, sort of like the way Instagram works: you can post it to everyone, just people you have verified as followers, and individuals. But that way, lingot transfers could take place outside the public eye. Note: All global moderators would have access to these upon requests from individuals claiming harassment, abuse, or any violation of the TofU or Guidelines.

4.) Add a Resource Forum: We could also have resources forum, a collection of all the most helpful posts, how to use Markdown, links to the Wiki, etc. Maybe this could be made language-specific, maybe that wouldn't be too important and too difficult to implement.

5.) Deleting Followed Discussions: For the love of humanity let us click an edit button on our main “Followed” page which would launch a line of red x’s corresponding to discussions. Click the “x” and we save so much time that we could be either studying or answering legitimate forum questions.

These are just some ideas of mine; if you have anything to add, or any concerns or thoughts on unforeseen consequences of any of these changes, please drop a comment below. I know this would take a lot of work, but I think it would be worth it.

From Fantasyland,

August 20, 2015


sweet ideas! I hate having to unfollow all of the discussions that i didn't even mean to follow. I think we should be able to follow only the discussions that we choose to follow, not the comments we comment on. Thanks for all these wonderful ideas!

August 20, 2015

Cool ideas, I am boarding the discussion rework train. The main problem, I think, are all the previous topics, it is impossible to sort them out like your 4. suggestion.

I think an entirely new forum with subcategories should be made, be it linked to Duolingo or not, WHILE keeping discussion active. This discussion is just too messy to serve as a real forum, but is quite awesome in quickly answering questions.

August 20, 2015

I especially like Number 4 and 1! Great ideas!

August 20, 2015

great ideas! same as all of the others :):0

August 20, 2015

I really appreciate people who stick in their 2 cents to make the world a better place. As an ex-programmer I am certain that anything you say can be programmed , so I won't go into technical issues. And on a user-level I let you know how I feel about, or work around your issues:

1.) I simply only follow important discussions - if in doubt I follow it and as soon it becomes not interesting to me anymore I unfollow it.

2.) The way I find my own posts in discussions is that I use the browser function to search for a word within the page - that word being simply my username. This way the browser jumps through all discussions.

3.) From my experiences with forums - even in sites which are restricted to one main subject, like duolingo here, I think that private discussions are not wanted for 2 reasons: First this way the forum easily turns into a fun social network in which friends social network on many levels, and the second reason being that on a learning website all information should be available for everybody to learn from. Exchanging lingots privately also invites old-boy-networks which I personally don't find fair because people should be rewarded for their true contribution and not just because they are one's cousin or have a pretty face. If you want to post something to all your followers I could imagine you setting up a new discussion which states that those are only posts for your followers - others may see those discussions, but at least you don't cloud other discussions with your private concerns. And those others may become your followers also.

4.) Good idea to start a collection of the most helpful posts specific to each language. Until a star-system is programmed you could start a discussion for each of the many languages you learn. Readers might contribute what was interesting to them and other's might follow your example for other languages.

5.) The way I stop following the annoying discussions duolingo forces me to be on (only because I commented) is that I do nothing - sometimes those discussions are forgotten, and if new comments are still made and I am not interested I click in my email on "view discussion" and unfollow that one simply. This way I get at a maximum one comment I wasn't interested in. The problem for us users is rather to let go and quickly unsubscribe instead of thinking that we miss out on something we didn't want to be in anyway (like the church, infants are baptized-subscribed to by their parents ;-)

August 21, 2015
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