Calling on all Duolingo members!
I've been hearing that Duolingo plans to remove activity streams. I think I'm part of an A/B test for that, because I can't see anyone's streams. If this is what the future of Duolingo brings, then I want absolutely NO part in it! It's completely awful! Give this discussion an up-vote if you want to keep the activity streams! Also, change your profile picture to this: www.atwistedspoke.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/20130313-095020.jpg and take a stand with me (and all the others)!
Another point for me: When you ask a question in a sentence discussion, it can take quite a while until someone answers. People following each other can see the questions and answer quickly so that you don't have to wait for someone stumbling on that discussion by chance.
What logic is this? If you remove the streams the forums will be flooded with casual conversations that used to be on streams... if I want to talk to friends here, I'll have to use the forums. So don't remove the streams. Hopefully this is just a rumor. Hopefully. Please Luis, don't do this.
There's another rumor: that they are also developing a direct message system to replace the activity stream, but that system would take some more time in which users won't have either of them.
EDIT: I don't know if I should tell you this, but there are meny disappointed people here, so I'll tell you that moderetors and contributors have been notified that this rumor is a thing and that they will explain everything to the public next week, including their reasons and plans for future repleacements.
If the direct messaging doesn't work in a way that allows several people to participate in the same discussion or random people to join an interesting discussion, then it will be a move to worse. I've made several friends through the activity stream like this.
BTW Here's an interesting article on how games can be designed to help people make friends (I do think of Duolingo as a game). http://www.lostgarden.com/2017/01/game-design-patterns-for-building.html?m=1
Since this is a site for language learning and languages are generally used for communication (and not just as collectables like I tend to think :D) making friends on a language learning site seems like a very valuable thing to have.
Duolingo is removing everything. I don't know what will remain, the bones?
Activity stream is really annoying like it is now, like immersion wasn't perfect neither, but why not improving it, instead of removing it? Duolingo plans to make messages as a premium option or something like that? Duolingo doesn't like to communicate with its users...
The activity was a big part of that. If the courses still have benefit for you, great. I got past that point long ago. The only thing that has value for me for learning languages here is interacting with native speakers on the activity stream. Some of us used the activity stream quite a lot, both to talk with each other and practice our language skills, and also to keep an eye out for where help was needed in the forums.
I'm not sure if this is an actual goal of them. They might simply have temporarily disabled it again for some users because of the servers getting overloaded (which they've done before). Which is a plausible thing since it's a school vacation in many countries atm.
I don't care all too much about the activity streams but it would worry me if they removed it. It would prove that they don't try to fit their system(s) to their users but rather try to make users fit into their system. The current state of Duolingo already is very linear without any customizability. Duolingo is seemingly using a "one system fits all" principle rather than a modular one that adapts to the users' specific wishes and needs.
Edit: I wonder who botted me, from most upvoted comment to -5 downvoted in a matter of minutes, seems legit. Edit2: and we're rising again, proving somebody gave heavily downvoted me with a bot... From most upvoted post to suddenly -5 votes to then rise again...
To be honest, it has also crossed my mind. But it's a resource expensive thing to do with no guarantee to success since there's a fair amount of competition. But I really don't understand why Duolingo puts the brake on their own success. There are great features that would improve Duolingo which they could implement in a heartbeat, yet they don't. To name a few examples: a quick voc revision system with typing words, for example "the apple" - "la pomme", with both options to review recently learned new words and words you get wrong often (this is 5-10 times faster than redoing skills, and with a good system behind it, also way more targeted). Plus some customization options and being open on how exactly it works. With my own current system I can review the entire voc of the average tree ~1800 words (in 1.5 to 3 hours - depending on how good I know the voc). The absence of such a basic feature would almost make you think they focus on the experience rather than actual learning or that they don't want you to learn too quickly so you stay longer? While by only doing skills in the current system, you'll often not get to see some newly learned words again for a very long time, which obviously is terrible for retention.
The same thing for verbs. Also customization options for the trees. For example the ability to disable every different type of exercise, an option to only get experiences for the "from" language to the language you're learning and the opposite. Extra stats about your learning (history). Extra voc packages...
Now, I'm not saying these things without thinking more deeply about hem. I completely understand the concept of "overchoice". I know that when you give the customer more than ~3 options it can have a negative impact, with an increased amount of people choosing "nothing" over the 'difficult' decision out of the many offers. But this is again easy to overcome by offering a "basic" set which is the same for everybody with the customization options being hidden "fairly well", out of sight of new users and those not looking for them but reachable for those who wish to use them.
I also understand the concept that extra content (voc / mini tree expansion packs) has a downside: it makes the trees look more insurmountable and it makes people feel less "accomplished" for completing the 'basic' tree. Yet this is yet again rather easy to overcome. You simply don't show a link to the extra content on the main page (or at least not too obviously - for example as completely separate tree(s) - or even a completely different app "Duolingo professional" or whatever) and advertise it as if it's some kind of rocket science ❤❤❤❤. Congratz, now people will still feel good about completing the basic tree and it won't look any more difficult than before. While also offering the huge benefits of the expansion packs: Duolingo being perceived as a more professional service, attracting new (types) of students (even professional ones) with the benefits for students being very clear. Professional learners would also be a great source of income for Duolingo, they have more money to spend, are more willing to spend and you don't hurt 'normal learners' with it.
There's also CEFR, which is quite an important thing. But I believe they said that they would incorporate that in the future somehow.
Thus the question remains, why don't they offer more customization, a good repetition system and advanced content? They can probably make a case against advanced content but the other 2? And if they choose not to at least give a decent supported explanation on why not. That gives people the ability to try to understand and/or to make suggestions to overcome any potential difficulties. Advanced content they're most likely not offering because just a small number of people even finish trees. But I think they're also forgetting some big things in such a reasoning. Like people being more willing to pay for expansion packages and it attracting more types of students (as previously mentioned) while also making Duolingo a more professional service with a more professional image. Like 'an app where you can gain great knowledge about a language' rather than 'a too basic and too easy app for kids who want to learn a language' as it seemingly is perceived increasingly often.
I don't hate Duolingo at all, I just think they cut themselves short, they have a bit of a too short term vision, don't act enough on wishes of their users and focus too much on a 'one system fits all' approach rather than a customization / adaptable system to fit different types of students (for efficiency, retention -of users as well as the content- and motivation). An efficient system can still be bad by being bad for motivation (for example) and different people react differently to certain things.
I think what I'm about to say should be Gold, but do you agree?
If instead of removing the activity streams they added a new feature like Lang-8's, where you can post short stories to be corrected by certain advanced speakers, I think this site would not only stay as good as it is now, but it would be even better! Like, it would be the definite feature! "Learn, and practice with others what you learned!." Isn't it essentially what learning languages is about?
I don't think so. Duolingo should stick to doing what they're good at and others don't offer. They don't need to try to be something else when there's a perfectly good site available already. If that's what you want, go to lang-8 for that. No reason you can't use more than one site for language learning.
The forums are full of repetitive questions and nonsense, but by following knowledgeable users I have been able to filter their useful contributions out of the mass of blah blah. I've probably learned more by following Sitesurf than from doing the actual French course here.
It would be great if they did indeed make the forums better, but that would not be a replacement of the activity stream. Neither is a direct messaging system -- it's not like I'm going to be writing to Sitesurf personally about French grammar every day, the way I'm now partaking of her wisdom silently, as a thankful bystander.
this is terrible! I don't talk to many people on Duo, but I see the activity stream as a way to show off your accomplishments (either to yourself or to others)! It feels good to look at my stream to see when I leveled up or learned a new skill, or to see how other members are doing.
Learning needs to be enjoyable- it can't always be about work. Yes, communication is essential for language learning, but it also makes it more fun and relaxed when casual conversations are integrated. Sometimes, when I'm losing motivation, I can check in to see all of the progress I've made in a timeline to give myself a boost of morale, or maybe I can check someone else's stream to spark some constructive competition. I really dislike this rumor...
This happened a few weeks ago, and I believe it's happened a few times before that. They're working on moving the site from older, slower code to something that works better and faster (but everything should look the same on your part).
Certain things may disappear or be buggy as the site is ported over. You are all overreacting far too much.
FWIW, this is the message I was sent by one of my friends (and I know where the information comes from):
"Yesterday moderators and course contributors received a notification from Duo, that soon the Activity stream will be taken away from all users ('in connection with optimisation and restructuring of the forum, which for users will appear the same as before, but now disconnected from Activity'). An official announcement for all users is expected in the forum this week."
Вчера модераторам и участникам курсов пришла от Дуо рассылка, что в ближайшее время у всех пользователей будет убрана лента ("в связи с оптимизацией и перестройкой форума, который для пользователей останется в том же виде, каком и был, однако теперь несовместим с лентой"). Официальное уведомление для всех пользователей на форуме ожидается на этой неделе.
I saw some more extensive theories as to why they might do that, but it's all in Russian and parts go over my head.
They're probably removing Activity and replacing it with something else that works similarly, if not better. Maybe a Facebook-esque chat box?
Other question: does this mean the ability to post in the stream or just all activity ever outright? I almost never use the former (other than to tell people to stop spamming), but it's useful to see when you did whatever skill.