The best thing about Duolingo
As many of you are aware, Duolingo has recently gone through a phase of intense and seemingly intentional self-sabotage. They have literally gotten rid of some of their best features and have seemingly intentionally made their web site a lot WORSE than it used to be.
Who can support getting rid of the ability to see which answers you got wrong? Who is happy that you used to be able to hit 1,2, or 3 to select answers and now you can't? Who here thinks it is helpful that you can't see which skills you are improving when you do a lesson? Who here cares about Duo spending resources on some cheap crappy animations or bots instead of improving their site to help you learn a new language?
The site seems to be intentionally be working backwards and making the website harder to enjoy and use to learn a language.
So what is this saving grace? This one very positive thing about Duolingo? The one thing I am thankful for is that as much as Duo is sabotaging itself and as much as it seems that they are trying to convince their users to abandon ship, when I talk about how terrible of a job Duo is being run on the forums (I'm NOT talking about language contributors, y'all are awesome!!! I'm talking about tech side and management), when I post things in the discussions about how terrible Duolingo is becoming, Duolingo doesn't ban me or delete my account for speaking my mind.
You may ask (many already have): If you hate the way Duolingo is going so much why don't you use or create a competing program??
Fair question, and I will answer it now: There is no similar competing program (don't tell me there's Memrise, it is so terrible!!) and I don't know anything about computers! Of course I'm not going to make a competing site!
So as much as Duolingo seems to be trying to discourage people from using it as their language site of choice, as long as there is no serious competitor that I can turn to I am very grateful that it accepts me speaking my mind and accepts my dissent without kicking me out and leaving me with nothing.
Duolingo is better than nothing! As much as they try to make their site worse, there is no free site that is better!
Thanks, Duolingo staff for allowing me to keep using your site and talk trash about the direction it is going in at the same time! I do appreciate that some people would delete my account or ban me for being ungrateful and I appreciate you tolerating my dissent =)
But serriiouusly, why are you making Duolingo worse??? If you can't improve your site, could you just stop throwing money down the toilet and instead just stay the same? Everyone would rather you be the way you used to be instead of the way you are.. Think about that for a moment... If anyone disagrees with me I welcome their opinion in the comments section.
But basically the only thing that I like about Duolingo right now is that when I speak my voice about how terrible it is becoming by trashing itself, it doesn't ban me for speaking my mind and leave me with nothing... If there was another similar thing out there I would be ditching Duolingo and be going to that other thing now and not coming back.
When Duo does its A/B tests and checks for usage metrics I don't think it takes into account that there isn't another option and it has a monopoly. If there was another option I'd be gone and there would be a different story told by their A/B tests.
Maybe they have a vested interest in preparing us to make the jump to a "PAID" duolingo site? You make this one soooo bad, and the users have suuuuuuch a good memory of the old site.....that you will now "PAY"? Most comments I've read state they will endure the screwed up management simply because it is free. If duolingo makes the jump to "for profit", everyone will consider a shift to either: the best deal on a paid learning site or just wing it on Memrise. I love duolingo and have for several years now. But, everything changes, and in some cases for the better. And, everything ends. I don't think you need to calm down. Your passion is colorful.
I haven't had many updates, except for them getting rid of the activity stream, but I totally agree - both on old duolingo being better, but also that duolingo still beats all other free language sites ; )