Communication of important news from Duolingo
Would it be possible for Duolingo to use a more direct means of communicating important news regarding the site?
I'm thinking of major announcements like the introduction of Labs (and Stories), the recent rewrite of the site, and the implementation of Tinycards on the web, to give just a few examples.
It seems that major announcements like these are often just made via a post in the forums, which can very likely be missed (or seen well after the fact) by people who don't have time to keep up with the forums regularly.
In the profile settings, there is a notification option to be e-mailed when "There is an announcement", and I have that option checked, but I rarely get an e-mail about important Duo news. Perhaps the solution is for Duolingo to simply make more/better use of this already existing functionality.
I hope this will be considered. Thank you!
Believe it or not, but the current way of posting updates and stickying them is a huge improvement from what it used to be: no communication at all until long after things had been implemented and discussion and speculation was rife on here. In many cases, not even moderators received information about changes, leading them to give wrong advice when trying their best to be helpful.
I don't understand why there isn't a separate section of the discussion board with "Updates from Duolingo staff" or something similar. They could be simple notices, with no option of replying to them, if they'd prefer that.
Or the old blog could be de-mothballed and linked to from the top of the Discussion board.
Credit where credit's due, though. Duolingo has received plenty of flack for its lack of communication over the years -- an improvement is an improvement whatever the baseline.
One doesn't necessarily need to check the boards regularly, since these things are stickied. It also makes sense that news pertaining specifically to the website (such as Stories) are published on the website.
Where do you get the 99%+ figure from? Duolingo has stated that 85% of their users use the apps (I don't know how those users using both the apps and the website count, though), so I'd be surprised if so few of the web users ever happened to click on the prominently featured "Discussion" link... Which makes me think you just made that figure up.
Just about every figure about Duolingo is "made up", as Duolingo releases very few reliable statistics - everyone knows that the "X million learners" figures touted by Duolingo for each language in the Incubator is completely bogus, because it includes people who haven't done a single exercise in the 2 years since the first registered for the course.
So lets take that 150 million users that Duolingo lays claim to. 15% non-App of that is 22.5 million users. 1% of that is 225 thousand users.
If 225 thousand people were reading this forum regularly, how many posts would you expect to see? Lets break it down even further - if 1% of the 15% of Duolingo users that don't use an App to access Duolingo checked the Duolingo discussion forum one day a month, that would be about 7 thousand individuals per day. How many unique posters do you see in this particular forum every day? Not how many posts, but how many individual posters? Not that many out of 7,000, which is how many individual readers you would expect daily if only 1% of web-only users checked the forum once a month.
The bottom line is that, if millions of users were engaging with this forum on a regular basis, you'd expect a hell of a lot more traffic. For a claimed userbase of 150 users, this particular forum is practically a ghosttown.
And that's where the 99%+ figure comes from.
I would like to have something like the weekly incubator update, but then for the site. Just a few lines stating what has been done last week and what is planned for next week. In my experience (in my job) it is a simple thing to do and it is highly appreciated by the users.
I've thought about this also and came to the realization (for me at least) that there are so many different learners from difference languages learning other languages; and that it seems when new stuff is rolled out not everyone gets it at the same time. The amount of time (and time is money) it would take to do this request would make it impossible for Duo to keep this as cheap (even free) as it is. I'll take a little inconvenience for a better bargain anytime.
I don't think it should take much time at all. They already have the ability in place (via the Settings option I mentioned) to send out announcements via e-mail, it's just that they aren't (in my opinion) taking full advantage of it. Someone at Duo is already making a post in the forums - all they would have to do is basically copy and paste the text from their forum post into an announcement and e-mail it to the people who want e-mail notifications of announcements. Or they could make the e-mail text brief and include a link to the forum post for more details.
If a feature is being rolled out over time, perhaps they could send one e-mail announcement at the beginning of the rollout, and one more when the rollout is complete.
Major site changes aren't made that often, so I don't see this as being something that would take much effort on Duo's part.
Luis the CEO is very good at communicating with us
''Luis does not think a Catalan course should be made as it's decently similar to Spanish (a dialect actually)''
Well, I am from Catalonia and I can assure you that spanish-speakers that come here don't feel like they are listening a dialect of their language, and for this reason we have to switch to spanish in their presence ^^
(Interesting post, btw)
I agree it's a good thing if major announcement are made "sticky" in the forums, but I would imagine there is a not-insignificant number of users who rarely (if ever) read the forums, plus there are others who aren't always able to keep up with the forums as often as we'd like. And not every sticky post stays sticky forever.
Sending out major announcements via e-mail to those who opt in for such notifications would ensure that everyone who wants to see major announcements does see them, and would also see them as soon as the announcement was made.