My Duo Journey So Far...
When I first started it was late 2011 or early 2012, Portuguese wouldn't come out for a little while longer. I was a highschooler worrying about his French exam, and I even showed my French teacher where I was studying. In that time I have seen a myriad of features added, removed, forgotten, rejected, missed, and cherished.
The thing I miss the most was the Immersion tab. I also miss that era of the Duolingo community. It was a lot smaller, a lot smarter, and while less warm I felt like I learned so much in every single conversation. It also may have seemed less warm because I was a stupid teenager during a time before a lot of minors were about.
The thing I miss the least, in spite of being very fond of the activity feed, would have to be the trolls. A lot of edgy fourteen year olds annoyed the crap out of me even when I was an edgy fourteen year old. A lot of less than appropriate images, the even more annoying reaction of the other kids, the spamming, the scam links, and the never ending stupidity.
The schools thing that allowed the teachers some eyes on their students made life a lot easier over here. We started to see significantly less "lingots please!1!1!!!111!!" topics, though until a guide was set up we saw a massive uprise in "Why no Japanese?" "Why don't you guys have Japanese?" "Why doesn't Duo like Japanese?" from the angry 14 year old anime geeks, who I was no less happy about knowing that that was my starting point in the language world. In fact if you go far enough back I probably have a topic titled similar to that.
Another thing I have noticed is that when you go back people were way more excited each time a language was added, but at this point people are only excited when they are hard core fans of Duo or that specific language. At this point we could do something massive like get in a fully functional Navajo course and people would react with, "No Cherokee language course?" I guess I am just cane waving at this point.
In brevity, I would love to hear if you guys have had similar or different journeys through the site.
P.S.: GET OFF MY LAWN!
You aren't ''cane waving.'' Some people are just complaining, not caring that it takes time and effort to make a good, correct, fully functioning course. I made a post ''Thank you Incubator workers!'' which, in spite of its many upvotes, I think some people probably saw it and thought ''Who cares? They take so long to get the courses done. Why are they getting thanks?'' So yeah, you aren't cane waving. some new-ish folks just like to complain.
So far, I just started Duolingo and am about to be a freshman. Although I take offense in your reference of 14 year olds(only joking!), I can already see where I'm going this year in the freshman. I'm new here in the state I'm currently in, so I have no clue about it. However, I am interested to know how you managed to survive the freshman year in French.
I made it through two years of highschool just fine, are you worried about surviving Freshman year or French I?
lol I'm an Anime geek and I'm actually considered a legal adult in my country. But I get what you're trying to say about the language uprisers. I sort of roll my eyes when I see the Arabic posts like that demanding that language just because it's one of the most spoken languages in the world. Even though I myself want Arabic on here.
I've been on Duo for about three years now (mid 2014 was when I set up my account) and I miss the community that we used to have. A lot of people seem to have quit after immersion and activity were taken down. Luckily we still have our mods and I'm seeing some equally kind folks in the forums now but... my gosh, the spam.
I'm still trying to show support for and to everyone. Even though I'm not learning Esperanto I'll still tell someone "if you want to learn Esperanto, just do it! You can learn it." Even though I don't plan to learn Haitian Creole, I'll tell someone who wants to "Good luck learning! It seems like an interesting language." I don't know about everyone else but I feel like that's how a community is supposed to function. Encourage, help out, and just have a good time together.
That being said I think we're hitting a bit of a rough spot now with new ways of doing things and an entire site update from the Duolingo HQ side of everything. Hopefully when everything's fully implemented the site will be that much better, in tech and in terms of drawing in new people.
I too am an anime geek, I know way too much about the fella there in your profile pic. I am planning to volunteer at Ohayocon this year! I was just whining about some of the "kids these days.." and how "they ain't got no respect for no hard work!"