Back in the days of Duolingo: 2 years ago.
I happened for whatever reason, to come across this discussion. Look at all the warm welcomes this new person gets from the community on Duo. We don't see this anymore nowadays.
That's so sweet and supportive! That post would be down voted into oblivion within seconds if posted nowadays. It's sad that the forums are so much stricter. I get why, but still . . . I bet it would be really uplifting to hear that if you were a new user. I think that it would be nice if as soon as you opened your account a message popped up with forum rules and an encouragement message from the DL team. I hope that these posts will help other users to be more welcoming to new users.
I still see welcoming comments nowadays. These posts just get downvoted until they disappear. I don't think this is a bad thing, because too many people trying to help at the same time may confuse the new person, plus the post doesn't really contribute to the forums. They still get welcomed properly, and the forums remain clean.
I remember when you could be creative and be playful with posts, and still be on topic. Now, everyone seems to be so strict when it comes to the guidelines. I understand why, but anything that isn't strictly on Duolingo's rules will be downvoted and some people have the nerve to lash out at others. I sort of miss how things used to be...
My memories of this discussion will never fade away: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/15954794
And this creative writing post: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/15544749
I think that after some people saw this, they wanted to return duo to ''the good old days.'' so they made a point of being nice. Of course, I may be wrong. But that person received an unusually warm welcome; Most posts like that get downvoted into hiding after 1.1 seconds. Of course, there are the really awesome people on duolingo, like Speir_, Mellifluous, and lots more, but there are also the really rude people.
I've only joined since late last year, and I've already noticed a significant difference in the Doulingo community. It's a shame how harsh the environment here has become. Even language related posts that don't break any guidelines seem to be down-voted for no reason nowadays.
Staff are working on a solution to the down vote problem. I don't know when it will be available, but they have said in older posts and announcements (and probably AMA on Reddit) that they're aware of this and devising a solution. I believe the new social tools will address this when they become available.
I wish I was there for old duolingo. Not just for Immersion or Activity, but if everyone on duolingo were still like that, it would just be an even better website. I would've spent much more time on it than I already do, and that's saying something. Some people on here are just rude... SIGH...
Immersion and Activity aside, back on Old Duolingo (TM), most the action was all about new languge courses being launched, and there was less focus on new bells, whistles, disappearing functions, and seemingly haphazard A/B-testing.
Old Duolingo was by no means perfect, but there was an air of advancement and continuous improvement.
I never gave any reason or impression that would make people think I don't love the community here on Duo, and how welcoming/nice they are. I guess you may have taken the title of this discussion a little too seriously. Nobody is saying that the community here on Duo sucks. Nobody is saying they have stone cold hearts. I simply indicated that what happened in the link I put above, doesn't happen as much nowadays. It does happen, but definitely not as much as it used too, or I/we would like it too. I love the people here. I have made many good friends, who I would be sad to ever see leave, or me leave myself. Straight to the point though: These people are awesome. And so are you.
I don't want to start an argument, I really don't. However, I did get that impression from you, especially with your closing sentence being "We don't see this anymore nowadays". There's been a lot of complaining on the duo community lately (not saying that it's totally uncalled for), what with the health and gems coming into the picture, the stories and all these new features, the partnership with Pearson, and a considerable amount of people still want Immersion and/or Activity back. Everyone seems to just want to go back to the old duo, and shut out new developments, and that's just a very weird and unintuitive path to go down. These types of things happen when anything popular changes; books, movies, people, etc. They start gaining popularity and as a result a bigger audience, which will likely include rude/unpleasant people. I simply don't want duolingo users to get upset and mat at the current state of things because it's all a process, I would rather be nice, helpful or offer constructive criticism with a level head, as to hopefully inspire/encourage other people to do the same. However I see that you didn't intend for people to get upset. I just got that sort of impression from your original post and nearly all of the comments below it. I'm right in assuming that I got the wrong impression?
Likewise. I do not want to start an argument. Consider it a debate.
Yes, you did get the wrong impression. When people say things like, "we don't see this anymore nowadays," you can't take things like that too seriously. You are seeming really tense in the way I read your comments. It doesn't mean that we never ever ever see it happen. Of course it happens. Maybe I could have put, "we don't see this very much nowadays," but there really is no need too.
"However I see that you didn't intend for people to get upset."
What do you mean? I got nobody upset. And this post is not worth getting upset over. You seem to be the only one taking my comments, as well as the post wrong. I don't see why.
Take scarlett_lucian's post for example. She just chimed in and offered a suggestion that it would be cool for all newcomers to receive a welcome package and the forum rules as well as encouragement from the DL team. Everybody loves the people here. I haven't gotten an impression from anyone that they didn't. It seems to me that you are really the only person who is a little irritated with the discussion, and seeming that we would just love to go back to the old days of Duo. 1 outta 10. Not very good odds.
However, I do agree with you that as a site/company grows, and to it with a bigger audience; improvements are going to be made, changes are going to be had, and old structure taken away. We need to move along with it, yes. But Who cares if some people liked it better as it was. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and nobody should judge on that. I don't blame the people with some of the new changes being made. We are all here, but that doesn't change the fact, or even have to do with the fact, that we don't love the community as it is, or will ever be.
That is a pretty strong statement to make. Perhaps I took it too literally, and I do apologize for that, but comparing the current state of things here to what things look like in most popular sites that have some sort of social feature, I thought that it was somewhat uncalled for. But then again, probably took it too literally.
Doesn't seem like a very good idea to put my opinion against everyone else's ("odds"?) and then claim that everyone has an opinion later on. /:-I People do have opinions, and this is simply mine. Is it unpopular? Definitely seems so. But I haven't censored anybody, and that includes myself.
People know how newcomers' posts get downvoted until they disappear. You've presented them with an example in the past, in which this didn't happen. This may cause people to get sentimental or reminisce simpler times (and nostalgically looking back at things will almost always make them appear much better than they were). Looking at the tone of the comments, this seems to be the case. I made my first duolingo account about 3 years and a few months ago. I enjoyed myself but I didn't have the self discipline to systematically learn every day, so i did it in fits and bursts, and after a while stopped altogether. I made this account a little over a year ago (couldn't remember the password of my last account for the life of me, but I thought this was a good, fresh start) and tried to stick with it. So far, I think I'm doing ok. My point is that I don't think that the community has changed that dramatically. Some people have left and more people have arrived, but this is a community made up of learners at its core, as it has always been. Yes, it was more innocent (and I want some features back as well) and you were less likely to bump heads with someone (and the activity stream existed, you know. You could talk to the person), but fundementally the community is not that extremely different.
Also, I do agree that we have an issue with downvoting, but is it really that big a deal that newcomers' posts are downvoted? The site has enough members that there's people that get to them anyways. Too many people might confuse the poor newcomer, who might very well be learning x language from English as a second language (or they are just children). Just saying. And most new members can't even make a new post, because they are using the app. I don't see why that particular thing would make an impact on you. Actually scarlett_lucian's idea was great, I don't disagree with it at all.
So actually, instead of going in circles, I'll ask you; Why did you create this post? Not saying that you shouldn't have or anything like that, but you tell me not to take it too seriously, so maybe it's best to know what you were thinking when you made it. What you intended it to be taken as.
Very good post. I agree with the majority of what you just said there, and apologize myself if I came across a little rude or harsh.
The reason for why I created this post? A couple days ago, I was looking for a certain post in the discussion's search box. I clicked on the discussion (the link I provided above), which was not at all what I was looking for. Then I scrolled down a little and looked at all the warm welcomes everyone was giving. To be honest? I really didn't create this discussion for a purpose. I just did. Of course, I wasn't here two years ago, but I thought it was cool the way people interacted with each other, and welcomed each other. Also, to be honest, it was only until after I made this post, that you introduced and I saw several other posts that contained welcomes like that. I rarely ever saw anyone even commenting on discussions laid out by the newcomer. Not that it is a big deal, not at all, it just looked neat.
I created the discussion, not really hoping for anything. I have created many a discussion better than this one that have gotten a few comments and likes. I didn't expect anything for this discussion. When I logged on the next day however, I looked at my inbox, and had the most messages I'd ever had at one point in time. I saw how much this discussion got bombed with likes and comments, and was very surprised myself.
Duo was pretty new 2 years ago. So to be realistic, the way I see it, the reason for all the welcomes was because it was to be celebrated that the Duo community of members was growing. So obviously, the mods, and everybody else would welcome the new users. Now, there is already such a big community, and no fear of dying out, why would anyone even need to welcome them.
Thanks for the insight, and your opinion.
There's a problem with assuming someone's intentions from an online text. Since you can't tell what tone a person may be taking by just a text, to say that the OP is blatantly disregarding the nice people here is a pretty bold statement.
At the same time, you have to assume online, sometimes. It's impossible not to. So, you didn't do anything wrong and I think no one intends to argue with you. ^ ^
I will disagree a bit with the op because I actually do see welcoming people like the link provided on nearly a daily basis. There's more nice people than rude ones by a longshot.
There will always be unpleasant people online, and in real life as well. Duolingoers are still very helpful people, probably because this community is composed mostly of people who want to learn. People who want to learn a second language, even. That takes a lot of perserverance and effort, and they know this, which is why most of them are happy to help! The discussions have helped me a great deal when I was unsure of something, whether it be language related (grammar rules, certain words, finding new resources, etc.), or having to do with Duolingo itself (finding x people who would like x course, troubleshooting issues, finding motivation to keep going,etc.). I would think of language learning as a boring chore had I not found other like-minded people, like here. But I guess the website was newer back in the day, and with growing popularity also come unpleasant people. Still, I'd rather have duolingo be popular and grow! Just like you said, the awesome people outweigh the rude ones. ^^