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Bitter about Weekly Incubator Updates being locked

Listen, I get it. The internet is filled with cancer, especially for a website that often has lots of little kids on it. You may get a lot of comments on your Weekly Incubator Update that you don't want to deal with.

But here is the thing, I have checked the weekly incubator update for years now. And I almost never actually checked it for the pretty graphs and the numbers and the statistics. I checked it because it was one of the few places where almost all of the course contributors would occasionally comment and where I could read interactions and suggest my own ideas with anyone regarding the development of courses. It was the one place that was like equal footing. You can still encounter other course contributors and still get your ideas heard now, but it requires far more effort and the community will be far more cut off from one another in my opinion.

I don't really care that much what the esperanto teams are doing, so I will never actually head over to that section of the discussions myself. But if I saw ideas being tossed around in the WIU I would still take the time to read up on it, get a little hyped, and maybe even toss in my few cents. But I can't do that anymore. Matter of fact I would go so far as to say the locking of the comments on WIU has RUINED the Duolingo discussions for me. Because it was one of the only reasons that I ever came here and one of the few things I could look forward to every week. But now it is pointless.

As I said, I get it. People suck. Anyone who becomes relatively famous in a community is going to have to deal with the cancer that is the rest of the online community. Whether it be on Youtube, Reddit, or Duolingo. You are just one person providing a service for the community and you don't work for Duolingo or anything like that. It is up to you whether you want to show discussions or not. You are one person, and I am too. And with my one vote I am going to make sure I come here every week to downvote your incubator update. Because its pointless without the discussions and its something you could easily fix by just bringing it back. If you don't want to read the discussions. Don't. But even the Duolingo team doesn't lock their posts when they recieve insane amounts of unpopularity and cancer (Like when they got rid of immersion).

There is my vent for the week and if there is no comments next week. Its not like I will vent again. I am not allowed to in a community where I can't make comments. I will just give you my one downvote. And the next week too. And the next week too. Until eventually I get tired of it. But the service you offer was one of the highlights of Duolingo. So I do hope you reconsider.

October 22, 2017



I asked Jrikhal and he answered:

''Because the WIU aren't discussions, they are more updates/information.''

More information on this discussion.
I honestly couldn't agree with you more though. The main reasons I checked the discussion on Sunday were for the WIUs. Now I still check them, but just to see how ZH, HT, HI, RU-ES, and ID are doing. Far more than half the fun is gone.


I don't see why they should be updates and not discussions. We can check the incubator ourselves and many people have questions about what is going on. It gave a good opportunity to have them answered.


Yep. By locking it, there's just going to be more forum clutter.


It might be clutter. But, jrikhal didn't mention clutter. By locking it, people with slow connections can still access the information up top. It literally does not stop someone who wants to facilitate a discussion about it, to create a discussion that links to that weeks WIU and facilitating the discussion. Jrikhal is one of our busiest moderators, if not the busiest. So, as a community member who works and has a life outside of Duolingo and then volunteers as a moderator and a course contributor on top of that, if he doesn't want to create a secondary discussion and facilitate it, there is literally no reason why Xefjord or Annika_a, or anyone else who has said they are upset about there not being a discussion can't fix the fact that there isn't a discussion by creating one.


It would almost be better just to create two versions of the WIU, Double post and sticky the WIU-Lite version (A WIU where you can't make comments so it can be loaded) and just unsticky it the moment you make a new WIU each week. Then have a commentable WIU created that is affected by the upvotes and downvotes and allowed to pass with time


if you want one of these then make one, they aren't stopping you from talking about it, they just don't want it on that discussion. Just make a discussion about it yourself.


Xefjord, mods don't have the ability to sticky in the in-house courses. Only staff. :(


That is tragic to learn :(


Well, complaining about it is one thing. Downvoting it is another. Downvoting is the one form of protest that we really have and if we really need updates, we can still always check the actual incubator itself. (Or read the update then promptly downvote it). But it just serves ZERO purpose being posted in the Duolingo discussions if we are not allowed to discuss it


But it just serves ZERO purpose being posted in the Duolingo discussions if we are not allowed to discuss it

I don't have the tech know-how to get the information on that graph without those posts, so it still serves a purpose for me.

And as it's not spam, I would hope people leave it alone if they aren't interested in reading it rather than down voting it.


Xefjord, you are saying "We". I am part of the "we". I am enjoying it too and it's changed for me too. But I am still appreciating it because some part of it exists and I'm glad about that even if I'm bummed out that the discussions are missing. If I had the energy to facilitate discussions for it, I would go create a discussion each week. Locking it isn't some grand moderator conspiracy. I've locked other guides created by non-moderators in order to preserve access for people with slow connections. The WIU is being created by community members and I am a community member who appreciates it. It is already more than I could access on my own. So, I feel frustrated that you are talking as if you are talking for everyone. And I feel frustrated that people would try to jeopardize it and take away my access to it.


It's fine that you don't include yourself as part of the "we", Usagi, but rest assured that the "we" exists.


Its disappointing that we do have to downvote it, because I do appreciate the information it gives. We have been spoiled by the features it USED to offer (As a place of equal discussion). And once you have opened pandora's box it can not be closed again. No matter how good the WIU is, if its only a shadow of its former self then it will always be viewed in a negative light from here on out.


"We" is a very broad term and it encompasses both you, me, and everyone else. People of all different opinions. This is why I am upvoting all your posts too because your opinion is just as important as ours. But there is a fair amount of people that believe the same way I do in this community. Just look at the other posts here.

I am not trying to say this is some grand moderator conspiracy. Actually, I would still make this same post even if Jrkhal was not a moderator. You are the only person who is making this about "Moderators" not me. I moderate communities too and moderators are people too.


I have no idea how to get that information from the incubator, for me it is the only way to get that information and it is all compiled neatly into something I can understand easily and read all at once instead of flicking through numerous pages. If I couldn't see it then I would have no way of knowing what was happening so for me it serves a very large purpose even if it doesn't for you.

I too enjoyed the comments however I would much rather go to another seperate discussion to talk about the WIU than not be able to view the WIU at all.


I did lose my head a bit Xefjord. I'm sorry about that. I never expected to see a discussion like this and went into/fight flight mode when there was something more productive I could have done at hand. I've gone and created a place for people to discuss the WIU that links to the WIU. It's not a perfect solution. But, it is within my capability to do rather that rile things up more and trip over myself being upset and protective of jrikhal, who is more than capable of protecting himself. Anyhow, if I haven't alienated you too badly by being an oaf, the discussion is here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24927105 Thank you for being a bigger person than I just then.


Since you created it I will use it, don't beat yourself up too much because I do think you are a good moderator. I apologize for being as hostile as I was.


Thank you for that. I was not a good example of one here. I'm sorry I don't have more information for you about what is going on in the Incubator.


The post still serves a purpose; probably not the purpose you desire. Though, the point of a discussion is to, you know, "discuss", so I agree with you on how it can appear pointless without that function.

As someone who never read or participated in the WIU posts (you may berate me for it), I don't feel as impassioned as others about this issue. Rather, I am sort of on both sides of the argument.

The reasons for locking them, explained by Usagiboy7, is completely understandable, along with other things they explained. At the same time, I understand the anger of the majority in that you guys can no longer intimately discuss ideas with staff, and it seems to be the only true place where you guys can have those discussions.

It is unfortunate since we "average users" have much to say, and yet there is not really a place to express them to the people who we consider the "most important", aka mods and admins. I mean, a true outlet, that is. The one place where your expressions truly matter is locked, so I can understand the frustrations.

As I said before, I'm neutral. I suppose I am just trying to understand the argument better, since I'm not that familiar with WIU posts, even though I have been aware of them for years.

Edit: I do agree with Usagiboy7 in that you can just create another discussion on your own, however, I can understand if your problem is that mods would be less inclined to contribute to your discussion if they weren't the creators of it, for the reason that they volunteer for these jobs rather than moderating being a full-time job.


Well, there is no prohibition AFAIK about forming another thread about the WIU. It just requires someone every week to create a post that says “Discuss WIU here” or something like that.


And that's the pointlessness of it all. Why post a discussion in a discussion forum that needs another discussion to discuss it? Isn't this forum full of clutter as it is?


Hear, hear.

It felt very weird to downvote that weekly post instead of upvoting it, as I have always done previously.


Do you think that would be a good way to protest the new rule?


I completely agree. While the main goal of the WIU is simply to give information and I do use it for just that, it's the only place where you can actually ask questions about developing courses with any measurable chance of getting an answer from a contributor, especially now that streams are dead. It's also a place where we can all just share our excitement and speculations and so on and won't get downvoted to oblivion for being the umpteenth person to post it.

Yes, trolls are everywhere on the internet, but that hasn't stopped Duolingo before. That's why we have mods and the downvote button. Most official Duolingo posts allow for comments, including the most recent post about Duolingo Plus coming to web. There really seems to be no reason that the WIU is locked.


I can’t be bothered to downvote things like this (I do for spam), but I agree, it’s all part of the dumbing down of Duolingo, and gearing it more to schools and kids.


I appreciate the time someone puts into the weekly updates. I appreciate if important information is displaying fast on my mobile. I would feel ungrateful if I complained because volunteers who are doing this in their spare time just do not do it exactly to the point as I whish they did. How could I complain about a helping hand? And this when a simple solution is at hand: create a discussion to discuss it on your own.


This is true thank you for bringing this up these people in duolingo might not know that kids are also using this website


They are very aware of that. I think that is one of the reasons why they locked the WIU.


And its a silly reason. As I compared it to youtube. 90% of your youtube comments are going to be from cancerous folks like little kids and trolls. But that doesn't mean they need to be removed. Because those 10% of worthwhile discussions are far more valuable when you can easily just ignore the fluff


Maybe duolingo needs a kids section hmmm. Anyhow, idiots are everywhere yep.


Often online the best advice is to avoid the comments sections (see various news sources for why); however, here, I 100% agree.


While the WIU was locked, the Wiki and FAQ announcement was unlocked...


Thanks for that info Woof.!

I updated it recently, and forgot to lock it behind me.

What happens when people add comments to such resources is that it slows down access. The more comments, the more difficult it is for people with slow connections to access it. So, that's why I lock mine. Edit: Which makes me think that might be why the current authors of the WIU are locking that one.


Oh. Thanks Usagiboy!



WIU are not something staff have prompted moderators to make. And while the people who are posting it are moderators, it is outside of their volunteer work as moderators. It was spawned by curiosity and they just want to keep a cool project going so people can access more information than they could by just a simple peek in the Incubator. Those delivering the information have created a boundary for what works with their time and energy (Edit: or it could also have to do with the same reason I locked my Duolingo FAQ & Wiki guide. The community has grown and the number of comments a post can get is very high. Lots of comments make it hard for people with slow connections to access the post). If you want something more, do more. If you want to discuss it, create and facilitate a discussion for the information in it.


We have a downvote button for a reason. I don't want to give you guys any harder of a job than is needed and I appreciate your moderation work. We can self moderate to an extent when it comes to the most viewed posts on the Duolingo Discussions. More so than any other post, The WIU is a post everyone goes to if they are a frequent Discussions user and I would imagine many of them are fairly sensible. They will downvote stuff that doesn't belong. Honestly I would imagine the WIU discussions would be one of the EASIEST things to moderate because it is where all the most dedicated users frequent and we care about keeping it clean ourselves. Removing it simply because you don't have energy to moderate it is frankly; A poor excuse.

You are right that I COULD create a new discussion for the WIU. But what is the point if you yourselves are STILL going to have to moderate it. It is not decreasing your workload at all. And it just makes needless red tape for other users to have to add back a feature that should have been there in the first place. I appreciate Jrkhal taking on the tradition. But I don't think we have any right to judge the initial "Intentions" of the WIU (That it was merely a fun little project to update the users). Because none of us still here started it. But the community has grown around it and we do have a say in how it continues. We can choose to downvote it if it doesn't act in our interests any more. So just as I respect you and your moderation work, I hope you can respect our right to peacefully downvote when we are upset.


From reading the discussion Woof. linked to supra, it seems that another motivator could have been the loading speed of the WIU, which seems reasonable for a high-profile post.

Don't get me wrong, I would prefer to have a discussion section attached to the announcement rather than clumsily added into the forum independently, but I don't think it's likely Jrikhal will change his mind. Also, there is no reason anyone can't “create and facilitate a discussion for the information in it” like Usagiboy7 mentioned.


I think this is a valid issue. But I think not being able to discuss the updates in a more official way is just as valid of an issue. Which is why I suggested either double posting the WIU (With a Quick Load version stickied and a normal version out normally). I think most of the people with poor enough internet that they can't load the WIU that actually USE the WIU are in a minority. And not every WIU accumulates THAT many posts unless there is a really major change or event that occurs. In a worst case scenario. Its not like you are blocked off from the Wiki or the Incubator itself if you need to figure out what changed over the week. Yes it is more of a hassle. But I believe the majority would rather deal with a little lag and be able to make and read comments as opposed to nothing at all.

I am also open to new ideas on how to resolve the issue of loading lag so long as we can keep discussion on the table. But I don't think me or any other third party making a discussion for the WIU is the answer.

Edit: It appears Usagiboy made a discussion extension post. If it works it works. But we will just have to see how it goes.


And yet, it's posted under the heading Discussion. Where's the "discussion" in posting something and locking it?

To be honest, I check http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Course_list more than I check the Incubator itself.

And writing "If you want something more, do more." when you are inside the gates is a bit rich. You know as well as I do that the possibilities of a general user contributing something meaningful here aren't exactly getting better with time. Signed someone who applied to contribute to two different courses back in February 2014, and used to help teach her language here back when the Activity stream existed.


I was not a moderator when I began creating the guides that became the Duolingo Wiki. The admins to the wiki were not mods. And I just transferred ownership of the wiki to a general user. The Incubator updates were created by Jiten, before he was a moderator. These are projects that one is not required to be a moderator to put together. So, the hostility and entitlement has baffled me.


You will then also remember that the Discussion forum was a more sensible and meaningful place back then, where a single user could make a difference by posting something. This is not the case anymore. Tell us what the heck we are supposed to do in 2017? Feel lucky that we are allowed to even read posts? Most users with anything meaningful to say are gone, and I can understand why.

Edit: The hostility is all about Duolingo, even now through its contributors, not wanting the average user to be involved. Not even in such a calm and orderly fashion as was the case in these discussions. Seriously, don't call them discussions, call them Proclamations to the Plebs.

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