https://www.duolingo.com/HelpfulDuo

Announcing a new GA branch: Duolingo Insiders!

Duolingo would not be where it is today without the four original branches of Global Ambassadors:

  • Event Hosts
  • Educator Network
  • Forum Moderators
  • Course Contributors

Lately, we’ve been thinking a lot about the many outstanding members of the Duolingo Community who may not fit into one of these categories, but have nonetheless done amazing things to inspire others.

Learners with outstanding streak achievements, creators of influential Duolingo tutorials, folks who love Duolingo so much that you organize workshops at conferences and blog about your language learning journeys — we want to recognize and celebrate YOU.

Today we’re pleased to announce a new GA branch to do just that:

Duolingo Insiders

Duolingo Insiders, like other GAs, are selected for an annual program and will receive a ring around their profile picture, ad-free Duolingo, product sneak peeks, invitations to exclusive events, and GA forum access.

The inaugural group has already been hand-picked and invited by the Insider Selection Committee. And while the committee doesn’t reveal the exact reasons someone was selected, they do welcome recommendations – if someone on Duolingo strikes you as a guiding light, inspiration, role model, hero, leader, expert or master (or if this describes you), please recommend this person.

In the meantime, please help us welcome these outstanding individuals to the GA community!

Thank you for going above and beyond to inspire others and support Duolingo’s mission of free language learning.

<3

May 21, 2018

142 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ProfesorAntonnio

The best Duolingo influencers are not here anymore, they said goodbye some time ago saying they'd had enough with spam, downvoting, trolls, irrelevant posts, etc., for example Rspreng who always was helping Spanish learners. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/21369302

I wonder if it is not toooo late to recognize all those hard working members...?

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Strandfloh

And they had enough when the Activity Stream was discontinued (for example galletarodeanda, moderator in Spanish from German, and many others). Some have patiently waited because Luis announced at that time that there would come something better. Still nothing, more than a year later. So more and more good people are dropping out.

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Buruboro

This is exactly how I feel. I remember when Activity was discontinued and Luis mentioned that. I waited for that "something better" ever since. I won't hold back my disappointment any more, I feel so let down by Duolingo. I miss my Duolingo community and friends all the time.

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/chirelchirel

Same.

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo

^^ Pay attention above Duolingo ^^

Buruboro is one of duolingo's best forum contributors (I'm not going to use this dumb "insiders" name). They created a whole series of posts with great cartoons illustrating various amusing duolingo sentences. Yet they feel disheartened and, I think, somewhat insulted by this post. And there appear to be many who feel the same way, or who would if they were still around.

It often feels like duolingo has the same tin ear for community engagement that Google infamously has. Duolingo obviously has some very good staff who are doing some excellent technical work but I think they've made some mis-hires in the area of community relations. And what's with the "HelpfulDuo" account by the way? Why isn't the person who is making these decisions and announcements putting their name behind them? I find it all rather patronising and, to use a somewhat juvenile term, lame.

P.S. Here's the mega-link to Buruboro's cartoons, for those who haven't seen them before:

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/18909225

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/elvper

mis-hires in the area of community relations

I think you're underestimating, like a lot, what the job is like. Else I think you'd have more respect for it, currently you're just unfairly blaming her for your frustrations with Duolingo.

In general Duolingo could communicate more about things they're working on, but then people would complain and be angry about things that get scrapped or changed. It's like scrwed if you do scrwed if you don't. Just take the announcement in this thread, I think it's obvious that there were 0 bad intentions behind it (rather the opposite is true). Or implementations that aren't directly related to language learning get greeted with a "why aren't you working on language features instead". Sometimes even with a lot of hypocrisy: for example improvements to the forum, on one side people are requesting an improved forum and on the other side people complain about time being put into improving the forum instead of elsewhere. The merit of the "insiders" program is something you can question, but it certainly ain't bloody murder. It's something that's obviously supposed to be a win-win for everybody:

  • Duolingo: cultivate assets who create value in some kind of way.

  • The people who get in the program: recognition for their efforts with a few benefits.

  • Community: benefits from those contributors.

Yeah some people might feel forgotten and yeah there likely is some bias in the selection process, but be a bit more realistic about your expectations. Perhaps Duolingo had better not made an announcement about this but instead have done it behind the screen to not make some people feel forgotten - but then you lose transparency. Thus again: scrwed if they do, scrwed if they don't. No offense was given by Duolingo, but it's rather mainly being taken by some people. You're choosing to just see the bad in it, don't blame Duolingo or the messenger for your choice.

There have also been attempts at improved community interaction, like "ask us about Duolingo", for which the top comment was:

You know many of the questions, since they have been asked ad nauseum. Why don't you simply provide some answers?

Color me surprised that after a 2nd round they called it quits. Is it odd that people over at Duolingo feel discouraged by it and ultimately stop such attempts? They try to do something good -> many negative reactions.

I myself can also be insensitive at times, but common, let's at least be a bit realistic and put things in perspective. P.S. Would you enjoy putting your name under something when you're receiving such reactions? If you'd like more personal communication, your own reaction likely is a contributing factor as to why you aren't getting it (anymore). And no, I'm not trying to kiss ***, I just dislike one-sided discussions and bandwagoning.

May 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Pretty much.

May 25, 2018

[deactivated user]

    And what's with the "HelpfulDuo" account by the way?

    It's just a nickname from someone in the staff... To what extent knowing his/her real name would help in any way or make you feel more cherished? Yes, maybe it's a juvenile name, but isn't Duolingo's own icon/mascot juvenile too?

    May 23, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Luke300524

    What was the activity stream? I don't think I ever got to see it :0

    May 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Corinnebelle

    Apparently that something better is just the silver lining of a misty cloud. No substance, at least in the foreseeable future, but then it could materialize. I had a conversation about that with a moderator on the post about notice something different in the forums.

    May 24, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jack.Elliot

    I agree with you

    it was once fun

    May 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Selket62

    You are right. And there was a wonderful community And you were a shining light and inspiration for each of us

    May 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
    Mod
    • 119

    And one of the many reasons I have such respect for Duolingo, is that it supports and defends critical comments to be posted about it, even on its own forums. And it also continues to allow even history, like a year old, as you point out, to continue to be available.

    You can read more about that in moderator guidelines

    Regarding your point of :

    I wonder if it is not toooo late to recognize all those hard working members...?

    Is this not also what you have just done. And I commend you for it. Especially by doing this with a reference to the wealth of a previous discussion, rather than cluttering the language Discussion forums with a historical post, bringing up a copy of a previous discussion that adressed this issue.

    Other places you can see recognition of past contribution happening is :
    in the incubator , if you go to a specific course, you will notice names are mentioned there, of members who are no longer serving on the team.
    i.e. : The Spanish for English Speakers course

    However for the continued building of resources of now, is it not more relevant to seek to recognize those that are currently contributing to create the language focused and positive and welcoming environment for learning languages ?

    I would suggest In My Opinion (IMO), that Duolingo is not a site focused on the history of the past. It will though also support others who may create resources such as that.
    Take for instance the excellent resource Duome.eu or information on Duolingo WIKI

    I also contest your point that :

    The best Duolingo influencers are not here anymore

    The work, both in quality and volume that I continue to see, it is staggering and impressive. Done both by volunteers and by staff. Change I know is difficult. And it often also trips me up. It did just last night my time, where I reacted in an inappropriate way to an incident.

    Could it be for some, that part of the nostelga for the past may be an enjoyment of the conflict and inappropriate incidents that were much more frequent back then ? I am not suggesting this in your case. However for some of us, perhaps this is a factor that is coloring our perception.

    With your concerns about spam, downvoting, trolls,
    I have seen a marked reduction in recent times of many serious issues that I have seen occur under earlier structures of Duolingo. I see things being acted on much faster as well. Duolingo seeks to be an open environment, which means it seeks to be available to anyone in the world, and to provide quality language learning for free. With that, we of course have people with all sorts of personalities. Ones that are annoyingly for some, like me, and ones that are like yours. Thankfully also, I work in teams, so there are lots of other people you can choose to interact with, not just someone with my character flaws.

    In regards to your point about irrelevant posts, perhaps this very initiative is also one that may assist people to be more focused on providing better quality language learning posts, and continuing to choose to assist others in a kinder and more supportive way, as their contributions can now also gain greater recognition.

    I am glad you have this platform to express your valued and critical ideas.

    With this new initiative of Insiders, I consider this is a great opportunity for the Duolingo community to recognize those that are currently being inspirational in our community.

    May 23, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo

    And one of the many reasons I have such respect for Duolingo, is that it supports and defends critical comments to be posted about it, even on its own forums.

    This is a very low bar to clear Linda. Any website with a forum that doesn't allow that is 1) setting itself up for a huge 'Censorship!' backfire debacle and 2) isn't worth posting to at all.

    May 23, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Strandfloh

    Could it be for some, that part of the nostelga for the past may be an enjoyment of the conflict and inappropriate incidents that were much more frequent back then ?

    Personally, I saw a reduction in those incidents only after the e-mail verification started. But I have visited mainly German streams in the past, and they may have been nicer because of the smaller size of the German community (and very few children because Duolingo schools doesn't work here).

    May 23, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

    Split system email verification was also user-suggested. (I was that user :D)

    May 23, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE

    Downvoting is not really a problem, They removed it once, and it was even worse.

    In general, good questions or replies are upvoted, and it's scarce some good ones are downvoted.

    They had a useful feature, to hide the heavily downvoted messages before, and it was a mean to hide spam. Moderators are not in sufficient amount to manage the forum, so users can "clean up" the forums by downvoting spam, upvoting good questions or replies, and giving lingots to them, to improve their visibility.

    There are a lot of children here, so I guess it's the reason for the tons of irrelevant comments.

    The good helpers were rather demotivated by the change in the impopular changes, Duo never come back on a change, even if it's very heavily impopular.... (except once for the limited downvotes)

    In the past, many users were cleaning the forum, but they started to leave when Duo removed the advanced learning feature like immersion. A lot of advanced users...

    Duo wanted to attract more kids, they chosed it, and it worked!
    And now, more kids than advanced mature user = spam everywhere!!!! That was very very predictible: we predicted it.

    March 29, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceLord

    No false modesty, I nominate everyone above me on my all-time leaderboard!

    More humbly out of the running, I propose everyone in the Streak Hall of Fame: https://duome.eu/ (append your username to see your own stats on that unofficial site).

    May 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceLord

    Come out, come out, unwitting ringleaders, wherever you are!

    May 29, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Dcarl1

    This is simply a horrible name. The concept is OK, but insiders really? How exclusionary and trend-seeking can you be? The only worse phrase you could have chosen would have been influencers..

    Duolingo is really declining. I may stick around the clubs, but otherwise I’m on to other sources.

    May 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/PoetaProletario

    I agree. Maybe "community contributor", "outstanding member" or something along these lines would be better.

    May 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/gamekkeut

    Sounds interesting. Do Insiders overlap with other designations? I would think that many people who are already apart of the GA program are the ones pretty deserving of an Insider role.

    May 21, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/HelpfulDuo

    Yes! Good question! There's no reason that someone from another GA branch can't be an Insider if they do outstanding things (outside of the already outstanding things they do within their current GA role).

    May 21, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/gamekkeut

    Thank you!

    May 21, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/TheConlanger

    Must a Duolingo Insider be 18+, like the with the other branches of the Global Ambassador program, or is there a different age limit?

    May 21, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/HelpfulDuo

    The general rule of thumb here is 18+ but exceptions can be made for outstanding achievements by younger individuals who, for example, organize a Duolingo language club for their school or university. (Of course in such cases Duolingo would require a guardian's consent.)

    May 21, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

    Thank you for asking, TheConlanger. I was curious about this too.

    May 23, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/04Amanita

    I'm glad to read this. I have benefited from some of the fantastic study notes and explanatory comments from those posters who are generous and thoughtful enough to share their hard work with the rest of us. It's because of them that I keep reading the comments section. They're keeping the Duolingo community a healthy, and language oriented, place. This is a really nice way to say thank you to them. Good luck :D

    May 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/MightyFrenchLear

    can you tell how it affects duolingo please and thank you.

    May 21, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/HelpfulDuo

    Glad you asked, frenchlear717354. Others are probably wondering the same thing!

    Global Ambassador is the umbrella term which includes Duolingo's various communities of passionate, generous volunteers. They include language experts who contribute to Duolingo by building and maintaining courses, Event Hosts, who organize language meetups, Moderators who spend hundreds of hours helping others in the forums, Teachers who use Duolingo with their students and now "Insiders", folks who have done something extraordinary to help further Duolingo's mission.

    You can read more about what they do in the Ambassador section of the Duolingo Help Page.

    Also check out our Global Ambassador page and scroll down to learn more :)

    May 21, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/TheKingGeorge11

    So what about spaced repetition coming to crowns? Helpful Duo?

    May 21, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
    Mod
    • 119

    There are future plans for practice

    So, I would be suggesting, keep watching this space.

    May 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Theognome

    My wife, Knoxienne, was selected for this group. She is the purdiest of the polyglots and I'm very proud of her accomplishments here. -Theognome

    May 23, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
    Mod
    • 119

    And thank you to wife, and also to your support of her accomplishments !

    May 29, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/PoetaProletario

    I don't have strong feelings about rings, as long as their increase does not mean Health is to come to the web version. Maybe they can help making regular contributors feel acknowledged without investing too much power on too many people. Helen Carlsson helped me a lot in learning Swedish, even though she was not a mod, and I believe people like her deserve a lot of recognition.

    May 23, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/PoetaProletario

    Is there a chance of bringing back the old level up reward? It was a great motivation, but now it is less significant than the one for finishing a new skill, even though it requires a significantly greater lot of work. While the reward for streaks is awesome, it is hard for people with very busy routines to keep their streaks up. Sometimes there is too much work and the streak is lost, but that does not mean such people are not investing a lot of time into Duo as well.

    May 23, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
    Mod
    • 119

    You may be interested to check out With Crowns, what does the “practice” button do?

    And ... keep watching this space ;P

    May 29, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Polyglot_19

    What is a outstanding streak achievement? 1000 days?

    May 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/PeterZwega7

    More likely the top ten

    May 29, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/RZahirsky

    There are those among us who have an unselfish heart for sharing what they have learned and freely offer it to others as an act of kindness. Who would not accept coaching from someone who is at a level above their own and make advancing easier? Many times this may be a native speaker who "owns" the language and can tell you how things really are. By all means hats off to these worthy folks.

    May 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
    Mod
    • 119

    Thank you for weighing in on this issue.

    One of the highly respected and insightful and long term moderators' here has said once that I read ( and I wish I could find the reference ) , words to the effect that it is often those who are learning who are the most patient and insightful and effective in their explanations.
    They can explain things with such great patience, and show such kindness and support in the ways they communicate.

    Providing their work is reviewed as well.

    It is what I value most about Duolingo. That any of the work I do -that it is reviewed. It is one of the things I value very highly in Duolingo.

    I am a language learner. I will always be a language learner. Even in my mother tongue. For all language is also changing.
    It is living - as it is a communication between living people. And we, and the society we are living in, is constantly changing. Especially in this technological and newly globally connected world we live in now. And different groups of us change in different ways. Language , and learning, is such a wonderful and ever changing forest of diversity.

    May 29, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/HoldenLee2

    Haha! When I saw the post title, I thought GA stood for Georgia, like GA was getting some kind of branch hq/office. Maybe you should spell out Global Ambassadors in the title. I know most Duolingo users are not from Georgia but I just thought it was confusingly funny.

    May 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/no.name.42

    I am not form Georgia; but I thought the same thing.

    May 23, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Boujleba

    Yo tambien!

    May 24, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Priit_

    I feel like these aren't going out to the really helpful people or outstanding people due to them not always being overly friendly

    June 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/AndrewSear13

    There is just so many rings... confusing i feel

    June 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/AndrewSear13

    Are all these rings needed?

    June 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
    Mod
    • 119

    What a good question to ponder and respond to.

    I see recently also in this post you have commented

    There is just so many rings... confusing i feel

    There are only two colors of rings for Global Ambassadors (GA’s).
    Green and Gold.
    These two different colors indicate the level of of Ambassador. With Gold being the higher level. See What are the Global Ambassador levels?

    Then there is a Blue ring that indicates a staff member.

    For GAs there are different roles we perform. And it can be important for us to know what those roles are. So we as a community can see the function that that person is fulfilling in our community.

    So, I am taking it that what you are finding confusing is not the rings, but that there are different tags/flairs/flags that GA’s wear.

    There are now these 5 types of roles:

    • Event Hosts
    • Educator Network
    • Forum Moderators
    • Course Contributors
    • Insiders

    I have not yet answered your question.
    The short answer is - yes - it is important for the best possible functioning of our community that we also are able to identify the roles that a GA is fulfilling in our community.

    I will now do another post to address this question in more detail.

    June 10, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
    Mod
    • 119

    There are different roles Global Ambassadors (GA's) carry out in our community, and being able to spot the people playing them is critical to making sure our community is successful. To be an environment that is successful at being focused on providing language learning for free, and is also a safe and accountable environment.

    Each of us offer unique skills to our community While all GA's follow the same set of rules we conform to, what each of us do is different.

    And how each of you choose to contribute also to these goals, makes a huge difference to how our community functions. When you choose to give the best to this community, for your learning, and to support the wider community, you also act as ambassadors for your benefit and for our world.

    June 10, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Alex437633

    I would like to recommend Gamekkeut because of how much time he/or/ she spends on the forums answering petty questions.

    May 21, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Bethany281730

    Hi Duolingo. I've been looking all over but I can't figure out how to contact you more privately. Do you have an email address that we can send emails to?

    May 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
    Mod
    • 119

    What is it that you are wanting to contact Duolingo about?

    You do not need to answer that question.
    You could check out:

    I hope that this information may be of assistance to you in your search.

    May 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Bethany281730

    I wanted to give a suggestion (that I've since forgotten), but thanks for the links anyway.

    May 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jersebas

    Yaaay, more rings.... (sarcasm, btw)

    The inaugural group has already been hand-picked and invited by the Insider Selection Committee.

    I hope you guys did a good job of finding those individuals who are worth of such recognition, because the ones you missed are gonna compare themselves with the ones chosen and might become... ehm... "unhappy"?!? Not sure this all is worth the effort tbh... if you want to celebrate people who put a lot of effort/time into Duolingo, make sure they have a good/working platform to work with in the first place (i.e. fix some bugs, and add/restore some functionality)

    As to these outstanding individuals, whomever they may be, thanks for all the work/effort and enjoy your probably =) well-deserved perks, and note that any negative thoughts I have about this are not against you =)

    May 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/elvper

    I hope you guys did a good job of finding those individuals who are worth of such recognition, because the ones you missed are gonna compare themselves with the ones chosen and might become... ehm... "unhappy"?!?

    Probably mostly short term though. For Duolingo it's important to keep all stakeholders happy, including different types of contributors. If those "outstanding members" feel forgotten they might become unhappy too, this type of action should make those people feel more appreciated (and thus stay for longer). Unavoidably it's also going to make some people feel unappreciated, like some of those who didn't make the cut today. To a lesser degree in the future for those who try really hard with the goal of becoming an "insider", but then again, it's kind of meant to reward those who do not directly care about a reward (thus short term there might be some damage but long term probably not much, overall it's likely that benefit > damage).

    It's like a contagious disease: a small number of people infect a ton of people while most infect nobody or just a few people, people who mass infect others are of greater importance if you want to cause a Duolingo pandemic. (No, there's no cure, sorry) Roughly (smaller scale) comparable to bloggers who advertise clothing lines and get early samples of the next collection or "enthusiastic" Youtubers who get early access to a game.

    May 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jersebas

    I guess you're right about the short term unhappiness. However, most valuable contributors will probably get their main satisfaction/reward/motivation from doing something they like (learning languages in this case) and being able to help other people become better. Getting recognition by Duolingo is nice, but as I mentioned above having a nice platform in which to "operate" is a greater reward imo (as opposed to frustration about certain issues). I would assume the most enthusiastic people are those who see extra rings as extra status.

    In my opinion Duo offers little to no incentive to experienced users to stay around (like immersion did for many) as the learning material is for beginners (nothing wrong with that btw), and interaction with other users is hard/discouraged (I'm sorry to say but this forum is a joke compared to others I know... not only the structure, but incorrect post-counts for about half a year now... seriously?!?). I realise extra messages create extra load on servers and work for moderators, but I would love extra possibilities for interaction! Why have friends on this site if you can't talk to them? Some option to offer/ask for language exchange (coaching) would be great as well. I would love to be able to get in contact with people from my target language(s) who want to learn my native language in order to be able to help each other.

    Yes, I know there are other sites for that, but that's kind of my point. Language education without word lists/overviews, clear noun genders/conjugation tables for verbs, spaced repetition, clear grammar explanations (thinking Japanese here, some courses do this just fine) makes me wonder why I'm still here sometimes... The main reason being at the moment are force of habit (mainly doing my daily XP and then stopping), and some great (course) contributors. But as King_Antonnio mentions in his post I'm seeing less and less of them lately, and I'm using more and more external resources... nothing wrong with that of course, just saying/thinking this site could be so much better imo!

    tl;dr – Influencers/valuable contributors are important for Duolingo, and I think it's great Duo acknowledges this and wants to "reward" them, I just believe the way mentioned above may create exra issues, while some other improvements could result in better motivation to stay/keep being awesome, instead of turning Duo in some kind of Kindergarten...

    May 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Corinnebelle

    If you want to help, you will, ring or not, help others because you love too!

    May 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jersebas

    True, but here or elsewhere? Duo has a huge potential with its large international userbase and popularity, but is hardly doing anything with it, nor does it seem to want to. Compare this forum with e.g. Japanese Stack Exchange... I know where I would go with a question, or where I would spend time helping people if I felt I had adequate knowledge.

    It's up to Duolingo to attract (create) and keep expert users who can inspire and help others. If this Insiders-program works... great, but I doubt it is enough (or maybe it is and it's just me)

    May 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Strandfloh

    @elvper

    Good communication options COULD potentially be both harmful for users and Duolingo, for Duolingo in the sense that there might be a whole lot of "very social users" who'd use Duolingo for a year and have barely learnt 100 words

    Duolingo can easily avoid that by giving access to good communication options only to users who have proved to be serious learners, for example by having earned at least one owl (not as easy to be faked as racking up XPs).

    Even after more than a year I still miss the activity stream - not because I like chatting, but because we were able to see each others questions and answer to them (or gain knowledge from other answers). Nowadays I can't even find my own posts, and I'm getting more and more frustrated about that. I have stopped answering questions completely because I can't find my own posts and make additions/corrections when needed.

    I won't start answering questions again before I'm not able to find my own posts and posts from certain users by just clicking on their name. A ring would be totally meaningless to me if I couldn't find posts in an efficient way.

    May 23, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/elvper

    If they'd like split Duolingo's forum into let's say 2 or 3 pieces: kids and adults or kids, teens and adults I think it would help. Kids and adults kind of have different needs / desires and for the type of moderation.

    Kids -> no private type of communication but solely monitored clubs and their own forum (where they'd also be allowed to do those introduction type of conversation some try to do here - with moderation).

    Adults -> more communication options and a wider forum. To some extent also merge forums of a target language with sub-fora for the "from" languages to condense content without sacrificing much.

    The thing of communication options is that they can heavily distract from learning. Duolingo isn't meant to become a social media platform rather than a website to learn on. A "limited" forum / discouraging its use to some degree might even have been a purpose act to avoid said wrong focus. Good communication options COULD potentially be both harmful for users and Duolingo, for Duolingo in the sense that there might be a whole lot of "very social users" who'd use Duolingo for a year and have barely learnt 100 words - which obviously wouldn't be great advertising and could hurt Duolingo's reputation. (or it might as well be that having a big forum with music, movie, etc sections boosts engagement, learning and attracts more people - which obviously would also partially depend on the implementation). The big takeaway is that all these things that been brought up in this discussion might not always be as simple as they seem and even small decisions / changes can sometimes have big or unexpected consequences.

    May 22, 2018

    [deactivated user]

      Yes Elvper, I thought about that kids/adults separation a couple times too.

      I think one of the problems of Duolingo is ultimately the "one size fits all" approach which will inevitably make it a much less appealing product. The recent changes have almost all been directed to the kids side which quite understandably displeased more serious learners. On the other hand if you move way too much to the adults side of it a huge chuck of youngsters will feel alienated and leave the program.

      They seem unable to find a solution that would serve both camps so they really should think on a split solution... for instance the traditional beginner/intermediate/advanced one where you would have to reach certain milestones in order to advance in the rankings and unblock certain features.

      May 23, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/Corinnebelle

      Here's the thing I like about Duolingo. It is not constrained by age. We get the kids on here who just want to have fun and talk about anything, but we also have some serious young users. Especially in highschool, we have some excelling language warriors who have long streaks and write compelling posts. People are looked up to, based on their performance and knowledge, not their age.

      I don't think tiers of forums should be based on age, but on behavior. I too have considered the child/adult or teen segregation, but there is no one size fits all in this. Yes, there is the balancing of maturity in the adult community which I value. And guidance and experience also. Nevertheless the possibility does exist for a crazy eighty year old and a solemn seven year old!

      I would be more interested in forum divisions of users based on their posts, than on which year they fall into, in the centuries. There should be forums levels like crowns with corresponding privileges based on your behavior, knowledge and assistance of other users. Abuse of privileges would mean loss of said privileges. Obviously we would need some moderator help there, which might be where this whole system fails because there is not enough for the work they do.

      May 24, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/Corinnebelle

      Wherever you feel your time is best utilized.

      May 22, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/Black_Panther

      In my case I lost a streak of 708 days and 2 months later of 56 (new one) because of bugs. I got completely no response about that, except for unrelated bot replies that led to nowhere. And currently, after I almost finished the Spanish tree, to see that the first and most trivial lessons have to be repeated dumbly just to get it done again is discouraging and boring.

      The stories, though are nice.

      Anyways, now I just bother coming once in few days at most. I don't care about the streak anymore. And to think I've been here around for 7 years and brought here many of my friends... Ah meh. I don't think this "ring" will change anything. I guess it will be given for the lucky ones, who did not lose their stats due to app. bugs, many of those who did lose the stats, might be ignored despite their effort. I wonder how many people out there like that, that are not going to be recognized because of bugs?

      BTW, the loss of streak due to bugs might be one of the reasons why the experienced users leave, and not only because it is no longer poses a challenge for advanced users.

      June 1, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/Corinnebelle

      Sorry that happened! I hope someone from Duolingo sees this that can help. You can always nominate yourself.

      June 1, 2018

      [deactivated user]

        Great post Jersebas.

        May 23, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/elvper

        I think one of the problems of Duolingo is ultimately the "one size fits all" approach

        Couldn't agree more. At Duolingo they seem to be pretty adamant about it though. I know that creating complex things takes time (might be in development), but I wonder if it's rather because of some ideological reason. What the decay (curve of forgetting) implementation of Duolingo indicates is that they might build a system around the theory rather than to adopt a broader system to meet the theoretical requirements, resulting in a system that revolves around the rule of the law vs thought of the law. Thus the "one size fits all" approach might also stem from rule of the law based on some research. Like even the Crowns system, is completely static when it comes to the difficulty of content (it requires the same amount of exercising for everybody). But it might aswell simply be because of having lacked the resources in the past (both human and computational - can take a lot of time and be expensive). I have no idea what goes on in the heads of people over at Duolingo and how they operate thus loads of assumptions and question marks :P.

        If it were up to me I'd not only implement a dynamic or smart system but also give users a few options that adjust the system to ones desires. I'd try it in the form of sliders with 2 positions in both direction, with the 2nd not being unlocked until x time after having moved it the first notch and with a question / comment field where users can indicate why they've chosen to move the slider. If the dynamic or smart system decides that a 5 x multiplier is optimal for repetition, moving down the notch by one could reduce it by one (4 x) and then test how it plays out while for example accepting a max efficiency loss of 5%, automatically increasing the multiplier again if the loss is greater. The 2nd slider position would do the same thing but e.g. a reduction of 2 (3 x) and accept a loss of max 10%. (sidenode, theoretical efficiency loss, as boredom could also cause more difficult to measure efficiency loss and people throwing in the towel) If one of those sliders is very commonly activated (in relative terms) by people, it could be interpreted as an area of attention for Duolingo to try to find a solution for the reason people give for adjusting the slider (~the better the system the less there should be a need and desire for making adjustments [sort of - with a few reservations]). Thus the slider giving important feedback while also keeping users happy that they're able to adjust the system to their wishes / needs. One reason could for example be that a fair bit of users wants a lower repetition rate because it bores them, then Duolingo could for example try to find a solution that reduces boredom without having to deviate from what the system calculated as the optimal settings for specific users. -> more happy users and perhaps allowing Duolingo to make improvements in a more targeted way. At least when going by what I think is logic.

        Edit: the manifesto lindakanga linked does mention "personalized education", thus perhaps they are working on more personalization or plan to do so in the future. I'll just assume that it's not solely being said for buzz.

        May 23, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/SummersMeltMe

        Wow. Just.. wow. You've put a lot of thought in that :D

        June 1, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/cazort

        If those "outstanding members" feel forgotten they might become unhappy too

        This describess me to a T.

        I was a die-hard Duolingo user a year ago. I made two YouTube videos which are among the most popular on my channel, promoting Duolingo. I have recommend Duolingo in person to countless people.

        I completed three courses.

        I poured hours of my life into typing out carefully-worded bug reports.

        At a certain point I started feeling alienated and betrayed, hateful even towards the Duolingo team, because of the fact that so many of the bugs I was reported were going un-fixed, I never received a personalized response to anything.

        Then some time maybe around six months ago I had a bizarre conversation with Luis von Ahn on the Duolingo subreddit. He was...well he seemed to be listening to me. But of course, few of the things I cared about have changed and only a few of the minor bugs I have reported have gone addressed. 80%+ of the original stuff that upset me is still there, and on top of that, there's a bunch more dysfunctional stuff (like the way the crown update, which seems like a good idea, STILL doesn't have an adequate implementation of the auto-practice and spaced repetition that gradually ups the difficulty level.)

        Yeah. I assume there's no way in hell they'd pick me for this thing because at this point I'm so bitter, cynical, even outright hostile towards the Duolingo team.

        I hate them, I really do. And I know that's not a really healthy thing to do.

        But I feel like they've betrayed me and ruined what was an amazing product, I feel like over the past year they've taken the site in a direction I REALLY don't like. They've put incredible focus into things I don't care about at all, like the smartphone apps, and neglected the core functionality of the desktop site.

        Yeah. Just no. I saw this post and read it and I'm just like...sourness. A sour feeling in my body and soul, about Duolingo.

        I like what Duolingo used to be, and I had a vision in my head of where I thought a reasonable team of intelligent people would take the site, and it went in a very different direction, much to my chagrin and frustration.

        June 10, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/garpike

        I never received a personalized response to anything.

        DL is a company with about a hundred employees and 200 million users. I'm sure they get a continuous influx of huge numbers of bug reports, many of which will be repetitions of the same problem. Spending unnecessary effort crafting your bug reports into beautiful prose is a waste of time, and expecting personal responses is unrealistic in the extreme; what about the thousands of other people who send equally-helpful bug reports? Do you really think DL should be spending hundreds of man-hours sending out personal replies to all and sundry? They fix bugs slowly enough as it is.

        If you view submitting bug reports as entering into some sort of personal correspondence then you're bound to be offended in this way; instead, just see it as throwing a few lines into a big sausage machine in order to increase the likelihood of the resulting sausages' coming out a little bit better several weeks or months down the line.

        June 10, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/PoetaProletario

        I agree.

        June 10, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/elvper

        I do understand that you feel a bit left out communication wise, a "we hear you" is always nice whenever you try to offer some kind of suggestion / feedback, when it comes to this Duolingo kinda falls a bit short. But I think these ambassador programs are mainly meant for people who have poured like thousands (or at least hundreds) of hours into helping out in some form or another on Duolingo. Everybody of course looks at themselves and how much they'd like to become one and why they think they should become one, but in reality there probably simply are some people who have dedicated even a ton more of time as a volunteer on Duolingo.

        In my opinion people in general are exaggerating with the "hate" they're giving to this program. People seem to be mostly posing the question "how does this benefit ME" and completely ignore "how does this benefit 'the community'" overall. But yeah, some people probably have a good reason to feel left out, but many should be more realistic and put things into perspective. I can't really comment on you specifically as I do not have a complete overview of your contributions.

        June 10, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
        Mod
        • 119

        hmmmm - some interesting points there.

        Regarding :

        make sure they have a good/working platform to work with

        In all I see, this is exactly what Duolingo has continually strived to do, even from its first conception. It was so different then. And there have been so many multiple changes since then.

        Have you read Duolingo's New Website ?

        By the sounds of it you are continuing to notice changes. And , I am also one that struggles, as many do, with coping with change. It lead me, just last night, to act in an inappropriate way, which I am of course self reviewing and will put some extra barriers in place to hopefully help make sure I do not do that again. However, I am human. And , yes , I also have different emotions, and will occasionally play and try on different behaviors. And, last night, I tried on a response that was inappropriate.

        Also I assume you have noticed Crowns which is a great way to answer the focus to :

        remaining fun for casual learners while still offering advanced content for serious learners.

        I am sooooo glad to hear you appreciate the other outstanding individuals that contribute to this site. I also wish to let you know, that these people are both staff and volunteers. While I only sometimes get brief glimpses of the amazing work done by individuals who are staff their dedication and skills and passion - they are AWSOME !
        This is not to detract in anyway from the AWSOME volunteer work that others in our community do. And MY ! Does that work blow me away ! Both in the skills and resources they bring, and the time they dedicate. And this is as volunteers !

        Which leads me back to why I think this initiative is so valuable. For these volunteers are NOT just the ones that currently wear rings of recognition as Event Hosts ; Educator Network ; Forum Moderators ; Course Contributors .

        It also includes the wider and diverse community that participate in the forums, and even also contribute to Tinycards. As well as mentioned here, in the Original header post, the creators of influential Duolingo tutorials, folks who love Duolingo so much that they organize workshops at conferences and blog about their language learning journeys.

        And, I also need to address your point of

        the ones you missed are gonna compare themselves with the ones chosen and might become... ehm... "unhappy"

        I assure you this is not the intention of any of the Global Ambassador program.
        I assure you Duolingo values all of its learners. It is key behind the careful words choosen in forum community guidelines and also moderator guidelines
        However, as one of my respected contributors and moderators once mentioned to me, it is amazing how humans organize themselves, and create societies. ( Could this even be why your comments have also gained so many significant up votes at this moment in time ? ) Even in a computer environment such as Duolingo. I commend Duolingo for choosing to seek to direct this formation of structure in a positive way. Such as be recognition of individuals that are supporting the community in appropriate ways. It is sad that you would seek to see a community that was not formally recognizing those that are making positive contributions.

        I even hope that this will continue to encourage others to also seek to contribute in even more positive ways to assist the manifesto, to make available quality language learning for free for the learner.

        While it is not necessary at all to strive to be part of assisting others to learn a language, and of course, the best contributors I see are ones that are not driven by official recognition, perhaps this initiative may assist more to be inspired in a positive way to follow the lead that some remarkable people choose to volunteer to make the world a better place for all to live in.

        May 23, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/Jersebas

        Hi Linda, thanks for your reaction! It's long as usual (=P) so I'm afraid my reaction will be as well...

        make sure they have a good/working platform to work with

        In all I see, this is exactly what Duolingo has continually strived to do ... And there have been so many multiple changes since then.

        I appreciate your positivity and optimism in all of your posts I read, but striving to and achieving something are different things. I realise developing and mainting a site like Duolingo is way more complicated than most people realise, there's always more going on behing the scenes which we aren't aware of, and the mere fact that Duo exists in its current form is proof of the commitment of its creators and staff. Knowing all this, it sometimes feels "cheap" to critise them and, as somebody pointed our somewhere else in this thread, they probably deserve more kudos than they're getting (it's hard to keep all members of a community happy =)).

        Have you read Duolingo's New Website ?

        Yes I read it back then, and I'm still amazed by the amount of bugs and issues the rewrite introduced, some of which are still here 9 months later. My favourite parts:

        • Q: What will replace the Activity tab? A: We have nothing concrete to share... yet. But we do plan to replace this social feature with something better! – Can't wait for that one! 2020?
        • Known Bugs: All known bugs have been fixed. – Ehm, sure... admittedly not all bugs fall under the website rewrite, the forum had a seperate rewrite/update I think? Well that one definately has some open ones. A bug/issues tracker would be great, so we know which bugs/issues are identified, accepted, being worked on etc... I reported several bugs lately, some have been fixed (even got replies now and then), others no idea if action is being undertaken...

        By the sounds of it you are continuing to notice changes. And, I am also one that struggles, as many do, with coping with change.

        While some posts may give that impression I don't believe I am against change per se. For example, I can understand several arguments for the removal of immersion and the old version of the activity stream. It's a shame really, but in reality (with limited resources) you can't have everything, and it's better to focus on your main goals.

        The main one being language education, the exercises and course content should have priority. I don't have the background nor the statistical numbers so I can't say whether the current format is optimal. Duo uses gamification, and the sheer amount of people addicted to/obsessed with streaks, lingots and achievements gives that justification I guess. I personally prefer a word-list now and then, clear noun genders, verb conjugation tables, spaced repetition and grammar explanations... not Duo's strongest side.

        Also I assume you have noticed Crowns which is a great way to answer the focus to : remaining fun for casual learners while still offering advanced content for serious learners.

        Great idea/concept, terrible execution imo. Providing more advanced learners with more advanced sentences is great (also a great way of keeping experienced learners around, which is rightfully important to Duo as I mentioned in one of my other posts). However, (1) the amount of lessons I have to do to get higher crowns is ridiculous imo, (2) no decay? really? So if I quit Duo for a year and return, I'm stuck with all difficult sentences and my only real option is to reset my tree?, (3) no repeat lesson-button (really lovely on a longer tree), (4) no more overview of new words for a lesson? Bottom line... I'm hardly bothering and mainly just being annoyed =)

        Imagine they kept the "crown-tiers" (different difficulties of sentences) but without the crowns. You have spaced repetition of skills/sentences, and the ones with a high success-score get increased tiers, the ones with several recent failures get a decreased tier. Doesn't need to be time-related either. If I return after a year and still provide correct answers keep me on the same tier. If it helps/motivates people (use statistical data to determine?!?) they can give you a score for the cumulative tier you're currently on (which would be similar to the current crown-level), but it could decrease as well, and I would love to be able to get increased levels faster (I am NOT going to practice (basic) skills up to 60 times to get the highest crown-level, and finally some interesting questions).

        It lead me, just last night, to act in an inappropriate way, which I am of course self reviewing and will put some extra barriers in place to hopefully help make sure I do not do that again. However, I am human. And , yes , I also have different emotions, and will occasionally play and try on different behaviors. And, last night, I tried on a response that was inappropriate.

        (1) you?? inappropiate?? now I am curious? =P If it's not Duo-related I don't want to know haha =P (2) not really seeing the relevance of this to any of my posts as they're not inappropriate, nor (overly) emotional

        I am sooooo glad to hear you appreciate the other outstanding individuals that contribute to this site. ...

        That's why I stated that explicitly to prevent any misunderstandings! Staff should get more credit than they get (staff: thanks!!) even though they make some weird decisions now and then (hehe, couldn't resist), but the volunteers are, as you rightfully say, AWESOME! I don't think I could put in the effort some of them do without running away screaming =)

        Which leads me back to why I think this initiative is so valuable. For these volunteers are NOT just the ones that currently wear rings of recognition as Event Hosts ; Educator Network ; Forum Moderators ; Course Contributors .

        Which leads me back to (1) there are too many different rings, it only makes things more confusing, (2) let the community decide who is valuable, and let Duolingo concentrate on improving the platform. Some fora have things like badges (either achievements or tiers) and reputation-power (e.g. if your posts get frequent upvotes) just to mention some from the top of my hat. Just saying there's more possible to improve the forum-side of things and utilize Duo's userbase more (and giving people incentive to stay)

        ... contribute to Tinycards

        Duo decided to split the flashcards from the main site, and personally I don't care about it at all. It's nice for kids to easily create their own decks but it's nothing compared to alternative flashcard-apps/software. I would love to be able to download a .csv with my learned words to do with as I wish though, but that's unlikely to ever happen...

        the creators of influential Duolingo tutorials

        Indicating a failure on Duolingo's part to explain things in the first place? Or to make things simple? Or accessible? Once again, nothing but appreciation for people who create such things and put time and effort in, but let the community decide whether it's useful and be appreciative (and give it means to do so) while Duo concentrates on making things better. A community based appreciation program could just as easily result in a ring (if that is what people want), or added perks... Monthly top 5 posters (per language?) based on appreciation (up-votes or whatever mechanism Duo can implement) get Inside-status/free Duo Plus you name it... just a quick idea, there are probably better ones =) Now Duo decides who is valuable or not, which can alienate people

        And, I also need to address your point of

        the ones you missed are gonna compare themselves with the ones chosen and might become... ehm... "unhappy"

        I assure you this is not the intention of any of the Global Ambassador program.

        Which is why I sort of warned them/gave my concerns =)

        Could this even be why your comments have also gained so many significant up votes at this moment in time?

        I like to believe some valid points and insights have something to do with it as well? =) Or at least appreciation for some honest thoughts and an attempt to word them as best as possible. Although I sometimes get the impression voicing (popular) criticism is the fastest way to get upvotes and lingots, which is a bit of a shame (unless they contain those valid points and insights as mentioned before hehe =p)

        It is sad that you would seek to see a community that was not formally recognizing those that are making positive contributions.

        What gives you that impression? There is a difference between the community and Duolingo as an organisation. I just stated I believed Duo could be doing more useful things, and their current approach has its downsides, which, if I read some of the comments in this thread, are not unrealistic.

        In one of my reactions above I mentioned I would be all for a community-based-reward-thingy based on clear metrics. If someone is not in the top 5 (or whatever) and doesn't get the Insider-status (or whatever perks are associated with a certain achievement), at least it's clear why, and they will try harder next month (week/whatever) if they really want it. Now people may think why are they getting Insider-status and I am not? Why is that person with an impressive streak (who may be doing 1XP a day) getting it, while I'm doing 100XP a day and helping people?!?

        ...long text... to make the world a better place for all to live in.

        As long as we can achieve that I'm a happy person! =) Please see any criticism as a sign that I care, and wish Duo would do more with the potential of its users (as I believe they could).

        Finally, kind of sorry for yet another long post, and sort of decreasing the readabilty of this thread even more hehe =) Missing the bell-notification for threads like this... Hopefully somebody finds something of interest in it =P

        May 23, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/Corinnebelle

        2020? Yes I asked a moderator about "the something better". In his mind nothing was promised and his wild guess was 2020. By that time who knows what will happening and that was the point. I've given up hope!

        May 24, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/elvper

        I'm only going to respond about the gamification:

        I highly doubt that it being addictive is a goal. What more likely is the goal is to make it fun. Fun = addictive. When people get bored and or annoyed, it's not only likely to lead to them quiting, but also to learn a lot less efficiently if they choose to continue. The gamification = setting up people to succeed. The gamification by itself isn't really of any importance, it's rather just a means to a goal.

        May 24, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
        Mod
        • 119

        heee heeee - thank you for your thoughtful response. It is going to take a bit of time to read through. ;P
        It is fun having a thoughtful and respectful discussion.

        May 23, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/Jersebas

        That it is, albeit a little time consuming =) Well, as long as it useful in some way... take your time and let me know if there is something I need to clarify!

        May 23, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/Strandfloh

        And, I also need to address your point of

        the ones you missed are gonna compare themselves with the ones chosen and might become... ehm... "unhappy"

        I assure you this is not the intention of any of the Global Ambassador program.

        Then why doesn't Duolingo make the process of choosing Global Ambassadors more transparent? I think part of the frustration (at least mine!) is the thing that Duo is always that secretive. You never know what's going on. You don't even know if something is going on, for example better communications tools which Luis promised more than a year ago.

        May 23, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/slamRN

        Jersebas - Most of us are a little more secure then you think.

        May 27, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/Angela872862

        Poor Duo. Nothing they do seems to please.

        May 31, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/TheKingGeorge11

        I think more time needs to be spent improving the course contents first

        May 22, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/Vabelie

        Course contents are writen and maintained by different, volunteer people, so their work don't overlap those of staff. Then again, improving the way the site works with its users doesn't seem to me that frivolous

        May 22, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
        Mod
        • 119

        That is a good and kind answer Vabelie !

        Course content is constantly being worked on. By a mixture of staff and volunteers. It is a never ending process, as things are constantly maintained and expanded. As even new content order is also tested out.

        Then there is the development of how this is presented, that is also constantly under review and development.

        May 22, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/TheKingGeorge11

        I didnt me to come across as snarky, respectfully, I am just confused why is there an effort to put rings around user names, rather than focus on recruiting more people to improve layout and course content and things. Would be great if native speakers were the audio.

        May 23, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
        Mod
        • 119

        ahhh - there you point something out to me, yes - it was probably snarky that I was being when I made my blunder ;P

        There is a fascinating interview out there on the internet, where this issue is discussed. I will try to locate it.
        Anyway, my summary of it is, that with the resources that Duolingo has had access to , it is remarkable and impressive to note that the vast majority of it is funneled into employing engineers and staff that improve the layout and also course content, etc. That the budget for marketing is surprising low for a company with the resources that it has been able to build up.

        In what I see, audio is also an issue that is high up there on their list of things they give attention to.

        Have you checked out Labs , for instance. Also Duolingo call for Stories

        You may also be interested in reading more about about labs - click here

        May 23, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
        Mod
        • 119

        How this language learning app got 110 million users without spending a dollar on marketing This is one of the articles. However there was another one I was also thinking about.

        May 23, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/BiIinguaIVader

        What will their rings look like?

        May 22, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
        Mod
        • 119

        I imagine they will follow the standards as indicated here

        And also click through to the other associated information on this feature.

        May 22, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/HannahH2007

        What do Duolingo Insiders do exactly?

        May 23, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
        Mod
        • 119

        Great question !

        Learners with outstanding streak achievements, creators of influential Duolingo tutorials, folks who love Duolingo so much that you organize workshops at conferences and blog about your language learning journeys — we want to recognize and celebrate YOU.

        :D

        May 23, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/Izim_M
        • 1470

        Sorry if this seems a bit off-topic, but I have a question about the forum moderator position. I've made an application a few months ago but haven't heard anything since then, am I supposed/allowed to make a new application after a certain period or is this out of the question?

        May 23, 2018

        [deactivated user]

          The typical Duolingo communication skills at play. Would it be that hard to set deadlines, announce the new moderators, make a time schedule? You just submitted your application and that was it?

          I already made a post asking for a moderators/staff directory, a clear explanation for the rings thing, where they overlap, who does what, etc etc.

          If it's of any indication the German forum just got at least a new moderator last week.

          BTW I used the form on this post to recommend you as forum moderator.

          May 23, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
          Mod
          • 119

          Hi Izim_M :)

          One of the things that could be considered, is that in communities with altruistic intentions, such as Duolingo's - to create a platform for quality language learning to be available for free - is to seek to not just follow advice such as from our guidelines

          To not just put in applications, but seek to be the best person you can be, for your own language learning, and to show kindness and support , and to assist in an inspirational way for others to assist in their language learning.

          Judged not from your perspective, but from theirs.

          Please be aware - this is IMO. I am not speaking on behalf of Duolingo. So please - do question me. However - be aware I am a volunteer here.

          So, Izim_M , I hope you continue to seek to be spectacular, for your language learning, and supportive and kind to the language learning of others.

          May 29, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Izim_M
          • 1470

          Thank you for your reply. I already do the best I can to help people out whenever I can and will continue to do so :) I care a great deal about Duolingo and its community so it's great to be able to contribute to this beautiful place.

          May 29, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Langmut

          I don't think we need "heroes", we don't need privileges for a chosen few. What we need is more equality, more respect for all users. And first on the list for that would be: give us back the activity streams!

          May 23, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

          Langmut, people were abusing the guidelines and putting themselves and others in danger and connected to that also liability risk for Duolingo that could have gotten all of Duolingo shut down. We can look in large part at the behavior of members of our own forum community for why there is no longer an Activity stream. Same for Immersion.

          May 23, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Strandfloh

          Usagiboy7, as far as I remember the streams were shut down due to technical reasons, at least that was what Luis said. Duo may have decided to not introduce them again for the reasons you named, but I can't remember that that was ever communicated to the users. It was just a plain "no", without reasons, and a promise to introduce something better.

          And as nice as it is that we no longer have to edit a post if we want to quote someone (you wrote elsewhere in this thread about it), it doesn't compensate the fact that I can't find my own posts.

          I'm not in this thread to fight for the stream, I'm here to say that I don't think the GA rings will help to make the experience on this site better if we don't have a chance of finding our own posts and those of others in need of help.

          May 23, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

          Strandfloh,

          I recently mentioned some of the other details about the Activity stream removal as a reply to Ketzal here.

          I am not commenting to endorse or not this new Insider ring. Like with the Plus ring and then the Plus flare, I am in a "wait and see" mode, observing various feedback comments and then a when it is rolled out observe for a few weeks or months before I'll have come to a conclusion of my feelings about it.

          I agree, it would certainly be useful to find my old posts. And, I've managed to do that (to a very limited degree) by using my email's search function to look through Duolingo notifications. A better system would be preferable for sure!

          People are frustrated. That's valid. I am not trying to invalidate that right now.

          I am not personally thinking of the ability to block quote with more ease as a compensation. But, I do see it as worthy of my appreciation. And, I do try to remind myself of the real impact of people holding onto and repeating critical feedback far longer than positive feedback on likewise older features. Interacting with a screen name was a far different matter to interacting with these folks to face to face as I was able to do last year. And, I try to recover that feeling still, because just because I am back to looking at screen names, I know on the other side of a staff members screen what they read impacts them. So, I want to mix in some appreciation. I do self-care. Other-care is also worthy of my time and energy.

          May 24, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Strandfloh

          Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Usagiboy. I hope to be polite which I can't guarantee in English, and I hope you take into account that it is not my native language. Just to be clear: I'm not one who is "only" complaining. I've been an alpha tester, have put many hours in it, and I still report errors "behind the scenes", errors which can't be reported via the button.

          You say staff reads the feedback. I think part of the frustration is also that we do not get feedback from staff. They do not say if they'll take into account some fair comments. Example: I've seen over the years many people complaining that they can't read the site easily (low contrast, difficult to see accents, recently tiny font on the iOS app). No reaction. If they would just say "we are working on it" it would probably help to feel users seen/appreciated.

          I always try to behave in a way that I won't feel ashamed when someone will find out my real identity. In a way I'm even nicer because the internet never forgets. Whatever I say here: I won't be afraid to say that to someone in person. In contrast to you I don't know anyone personally, and I don't know how someone from staff will react. But that also means I do not know if they will ever react, and my personal experience and that of many others is that they do not react. Yes, HelpfulDuo has made a few posts here, but only during the first few hours. After that: nothing. And that's the standard. Talking to Duo feels like talking to a wall, and of course this causes frustration.

          Re: the stream: If harassment was the real problem, why didn't they just cancel the ability to write and keep the ability to read? (Rhetorical question) As far as I know, moderators can still surf to a user and read their stream. I'd be happy if I could do just that (not being a mod, only reading my stream and maybe those of my friends).

          May 24, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Strandfloh

          Dear Usagiboy7, I had to step back from the discussion for a few days. I know you are one of the kindest and most respectful persons here on Duolingo.

          Yet when you say that you are "so happy" that you no longer have to edit your posts to quote someone it feels to me that you are praising the doctor for tending to a little bruise on my hand while at the same time I'm screaming with pain because I broke my leg in the same accident. It just doesn't feel "right".

          I think it is often a consequence of Duolingo's behavior that people seem to criticize a lot. Sure, people tend to complain more than to praise, but I've read a lot of thoughtful and appropriate criticism. No reaction even if staff were involved in the discussion.

          Take the spaced repetition for example which is missing since the crown update. Duolingo is communicating openly that they are actively working on it and will re-introduce the feature later. I'm completely happy with that and will just wait for it.

          But that's a very rare exception. Why don't they gather the points and make a list with "we are working on it / won't do it (reasons) / it is of high (low) priority" and so on? And link to that list prominently? I'm pretty sure it would reduce critical posts a lot, and people could point newbies to the list.

          Daffodil2015 has already expressed some of my thoughts better than I could do it. I'll leave it at that for now.

          May 28, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

          I have not read you as being polite or impolite. Mainly, I interpreted that you feel frustrated and unsatisfied. Tone is hard to read on the internet. I often wonder how my tone is coming across even with English being my native language.

          I hope you do not think I am angry. I am not. I am only writing with the intention to engage and to express and explain my own current position in response. :)

          PS I am on my phone and it is late. While typing my reply I accidentally forgot to include comments I wanted to make, like, thank you for alpha testing. It helps a lot when people volunteer their time and energy going through courses when they are in such an early state. Also, I apologize if it seemed I was calling you out as. Someone who only complains. I had not intended you as the target of the statement, only to mention that there was a phebomenon at large happening on Duolingo. I myself remember more items criticized than praised. And forget what suggedtions Duolingo has implemented. It is why I began building a list, so I could remember and reflect on some of them.

          May 24, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Langmut

          My thoughts exactly, Strandfloh, thank you! Even a "passive" stream (where you can't write) would be beneficial and would be a good start, and it would eliminate the spamming and trolling problems mentioned by Usagiboy7. There are users that explain a lot and well - with or without a GA ring - and it would be helpful to see on their profile something like Usagiboy7 has commented on "The woman eats an apple" and then to be able to follow the link to the sentence discussion.

          With the profiles completely hollowed of useful content, also being "friends" with someone has totally lost its meaning.

          May 24, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

          Dear Usagiboy7, I had to step back from the discussion for a few days. I know you are one of the kindest and most respectful persons here on Duolingo.

          I respect that. I find myself needing to do that from time to time too.

          Yet when you say that you are "so happy" that you no longer have to edit your posts to quote someone it feels to me that you are praising the doctor for tending to a little bruise on my hand while at the same time I'm screaming with pain because I broke my leg in the same accident. It just doesn't feel "right".

          It wouldn't feel right from that perspective. I am sorry to have aggravated a wound for you. I use quoting a lot. It was a long term irritant of mine to have to regularly edit when some days moderating involve hours of work. To have to go back and edit many things I've already spent a lot of time typingout , it is one more step added many times over. It was a personal fist pump moment for me not to have to do that anymore. It it is bug spray among mosquitoes situation for me next to something that feels like a broken bone for you. :(

          I think it is often a consequence of Duolingo's behavior that people seem to criticize a lot. Sure, people tend to complain more than to praise, but I've read a lot of thoughtful and appropriate criticism. No reaction even if staff were involved in the discussion.

          I can say for sure that staff do read criticism and take notes. As for when staff do and don't engage, I have ideas but they are guesses. I think Elveper may have already outlined a few possibilities here.

          Why don't they gather the points and make a list with "we are working on it / won't do it (reasons) / it is of high (low) priority" and so on? And link to that list prominently?

          I would like that very much too. I know from experience that such a list generates many hours of work and several complications.

          There would be forum debates about about why something didn't make it on the list or higher/lower on the list. If staff doesn't engage those debates, people will say staff doesn't communicate.

          And when people weren't there the first time staff answered or when it feels relevant to bring up again the questions will be asked again. If staff doesn't answer those questions repeatedly, we run into the lack of communication complaint again. And the compound impression carries over to newer people. (This happened when staff spent more time in the forums.) That's in front of the scene.

          Behind the scenes, Duolingo has grown to over 100 people and various, specialized departments The staff member answering questions about the list in the forums would need to be briefed by multiple departments about why things are as they are. If a staff member posts a list and the departments do not brief them on why the list is as it is, we would again be in a place where a staff member announces something and then disengages.

          Additionally, when people ask new questions or for clarifications, for the staff member to answer it, they need to schedule more time with the various departments for additional briefings. Or disengage.

          I am not saying this is why Duolingo hasn't posted such a list. I am just saying, I have observed this before elsewhere and maybe it is these costs and considerations that prevent such a list.

          I would be ecstatic if Duolingo posted one though!

          May 30, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015

          Usagiboy7 - I thought Immersion was cancelled because of "European regulations", which, by the way, sounded stupid even then. Did they actually try to sell the translations done in Duolingo? Because that would be the only reason why it would breach European regulations. And if they did that, then it was incredibly stupid for a site that's about learning languages, because everybody had access to Immersion, even people with three lessons completed - so this shows the creators (i.e. Luis) have no idea how translation actually works.

          That's the problem with Duo. Officially they say one thing, but unofficially it's a whole different ball of wax. Good for them that they try to FINALLY acknowledge users that are dedicated and help others, but I think this is just a reaction to the Crowns debacle - to dangle a carrot in front of experienced users, so that they won't leave. You know, slap a nice job title, but keep the same crappy pay. In this case, give them a ring, but keep the same crappy "new-and-improved" site. Because let's be honest, the "perks" are zero for a serious language learner. "Ad-free"? THAT's Duo's reward for people who give their time freely to make this site better?

          May 24, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

          That's the problem with Duo. Officially they say one thing, but unofficially it's a whole different ball of wax.

          That is not my interpretation of the situation. Luis gave a real reason that was front and center in his decision to cut those features.

          When I talk about those features getting cut involving other reasons, I am not speaking officially on Duolingo's behalf and I mentioned that in the post I linked to. From my perspective as a volunteer who sometimes spent 16 hours a day cleaning up the spam people used those features to generate and filing reports that staff would read in coming to conclusions about those users, I concluded that Activity stream and Immersion generated a TON of both paid and volunteer work, liability, and also safety issues.

          Those issues were enough that if I were making the decision on whether to keep or cut those features, I would have also chose to cut them. Though I do sorely miss both features and felt long-term grief including sadness, frustration, and anger at their loss. I would rather prioritize the safety of my community and not risk losing Duolingo in its entirety. I am not a lawyer. I've definitely drawn some of my own conclusions.

          The motivation that sparked Duolingo's existence was to provide free language education so that people living in poverty have a chance to learn a language in order to gain or get closer to financial stability.

          I'm donating my time for that dream. I am donating my time also for the dream that people all over the world will learn each other's languages, become curious about each other's cultures, each other's lives, and begin caring more about real people and real people's situations.

          Maybe, we will have fewer bombs because of Duolingo and everyone's efforts here including staff, official volunteers, as well as every community member who has contributed to making this a better place to learn. Maybe we will have more international aid. Maybe we will hold our governments to a higher standard and with more pressure towards accountability when their decisions result in the deaths of our friends, our loved ones, people we met here and went on to and formed families with, and so forth.

          Do I get frustrated and feel under-appreciated and lost in a crowd of volunteers who are making money for someone else when I can't afford to fix the computers I've been volunteering with and my friends are the ones who give me their old ones so I can keep volunteering? Sometimes very much. Also, sometimes I feel valued and feel better.

          I am a solutions oriented person and if a feeling doesn't lend itself towards a solution I pack it into a proverbial box and put it on a shelf and focus my time and energy on things that I have in front of me to work with. I am not immortal and I can't count on any number of years. I want to accomplish what I can while I'm here/alive.

          There is a big picture that is bigger than me that I talked about above. I am also part of that bigger picture. So, I reserve the right to stay and keep building towards that and also to leave.

          Capitalism and volunteerism do not have a healthy relationship and I acknowledge that. Today I'm working to build less violence through language learning. Down the road I may work on the concerns facing volunteer labor in capitalist economies. Both issues matter deeply to me. Today, Duolingo is a bridge to working on one of those and I'll take it.

          May 24, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Langmut

          Dear Usagiboy7,

          I full-heartedly share and support your views and hopes for the effect that Duolingo may have on the world. (In particular your "I am donating my time also for the dream that people all over the world will learn each other's languages, become curious about each other's cultures, each other's lives, and begin caring more about real people and real people's situations. Maybe, we will have fewer bombs because of Duolingo...).

          It is exactly because we start caring about real people (the real people behind the screen names) that we want to communicate with them outside the sentence discussions, get to know them better, maybe even meet them in real life. In fact a few of us recently had a real-life meeting - one that would not have happened if we had not gotten to know each other in times when the activity streams still existed. With the way Duolingo is currently set up, getting to know each other stops at a shallow point. To follow this hope for fewer bombs better communication would be needed, which brings me back to the streams - or any other way to communicate that Duolingo cares to offer. Anything would be welcome.

          BTW: You may say this is off-topic to the original post and I agree. I wouldn't mind taking this to a different place. But where else could I reach you given that there is no activity stream? ;-)

          May 24, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/daffodil2015

          @Usagiboy7 - I have the highest respect for the contributors, for the volunteers who donate their time and energy and I have the highest respect for the people who, even though were not volunteers per se, still donated their time to help newbies. I just feel that Duolingo doesn't really appreciate them as they should, perhaps that's why my remarks were so cutting, I apologize for that. My comments were directed at Duolingo's higher-ups, NOT at the contributors. IMHO, Duolingo is not very good at communicating with its dedicated user base and they send in mods to take the brunt of people's frustrations, which is clearly not fair. (Or maybe the mods just volunteer to do that, I don't know, either way users don't get clear, consistent answers and their frustrations grow, as does their desire to lash out).

          Back in the good old days of Activity Stream and Immersion, a serious learner had so many more opportunities to learn. I grant you that serious learners were not the only users of Duo, so that's probably why the amount of spam generated was so huge. The solution then would have been simple (at least in my view): kind of a three-strikes-you're-out approach. Three legitimate reports and you'd be banned from using the features. Couple that with removing the incentives (i.e. no XPs gained, no advancement in the tree level, etc), I'm pretty sure many of the spammers that I've seen and reported myself would have lost interest quickly. Or even make it a paid option - a lot of people would have happily paid for that. It was said back then that Luis doesn't want to have premium accounts - but that's exactly what Duolingo is offering right now, Duo and Duo Plus. Honestly, I would have paid more than the current rate for Duo Plus IF they offered Immersion and Activity Stream, NOT just the "ad-free" version of the same content.

          I'm not in Luis's shoes, granted, BUT I do think that having a way to listen to their users more could only help the company. There are a lot of dedicated people here, committed not only to learning a language, but also to giving back to the site - why not take full advantage of them?

          May 24, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Strandfloh

          Or even make it a paid option

          I think reading ability is important for everyone and should be free. But Duolingo could just subtract a lingot for every post made on a stream. That would enable people to make some posts with the lingots they earned, and whoever wants to chat more could buy lingots.

          I do think that having a way to listen to their users more could only help the company.

          Yes to this!

          May 28, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16

          I'm sending you lingots..not because you need them, nor will they pay the rent, and I know you'll give them away but so that others can see that we stand by you and feel the same. Only you expressed it better than I could. Thank you.

          May 24, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/um6661138

          i miss the streams too. : (

          May 23, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
          Mod
          • 119

          I hear you. There are aspects of the streams that I also miss.
          However there are other aspects of the problems socially that the streams created that I am so thankful that they are gone. I am so sad to recognize that as well, that there were some issues socially that they caused, for there were in other circumstances, some really good things they provided to this community socially.

          Yet - these were social issues, and not to the core of aim of Duolingo to provide language learning for free for the learner to access.
          And these issue were not , in my understanding and observation, the reason why streams was taken away. It was a structural operational issue that was the reason streams were required to be removed.

          May 30, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisB.Beh

          Cool deal. Every online community has a few pilot-fish that chart the direction that the community will go in, and it's good to keep those people engaged.

          May 23, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/KristenDQ

          So are these apparent Insiders for all of Duolingo or just for specific languages? For instance, you said they often post helpful hints on the forums, does that mean helpful hints for the languages they're learning or is it for the entirety of Duolingo? I'm just curious......

          Also, what special ring will they have on their profile picture? How can we identify them?

          May 25, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/VakkerKriger

          This sounds wonderful! I think this will definitely add some motivation to the select few and to others who wish to reach for that. ☺️

          May 27, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/EvgeniyChe3

          So, how to become this Insider?

          May 31, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
          Mod
          • 119

          heeee heeeeeeeeeee - what a GREAT thing to aim towards. For oooooooh so many reasons.

          To be be an :

          outstanding member of the Duolingo Community

          Learners with outstanding streak achievements, creators of influential Duolingo tutorials, folks who love Duolingo so much that you organize workshops at conferences and blog about your language learning journeys

          it is :

          an annual program and will receive a ring around their profile picture, ad-free Duolingo, product sneak peeks, invitations to exclusive events, and GA forum access.

          so ... be yourself, as I know you are EvgeniyChe3
          and in ever so many ways, for you, I see you are a star.

          Wishing you always , all the best most importantly, with your own language learning adventure !

          May 31, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Gryphowl

          What does the ring look like?

          June 3, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
          Mod
          • 119

          It will, I feel fairly certain to say, follow the style as mentioned here

          In that the ring will be either Green or Gold, and there will be an appropriate flag to indicate Insider.

          June 3, 2018

          [deactivated user]

            I just had to leave a message to moderators about one of these new insiders whose string of hostile replies in this thread seem rather inappropriate:

            https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/28208770

            You might want to re-exam whatever criteria you are using to select these insiders. This is a bad look.

            July 29, 2018

            https://www.duolingo.com/EvgeniyChe3

            yeah, that person was very rude. I also don't think he deserves to be Insider...

            July 30, 2018

            https://www.duolingo.com/Priit_

            Who was it?

            July 30, 2018

            https://www.duolingo.com/JammyDodgie

            I wann be one, but, ya know, I can't. I don't really mind, and I'm glad that Duolingo thought of this.

            May 22, 2018

            https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
            Mod
            • 119

            I am so glad you are here IcyPolyglot.

            It is possible that anyone could be invited to be an Insider. If it is you fulfill the criteria, and it is decided by Duolingo to offer you this honor.

            Have you noticed the comment by Helpful Duo ?
            If you read here in a comment by HelpfulDuo,

            The general rule of thumb here is 18+ but exceptions can be made ....

            nb. it is worthwhile reading the whole comment. ;P

            May 22, 2018

            https://www.duolingo.com/catchingsignals

            Hi, thanks for the invitation - could you please tell me how I can log in for the ambassadors code of conduct page, when it's on a different host that doesn't seem to be responding on the https port?

            May 22, 2018

            https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
            Mod
            • 119

            Do you mean the :

            Moderator guidelines ?

            May 22, 2018

            https://www.duolingo.com/catchingsignals

            I meant http://ambassadors.duolingo.com/code-of-conduct.html -- disabled a browser extension and got it to work, thanks. Can I ask if there is any reason why the ambassadors subdomain is not https like the rest of the site?

            May 23, 2018

            https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste

            If you open the page in an incognito browser (preferably Chrome), sign in to Duo, then try again, does that work? I remember I had trouble with that and this is what fixed it.

            May 23, 2018

            https://www.duolingo.com/catchingsignals

            Thanks, I just disabled all browser extensions and got it to work -- maybe you had the same issue, and the blocking extension is not enabled in incognito mode?

            May 23, 2018

            https://www.duolingo.com/tonywangtj

            Thanks, Duo ;)

            May 23, 2018

            https://www.duolingo.com/Boujleba

            Dang it... I live in the state of Georgia in Los Uniteds (abbreviated as GA) so for me personally this title was very misleading, tee-hee.

            May 24, 2018

            https://www.duolingo.com/Mrs.Willo

            One ring to rule them all?

            May 25, 2018

            [deactivated user]

              hi guys, I really like to help others in the sometimes difficult goal of learn a language. like in this moment im learning italian but i would like to help others with english but from an anonimous kind of way because im not that social. prefer to be behind scene but helping. just an idea! thank you

              May 25, 2018

              https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
              Mod
              • 119

              And that is great gift you give to this , our community.

              Thank you for being such a valued member of our community.

              I, and I am sure many in our community, also wish you all the best with your language journey.

              May 29, 2018

              https://www.duolingo.com/Gryphowl

              How long will it take for someone to be chosen?

              May 26, 2018

              https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
              Mod
              • 119

              Edited - as I did not appropriately respond to the question: It depends, on numerous factors.

              In the header they say:

              The inaugural group has already been hand-picked and invited by the Insider Selection Committee.

              So it also looks like this will also be an ongoing recognition, not a one off.

              May 29, 2018

              https://www.duolingo.com/Chandler206193

              This is so wholesome

              June 5, 2018

              https://www.duolingo.com/Thanasis61

              Let the masters of Duo create an algorithm, including some "hall of fame" parameters, contribution to the page etc. Recent goals and participation could be collect more points. All this may not be necessarily a ring, but it could give an idea of general progress and be a motive for competition. I think some fans of Duo will like it.

              October 18, 2018

              https://www.duolingo.com/AbbyLuvsSpanish1

              Wow sounds amazing!

              January 17, 2019

              https://www.duolingo.com/abbyandoreo

              Thanks for the info!

              February 11, 2019
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