In case you missed the #duocon livestream...
We streamed Duocon London 2019 live but some of you were not able to watch it then (it started at 9am London time). We will upload a better recording soon with clearer slides, but if you want to see the live stream replay now, as it is, you can watch it on https://www.twitch.tv/videos/484352859.
Check out the presenters and the schedule to help you find what you want to watch. Unfortunately, Eskeiver Robles could not make it, so Duolingo Head of Community JasonWaterfalls (aka Laura Nestler) was there to present her talk on some of our community efforts.
Another super cool thing is that one of our verified Twitch streamers Toastie202 was there and made a livestream on the ground/off-stage during our lunch break where she chatted with attendees such as David Peterson and Evan Edinger! You can watch that video temporarily here.
There were no livestreams of the Friday Kickoff party. But you can find some additional images under the hashtag #duocon on Instagram and Twitter.
We will make a fuller recap post once the videos are up permanently (as twitch videos are only up temporarily) and we have even more photos and footage.
Where do you think the next Duocon should be?
ROUGH Log of links
note: editing - I will be going through and adding some more detail, as also for some of us whose native language is not English, to have access to a brief note of the content can be very beneficial. Also, if anyone wishes to transcribe the presentations, and to share them, that would also be greatly appreciated.
Making Free Language Education a Reality : Luis Von Ahn | luis
Luis founded Duolingo 7 years ago with the commitment of democratizing access to education and opportunity and has continued working towards that goal ever since. He will reflect on how Duolingo became the world's most popular way to learn a language and share his hopes for the future of education
- Graph of active users over time:
- Split between different platforms
- Top countries that use Duolingo:
- Top courses based on active users
- Scottish-Gaelic soon to launch
- Smaller languages are greatly valued by Duolingo as the level of impact is significant on the communities.
- #1 Top Grossing Education App in the world.
- Makes the most money of any language learning app on the market and does not charge to learn.
- Duolingo's business model is better than others. i.e. It allows Duolingo to grow, as well as meet its core objective i.e. continueing to be able to provide excellence in language learning at no cost to the learner, etc.
- Duo Plus : advertertising
- Advertising around London
- English Proficiency Certificates
- Briefing about the day by Katy
- Learning Initiatives at Duolingo - Karin Tsai | karint
Duolingo is first and foremost an educational app, which means being able to teach languages well to all learners. OG Incubator developer, Course Team Lead, and Learning Area Engineering Lead Karin Tsai is here to discuss all the exciting projects and initiatives geared towards improving learning.
Events Kate talks about :
English Events amid Venezuela's Toughest crisis
One of Duolingo's star Global Ambassadors in Latin America - event host Eskeiver Robles shares how his commitment changed things for the better in his community and his personal life, all during a tumultuous time in his home country of Venezuela.
Eskeiver Robles | Self-taught Speaker, Event Host | Eskeiver
Events - Laura Nestler : Head of Community
Duolingo Events : To tell you a little bit about the history, about how we've grown, about how we think about it. And some sneak peaks of things on the horizon.
Language learning is inherently social. And people generally are learning the language to speak it. This is where Events comes in.
link to transcript draft
02:23:20 brief break
Teaching and Learning the Duolingo Way Hope Wilson | HopeWilson17
How does learning happen on Duolingo? Hope is a language nerd who really just wants to talk about grammar at all times, and she will discuss the mythology behind Duolingo courses, focusing on how the online and app-based nature of Duolingo courses shape the way they are taught.
- Shameless: A Tale of Linguistic Acceptance Gabriela Talarico | elabriga
A creative education researcher and facilitator, Gabriela is originally from Brazil and will talk about her journey as a foreigner in the US dealing with cultural, linguistic, and emotional barriers. The greatest barrier of them all? Her own shame.
- lunch break starts: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/484352859?t=03h25m
- The Value of Language David Peterson | dedavls
Why would anyone ever learn a constructed language? The question itself is far less ingenious than it seems! The language creator for HBO's Game of Thrones, and CW's The 100 Legendary's Dune, and others - as well as Duolingo's High Valyrian course - talks about the value of exploring languages.
- (Re)Connect: Heritage Languages and the Internet Noah Buffini Higgs | NoahHiggs
How are the needs of minority and heritage languages addressed by online resources? How might their needs be affected by and change due to how we use the Internet? Noah is an Engineering Master's graduate who is also a Course Contributor on Duolingo's award-winning Irish team.
- Tools for Success: Supporting Course Creation at Scale Jake Barnwell | jbarnwell
As more courses are added to the Duolingo platform, it naturally becomes more difficult to support the pedagogical and technological needs of each course. Jake will explore how we build robust tools to facilitate the continued creation of high-quality courses.
- afternoon break starts https://www.twitch.tv/videos/484352859?t=06h39m
- From Sentence to Session Maggie Hewitt | DarthDuo
The Duolingo app may appear simple on the surface, but the journey from sentence to session requires a sophisticated system that's evolved to support over 100 different courses! Learn how it works from Maggie, who manages the engineering side of most Duolingo course launches and tree rollouts.
- Presenter Q&A Panel
link to beginning of some of the transcript : click here
Both Scottish Gaelic and Māori are entering the incubator, and are actually in the works right now.
click on the links and it will take you approximately to that section in the video.
This is something that we are very proud of.
And let me try to explain a little more about this.
When we launched the goal of the company really was, it is a very mission driven company. The goal of the company was to provide free access to language education to everybody.
But of course we also have to pay for the operation. It costs, today it costs, I don't know, 60 million dollars a year to run Duolingo.
So we have to pay for this. We have employee salaries, we have all kinds of things.
So, we had to figure out how to support Duolingo, but we didn't want to charge for actually using the app. So what we decided to do about three years ago is we decided to at the end of most lessons we decided to put a relatively unobtrusive ad at the end of every lesson. Fortunately as soon as we put that in there we started making quite a bit of money. Because we have so many users, that ad by itself makes us about 15 million dollars a year.
Soon after that we added a subscription, where the idea is Duolingo Plus, hopefully some of you are subscribers. Duolingo Plus, at the beginning, the main thing it did was it turned off the ads. Now we give you a few more things.
You can have access to the lessons off line, you can have a few things. But as soon as we added the subscriptions we started making more revenue from subscriptions than we do from ads.
We are relatively open about our finances this year. We are going to make a about 90 million dollars. 75 million is going to come from the subscriptions and about 15 million is going to come from the ads.
Now, what we are particularly proud of is that we are now world wide, we are the app that makes the most money in the Education category across all apps. But the thing is we are the only app that does not charge for actually learning. So, whereas every other app that is in the top grossing, in the app store, all of them charge for actually learning. You have to pay to use the app. In our case you don't have to pay to use the app.
You basically pay because you want to support us, or you want to turn off the ads, or you want to turn off the health system, or something. But you can always learn as much as you want pretty much for free.
And even though only about 2% of the people that are learning on Duolingo are paying subscribers, just 2% of our users paying it actually gives us more money than 100% of the users paying for using in every other app.
So we are very proud of that. And this is one other thing.
Yesterday I was talking to a few of you and people were worried that at some point we were going to start charging for education. And I told them that this is never going to happen. The reason this is never going to happen is not only is this part of the mission of the company, I whole heartedly believe this is a better business model. And the proof is we make more money than the other apps.
So I whole heartedly believe this is a better business model. Thank you.
I really believe this is a better business model for many reasons. This is what allowed us to grow. We have so far grown without really spending on marketing. In fact one of the interesting things is we launched our first marketing campaign ever. And this is after seven years of existing.
I am now going to show you some pictures soon. But basically in London we are testing some marketing we are doing. We are doing a few things. But we have basically been able to grow without having to spend on marketing because the way we grew people downloaded the app. They used it. They got a lot of value from it. And then they told their friends. So that is one really nice thing about our business model.
Another really nice thing about our business model is because we have so many free users we can actually use the data from all our users to actually improve the product. We have literally millions and millions of people using the app every day. And we use the data from the people to make the courses better, to make the product more engaging, and so because of that we basically have been able to continually improve the product over the last seven years.
Events - Laura Nestler : Head of Community
I am the GAE team for today. I really wish he was here today. To tell you a little bit about the history, about how we've grown, about how we think about it.
Can you just raise your hand if you are a host in this room ?
Awwwwww, you guys. That's amazing.
Ok I'm going to talk to you y'all.
So when we started thinking about Duolingo Events we thought, ok, this makes a lot of sense. Right ?
Language learning is inherently social.
And people generally are learning the language to speak it.
And yet the way the Duolingo ecosystem works you kind of have a one on one relationship with Duo. Which is fine.
But we thought, what if we found a way to expand our language learning ecosystem and create ways for these authentic micro communities to form in what we assumed people already wanted to do anyway.
So, about two years ago we launched Duolingo Events. ..... ... ........
A/B testing sneak peak
A better way to promote outwardly and a better way to connect with your group.
Sneak peak at what might be A/B tested in Q4.
- Something like Home ... link to the full movie
So what % of learners are doing the EN>DE lessons and vice versa?
What language course has the most development, number of lessons e.g.?
This was very interesting. Thanks.
Yes I did ! The presentations ! And don't talk about that AMAZING party - including the discussions I was able to have. I even was able to have a chat with Luis ! And at the conference, some of the questions I was able to ask direct to staff, and also the other contributors, moderators and educators I met. You interact a bit different in person. As well as the revered learners I was able to chat with, and hopefully will keep in contact with 3 of them who are also so passionate about the mission of Duolingo, and have offered to help out.
I still have to pinch myself to ensure that this was not a dream, that I was by luck of circumstance able to sweep by and attend this 1st Duocon !
All I can say is keep watching this space, as things change and new resources and even more languages become available that expand and enrich all of our language learning experience.
And never doubt how each of you, as learners of language, are the stars of the show and the reason for Duolingo to be able to achieve its mission.
You are changing the world for the better of yourselves, your family (even if they do not care about language learning), the community around you, and thus the world around all of us.
Thank you for being inspiring !
DaKanga, you are awesome! Thank you so much for organizing this post and soliciting users to transcribe the presentations. In fact, the microphone sometimes does not allow me to hear what is being said (e.g. in the Presenter Q & A Panel). I'm sad I missed the first Duocon but hopefully next year will be more auspicious. It is great that due to your work, all of the DL community can view and study the Duocon presentations. Thanks again! Merci beaucoup!
You always are welcome my friend.
Also to see you sport your blue MOD tag.
Welcome to also being part of our diverse team of moderators, and I look forward to seeing you grace our moderator halls.
So my thanks also goes to you my friend. Merci beaucoup!
Helena, here's an article about the moderators:
how many days shall a person be here to get a mod tag? Just curious.
what are the requirements? :D
You might be interested in reading:
[GUIDE] Avatar rings and Global Ambassadors
Here also are some older discussions on How to become a moderator :
Presenter Q&A Panel (transcript)
Click here for a separate discussion on this. Māori coming to the incubator soon
So it looks like what goes into deciding what courses go into the incubator, is basically we just pull what's in Noah's brain, and then we put it into the incubator.
So, I'm pleased to announce, and please someone on staff correct me if I am incorrect about any of these.
Both Scottish Gaelic and Māori are entering the incubator, and are actually in the works right now.
I don't know how you do this !
We actually had teams already working on these courses, they just aren't entered into the incubator yet. They are working on spreadsheets. But just keep on watching.
There is more coming soon that we can't yet tell you about.
I wonder when there are more courses (not in English) in the incubator.
You are welcome. It is also useful for my note taking, and also being able to reference things spoken about in Duocon, for when I assist others in the Forums and they have questions that are answered by these presentations.
And then also others can use this resource as well, to be able to assist others.
I should go and finish packing up my house here before I have to flip hemispheres again soon. There is soooooo much to do.
This link will take you to the same place but will avoid the 36 minutes and 23 seconds of waiting for the talks to start
It was great to watch the presentations having been unable to go after all as I had to work that day. It makes me sad that it didn't work out but at least I know what went on.
It is great to see all the new exercise types being worked on. I really look forward to those.
If I had been there my top suggestion for an addition would have been to add tts in both directions as an option for people who are doing courses which don't include their native language. I suggested this before and I did catch it being tested for a while but nothing came of it but it would be a really good add so I want to out it out there again. Often different language combinations have different vocabulary but it is harder to absorb the new vocabulary when you can't hear it spoken, this feature would make more efficient use of content already available.
Wonderful! Thank you vivisaurus. Such cute photos and nice videos! I'm so bummed out that I couldn't attend DuoCon. Suggestion: can admin find an outlet to sell any leftover swag? I want that green Duolingo mug! =D
Hi everyone at Duolingo. Just to say a big thank you to Duolingo and everyone that organised Ducon. I am new to the app and came across the conference by chance. I signed up, almost didnt go on the morning but I did and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was super interesting and fun. I am not a huge networker but I did have a brief chat with Noah who changed my mind on heritage languages and now I am signed up for Irish too. I wish it could be in London every year but where ever it is next year, I would definitely consider attending. thanks again. Bryan
My friend and I both had an absolute blast at Duocon! I'm so happy to have met you daKanga and other Duolingo reps, and to have mingled with other users like myself. It was just so welcoming and educational, I'm so glad I went. That Kick-off Party, my god, what a crazy fun time! And the post-conference mingling/drinking/karaokeing! I still can't believe it happened haha! Looking forward to next year, wherever it may be :)
What a blast to also get to meet you CafeAuJay !
I am sad I missed out on the karaokeing.
Though so glad I was able to experience many other activities.
I also look forward to continuing to see you around and about.
And also perhaps more empowered and motivated to do that bit more, when time and resources allow, that help make all our lives better.
Thanks so much for this event, Duo team! I was really impressed by the quality of the whole weekend. Everything ran so smoothly, the staff were unfailingly friendly and welcoming, the talks were interesting, and the food was fab.
I've blogged about my experience of the event here: https://somethingaboutleo.blogspot.com/2019/09/duocon-duolingos-first-conference_24.html. I just wanted to say thanks for all of your hard work.
I can't wait to be at Duocon 2020, wherever it happens.
Your next DuoCon should be at Area 51, so not only can we have another raid, but so we can actually make use of the goshdarned September 20th date.
I wish I was able to go :/, it sounded like a lot of fun!
Keep up the great work duolingo! Love you guys :)
It brings me great sadness that I was unable to be there....I mean...I couldn't have made it anyways (as I am not 18 years+)..but to see all of the fun you guys had...what there was to take away from the conference...and the experience on the whole....man, you can't help but feel a little jealous!
But overall...heads up to the #duocon team and all who streamed it, spoke it, and experienced it. Hopefully we get to see many, many more of these duo conferences!
I think it is so awesome that we have a chance to learn any language of our desire. What we can also do is take advantage of it and a lot more things other basic school stuff. And not everyone gets a shot at something like this.
With Great Love, Abby
Thank you so much for sharing this! What a wonderful company. I have been wanting to learn German for so long, and this is helping me greatly. I am a music educator and took Italian and French in college, but was unable to take German. So grateful for this course and these founders!
Please can you set up the wonderful stories for Welsh. The French ones are so helpful......pretty please????
This was the first Duocon. They are planning to visit a different continent each year.
This was the first Duocon, but they said that the plan is to visit a different continent each year, so maybe Africa next? (But I suspect South America is more likely.)
Thanks so much for this. I would have loved to attend Duocon. I just watched the section on learning initiatives and am so excited! As an ex languages teacher and mother trying to motivate her son to use Duolingo every day, there were lots of ideas that I've been thinking about for some time. So, so good to hear about what's coming soon. The podcast wasn't mentioned (as a current language tool currently available), but I've listened to the Spanish one and I think it's wonderful too; reminds me a bit of This American Life. It's a fantastic listening tool. So thanks for everything and I'll keep plugging the app; it's parents' evening soon, so I'll be harassing all the language teachers :)
I missed it............................................................................................................................................and i oop
aw, i wish i lived in there, just so i could go to a duolingo place. still, tusen takk!
woow .....oh i didint see it oh ❤❤❤❤ ❤❤❤❤❤❤ hate it i awlwas misit and i dont get to see it noooooooooooooo fair!!!!!!!!
SET A WORLD RECORD FOR GIVING ME LINGOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'M TRYING TO GET TO 150 LINGOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WILL LOVE YOU 3000 4EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -thank you for your participation.
Study regularly and you will soon have more lingots than you know what to do with.
Maybe you are too young to watch Twitch, or the settings of your device prevent you from going there.