I had mentioned on another thread my thoughts on the idea of having a live video/sound chat room added to duolingo, to have a place to practice how to hear and speak the language we are learning. On that thread I briefly mention my desire to also have a true Message Board added and I thought I'd make another thread about that so see what ideas come forth, so again we can have a place to practice how to read and write the language we are learning.
My idea is first of all to improve on the discussion boards we have. Because right now as far as I can see its one discussion board and it very duolingo oriented, which is fine for now, as it grows. But eventually I think a place where just casual conversation can take place would be nice.
Right now the posts I make along with my achievements are all bundled together on my stream tab. It would be nice to have a tab/link/area that is purely discussion board. Where instead of it being duolingo oriented, it looks like any discussion board were there are subject areas like Traveling, General discussions, Photos... make it duolingo-esque.
This is so now we're just having a conversation, reading stories, telling jokes, discussing current events,..... like being at a party and being able to choose which conversation you want to be a part of, just having fun. Making it a place we want to go and on the plus side we strengthen our language skills, reading and writing.
For this to be enjoyable all the perks of typical Message Boards need to be there, the ability to nest threads, ability to block annoying users, emoticons, quoting feature...... they don't all have to be there but make it a nice place to carry on a conversation, akin to what others may be used to.
Now so far I expanded on what, as I said, I've already suggested, but I wanted to suggest one feature I was thinking and have you all chime in as well. Since as I've explained I would think a causal place to converse would be nice to bring in users, "ridership" and keep them there, sort of tricking them to strengthen their language. To do this since we are all working on our spelling, gramer..... it would defeat the purpose to have each thread turn into a discussion on language. So the one difference I suggest the discussion board should have, compared to all others, is each post should have a link to its own private thread where if necessary a discussion on how a word is spelled wrong or gramer is off..... can be had. That way the threads aren’t mired with language discussion. You can have a thread where for example 1- I went on vacation and it was so good....... 2 that sounds great, I had a similar......3 I've been meaning to good there but..... and on and on we go with no mention of how anything is wrong. Anyone can enter the thread and enjoy a discussion and if they see some error they enter the specific post thread to opine. And anyone could enter that specific post thread to learn from mistakes.
Finally I think my idea on the previous thread about about having each person ranked according to their proficiency in a language could also be used here, if you're a level one in Spanish you can enter message board discussion with level one users only, and if your level three in German..... That way really good writers don't have to rack their brains figuring out the rantings of a beginner....
I made my suggestion based on a post from what looked like a staff member about some type of chat room under development. So I thew my two cents in. I know it looks like a lot, but it was two simple ideas that took me a while to explain.
Trust me I love Duolingo just as it is. If there were to stay just as they are I would be completely happy, because I'm just amazed at what there is already. Plus my video chat "needs" can be meet somewhere else along with going somewhere else for message boards.
I'm just giving ideas, if Duolingo is doing fine where its at, great. If they could benefit from some more users or increased traffic from current and future users, then what they need to do to get them there is up to them. They got my idea they could use it or not.
I don't know to much about programing or what would be involved in making a message board, but it doesn’t seam like a lot of work, especially since they've already got one. Once its running, end of story, a few moderators and that’s it. Nothing like the staff I imagine they have constantly correcting and updating the Duolingo trees.
All I'm saying if Duolingo was a one stop shop for learning languages a whole lot more people would come. And sure I could go to some french message board and practice my writing there, but I wouldn't be surrounded by learners, same with the video chat to practice my speech.
Are you saying Duolingo is not generating substantial revenue? If so, I agree, concentrate on what they got going, but since I heard they are developing a chat room, I'm guessing that’s not the case. Either way Duolingo is doing a fantastic job.