Sugestion: Date of discussions make community look stale when it's not
On the lesson units, the discussions below which pertain to the lesson being studied show the date when the thread was started. This is often over a year ago, which may give the impression of tumble-weed, lack of activity. The last post to the threads, however, is usually only a day, or week ago- quite the opposite of the impression given. Maying showing the date of most recent post would avoid this artificial impression of dead threads. In a few months they will read "3 years ago.. etc" :) Probably just me
No, it's not just you! If I see a post that is several months or a year old I hesitate to add to that discussion because it doesn't look active. It doesn't look like a current, ongoing discussion. For example, if someone posted a question about, say, grammar usage or sentence construction and no one has answered the question I often don't answer their question because I assume that they have moved on. Sometimes I will post an answer for the next users thru.
I am concerned about the lack of discussion / comments given the number of Duo users. I expected lively discussion groups where native speakers, of the language I am learning (Spanish), would jump in and give English speakers the low down on how the language is used in context. There must be reasons why the discussion areas are not really very active. Anyone have ideas out there as to why this is the case and on how to ramp up the community aspects of Duo? I think part of the problem is that English learners and non-English learners don't really see each others discussion groups.
Completely agree, I do exactly the same thing with old discussions, and those discussions below the lessons are probably dead because everyone sees that nothing was posted there for months. Discussions about sentences are quite alive though.
Also, I was just asking myself why I can't see English discussion groups. If a German native speaker learns Spanish, he can also help those learning German through discussions (and vice versa), but a native English speaker doesn't have the possibility to help those who learn English. Personally, I could probably help some of them, but I could also learn something new, since English isn't my native language either.
I am perfectly happy with the sentece discussions. No spam. Often very informative and helpful when typical questions arise. At the end of the skill tree though it is not that good. I supposed because less people get there. The discussions below the lessons are less populated because there is no need for it. On grammatically though ones though there is usually helpful threads. But the others.. what am I supposed to discuss?! I am happy and surprised how well it works in terms of helping on you journey to the end of the skill tree though. I also wonder how it comes that the discussions are not filled with spam and crap like the rest of the internet ;-)
I agree with all you've said and I love this site and the system, it works better than I expected as well. I also love the fact that learning sites tend to have less spam than one can usually find on the internet (I wonder why :P).
I - and the author of this discussion too, I believe - just wanted to point out that if you click on one theme in the skill tree and scroll down, there are discussions below, and before you click on a certain discussion, it says it's a few months or even a year old, because that's the date it was created, and many people see that date and just think they aren't relevant anymore. If you click on it, however, you often see that's not really the case and that while the first posts inside really are a year old, some posts in there are often just a week old and answering them might still help some people :).
Yes, there's a little scope creep here from the original observation;
It's simply a perception issue caused by which date is being shown. The initial start date of the thread is shown rather than the last update. :)
Tis rather tedious of me to raise this, but so easy to change and it's worth Duolingo perhaps doing some A/B tests to see if engagement rises when the date shown is true to the last update rather than 'three years ago'. :)