Suggestion: Duolingo staff notice board
Have you ever wished those message from Duolingo staff members about changes such as new A/B-tests or new courses wouldn't just disappear into the sea of lingot begging and whazzzzup messages?
Not everyone can follow these discussion boards 24/7, and even those of us who spend way too much time here sometimes miss a notice about something, and then start the n:th thread of that day about "Is this a bug?" or "What is happening with X?". Duolingo staff members have thankfully been writing notices about some changes lately, but these disappear from view pretty quickly when other conversations are added.
Stickies are not the answer, as anyone learning several languages has a gazillion (well, 14 in my case) of these as well.
What I'm suggesting would be a separate part of the forum, just for information from the staff. It could be to the right of the three categories (Popular, New, Followed in my case, maybe different users have different layouts), and it could be kept simply for staff notices, with any discussion about these going on in the other forums as usual (ie. one wouldn't be able to comment on these). If needed, maybe Moderators should also be able to write there.
In this way, all the actually important practical information would be in one place, and it would be easy for the casual (ie. anything other than obsessive) user to see what's new since yesterday, last week, or last month.
I love the idea. If staff would actually use it appropriately. I know I've seen at least one announcement (I can't remember what it was now) which was posted a day or two after the fact, and of course everyone on the boards had already questioned the issue, posted a picture, discussed among themselves whether it was an A/B test or not, and come to a conclusion. By the time the staff post came up it was already old news.
But yes, if they actually had a Duolingo news / announcements tabs, we could easily check there for any official updates, and they could keep a sticky at the top for important news and information. Maybe they could put up the much suggested FAQ at the same time, to help save their noticeboards from spam, and their moderators from overwork. Great idea Annika. :)
The forums in general need to be improved and that includes creating new sections as well as a better search function imo. It's a nightmare already sifting through all the spam and common suggestions/complaints and it will only get worse as Duo becomes more popular and more people use the site!
I remember it vaguely. It wasn't very informative or frequently updated even when it existed... But a blog is typically something open to external readers as well -- I'm imagining more something along the lines of "we have tweaked this bit, and will be testing it" = just the same posts they are writing now, but in a specific place where they aren't drowned out by everything else.
Don't want to rain on your parade, but this has been suggested numerous times in one form or another (example ). It didn't happen then, and it is not likely to happen now, simply because the forums probably have the lowest priority (they aren't even available on mobile despite its popularity). It doesn't seem like they can restrict posting to a specific sub-forum by profile, so spam posts are likely to also gather there, adding to more work for moderators.
Although some updates are made in these forums, it is likely that Duolingo prefers using social media/news outlets because it can reach the maximum user base, and adding it here and adding it there may duplicate their work (unnecessarily).
I hear you. But I think what I'm trying to suggest above is somewhat different from what was proposed at least in the discussion you linked to.
That one essentially asked Duolingo staff to provide more information (while, as in my suggestion, putting it in a specific place where one can find it), whereas am I basically only suggesting they'd rearrange what they are already doing. The kind of information they write on Twitter or Facebook is not really the same as what they write on here.
The kind of messages I am envisaging under this heading could be something like these:
I also think (optimistically, I know) that this would be a very simple thing to do technically: the main job would be to add the fourth discussion heading. After that, you could just make this a separate forum and not add it to the list of forums you can choose when posting (and thereby avoid users pos(t)ing as staff/moderators) and close every post from replies (just like in the last example above).
Of course, there will be some techie spammers who will try and even succeed in posting on there anyway, but those posts would be even easier to spot (and thereby to remove quickly) than regular spam on the other forums.
Well, I do support the idea. But my guess is that it is likely to simply result in more posts were people complain about the lack of updates. The simple fact is that staff announcements are few and may be months apart. So that "tab" may be dead for considerable time. Unless you wish to count those "community stories" or random links that staff posts from time to time.
> it is likely to simply result in more posts were people complain about the lack of updates
In my optimism I am hoping that actually being able to find the information there is would not automatically make people complain about there not being more. My main hope is that it would just cut down on those "Hey, I haven't received my lingots for keeping a streak!" and "Can I do more than one course at a time?" posts.
I am certainly not counting those community stories. They would be the cherry on top if there was ample communication and information to begin with, but there's not.
My main hope is that it would just cut down on those "Hey, I haven't received my lingots for keeping a streak!" and "Can I do more than one course at a time?" posts.
Those will remain. There is a big notice in the forum area informing people about the new languages and incubator, yet these "language request" posts are still created every single day.
The solution for this kind of "nonsense" already exists, and Duolingo already has most of it coded. Simply automatically searching for posts while the person is typing their "new post". If these were sorted by date and popularity (views + posts +/- upvotes) then it would sort out a lot of problems.
One simple implementation of your particular idea would be to simply query the database for all threads created by admins and put them in a "notice" tab. They already query the database for "popular threads", so this wouldn't be that different.
It will cut down on it. With a separate tab, mods would be deleting these and messaging the user to look in the notification tab. No hunting down URL's while discussions take root making some of these redundant discussions viable.
The trouble is that users shouldn't even be able to post the exact same thread asking for the exact same thing. As an example, one can create a thread with the exact name as this one, asking something else. That, and many other limitations make the forum a leaking boat where you need to constantly plug in the holes.
But like I said, it is understandable that the forums are low priority. They don't really improve learning by any reasonable measure, unlike the sentence discussions.
IDEA: You should be able to unlock a certain skill, such as Arts, Nature, Politics, etc. for 10 Lingots. This would give motivation to learn something we are truly interested in when we need a break from learning adverbs or object pronouns. It would also help out those people that are learning Spanish for a specific reason such as their job since many people need to know medical, scientific, business terms, etc.