5 lesson limit for free members

I just discovered that free members are only allowed to import 5 lessons into the system now (putting me way over the limit of course), and I have to say I’m quite angry. I have enjoyed importing audiobooks for some time now, it has been integral part of my language learning, and it will be EXTREMELY missed. Looking up 100 words in the dictionary while I’m reading is not something I enjoy.

But you know, Lingq is a commercial site, so I guess I just have to suck it up and take what I can get since I’m not a paying member.

But I happened upon this change when answering a question on this forum about whether or not a member who WANTS to CONTRIBUTE new content to Lingq’s library can do so without paying for an upgraded account. They can’t, they can only contribute 5 lessons. How is it good for Lingq to limit its contributions in such a way? Would it not be better to get all of the content it could?

Considering the fact that this import feature doesn’t use up anyone’s time or effort like the speaking and writing features and is rather simple (that could be ignorant, but I can’t imagine what could be so demanding about it), doesn’t anyone think this limit is a little restrictive? Especially such a low one? And I strongly urge the administrators to perhaps change the way people add content to the library so the limit doesn’t affect it, it would be silly to not do so.

I just thought of something, does deleting the lessons you have allow space for more, much like the deleting of Lingqs? If so then it’s a lot more workable than I was thinking lol.

Importing content, especially audio content, uses up a lot of server space. We accept the fact that we will miss out on some content that free members might have provided. We simply have to limit the content stored on our servers by free members.

We also want to differentiate more clearly the privileges or advantages of becoming a paying member. We would like more people to pay, and we are going to be showing more and more advantages to doing so.

If we do not have enough paying members we will eventually not be able to continue to provide the LingQ service.

Hmmmm, it will be interesting to see how this pans out… Obviously lingq needs to capital coming in to continue running and it is a business therefore should (in theory) profit…

But restricting free members even more may make them turn away before they’re able to really realize the benefits of a site that we’ve already discussed takes time to figure out how to use the site optimally…

Will it end up differentiating the privileges and advantages of paying members and result in more profit? or will it turn away prospective users who cannot pick up what a tool lingq is with just a 100 lingqs…

I don’t have all the information obviously to really have an opinion… Out of curiosity for paying members what’s the average time they stay free before switching over to being paying members?

I guess it’s just the economist/finance guy in me wondering about all this, anyway I’ll continue to be a paying member… :slight_smile:

Forgive the run on sentences… I’m tired…

I’ve been here since April 2008, apparently, but just became a paying member in August 2009. I had created around 550 linqs before I started paying. The 300 lingq limit luckily was not in effect while I was creating those lingqs. I was off and on during that time, came back from a break, and saw that I couldn’t create any additional lingqs. I was very annoyed for awhile, but I knew that I liked the site, and wanted to be able to keep using it, creating more lingqs, and figured that for $10, it wouldn’t hurt to try for a couple months. I am very glad I signed up. I cannot tell you how long it took me to realize that this site had good concepts. That’s the $64,000 question, isn’t it? I do have to say that I did pick up how to use LingQ quickly, I really don’t believe it’s difficult at all. I do think that it’s a bit of a leap of faith to start paying. It’s like, “Is this the system that will work for me?”, and you’re not going to truly find that out until you start regularly using it.

I had used LingQ for probably a few months before I became a paying member. I used it a lot too, ‘learning’ and deleting my LingQs. I knew that I could keep doing it but I thought that LingQ deserved the $10 (US) per month. It wasn’t until a few months later that I realised how much more effective it can be when you don’t delete your LingQs and just let the words ‘overflow’ instead. Given the benefits of the system, including having the freedom to use it whenever you want and having unlimited access to 10 languages, I think $10 (US) per month is peanuts.

I became a paying member almost immediately after I joined LingQ. Anyone who has paid real money learning a language would readily agree with Peter that $10 (US) a month is indeed peanuts. My main consideration was whether I would actually use the site or would I soon forget about it. It didn’t take long for me to realize that LingQ should henceforth be my language learning hub.

In fact, if LingQ were a free site, I would probably not have committed myself to it. I am wary of using free services (except for those offered by web giants such as Google). There is nothing more irritating and maddening than seeing your own personal database built up over a period of time disappear when a site goes down due to lack of financial resources.

If anything, I am more worried about LingQ undercharging its services. For example, a paying member can now import an unlimited number of lessons. I have imported a fair number of lessons that I hardly ever study again. All those lessons are taking up valuable storage space. I can see that it is possible for some members to build up such a huge import collection (say over a period of 2 or 3 years) that the $10 fee is not even enough to cover the storage costs.

For my own selfish purpose, I want LingQ to be around for at least another 2 years so that I have enough time to perfect my Spanish and Japanese. Peferably LingQ would still be around for another couple of years after that so that I’d have enough time to learn German as well. So I have a vested interest in LingQ’s long term survival. I believe many of us here share the same interest as well. So it’s really in our interest to help LingQ find a long term sustainable financial model.

I think that there may be learners who need months before they make up their mind. On the other hand I think there are many who lose interest, for a variety of reasons. If we “pop the question” earlier, many may make the commitment. Once they make the commitment they are more likely to continue and to make progress.

In any case the previous model was not working so we are now trying a few different things. Time will tell.

I also think that there needs to be a clearer difference in the benefits of paying membership versus free membership.

Cantotango,

We have all put too much effort into LingQ to not continue. One way or another we will continue. Rest assured.

I signed up on the 14th of May, 2008 and become a paying member on 26th of July, 2008. I need time to make my decisions :slight_smile:

We will have to see what happens. Our only goal is to increase the number of people who commit.

Cantotango,
I thought I had the record of period between free and paying member, but it looks I don’t! :slight_smile:
Although, from the first lesson I opened I decided to become a plus member. But when that happened it was about New Year’s Eve and I thought people might wondering “Doesn’t she have anything else better to do in New Year’s Eve?”… So I decided to wait few more days when everything is back to normal after parties etc. Btw, this week between Christmas and New Year is my worst, i m not a fun of these celebrations.
The reason I became paying member so fast is because my points of view towards learning a language totally match with Steve’s and the concepts of this system. I do not have the same amount of experience but even for the few languages I have tried to learn I have concluded that this is the way to go.
Before I come to Scotland, 6 years ago, I was taking English classes for 2 years, paying 40 Euros per month. Only to realize afterwards that it was a waste of time and money…

Becoming a basic member definitely seems worth it if you can pay. Unlimited lingqs and imports along with access to the writing and speaking stuff for only 10 dollars a month? That’s amazing! I think even before the new changes were made it was extremely appealing, now I don’t know how anyone will be able to refuse ;D.

I wish I hadn’t posted this, I pretty much wrote it in a fit of rage. I already wasn’t super happy with the restrictions my account had, and logging on to find new ones set me off a bit :P. That means it’s working though, the benefits of having just a basic account are very clear and desirable. I’ll find a way to work within the limits, I can deal. Much better to work with a restricted Lingq than not at all.

Also, for the problem that importing lessons takes up a lot of server space, may I suggest putting a time limit of sorts on the lessons? Maybe if it hasn’t been opened for X amount of days, 30 we’ll say, it’ll get deleted? That would make it so the lessons the member doesn’t study anymore will be removed and won’t take up valuable storage space.

I guess this would be more complicated, but I would say that a better system would be to allow only Plus or Premium members to submit private, (and therefore copyrighted) lessons. Everyone at lower levels would only be able to submit shared (and therefore non-copyrighted) materials. This would limit use of the library server space while allowing the shared library, which is the greatest asset of LingQ, to grow.

I also agree with someone upthread saying a rating system for podcasts would add tremendous value to the library.

(Sorry that’s a bit off topic but just because I mentioned it above…)
I did a little research to find what is the prices for English classes this year in Greece and I found that for the equivalent Lower level and Proficiency level which I had 6 years ago, now I would have to pay 150 and 200 Euros respectively per month. This is madness!!!
By statistics, in Greece 40% of primary school and nearly 100% of high school students take English classes… and pay these sums of money… Normally it takes 5 years at least until to give exams for the Lower level and another 2 years to spend for the Proficiency. Unbelievable…
Well, it’s not something that I didn’t know but I didn’t expect that prices have gone up so much!

I agree that ten dollars is reasonable, but I don’t really like dooo’s idea… I import stuff that’s Polish and virtually use no audio and have no use for the premium services as far as the writing and tutoring goes for the most part or the points really… I definitely wouldn’t pay 30 dollars a month to import articles on the NBA from Polish newspapers…

Right now, because of the change, I am really considering paying the $10 per month actually. It’s something I’m going to look into.