Drastically decreasing number of points for content providers?

Hi fellow content providers,

I wonder if it happens to me only, that the number of points, that I get every month for my provided content, has been drastically decreasing during the past month.

From July to November 2016 I got about 60% of the points, which I’ve got for the according months in 2015. In December I got about 33% and in January 23% compared to the points of the year before.

I know, there are regularly some ups and downs. But even compared to the average of 2016 it is less than 40%.

Has anybody else made the same experience? The number of ‘taken’ lessons is about the same. This number is quite constant for a long while. There must be other reasons.

I can guess of:

  1. There are fewer points in total to give to the content providers.
    If yes, why? Are there fewer members? Are there less paying members? Why now? What has changed that effected this in this drastically way?
  2. Other content providers have increased the number of ‘taken’ lessons. So each content provider gets less. Unfortunately LingQ no longer publish the list of given points to content providers.
  3. Something in the calculation has changed.
    Maybe there are other reasons?

Anybody else experiencing the same and wondering what has happened?

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Yes, the same happened to me, but for the reason, we could only ask someone from LingQ support to answer.

Me too Vera. it is alarming!

I noticed the same, my points have decreased a lot.

Same here!

Vera, you mention reasons:

“1) There are fewer points in total to give to the content providers.
If yes, why? Are there fewer members? Are there less paying members? Why now? What has changed that effected this in this drastically way?”

I don’t think it depends purely on the number of members, nor indeed, the number of paying members if they don’t use the exchange.

Paying membership fees go directly to LingQ, not to content providers, as we get the pool of points that expire.

I know of members who were exasperated to see their points confiscated before they could use them and who ended up deleting their accounts in protest, this could account for some of the points.

There may well have been others who have suddenly pulled out, having been blissful unaware of the fact that they’d been paying for points for years.

Other than that, perhaps LingQ has a new model whereby the majority, but not all, expired points go to content providers.

I know I am a noob for asking this question, but what are points?

(Obviously not in general, LingQ points)

You can buy or earn points to use for conversations with tutors or get writing corrections or get people to record audios for you or check your accent to name but a few examples.

Points can be earned by being a content provider, that is, making lessons for others.

Big content providers such as Vera or Evgueny, for example, can make a sufficient amount of money each month that they can cash in their points for actual cash.

There are many content providers who cannot do that though, but who may still find other ways of spending or saving their points.

Don’t worry if you don’t understand all of this.

Be happy and enjoy your learning endeavours :slight_smile:

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Thank you for telling me all this!

This was the side of Lingq that i didn’t know about. It seems pretty interesting. Could you make enough points and transfer them to cash to actually make a living?

Make a living?

No way!

But pocket money?

Sure!

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Yes, the same with me. Especially for two last months. Three times less than usual.
I think someone from the administration should explain it for us.
We ourselves can make only some vague quesses.
For example, a part of the total points could be left for the translation of lingQ documents.

This is quite difficult because you need 10,000 points to get them cashed out. And you need to have the in between 3 month. That is quite difficult if you add lessons only. It is much easier if you offer conversations to earn points and reach this. It differs, how much you get from 1 taken lesson, but it is about 0.2 points. I’ve more than 2,000 lessons here, but even for me it is difficult now. Some lessons are rarely taken.

And please don’t forget the copyright. You cannot everything as a lesson. You need permission. Or you create your own lessons. That is, what I did. Most of my lessons are written and recorded by myself.

It seems everyone here noticed that the amount of rewarded points has decreased a lot for a few months. LingQ has always been working on their design and features improvements in order to be as attractive as it was before. It’s a good thing but it should be time to also change the way the points are rewarded. Providers have been sharing more and more lessons - I provide new lessons almost every day - and they should be encouraged to carry on doing it. I assume this forum is going to push the LingQ team into thinking about a solution more interesting and fair for everyone.

Thanks for pointing this out Vera. Nothing has changed in the way points are being handled so I have been looking into it and here is what I can tell you.

First of all, the number of lessons being opened since our update to reader 4.0 and the new Lesson tabs has increased significantly. So, if the number of your lessons being used has kept relatively steady, that may mean that more lessons from other providers are being taken. I suspect that the change to the Lessons page which now defaults to the Feed, may have changed some of the usage patterns that were established in the old interface where results shown to all users were probably more consistent. I would expect that in the new layout, lesson selection will be more spread out and less concentrated on the most popular courses.

The new Feed shows lessons that are currently popular and not as much lessons that have been popular over time. We think this is a good thing since sometimes good content that was new didn’t show because the content that had been around longest dominated the results. Good content should appear in the feed regardless of whether it is old or new.

Unfortunately, at the same time as the number of lessons and general usage of the lessons and reader have increased with our updates, the activity on the Exchange and Speak areas has stayed constant. This means that the same number of points is being spread out more.

On top of that, the points are also used to reward members who translate the interface and this past month there was a fair bit of translation done. There is usually not that much translation from month to month but that would have impacted the points this month. Previous months however should not really have been impacted much by translation.

I will say this also. Now that the dust has settled on our reader and lessons updates, we are going to be looking into how to improve our Exchange next. Everything will be up for discussion. The issue of points is a tricky one since it does impact everything from tutors, to content providers and many other places on the site. We will be looking at how best to provide a better service on the exchange, how to encourage more participation, how to make sure everyone is treated fairly on the exchange. At the same time, we have to make sure our content providers continue to be compensated fairly.

We welcome all feedback on how this whole system could be improved.

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Mark, why on earth would you use expired points to pay translators??

I find that awful and unfair sorry!. You could start by paying translators with the site’s own’s points, not taking it from providers. That’s my first suggestion. Thank you!

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Actually, that has always been the policy. We are not taking points from providers. When we made the decision to start expiring points, which was done to encourage people to use them, at that time, we said that expired points would go back to the community. That included content providers and translation and anything that improved the experience for the community. In fact, while translation is required infrequently, these points have always been used that way when required. We have never said that all expired points go to providers although most months that has been the case.

Hi Mark, thank you for the clarification.

You take the points for the lessons providers to pay the translations as well? Seriously? Why don’t you pay all your employees from this money?

I don’t believe that it has to do with the fact that the numbers of lessons have increased with the update, because the number of points has dropped for ALL content providers. No one has committed that he got MORE points. I guess the number of the LingQ-Basic-Lessons increased only, because newcomers are directly forwarded to these lessons and take them first before they look for other content. But regarding to the drastically increased number of needed translations with the last update on LingQ, it is understandable that there are only a few points remained for the content providers.

Mark wrote: “this past month there was a fair bit of translation done. There is usually not that much translation from month to month but that would have impacted the points this month. Previous months however should not really have been impacted much by translation.”
As a translator I can confirm that the required translations drastically increased at the end of October or in November. So not only the last month was effected. Exactly the months when the points dropped are effected.

I feel now double betrayed: as a provider and as a translator. If I translate, it automatically reduces the points that I get as a provider. At least, LingQ gets all the translations for free! Considering that 1 point per word for the translations is an extremely low payment and not worth doing it, if you do it for the money only, I feel even more betrayed. I always helped with the translations. I even did a lot of translation for free, when there was no payment at all for the translators.

By the way, here are tables where you can see the rates for translations: http://search.proz.com/employers/rates
https://www.strakertranslations.com/translation-rates-per-word/
http://www.betranslated.com/translation-rates.html
Even if you consider that the translators are not professionals, $0,01/word looks more like charity than a reward. In the past you told us that this would be a standard rate. Where in the world is this standard? And some of the translations are really tricky, because they are texts used for marketing and literal translations are not helping than. As a responsible translator you have to think about this.

Mark wrote: “We welcome all feedback on how this whole system could be improved.”
Here is my feedback: Please pay the translators like any other employees from the monthly fee that LingQ takes. In summer I’ll be a PAYING member for 9 years! My daughter is one for 6.5 years. Imagine how much I’ve payed over the past years. So wouldn’t it be fairer to pay translators from money that LingQ earns?

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I abslotutely agree with Vera - the payment for the translations if Lingq.com needs them must be done from the site’s profit, not descreasing and without it the small quantity of points for providers.
Moreover, all providors by sharing their lessons espeially if they make up such lessons, like at least Vera, Serge or me, help to develope the site - and that’s why they must be awarded more than from instable ‘expired points’.
Every firm spends some money for advertisment and development - and some, let us say, a small part of this money must be done for ptovidors as well.

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Yes, I hadn’t realized this is how things were working. The points system was set up a long time ago and has not been reviewed in a while. It does make sense to make this change. From this month forward all the points will go to content providers only. Translators will be paid out separately. In fact, most of our translators are already paid directly since most languages are no longer translated by members.

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Thank you Mark for your understanding. I’m glad, that we were able to convince you.

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