LingQ is a convivium, a banquet and there is no privacy

There has been quite a bit of discussion about privacy at LingQ, the privacy of members’ activities and the privacy of members’ walls.

LingQ is a convivium, a banquet, a party, and I am the host. I do not expect privacy at a party. I expect everyone to mix.

At LingQ we are spending time with people who share our time on this planet, and our interest in languages. We are all in full view and earshot of each other.

Convivium was the name for the Roman banquet, where Romans got together to share time with friends. Dante wrote an essay, Convivio, which was a sort of philosophical banquet. Ivan Illich, the famous educator promoted deschooling, conviviality and the possibilities for informal education and lifelong learning. We are a learning convivium.

If you have confidential things to say at a party you go to a private room. If you have confidential things to do or say with members at LingQ, do them privately. The convivium is for sharing and living together.

But Steve, if we are paying members, are we not customers instead of merely your guests? Even partygoers break off into groups and share confidences.

We don’t tell everyone at a party all the books that we read, but now if we click “I know all”, everyone knows “all”.

Of course, the way to avoid this is to leave a few words…

We have paying guests and non-paying guests, all sharing this time and space. By the way,we keep the membership status private. No one knows if you are a paying member or not.

If members want to break into groups they can contact each other and communicate privately.

What is visible at the LingQ banquet is not our faces nor what we are wearing. It is just whatever name and image we want to put forward to the community plus how we are studying and what we are thinking about language learning. Different party.

For me it is not so much about privacy, but about control about what I consume, at or add to, the party. One plate (page) of your delectable “recent activities” is sufficient for me; over there on the wall I see the pictures (messages) of our last few gatherings: I don’t like the look of me there (ie what I wrote on my own wall). May I take that picture down, please?

As I have said before, we are going to reduce the number of items on the activities list and limit the list to the most recent activities. We are also going to allow members to opt out of showing their activities.

So there will be refinements, but I just wanted to explain the basic rules of the party.

I simply do not understand the issue about walls. No one looks past the first two or three comments on a wall. It may be that Mark has this on his to do list, but I do not know and do not attach much importance to it.

Oh and Sanne at LingQ you also consume what you want. And a dinner party if you take a lot or a little on your plate, or go back for seconds and thirds, or drink too much, people see that too, although I know you would not do that, but I might!!

I agree with you, Steve! Personally, I don’t care much about who sees what I am learning or read my wall posts. I don’t write anything confidential on other members’ walls, after all.

Symposium, surely. Classical Greek for “knife and fork dinner”.

I’ve been reading all the fuss about privacy for some time now and I really think it’s not worth the time you’ re spending about it. It’s just about informations related to lessons, not anything really private and important in my opinion. I also read someone pointed out that this was an European mentality problem…well I’m an European girl and I think all this matter is really annoying… You don’t want anything private on the wall? Well, don’t write it… Use skype, windows messenger and the like. Every community owner has the right to ground his rules and if Steve likes this kind of community, well, he’s got the right to do this kind of community. I’d got the problem if more personal information should be posted but what lessons you re studying, but this kind of news really aren’t so much important and private to make Steve a hard time.

Just my 2 cents…

why do you need privacy what do you have to hide

What a wonderful party! How happy both the host and the guests are! How generous the host is with money! I hope the party will never end, but I don’t want to put the host to great expense.

yeah i dont care much about this debate. Theres nothing “private” being shown to anyone. I suppose having the option to show only certain info or not would be nice but If that will take mark a long time to figure out / implement i rather he spends his time improving other functions of lingq, Like being able to properly lingq sentences/multiple word in korean =p.

I have a feeling that this is a right moment to stop.

victor, you are not leaving the party I hope, or is it just time to stop this ongoing discussion about privacy?

If you click on some walls, you will see that people have received unwanted messages, even rude messages. It would be great to be able to erase such messages.

That’s all.

I propose a competition: we all write offensive remarks on Steve and Mark’s walls, and see whose remark makes them change their minds about indelible comments!

Steve, I rarely leave parties voluntarily, usualy the host drives me out.


That’s actually a brilliant idea.

I look forward to hearing from you all. I will try my best to reply. Remember that the walls are not prvate so foul language should be avoided even if you would like to really insult me.