Providers seem to be discouraged

Yesterday night I participated in a group English discussion, where several providers of original content for different languages were. Incidentally a question about content providing came up. We discussed our feelings about creating of original content, and I learned that it is not only me who is discouraged by a recent situation in the LingQ library. Other content creators (at least two) feel the same, they also do not want to create new content. And the problem is not only in the fact that people who upload podcasts and audiobooks found in Internet (sometimes copyrighted!!!) receive more points for ‘their’ content than we, creators of original content. The problem is that our work is not recognised, we do not feel that anyone values our work, our dedication to create content. There is no feedback.
I am really worried about this situation.

I can understnad that. I think that people who create content should get more of a reward for their efforts.

  1. We are going to clean out content that has been uploaded and which obviously does not have the permission of the source of that content. Because of the quantity involved we are waiting until we can deal with this problem as collections and some form of batch treatment.

  2. The problem of differential reward is not something that we can easily deal with in our present system. It should be stressed that because content is created by a member does not make it obviously more valuable to a learner than other content. The quality of member created content will vary, as will the quality of third party content. This also depends on the tastes and interests and levels of the learners.

  3. We have set up the member created category to provide more exposure the member created content. Thank you to those who are taking advantage. Even if have other Types and don’t want to change your types for all of your created content, I would recommend that you at least sample some of your own created content there to let people know of your work.

  4. We will be introducing a review system for content, when we finally get the time, and will eliminate poor or unpopular content.

  5. Perhaps we should have an editorial committee for each language in the library. If we did that, please indicate if you would be willing to serve and for which language.

  6. As for feedback, unfortunately most people do not provide feedback. I doubt if even 1 percent of people provide feedback. They are just happy to use the material. You are able to see how many people are using your material however.

Perhaps you could give 1 or 2 points for providing feedback as a method to encourage?

As an example, I have loaded 7 lessons in the Easy Patterns series in English over the last few days. I have featured them in the Member Created shelf. I can see that there are 150 “in uses”.

The only feedback I received was a request from someone to provide more space between the sentences, which I am doing from now on as I continue to add to this series; and a Korean learner who had a friend translate and record them in Korean. Both Alex and I provided feedback. These are complete with translation into English and are great! Only 15 “in uses” and so I just changed the Type to Member Created to see if that increases the usage.

David, I think that feedback needs to be spontaneous to be meaningful. When we enable some form of evaluation system in the library that should deal with the feedback issue. It is not that people do not appreciate it, they just take the work for granted.

I do agree that the Member Created content is a valuable feature, and one which we need to make more prominent. On the other hand I do hear many people expressing how much they enjoy this content. It is particularly valuable for beginners.

"I can see that there are 150 “in uses”. The only feedback I received was "

if one my 1-week-old lesson was used 150 times, I would not seek for a feedback. The truth is that an average 1-week-old Russian lesson is about 3 times in use…

The recent policy of distributing points between providers encourage people to find audiobooks and podcasts in English and share them. It does not encourage people to create content, say, for Swedish library.

Rasana, we have to continue to work to attract more members.

I also want to reduce the amount of content in our libraries. However I don’t wan to do that until we have a good sense of what people like. That means some evaluation system. In some languages we do not have enough content, on others we have too much. We are in transition. Give us a few months to clean this up.

If we have only good content, it will be better for learners and for the providers of good content.

Much of the French content I have shared has not even been used, several weeks after uploading it. Other items are more popular. I don’t mind. It’s there, hopefully for all time. And it will eventually be used by French leaners, probably future LingQ members. I don’t worry about it. Just making it available is self-motivating for me.

I value Rasana’s lessons much more than all the imported podcasts in the Russian library.

I feel really sorry for you Rasana and the other providers of content, who don’t feel recognised. I enjoy your contents and also the ones of Iomsa and Mikola in the Lingq library very much. Recently you created a Youtube Video as a complement to your “Russian from scratch” courses. I admire you for that very good and useful work. It is very helpful and we should post more positive comments. Nevertheless, we are in a world where many people are used to consume services and goods without considering the hard work behind it. I believe that tutors and providers of self made content should be better rewarded. It should be a kind of prestige for those people, who spend their time and energy in helping other to learn a language to be a “cooperator” at Lingq.

  1. I’ve more than once complained about copyrighted material in the library and I got the answer from an admin that as long as the original content owner isn’t complaining, the LingQ stuff assume that the content provider has the permission for adding the material to LingQ. And I’m sure for different reasons that they don’t have the permission.

  2. Steve is right that content created by members isn’t better per se, but LingQ will not know this unless people are able to find it easily and having the option to rate it.

  3. For me it is not an indicator for the quality of content how often it was taken. This works only in a perfect market where people have all the information about all products. How often content is taken indicates only how easy this content could be found, how appealing the name, the description and the picture is, and how many learners at this level are learning this language.

  4. I’m sure people would give more feedback if it would be very easy and obvious how to give. For example if there were buttons like on YouTube where you can press “I like it”, “I ldislike it” close to the “LingQ’d” button. Or that they can grade the lesson in a numeric system (from 1 to 5). You have to make sure that people only click once. In my opinion that would be the best indicator for the quality of a lesson.

  5. You want to eliminate “unpopular” content. But what is if the content is excellent but there are no students learning this language at this level? I’ve uploaded a number of advanced lessons. It took a long time that LingQ got students on advanced level for German. It is the problem with the hen and the egg. If there is no content, there are no learners at this level. If there are no learners, there is no content. So it could happen that there is content and it took a long time before students will take it. It is in the nature of language learning that there are much more beginners than advanced learners. Will you only provide content for beginners and intermediate students?

  6. I think it is a good idea to have editorial committee for languages. At the moment I have the feeling that everyone can become an editor of the language he likes. Even if the member is new and haven’t been active on LingQ. Luckily we haven’t had big problems in the past but have you thought about people who would to bad things (deleting content, making wrong changes etc.)? Personally I think it is good to have editors. How would you decide who can become a member of the committee?

  7. I think that people don’t know that there is an advanced search for the library. The link to that great site to explore the library is so discrete that they probably never use it. There has to be a very big and nice looking button that people pay attention to this! Or an additional point in the menu could help as well.

  8. Like Cakypa/Rasana I spoke with several content providers too during the last time. All of them are disappointed about the way you realized the member created content shelve. We all expected something that explicit shows that this is member created content. Like a star, a badge, a medal or something like this. We all expected that this would be an additional search criteria.

  9. Steve wrote “I also want to reduce the amount of content in our libraries.” Does that mean that we should stop creating content, stop transcribing podcasts by hand, stop recording articles? Amazing! I’m working on a lot of different new things for German. This comes surprising for me. Is it the best way to eliminate content? I think the search options should be improved.

Sorry for the long post.

I totally agree with Vera.

"Steve wrote “I also want to reduce the amount of content in our libraries.” Does that mean that we should stop creating content,

I doubt it. i would guess he meant reduce the redundant, and/or poorly transcribed content etc

"a good idea to have editorial committee "

good in theory, how would you put it in practice?

I more or less agree with the rest.

I appreciate all of these comments which are an indication of how committed you are to LingQ. I appreciate this, and even more, I appreciate the content creators. Let’s look at the issues raised here.

  1. If we are made aware of obvious infringement of copyright we will remove the content. Recently there has been a flood of such content in some languages, some wrongly labeled beginner, ( to attract users presumably) and we will remove it when we find it. Right now we are looking at enabling actions in the library by collection so that we can more easily remove these when they are in long collections. I have tried to remove most of the short collections,

2)We have created the Member Created shelf, and the Courses shelf for the purpose of enabling Members to feature their work. Vera, you have chosen not to use the Member Created shelf saying that you prefer to stick with your existing Types. I believe you are wrong in this. Most content taken is Beginner content. Any beginner confronted with your long list of Types,mostly in German, will probably be confused. That is assuming the learner ever searches by Type, which I consider to be infrequent. You could always sample some of your lessons in the Member Created shelf, but you choose not to do so for your own reasons. We accommodated your request to feature member created work, and because we did not do it your way you are still unhappy. I am sorry but we have to make decisions on how to use programmer resources, and using the Type for this shelf was by far the easiest solution.

In fact, I think this whole issue, is overblown. Most content providers look at the New Lessons shelf, which is often flooded with third party content. Newcomers are, I think more likely to look at what is suggested in the top shelf at their level. There they will find member created content prominently featured, especially for the Beginner, and low Intermediate levels.

4)I have said many times that an evaluation system is on our todo list. This will help us with feedback and with eliminating unpopular or poor content.

  1. We would only eliminate content that received many poor evaluations, and only after reviewing them ourselves. Certainly we would not remove good content at advanced levels. I am saving those for myself in German!

6)We are trying to decide how to set up editorial committees, and how to approve or reject content. First I would like to hear who would volunteer. It does create problems. If we don’t want someone on our committee what do we do? There could be some unpleasantness. Vera, you would be accepted by the way -:). It may be that the first step is to get an evaluation system going. (Just one of the many things on our todo list)

  1. The observation about Advanced Search being hard to notice is noted. However, we have to realize that most people will not use it anyway.

  2. A star, badge, medal for Member Created content? Where do you have in mind?

  3. We should eliminate poor quality content, where the sound is poor or for some other reason the content is not popular. This will wait until we have an evaluation system. Meanwhile we are proceeding to remove work under copyright.

Our fundamental problem is that we have too few learners in all languages. We are devoting our energies and resources to this issue, while constantly having to go back and fix the little problems that always arise. It is a constant struggle, and the decisions on where to allocate resources are not easy, and will not satisfy everyone.