On Sept. 21st, the forum went off due to “overdue hosting payments”, at least that’s what a banner across the top stated. After 20 days, the forum was re-activated yesterday.
I’m really sorry about this. It was not intentional and was the result of a simple oversight. We were slow to spot it simply because we don’t currently have anyone working actively on this forum or the old product of user-made courses. I am glad that it is now resolved.
The wider context is that, as I’m sure you realise from past discussions, user made word lists and the community that has grown around them has not been a core part of our business for many, many years. You’ll remember the efforts around separating them off into a separate product (Decks). We have kept things going (until this oversight) out of respect for those of you who do enjoy this forum and the ability to make word lists. But it is increasingly hard to justify because it is just so far from the direction of the company and where our growth comes from. That means that currently no one is actively working on this product, which is how oversights like this happen.
I’m not seeking to excuse it - we should certainly have spotted this earlier and fixed it faster. I just want to explain why this happened. I know that you use and enjoy this product, and it must be strange to see that the company pays so little attention to it. We will continue to keep the product available as long as we can, and as long as we can do it without significantly take resources from the main business. But I’m afraid that given the lack of resources on it, this kind of thing may happen again in future.
My sincere apologies again for this mistake and for the annoyance and inconvenience it caused.
Thank you for the swift reply!
I suppose it won’t make much sense to reanimate the question about what makes sense resp. whether or not Memrise will continue to support community courses in general. Instead we will simply have to wait and see what you guys come up with and we’re you’ll be heading (even though I do think that “user made word lists” comes over quite a bit derogatory).
As for the forum, it is the one and only place where Memrise and its (paying!) users can interact (apart from tickets which never seem to be answered), and its raison d’être is not limited to (or only about) community courses, but provides the means to receive feedback to your very own courses and their content.
The reason that there is so little traffic here is very probably related to Memrise not seeing it as an opportunity to receive first hand feedback, let alone propagating it adequately, so it would be quite reasonable to assume that only a minor share of your overall user base even knows of its existence.
Last but not least, considering what you wrote about the future of Memrise and assuming that you might at one point come to the conclusion that community courses can no longer be supported, I do sincerely hope that, prior to such a step, you will give us enough time to download course data for usage somewhere else.
May I also - very unpretentiously! - suggest to conduct a prior (and thorough) evaluation about how many paying customers are using the official courses alone and how many are using the community courses (as well).
While I’m convinced that Memrise’s (financial) success is based on the presumably vast number of users who will pay for learning the basics of a language (even if only for a while), I just can’t imagine that long-term and/or advanced learners do not add to your revenue, particulary as you have everything in place to serve them what they need.
Thanks again @BenWhately for getting the Forum up and running again.
I appreciate that the Community Courses are not your priority and stretch your recourses, but could I make a plea that Contributors have » more powers « as was originally stated - that way we would not need to trouble you and could fully manage courses.
(It could be limited to Contributors of Abandoned courses perhaps.)
I also think that the attractiveness of MemRise is the wealth of Community courses for further language study or the opportunity to explore other interests.
Even you have created or supported 57 Community Courses and @edcooke has created or supported 18, for which I guess, many are grateful.
Wowsers, today the forum showed the nasty “overdue hosting payments” message again, actually this happened while I was online and reading.
It was available again at around 4pm (German time / UTC+1), at least that’s when I received an email notification about a new post.
Let’s hope that was just a Discourse-blip!
Yes, it was down for almost the whole day
This forum is not exclusively about community courses. Many people visit it with various reasons related to the official courses or Memrise in general. But why your team is absent is another question.
@BenWhately A while back, I made a site a bit similar to Memrise (but with a different algorithm) that’s focused on user-contributed courses
Given that I don’t think this would conflict with Memrise’s core business plans, would you mind my advertising my site here, on these forums, before they shut down?
I wouldn’t mind!
(post deleted by author)
I’ve been called worse. Lately.
Anyway, there are definitely thousands of people looking for exactly that. (A new site doing the same thing for the old reasons.)
Let me wait a couple of days for @BenWhately’s reply before I post a link
Thanks for asking. Yes, I’d be totally happy for you to post a link here.
We’ve opened the forum again for a month to allow people to save whatever content they want and to exchange alternative contract details with anyone they want to keep in touch with. So your post will only be visible for that month until we turn the forums off again, but you are very welcome to share your site.
Again, thank you for asking,
Since you are here, could you tell us what is going to happen with our beloved community courses?
Thanks, @BenWhately, I really appreciate it!
@BenWhately BTW, if the user-made lists are no longer a core part of your business, would you mind terribly if I imported a bunch of them to my own vocabulary-learning site? (https://mylittlewordland.com)
I build that site a while ago, but it suffers from the fact that it doesn’t have a lot of vocabulary lists.
Here’s another devastating bit of info that I stumbled over in the Android app yesterday:
I do >90% of my learning in the Android app so this will probably mean that the end of my Memrise days is looming ahead.
@BenWhately couldn’t you please leave the app’s possibility to switch between “the two worlds” in place?
@BenWhately @MemriseSupport @MemriseSupport1 please answer this question regarding Community Courses. Are there definitive plans to axe them, and if so, when? Be a decent person and either reassure us or warn us explicitly, and with a timeline. It will take enormous work for more active people to move their courses (especially the less tech-savvy), so time is of the essence if you are about to yank the rug.
@PollyWalnuts Please be courteous to @BenWhately He’s kept the community courses going for many years, despite them not really generating any revenue for Memrise. I understand the frustration, but kindness in communication is always key
Definitely not being discourteous, but rather asking him to not be discourteous (ignoring direct questions being, to my mind, an example of discourtesy).