Memrise is dead. Let's get together and build an alternative


(Xvg11) #21

I think that actions speak louder than words.

Ben talked about “balancing the needs”, but then stated that it was necessary to break commas as answer separators, when the fact is that it was totally unnecessary. If they were interested in giving their courses new capabilities and not breaking user-created courses, they could easily have done so, using techniques that I and others mentioned in that thread.

The fact is that they deliberately chose to break hundreds of user courses, and then concealed that fact from us for weeks and pretended that it was a “bug” that they were working on. That wasn’t an accident, but a choice.

Remember that in the beginning, they told us that users would be able to share in revenue from courses we created, but later erased all mention of that from the site. Was that an innocent change of plans, or was it a deliberate scheme that they made to entice users to create great courses in the hopes of sharing in the profit, that they deliberately withdrew once the courses were created.

How you view these and many other discrepancies between their words and their actions is up to each individual. You can give them the benefit of the doubt and believe their explanations, or you can be suspicious, as Cos is, of what they say.

(Overlord Hydroptère) #22

with the first part I fully agree

but here I don’t, I think they were naive in the beginning: what profits are there to share for copy-pasted courses (from wikipedia or some other common license). What profit would one expect for bulkuploading HSK lists or some latin expression from school or some popular learning books copied in here? And I’ve done this myself: edited thousands in entries in courses copied from some poorly made frequency lists… contributors want their share too :grin:

well, i’ve done my courses picking items one by one. They should give us a reliable export method (as least .cvs format) so we can move out data in case

(Xvg11) #23

Well, they did say in the beginning that users would be able to mark their courses as paid courses, regardless of where the word lists came from, and split the revenue with memrise.

The value in a well made course doesn’t come from just the raw word lists, which could have come from the public domain, or many other books or other sources.

The value in the good user-created courses comes from all of the time and effort that the course creators like you and Cos, and Eunoia and many, many others spent putting together their courses, giving a lot of thought to recording or finding and uploading audio files, example sentences, impressive mems, and other value-added items, that transformed them from simple word lists, into very helpful tools for learning.

Arranging information and presenting it well is a valuable activity, and I’m sure that people would be willing to pay something for those really well-made courses.

(Overlord Hydroptère) #24

this is what I’m saying: the issue of profits was just too cumbersome - and in the beginning Ben worked more as a fund raiser for memrise instead of its CEO and owner cashing in profits. I’m still grateful towards him for having sone this.

I am absolutely ok with memrise without sharing profits with me, you for sure as well, Guestgulkan, Cos and many others. I just want to have my courses functional at any time, in any place via the web, on my laptop/twix/tablet screen - in the style of the old memrise, if possible…

but, for copypasted courses with thousands of users: no, for simple bulk uploading the work of others / exams lists and then leaving the users sit on incomplete/ wrong (learned) info, I dont see why memrise should pay for…

Anyhow: if some of old users of memrise find a way to share theirs courses/create a memrise alternative, i’m in.

(Xvg11) #25

@Hydroptere I understand your point of view about profit sharing, and I don’t want to go off topic from the main discussion about memrise alternatives.

I only mentioned profit sharing as an example of one of the many discrepancies between what memrise has said, versus what it has actually done, and why some people are suspicious and nervous about the future.

I think we all agree that what we want now is either to preserve here, or create somewhere else, the original collaborative learning web experience that we had on the original memrise.

(Sir Cemloud) #26

I can’t relate to all that negativity and defeatism. Doom and gloom, fear the worst. It saps my energy.

I’m a cross that bridge when I get to it, kind’a guy.

Broaden your horizon, diversify your learning, explore new ventures but don’t preach the end of the world… yet.

Thanks @WildSage for sticking with it. The app is a priority, it is for sure, but why would they neglect all the resources by course creators? I can’t see it.

(Overlord Hydroptère) #27

Whom you’re preaching to? I, Cos, Kaimi etc., we should broaden their horizon, etcetc hmmmm. And how about you?

Who mentioned in here the end of the world but for you? some few are just searching for some new beginning :grinning:. In the last two years we got quite a number of kicks from memrise, we’re just used with it. If they really don’t want us in here, who are we to resist? :relaxed:

Well, I’m going to learn in my courses, as long as I can, in the hope we get some warning and an option to download all our courses, before the light goes out for the web version, course creation and advanced levels learners,

(Mycon) #28

Ultimately the problem with memrise lies in the fact that only a select few get to decide which direction it takes. So even if everything would revert to an optimal state right now (whatever that maybe for you), eventually a situation will arise where something goes wrong, courses get broken or the website even taken offline. It will die eventually.

Anki on the other hand is much more robust because nobody owns it as such. Nobody can take away the current or past versions from you and the courses that exist for it at the time.

So it’s smart to not assume memrise as we know it will stick around forever, and prepare for such a time. Recent and less recent issues have made this abundantly clear…

(Xephers) #29

I wouldn’t mind just using the official Memrise courses if they were better made but as they are right now, they aren’t that great.

I haven’t heard anything good about the Korean Course, but Memrise may have fixed things since then. The Swedish course isn’t bad but they would benefit a lot from adding grammar notes and having the timer for the longer sentences is tricky. If I hadn’t gotten some background with duolingo. It would be a lot worse experience.

The Japanese course isn’t great either. They don’t teach you Katakana and teach you all the katakana words with hiragana. I’ve since heard they added it as alternatives but that really isn’t good. The lack of grammar notes doesn’t help.

I’ve taken far better user created courses and to have Memrise throw them all out for something less good is really disappointing and will make learning vocabulary words a lot harder for me.

(Cos) #30

Actions definitely speak louder than words, especially when it’s a consistent pattern lasting two years.

Occasionally they say something about being sorry about not communicating, or whatever, but they never follow through. Remember my uservoice suggestion that made the front page, asking memrise to communicate on the forums before making major changes, and ask for input? That had to have been well over a year ago, and I didn’t post that as a brainstorm out of context - I posted that because there had already been a long-repeated pattern of them surprising everyone with sudden changes that didn’t work well, and then apologizing for poor communication, and then doing it again and again.

But even if it hadn’t been for such a long pattern, there is no mistaking the aggressiveness and severity of this latest incident: They know they made a change that breaks hundreds, possibly most, user-created courses. They know the majority of those courses aren’t going to get fixed. They’re doing it on purpose, eyes open. Breaking all these courses that we’ve worked on and/or have been taking, for years, purposely, is such an obvious gesture that I’m shocked anyone still listens to their vague non-promises about maybe doing something better in the nebulous future.

(Mycon) #31

Absolutely. What’s more, there is a very clear focus on monetization now, the call-to-actions are actually getting quite aggressive in the web version.

This usually spells trouble, as it means their focus isn’t on the user experience anymore, but on milking the customer base as much as possible (talking about the web version now, have no experience with or interest in the mobile part). Which is precisely why they are willing to alienate the original user base by breaking many, many courses.

(Overlord Hydroptère) #32

and it is happening: contributors in despair who cannot “keep up” with nonsense changes: [Course Forum] 5000 German Words (Top 87%) by Paul_Wilson (maintained by EHurtt)

“I really find this hard to believe – that they can’t ‘go back’, that previous scripts, programs, whatever haven’t been saved.
I’m sorry but there’s no way I have the time to go through the whole course removing commas (which in any case would render the whole course somewhat dodgy from a grammatical POV - eg der Tag, -e is a common convention in writing down the singular and plural forms in German (or any other language as far as I’m aware.)
I also lack the technical know-how to remove all the commas from the database and in any event it would have to be selective - some need to remain.
I’m sorry not to be more hopeful or positive – It’s just as much a nightmare for me as for everyone else.”

(Cos) #33

They will also never cover all the topics that user-created courses cover. I doubt memrise would ever make a tropical fish identification course, for example, like I made. Would they ever make courses for Hawaiian? I learned some Hawaiian from here and meant to get back to it this year, but I guess I can’t now because they’re breaking everything.

Official memrise courses will cover big popular languages, but one of the big strengths of user-created courses is that you can find courses on so many obscure languages and other topics. Not worth memrise spending their money paying staff to work on, but worth some users’ time because it’s a topic they cared about and wanted to share.

(stereofield) #34

I’m considering making a GitHub repository with the official course audio, but I don’t know whether it’s fine. Any feedback on this?

(Matt ) #35

Such negativity in this thread. Memrise is fine. Who actually uses the desktop site anyway other than course creation and forums?

I use the app 95% of the time anyway, which I’m sure is the case for most users. Yes the app is not as good as it used to be, but it’s nothing that really hinders my learning progress. Even then, Memrise is just another tool to help me memorise vocab when I’m not working through a textbook or going to a conversation class.

(pdao) #36

@Matt_Mendoza60 ~ “Who actually uses the desktop site anyway…”

Well, I do. A lot. And I am sure many others do as well.

In my case it is not just for course creation or the forum, but also for a great part of my learning and reviewing sessions. There is functionality in the web version not found in the either of the app versions (such as multimedia levels in various courses), so maybe you might want to take another look at it again for yourself. The app versions are not the end all, nor should they ever be. IMHO.

(Mikatu) #37

Well I say the same about the app, who uses the app anyway?
Real learning in made in the website, because real learning is made by typing the words, not by selecting one of the options or by rearranging the words…

I am sure you know nothing about memrise if you think most users are using the app and not the website.

(Overlord Hydroptère) #38

small, this is reminiscent of the typical extrapolation of a small child who puts her hands in front of the eyes: “I’m not seeing you, therefore you don’t see me/I am doing this, so everybody is doing also this”


No, that’s the case with the web fans.
Androids and iPhones make the app more approachable to wide masses. And it’s simpler. Memrise doesn’t need “quality” users. It needs money. That’s how it works. This is an era of short consuming.
I really believe that if Memrise will get economically stronger, they will pay more attention to “learning” minorities and to users.

(Matt ) #40

I’m aware of the pros/cons of the testing methods between the website and the app.

My point was simply that it doesn’t make sense to claim that Memrise is dying because the website is not being updated, when a large portion of the user base are app users. I’m sure the app is the main source of income too.