Poll: would you like it or not if the Decks website were placed under the care of a nonprofit?

(Ultra-Sadist Delinquent) #1

Memrise announced that user-created courses will be moved to a clone of the Memrise website, a new “Decks” website:

Reading the announcement thread, there seems to be an almost universal distrust that Memrise will indeed support community-created courses forever. The users in that thread are just the active users who you would want on board if you want your future community-driven website to thrive.

The best way to remove any doubt about the intention of Memrise is to remove the doubt: set up a nonprofit. The most trusted entities on the internet are nonprofits, Wikipedia and Khan Academy for example. With them there is no doubt why they are free and whether or not they have some ulterior motive. The only doubt is funding, which in this case could and likely would come from users and Memrise.

A community-driven website like Decks needs the trust of its users. If it doesn’t have that, even with the best intentions of the parent company, it is set up for failure from the start. A forever free website should also just be a nonprofit if you patiently think about it.

Do you support Memrise setting up a new nonprofit and putting the “Decks” website under that? Do you think you would be most willing to give it the

into the future if it were made into a nonprofit?

  • Yes!
  • Maybe yes.
  • Maybe no.
  • No!

0 voters

Users' guide to Memrise/Decks split up
Important Update: Upcoming changes to Memrise community-created courses
(Ultra-Sadist Delinquent) pinned #2

(Hombre_sin_nombre) #3

Hey, this is a great idea.

I’d suggest to add another poll with a lot of options: how much are you ready to donate (20 euros per year, 100 euros one time, etc). To understand a bigger picture.

It’s more than interesting to hear Ed’s @edcooke opinion about such nonprofit website.


Yeah. As if it is made a nonprofit website. We need to know if people are willing to donate. As it would be pointless releasing it if no-one will. And like @Hombre_sin_nombre. Let’s get the bigger picture first, instead of rushing into a decision

(Ultra-Sadist Delinquent) #5

What people say they do and what they actually do are two different things, so that poll wouldn’t be reliable. It would only give you a trend of their sentiment in the best case. Also, Memrise has already committed to funding the website.



1,300 people donated £72,408 pounds (84,000 euros/ 96,000 US dollars) for the Memrise bus tour so I think funding will be fine:

(Baite) #7

Unobtrusive ads, at the side, like newspapers have, I could live with, too.



Ad code massively slows down websites. If you want a prime example see DailyMail.com

Answering questions on a “mobile website” needs the page to be as responsive as possible.

For those with slow wi-fi or poor mobile internet it could make the site unusable.



Due to Decks, the Unofficial Discord for Memrise I’ve been making may be cancelled. I’ve made a poll on it. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out, just trying to be optimistic here. (It’s not working. :pensive:)

Discord Polls
(Randaloulton) #10

I do not agree. Daily mail very fast for me never had any page load issues owing to ads. Now as to the weight of sheer crap writing on the pages that is another topic :}

In my experience, the people opposed to ads on web sites are often also the last ones to even think about reaching into their own pockets to donate to a web site instead.


What device are you viewing on?

(Baite) #12

That is a very important point.
Though, many of the google ads do not slow the page down (search on google.com is still fast, despite the ads).

Secondly, it’s possible to run the question-answer sessions in a frame so that the ads will not need to be reloaded. The DailyMail might be slow, but that doesn’t need to mean that it can’t be fast when well designed - though that might cost money and then we are at square 1 again.

(Akizz) #13


I would be ok if Memrise kept ownership of Decks. Transfering ownership might actually kill everything, as all the background stuff is actually Memrise’s property. Don’t see why the community can force Memrise to give away the platform they developed, nor should the community demand it.

If Decks is really such a big issue. It’s also possible for the community to setup an alternative Memrise. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

In all fairness, Memrise has been offering a good service for free (platform development + hosting), if they decide to stop offering a free service it is their choice. As it looks now, at least they setup Decks. They could also just say, bye bye and not offer Decks… (would be mean, but they could)

(Ultra-Sadist Delinquent) #14

I don’t know how this works or should be done. I imagine the nonprofit as an entity under the ownership of staff or founders of Memrise but, in due time, separate from Memrise itself. The Decks website would be a main focus of this new entity (with limited developer time donated to it by Memrise) instead of an afterthought for Memrise itself

(khx333) #15

Make the REST APIs public so anyone interested could write cool mobile apps with sync support and this would be really great.


I agree with putting decks under the care of a non-profit, but there’s no way memrise will let decks leave their control. It is their property and no doubt they’ll hope that decks users will use memrise’s official course so they can get them paying for pro. And if decks completely fails in doing so, they’ll want to maintain the ability to set up certain things to help encourage it. Either that, or they might just monetize decks itself(which is what I think will happen), requiring pro to advance beyond a certain level in each course like with the official ones. Or they might require pro to use decks altogether.

(Ultra-Sadist Delinquent) #17

Yes, if there is a plan to monetize decks you wouldn’t want to turn it into a nonprofit. Memrise seems to have chosen not to monetize the community courses though, it instead chooses to monetize its own courses. I don’t know why they would change that decision.


That doesn’t preclude ads, but I don’t think serving ads would make much sense. Continuing to support the community courses is just the right thing to do and builds goodwill for the company. Running ads ruins that somewhat. Turning it into a nonprofit (under the management of current staff) maximizes it.


Ads don’t slow down websites. Like other types of content, they slow down websites in some cases due to poor implementation. The Daily Mail website isn’t sometimes slow because it’s supported by ads, but because of the sheer amount external scripts (including ads) it loads. Not just placeholder ads, but tailored content like, “buy an outfit like Meghan’s Valentino for just £20!”, “are you one of the superspecial 1% of people who are only capable of seeing this illusion?” and “Katerina lives just down the road from you in Grimsby and would like to meet you for sexy times.” (And of course, you don’t live anywhere near Grimsby.)

The Memrise website has felt sluggish for a couple of years now due to poor responsive web design. You almost always have to scroll down a little to start loading the list of courses.

I’m hoping that splitting the custom and official courses into separates sites will result in a design overhaul which eliminates that problem.

(khx333) #19

Most of slow web sites related to ads has to do with tracking software. It’s quite fine to turn that off and just serve Memrise ads as that’s the target audience anyway. The second reason, as mentioned, is over-design and bad decisions concerning architectures.

(Etienne53) #20

I think there’s a good chance the nonprofit would go out of business. I’d much rather Memrise maintain the site, even if ultimately it requires ads or some modest subscription price than to go out of business.