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Readlang, my language reading site

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SteveRidout
Diglot
Groupie
Spain
readlang.com
Joined 1665 days ago

65 posts - 55 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 
 Message 129 of 131
28 November 2014 at 5:14pm | IP Logged 
Hi Patrick, thanks for your interest in the development of the site, and for your
suggestions on the feedback forum.

Readlang is my first venture of this kind, and my plan was to create the ideal tool for
me to read in Spanish, and to try to polish it to the point where it was useful enough to
others that I could sell subscriptions and provide myself a living from it. I'm still
working towards that goal. It's taking longer than I hoped but that's par for the course
for any software project. All things considered I'm very happy with how it's being
received and how things are going.

I hope to blog again with a followup to my "story so far" post
(http://steveridout.com/2014/03/22/readlang-my-bootstrapped- language-learning-
web-app.html), but in the meantime, continuing in the same honest vein, here's how
things have gone recently:

- Revenues have increased from <$100 / month at the start of the year, to an average
of $500 / month for the past 4 months. After server and API costs this leaves a PRE-
tax profit of only about £250 / month. Still far from enough to live on.
- Added epub import (pretty basic - just converts to plain text without proper chapter
support)
- Many visual improvements, hints for new users, emails for new users, trying to make
things nice and simple to use
- Completely re-implemented the Word List page, with a design inspired by gmail,
allowing you to filter, search, export, edit, delete, etc..
- From July to November this year I took a break from all but essential maintenance to
do some freelance software development work to save up money again.

I'm back to work on Readlang full time again for the moment. There are a ton of
features I would like to work on, but my top priorities are to make it as simple and easy
to use as possible, and to figure out ways to reach a wider audience. If anyone has any
ideas - I'm all ears!

I understand your concern that it's a one-man operation, but I'm fully committed to
keeping it up and running long term. It's making a small profit so running out of money
won't be a problem. There is a risk that if it doesn't keep growing, I'll stop actively
improving it, but I plan to keep maintaining it whatever happens. My backup plan if
Readlang isn't successful is to use it as a calling card to get future software work, and
I've sold a handful of lifetime memberships, so it's very important to me to keep it
online and working well long term.

Of course there's always the "bus factor", i.e. what happens if I get run over by a bus?
To be honest, I haven't planned for this yet, although if I get my act together I will
arrange for a friend to open source the whole code base if anything like that happened.

Thanks again for all the support I got on this forum, this was the first place I shared
Readlang and found some initial users. Without that positive response and
encouragement I received here I probably wouldn't still be working on it now.
7 persons have voted this message useful



yuriFromRoma
Groupie
Italy
Joined 2096 days ago

48 posts - 21 votes
Speaks: Italian*
Studies: English, Russian

 
 Message 130 of 131
12 December 2014 at 1:22am | IP Logged 
I've just started using this site and I liked so much that I've decided to pay for it (I'm wam.idomeneo).
Arguably, one of the best tools available so far. Kudos to Steve!

I have two questions:

1 - What happens when "usefulness" is selected in the "word list" tab? Does it just rearrange the
word list so that the starred items
precede the unstarred ones?

*EDIT*

2 - How does Readlang estimate the level of a text? I'm learning Russian and I've checked a bunch
of shared texts estimated as
C1/C2 - which is quite above my actual level - but I'm not sure I find them as challenging as I would
expect from a C-like level
source.

Edited by yuriFromRoma on 12 December 2014 at 1:42am



SteveRidout
Diglot
Groupie
Spain
readlang.com
Joined 1665 days ago

65 posts - 55 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 
 Message 131 of 131
15 December 2014 at 9:24pm | IP Logged 
Hi Yuri,

Thanks very much for the feedback and for upgrading your account!

1. Usefulness will sort the words to show the most frequently occurring words in the
language first. To be specific, the frequency is obtained from a corpus of film subtitles
available here: Frequency
Lists


2. It uses a custom algorithm which is a combination of the
Automated
Readability Index
and the percentage of the most frequent 2000 words which
appear in the text. It's far from perfect and I'd like to open source this as a small
module to hopefully encourage others to contribute and calibrate it so that it gives
more sensible results for different languages.


3 persons have voted this message useful



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