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Less repetitive advice for new users

  Tags: Beginner
 Language Learning Forum : Collaborative writing Post Reply
43 messages over 6 pages: 1 2 3 46  Next >>


emk
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 Message 33 of 43
19 June 2013 at 5:21am | IP Logged 
iguanamon wrote:
Since anyone can contribute to the wiki, what's to stop the RS people (once they find out about it) from editing the RS article?

I think everybody agrees with your concerns.

This is where the guideline that "the wiki tries to accurately represent the HTLAL consensus" comes in very handy. It's an easy rule to defend—if somebody says "I want this page to say nice things about my company" and we respond "but that doesn't accurately represent what people on the forum think", then it's not hard to tell who's abusing the wiki. If a company wants to the wiki to say nice things about them, all they need to do is win over the forum regulars. One of Rosetta Stone's former employees actually tried to do this, and I made a point of linking to that thread.

As for the technical end of things, we can set a "watch" on the page, and revert any obviously biased changes to an earlier version quite easily. Wikis have decent (but not perfect) features for dealing with this sort of thing.

iguanamon wrote:
It seems to me as if the wiki is to become a backdoor FAQ page. Is it the intent of of this thread to merely link to various wiki pages and be done with a newbie poster? Yeah, they ask repetitive questions, but they also tend to get personalized answers.

There's a big difference between:

- "Great question! We wrote an article on that _here_ which you might find interesting. But to me, it sounds like you'd have no problem learning two languages at once, because…"

and:

- "Why didn't you notice the _article_ we wrote about that, exactly? Sheesh, please read before asking."

Anybody who posts the latter in the Advice Center is missing the point badly. Fortunately, I don't think this is going to be a problem—HTLAL rountinely responds to short questions with very long threads, because folks here like helping people out. And without the wiki, we lose a huge amount of amazing knowledge that only appears in post 17 of 34th thread on a given subject.

And if you do notice somebody being rude to a new learner, use the "Report" button and the moderators will take a look.

Edited by emk on 19 June 2013 at 5:42am

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Serpent
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 Message 34 of 43
19 June 2013 at 6:41am | IP Logged 
iguanamon wrote:
Since anyone can contribute to the wiki, what's to stop the RS people (once they find out about it) from editing the RS article? What's to stop anyone with a product or method to promote from doing the same? Are there safeguards in place to prevent this from happening?
If it gets really bad, any page can be locked from edits by unregistered members, or by newly registered ones, or probably even by everyone other than a select few people.
For example the word lists page has been spammed a lot so now it's locked from unregistered and new users.
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prz_
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last.fm/user/prz_rul
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 Message 35 of 43
19 June 2013 at 9:35am | IP Logged 
I'm surprised that the word lists take so much attention.

I had the same fears, that's why I prefer to write my planned articles without rush. Especially this one about the Macedonian language (I guess you know what I mean).
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Serpent
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 Message 36 of 43
19 June 2013 at 12:22pm | IP Logged 
Spammers don't really care about the content of articles they vandalize.
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prz_
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 Message 37 of 43
20 June 2013 at 12:05am | IP Logged 
Ok, I've thought it was a spammer from this forum (I mean, someone who has completely different point of view or/and doesn't understand the concept of wikia).
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Serpent
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 Message 38 of 43
20 June 2013 at 5:34pm | IP Logged 
Another common question is helping someone to learn a language. Like when the OP doesn't mind learning grammar but has a child/sibling/parent who just doesn't seem to get it and/or wants more fun. Very often this starts out as "what language should my (younger family member) learn?" and then it turns out the real problem is the methods, not language choice.
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meramarina
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 Message 39 of 43
05 July 2013 at 2:55am | IP Logged 
I have spent a lot of time yesterday and today reading through the wiki pages, and there's some very impressive work in there! I'm in the process gathering links and extracting basic content from the forum in order to contribute to it, too.

I noticed that the Learning Communities page appears to have been vandalized: Wikia vandalism example. I've reversed the edits and restored the original text.

I know how to get spammy content out of this forum, but over there I'm not sure how that problem is to be dealt with. Hopefully it will not become a major issue, but watch for it, just in case.

Here's another suggestion I am not at all sure about at this time, but see what you think about it:

Under section titles, perhaps Learning Techniques and Practicing and Improving Your Languages should eventually be grouped together. The Practicing and Improving section describes learning techniques, so the two sections aren't entirely distinct. In fact, Learning Techniques is such a broad category encompassing so many important subtopics that it might be more easily navigable if separated.

I was thinking of a reorganization something like this - I'm not making a content box right now but just trying to illustrate topic levels:

1. Learning Techniques
1.1 Beginning A New Language
1.2 Practicing and Improving Your Language
1.3 Techniques for Advanced Learners

Of course this can be reworded or reworked, but I thought of Practicing and Improving as an intermediate language learning stage, rather than as something distinct from techniques as a whole. I understand that our primary concern right now is orientation of new forum members, but it would be good to have a wiki summary of other forum content too, as a second priority.

As the wiki changes, maybe a better organization will emerge, but for now I'll put the idea out there and see what everybody thinks.

I have to review wikitext - unfortunately, most of my previous experience was theoretical rather than practical; that is, I worked more on researching and writing material trying to convince others of the benefits of collaborative writing, and making light edits to an existing one, rather than on actually building a new wiki. I have a lot to learn about this new project.

This should be good experience for all of us, and a great benefit eventually for forum readers and participants. Keep up the excellent work!




Edited by meramarina on 05 July 2013 at 3:14am

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Serpent
Octoglot
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 Message 40 of 43
05 July 2013 at 7:27am | IP Logged 
Most articles in these sections have advice both for beginners and intermediate/advanced learners. like shadowing, improving your listening etc.
i'd say there's a difference. techniques are about introducing learners to new ways of learning (and i frequently link to that page to emphasize that it's not only important WHICH textbook you get but also HOW you use it), whereas those awesome articles started by Cavesa are more about "what should I do to...?"


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