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Page Activity

Do you have any comments to tjp.com, good or bad?

Page Activity

Postby Gan » Tue 06.05.2012 10:14 pm

It appears to me that this site isn't nearly as active or popular as it used to be. I remember (or at least I think I do) when it used to get tons of posts per day in various sub-forums, now it seems it is lucky to get more than 5 a week.

I propose the following question, why?

Are people now less interesting in Japanese?
Is Japanese just easier to learn today?
Did the medium from which inspired people to learn disappear?

Many people become inspired by anime to learn
When I first started reading this site anime and such was niche in America...
but now it seems that it' gone mainstream
if you think about it then it'd make sense for more people to learn
but it seems the opposite has taken place.

What's going on?
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Re: Page Activity

Postby phreadom » Wed 06.06.2012 4:01 am

I'm not sure what the exact reasons are...

I'm working on redoing the site and adding new things to it to try making it more user friendly and fun etc.

Image ← changing the chat to automatically put you in the chat when you login, with no extra steps. It should be like the classic Facebook chat, but with the addition of chat rooms etc.

The forum is being changed to be native to the main site software instead of a separate piece of software linked to it with hacks etc. (this part is already mostly done. These shots are from my development copy of the site.)

Image Image Image Image

This should also increase user friendliness and enable more fun stuff...

I have lots of other changes in the works as well.

Some of the other things include more easy to use "games" for helping drill the kana and kanji...

Image Image

(The dev version of kana match works on a separate test site, but kanji choice doesn't yet... these parts are still very much in development)

That stuff aside...

I think there are a lot of factors that have changed the way we learn Japanese... mobile phone apps, easier access to learning materials, a proliferation of countless sites related to Japanese etc... and I think the site here just got a little too messy... too confusing, not enough guidance, too cluttered etc.

So I'm trying to address what I can, which is to try improving the website. If I can give people more reasons to come visit and to enjoy their time here, and get more actual learning experience out of it, hopefully we can improve community participation.

Ideas are of course welcome. I'll try to keep people updated as make progress on the upgrade. I want people to really enjoy it when it's ready. :bow:
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Re: Page Activity

Postby jimbreen » Wed 06.06.2012 7:58 am

phreadom wrote:I'm not sure what the exact reasons are...
[...]
I think there are a lot of factors that have changed the way we learn Japanese... mobile phone apps, easier access to learning materials, a proliferation of countless sites related to Japanese etc... and I think the site here just got a little too messy... too confusing, not enough guidance, too cluttered etc.

So I'm trying to address what I can, which is to try improving the website. If I can give people more reasons to come visit and to enjoy their time here, and get more actual learning experience out of it, hopefully we can improve community participation.


I first started using a networked forum for discussing Japanese things in 1989(!). It was the Usenet "sci.lang.japan" newsgroup, which is still operating although it's now only used by a few grey-haired retired grandfathers like me. There were other related groups such as fj.life.in-japan and soc.culture.japan.

Fashions change, and more and more of these sorts of forums are being formed all the time. I was put onto TJP by some of the people leaving sci.lang.japan. I have noticed the traffic and discussion declining in recent years. I think it's a pity, and frankly I don't know what's making people chosse other forums. The changes that have been coming in seem to make it friendlier (although I can't really tell, as I have an RSS feed set up and only look at postings when the heading and first sentence look interesting.)

I hope TJP keeps going. I recommend it when I can.

Cheers

Jim
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Re: Page Activity

Postby clay » Wed 06.06.2012 9:53 am

Thank you Jim--it is an honor to have you here.

Phreadom has done an excellent job improving the backend of the website, and I am positive that will pay off in the long run. I think most of the fault lies with me not creating content like I used to. Over ten years ago, I spent all my time working on articles, videos, recording, etc. Even when I "worked" I was thinking how to improve TJP. Despite my youth, inexperience, and poor grammar (shudder), I would receive emails from people daily who were excited about learning Japanese and happy that TJP was continually adding new content.

But then I got a family, realized I had responsibilities, and turned my attention to fulfilling those responsibilities.

But today (and I decided this before reading this thread), I am planning to release a new video, article, and send out a TJP Bulletin newsletter. That will be the first newsletter I've sent and there are over 800 signups. I know, I know... I just haven't worked the site like I should have.

Anyway, thanks for all those who are here. And while I'm shy and don't hang out in the forums or chatrooms much, I will be working the other parts of the site.

BTW, if anybody has any ideas for making the site more user friendly and inviting or ideas for content, please email me clay AT The Japan Shop dot com.
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Re: Page Activity

Postby richvh » Fri 06.08.2012 2:02 pm

I hope that the weekly new content that ゆきの物語 (with its bilingual with vocabulary format) is providing is helping at least a little. Phreadom? Are you able to tell how much traffic Yuki's getting separate from overall site traffic?

Jim, if you could look it over and critique its effectiveness as a learning tool, I'd be honored. The vocabulary lists lean heavily on edict, though I don't just copy the dictionary entries mindlessly. One recent page had two different senses of あがる used on it, and I limited the vocabulary entry to those two senses rather than all 8 or so that are in edict.

I think a lot of the new learner traffic's going to lang-8 and perhaps other similar social media sites rather than more traditional forum sites like this one.
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Re: Page Activity

Postby clay » Fri 06.08.2012 6:45 pm

Actually, Rich, you may be right. I just looked at the Google Analytics data since I started tracking it (2008) and the site's visitors really hasn't changed. (about 1500-1800 unique visitors per day--although page views are way down (2008 averaged about 14,000 a day; now it is about 5-6k--Ouch!) Maybe instead of forums, people are turning to other forms of interaction and ways to ask and get information?

I know I usually consult Google when I have a question. Pretty much any question that has been asked has some kind of answer out there. This forum also has years of questions and answers for people to get what they need without sticking around to post.

I know AOL and other past behemoths (not to say that TJP was anything big!) have fought a losing battle trying to get ad revenue through content creation. There are just so many options now for news and entertainment, too many things vying for people's attention.
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Re: Page Activity

Postby jimbreen » Fri 06.08.2012 7:50 pm

richvh wrote:I hope that the weekly new content that ゆきの物語 (with its bilingual with vocabulary format) is providing is helping at least a little. Phreadom? Are you able to tell how much traffic Yuki's getting separate from overall site traffic?

Jim, if you could look it over and critique its effectiveness as a learning tool, I'd be honored. The vocabulary lists lean heavily on edict, though I don't just copy the dictionary entries mindlessly. One recent page had two different senses of あがる used on it, and I limited the vocabulary entry to those two senses rather than all 8 or so that are in edict.


I'm the wrong person to ask. I'm not a language teacher (although I'm trying to coach my grandson in English - he's mastered "Thank you" and "bye-bye", but "mum" and "dad" need work.)

That said, I think ゆきの物語 is fantastic. I'm not really sure about the J<->E clicking as I suspect instant answers like that might get in the way of real language acquisition. I'd love to do a controlled experiment on matched groups of students trying out some of these approaches. You are of course, welcome to use JMdict as a source of those translations, and yes they need some work to match the context.

Speaking of such things, I've received a copy of the manga edition of 夏目漱石's 坊ちゃん which has been set up as a way of introducing language learner's to Japanese literature. It's published by Yumani. I think it's been beautifully done, and captures the original style very well. They have used JMdict for the annotated translations much the same as you did in ゆきの物語.

Ganbatte,

Jim
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Re: Page Activity

Postby phreadom » Sat 06.09.2012 2:40 pm

On a side note...

Image Image Image

I've included full localization support this time as well. LordOfTheFlies (thanks! :bow: ) helped me pop in some translations for the main menu (which you can see me doing in the first shot). (We didn't know how to translate "Be Social".) :P

(Due to page caching, which we'll have to have enabled due to site performance issues, the browser language isn't detected for anonymous users currently... so one has to create an account and select Japanese on their profile to see the site in Japanese. Hopefully they can get this fixed and have both languages cached and serve the correct localized cache file or something... http://drupal.org/node/1241236 )

Most of the stuff is automatically translated through translation packages from the Drupal site etc... and you can manually put in other ones for specific strings and whatnot.

I figure this might help Japanese people come use the site more.

As usual, suggestions and feedback are certainly welcome! よろしくおねがいします。 :bow:

UPDATE: LordOfTheFlies and Ongakuka decided that ソーシャル would be a good choice...

Image
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Re: Page Activity

Postby Luv Scarlet » Sun 07.01.2012 8:38 pm

I'm just in admiration for the work you did and you're doing for TJP. This site is bringing me so much, I hope it will continue existing for a long time again. You made an excellent job.

And Phreadom, are you working in solo on the coding and graphism of your project ? It looks very clear, nice and simple. Does a subject for volunteers to help you exists ? Or do people with the will to make something for TJP that could be useful (graph/coding for exemple) can do something ?

Well just to point that thing, if it wasn't already done : I think the major problem is that there are more and more sites about learning Japanese, and when we do a search on Google, it's sad that TJP doesn't appear in the first proposals (with "Japanese lessons", "learning Japanese", "Japanese site"... I got here by the way of a site of referencing for learning the language).

Sorry if I'm not in the right part to say that, but to remedy I can suggest some littles things like : try something with referencing sites or maybe make an ad' for the site and publish it on Youtube, Dailymotion... But I'm not an expert for this, I'm not sure it could work very well...

And there is always a lot of people on the site, but a few are registered, there is the problem :(

P.S. : Everytime it takes me one hour to post a message xDDD ! I'm too perfectionnist. Well, god bless my "school-learned-English"... :ninja:
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Re: Page Activity

Postby phreadom » Tue 07.03.2012 2:53 am

Luv Scarlet wrote:I'm just in admiration for the work you did and you're doing for TJP. This site is bringing me so much, I hope it will continue existing for a long time still. You did an excellent job.

And Phreadom, are you working in solo on the coding and graphics of your project ? It looks very clear, nice and simple. Does a subject for volunteers to help you exist ? Or can people with the will to make something for TJP that could be useful (graph/coding for example) can do something ?

Well just to point out something, if it wasn't already done : I think the major problem is that there are more and more sites about learning Japanese, and when we do a search on Google, it's sad that TJP doesn't appear in the first proposals (with "Japanese lessons", "learning Japanese", "Japanese site"... I got here by the way of a site of referencing it for learning the language).

Sorry if I'm not in the right part to say that, but to remedy it I can suggest some little things like : try something with referencing sites or maybe make an ad' for the site and publish it on Youtube, Dailymotion... But I'm not an expert on this, I'm not sure it could work very well...

And there is always a lot of people on the site, but a few are registered, there is the problem :(

P.S. : Every time it takes me one hour to post a message xDDD ! I'm too perfectionist. Well, god bless my "school-learned-English"... :ninja:


I hope you don't mind, I tried to offer you some corrections on tiny typos and little grammar things. :) (my additions or corrections are underlined, and words with a line through them should be removed.) :bow:

Basically I just work on the design etc by myself. :) I'm always open to suggestions etc.

Clay generally handles all the audio/video stuff... and he has made a number of videos that he has on youtube. I've never really dug into it much to see if there's some way we could improve exposure on that front...

Thank you for your input! Don't hesitate to offer more ideas if you think of more things. :)
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Re: Page Activity

Postby Shiroisan » Tue 07.03.2012 5:16 am

'Perfectionist' is a noun Phreadom :P . 'Perfectionistic' could work though.
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Re: Page Activity

Postby Ongakuka » Tue 07.03.2012 11:53 am

Shiroisan wrote:'Perfectionist' is a noun Phreadom :P . 'Perfectionistic' could work though.


Good point, but if we're going on what sounds natural, 'too perfectionistic' sounds very wrong to me. 'Too perfectionist' sounds like a contraction of 'Too much of a perfectionist.' Still, I don't think Luv Scarlet-san really has much to gain from being corrected, since many native speakers make far more mistakes in English.
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Re: Page Activity

Postby phreadom » Tue 07.03.2012 3:08 pm

Ongakuka wrote:
Shiroisan wrote:'Perfectionist' is a noun Phreadom :P . 'Perfectionistic' could work though.


Good point, but if we're going on what sounds natural, 'too perfectionistic' sounds very wrong to me. 'Too perfectionist' sounds like a contraction of 'Too much of a perfectionist.' Still, I don't think Luv Scarlet-san really has much to gain from being corrected, since many native speakers make far more mistakes in English.


That right there. Thanks Ongakuka. :colonthree:
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Re: Page Activity

Postby Luv Scarlet » Tue 07.03.2012 9:40 pm

Ah ah thanks for the correction ! Hope it will help me, and sorry for te mistakes xD There are some pervert ones like "example" (in French we say exemple with an "e" x)) Well thank you phreadom, Shiroisan and Ongakuka !

Well, yes if you need help, i'm around 4-5 years of graphic (sounds weird e_e) and one year of coding (HTML and CSS), so I have a few notions in webdesign, but I think you beat me here ! :) And I don't think I should be the only one who wants to help you x)

And even in French there are foreigners that write better French than some native ones ! xD

And yes, Clay made a very good work too, I will search for his videos... Ah, I found one : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K89FQIiEEzI , this is a great video !! ^^ [And Clay is replying in the comments :D]

[Ah and I very appreciate your help guys, 'looks like I have to improve a lot more my English. Moreover, I hope I'll find people that I could help learning French ! ^^ Oh, and I'll make a topic on my graphic forum for TJP, I help it will bring some people ;)]
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Re: Page Activity

Postby Infidel » Sun 12.29.2013 8:16 am

I dug around a little and I think Google might be part of the problem.

I tested a few search terms to see how things were going. The quoted words are the unquoted search terms used and the rank how far I had to scroll or page through. I am not including the paid placement
-------
"Japanese Questions" rank 10
"Learn Japanese" rank 34
"Japanese forum" Rank 8
"Best Japanese textbook" rank 11 - My page?! Needs updating badly.
"Best way to learn Japanese" rank 93 (Discussions rank 172!)

"Learn Japanese" and "Best way" are two examples of very high likely search terms. The rank 93 page was actually referencing a "Best way to learn the kanji" post so it lost placement. Then I clicked the discussions search tab in google and found a japanesepage entry on page 17 :(

The google equation accounts for timeliness, page activity, and page load time. Not only relevance. I'm afraid all the features you've added over the years reached the point of creating a load time deficit, or at least confusing the google search engine in one way or another.

If the goal is to get back the high placement in google without paying for it. Then some things that can be done.
1. Study Search Engine Optimization again especially for google.
2. Look into the sites load times and start cutting out unnecessary fluff.
3. Lock old posts so people create more new posts For google better 10 threads asking the same question than one. Of course people will have to stop criticizing people for it.
4. Consider moving to a faster server.
5. Instead of integrating everything spin off more server intensive functions to different sites on different servers.
6. Consider limiting or moving the archive.

etc. etc. SEO SEO SEO.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
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