Product Updates & Casual Natively Discussion

Hi guys! This thread will contain product announcements and casual discussion about Natively, similar to the wanikani thread.

Let’s keep the conversation going :slight_smile:

Currently Working On
List tweaks, Series & Book Page tweaks, Search tweaks


PRODUCT UPDATE : Natively Forums(!), Email Verification

I’m very excited to introduce our very own Natively forums! I hope this will become a place to discuss all things Japanese media and Japanese learning :slight_smile:

I’ve already started a variety of topics & categories, check them out!


There are four categories from which to choose from. Do note that you have to choose a category. In order to keep moderation requirements at a minimum, we are only allowing conversation in the categories below.

You’ll notice only the ‘Natively’ category has topics right now, but please go ahead and start your own!

Initial Topics

You’ll notice only the ‘Natively’ category has topics right now, but please go ahead and start your own!

Before chatting away, please take a quick look at our welcome message with our guidelines. If you’d like to discuss the guidelines, please do so here.

Email Verification

You’ll now notice that Natively asks you to confirm your email address. Technically, the only functionality which requires email verification is participation in the forums. However, I will continue to prompt you once every few days.

With all the discussions around bot abuse, email verification is a relatively easy mechanism to help prevent some bot abuse. For that reason, along with the forum software (discourse) email verification requirement, I’ve come around to requiring email verification.

If this is an issue for some reason, or you strongly disagree with this requirement, please let me know!


For this sprint, I’ll be focusing on a first version of movies & tv shows! I’ll be utilizing the wonderful database as a source for all the information on Movies & TV shows.

This sprint may take a while, but I’d like to get a basic version out as quickly as possible and iterate from there.

If you have any questions/concerns/suggestions, of course respond below!!

Happy Reading! :slight_smile:


It would be cool if you could navigate from a use page on the form to their natively account. And if linking to a book like

or like would work as expected (with just the book title as the link text).


Absolutely. I’m going to try and build in better integration very soon. The user profile links should be very easy it was on the to do list. I’m less certain on the link conversion, but we’ll see.

It’s a little bit of an unknown how extensible this forum software is as i haven’t played with it terribly long yet, but it is open source and it seems to be extensible :slight_smile:

1 Like

So I’ve got a question I’ve been curious about for a while. When requesting books to be added to Natively, should we only request ones that we’ve read/plan on reading (or similar)? Reason I ask is that I know a bunch of older ('90s) manga that could be added to the site, but I personally don’t have any plans to read them anytime soon, and they’re not exactly chart-toppers, so I can’t imagine there will be that many users who will rate them. And if the whole point of the site is to grade the books… I didn’t want to flood the place with unwanted requests.

Also: unrelated to above, but it seems like I can only have one topic on the forum stickied at a time? At least, only one appears at the top of the forum even though the others’ pins are all facing down. :thinking: Is that normal?


I have noticed that the links have improved! They used to be really long and have a lot of % and other characters in them. I do think the book title and the volume might be helpful, though, because then it would be easier to type in a link without having to search for the book again or go into your library.

I also think that maybe making it to where clicking any links from the “Where to find” or the “More information” section would automatically open up in a separate tab instead of pulling you from the natively window may also be helpful. Right now, I right-click every link and click to open in a new tab.


So, in general i’ve had excess capacity when it’s come to adding books to the database and therefore I haven’t worried about it. I also do want to support you having your ‘owned’ and ‘wish list’ on the site and I don’t want the database to be a limiting factor. However, there’s obviously a reasonable extent to which I want to add things.

Newer items that are more likely to be wanted and that are easier to add are always welcome. If you have hundreds of of 90s manga though, let’s just add them as you get to them if that’s ok. Again though, for anyone else reading this, I do encourage you to add whatever you want and not worry about it. This just sounds like an extreme example haha

I’m not terribly concerned with the influx of ungraded books. The vast majority of searches are ordered by popularity, so it’s no big deal!

I am not a discourse expert (discourse is the name of this forum software). I think discourse might take into account if you’ve ‘read’ a thread and order it differently, even if it’s pinned. But I’m really not sure…


Yes, I did make that change a while ago. They really weren’t sharable with the titles in the link and for a social network like Natively, you need shareable links.

I’m not sure I follow haha. Mind expanding on that?

I may have to mark this as a controversial topic too :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

In general, forcing new tabs is good for desktop but more confusing for mobile, at least in my experience. It also greatly depends on your personal preference. I usually elect to allow the user to choose if they want a new tab, rather than selecting for them (you can do ctrl-click).

But, there are many sites who have outbound links such as those you mentioned open in new tabs. I think eventually I need a user preference so I can appease everyone haha


Alrighty, cool, no problem! I figured the answer would be something similar to this, but I figured it’d be best to ask and clear the air.


For example, if there was a series page for a particular series, I might be able to just type in instead of it ending with series/3f84bbb07d <i’m less likely to remember the link and the format of the link when it’s random numbers and letters than I would be with the series’ name. With a format like that, I could even immediately search books by authors without actively using the searchbar for each search.

:joy::joy:my archnemesis is remembering to manually click “open in new tab” when I’m trying to look at the book on amazon.

and maybe…maybe…the elusive description/summary of a series on it’s page so that we don’t have to go running to google or MU or some other website to find out what the book is about. If I know the official summary/description of a series, I don’t mind adding it to whatever book I submit to be added or to whatever book I come across. I spend so much time looking at descriptions before I decide if I’m going to read a book.

edit: trying to see if any spoilers/hidden message features work with markdown. dont mind me.


Right, it would be nice if you could have clean URLs like that. Unfortunately, it’s just way more complicated :confused:

Like what would you do for Japanese Short Stories: Captivating Short Stories to Learn Japanese & Grow Your Vocabulary the Fun Way!? Titles get very long… and if you start to shorten them then it immediately gets confusing as to what to type. Now I could do a search result like you’re describing… and potentially link to search results if there’s more than one result, which is an interesting idea. I do think it’s probably overly complicated though and wouldn’t have as good of results as we’d hope for (my search engine isn’t super good, only average).

I’ll think on it though.

Yes, that is elusive isn’t it! One of my high priorities is figuring out how to crowdsource that effectively as I don’t think it’s easily scrape-able (legally). It’s one of the many reasons I wanted to get this forum going. Hopefully with a more vibrant community on the site, we can start to get more buy in for crowdsourced activities… but we’ll see! I’m not entirely sure the best way to do it.

Edit: phrasing


:face_with_monocle: :face_with_monocle: :thought_balloon: :thought_balloon:

tbh, for that, I would probably just shorten the title in the link. Once you see the link the first time, you’d know it. japanese-short-fun-way…I think there’s 2 or 3 in that series, so then I’d end it with -1, but I also just really like indexing, so it’s probably me.
But I do think that searching by author would be nice, too!

But I don’t think that those are at the forefront rn. You’ve added a forum which is already really cool. (Hi friends! Come read books with me :smiley: )


FWIW I try to include summaries in my reviews, although admittedly sometimes I forget and with short stories too much summary ruins the fun. Perhaps anyone who has a book listed as “read” can submit a summary and it includes a simple ‘report’ and ‘suggest edits’ for things like including spoilers or adding details. :thinking:

Edit: but this also brings to mind how tags are a big want of mine. Having tags would help a lot so you know something in mystery, fantasy, romance, etc.


I usually try to give a small summary in all of my reviews as well on the first volume. Although I never know how much people want to know so I usually keep it really brief. Not sure exactly how you would moderate people submitting summaries since some people might have different views on how much information should be given? I know on MAL when you submit a summary for a manga, it goes to a mod to review first but that might be a lot of work to review every summary. If we can make it work somehow though, having summaries on each manga would be nice :slightly_smiling_face:

Also, I 100% agree on having tags. Its usually how I search for new stuff to read on other sites.


Hi everyone!

I’ve been trying to leave some sort of summary in my reviews too, which is part of why mine are so long lol. But I’ve wondered if, when requesting a book, I should include a very short description or blurb in the notes box? Would that be helpful?

I’d like to see tags or genres too. Right now all non-fiction is falling into the “other” category. I’m not sure how much to break it down, but tags for biographies and self-improvement would help.

Would it be okay to have a thread where we can ask for second opinions on the estimated difficulty level of a book? I’m reading something where my strengths and weaknesses and background knowledge are significantly different from what the average seems to be. I think I have an idea of how to approach this, but I’d feel better if I could ask other people to take a quick look at a sample and tell me if I’m on the right track. (I’m only at the 25% point so this isn’t immediate, but it’s something that’s weighing on my mind as I read.)


Sounds like a fine topic to me. Is the estimated with or without someone having graded it? IIRC @brandon said to me before that most new novels are placed at 30 unless otherwise specified when requested (he added a bunch outside requests). I also asked him to add a bunch of Aozora short stories for me and they were to be defaulted to 35 as their temp rating across the board.


I don’t think most people would be looking for a summary of a short stories collection, tbh. The title/description that it’s short stories should be enough. But if you’re looking at a novel (regular length, light novel, or children’s novel), it would be nice to see a description, if they’re available. I do try to put summaries for what books I have reviewed so far, but since reviews can’t be voted on, they’ll eventually be buried as more users join. And most people don’t dig through reviews after a certain point.

I normally only give a summary on the series itself and not each volume. (Which is normally how the summaries are made anyways.)


On MU (since I have a membership there and do edit pages), people who are approved can submit the descriptions without moderation. Those who aren’t approved yet do have to submit a request/wait for their description to be approved. Since MU is indexing manga, I normally use the descriptions that I get from to give a description.

Most people that are looking for summaries would be looking for what the author/publisher would have provided. Authors/publishers are providing them because they know that people do want to know what a series or book is about before using them.

I think that what @cat suggested also might work, especially because some books need trigger warnings. There were a few books that I almost purchased because they had high ratings on here and were within the level that I was looking for–but once I went digging for summaries/reviews off of the website, I saw some trigger warnings for some things.

I think if it could show up on the series page, that would be nice, since normally the description/summary is for the series in general and not every single volume.


Yes, that is what I meant, I just worded it poorly. I agree with what you had to say though.


That would certainly be helpful! If you want to write descriptions in your requests (or feedback) I can certainly add it. However, I do think what everyone has been doing with writing a brief description in their reviews is really useful. Summaries in the reviews are a great solution for the time being, until perhaps we build out a full fledged system for crowdsourcing summaries on series pages & book pages.

Yes, tags are in the top 5 high priority features outside the major ticket items for the year (audiovisual & korean). I am hopeful I can get it done soon, it would be amazingly useful.

I love that idea! I did think about having a pinned general grading discussion thread, but I’m not sure if it’s better to have independent threads or a general thread. We’re also getting a lot of potential pinned threads, so don’t want to go overboard at the start :sweat_smile:. Please create it if you want!

yes what you’re describing is what I have in mind. Simple trust levels and crowdsourced descriptions. It’s not terribly hard to implement, but does take a little work to get right! As I said before, it’s a high priority so I hope to get to it sometime in the coming months.

Oh I’m so happy you’re all enjoying! I’ve been wanting to create a forum for a while :smile: :smile: