Product Updates & Casual Natively Discussion

Edit: Moved my reply to the product request to try and keep things a bit more organized.

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I’d love that in some fashion. At the very least, i’d love to generate that personal ranked list for you from your comparisons. But if we were to use it as an input mechanism, it’s hard for the grading system to handle it in it’s current form.

We’ve actually discussed before at one point moving away from Elo entirely and focusing on personal ranked lists like you’ve described. The task then would be to combine all those personal user rankings into one global aggregate ranking. However, my understanding is that it’s a relatively open research question in mathematics on how to combine partial ranked links into one aggregate ranking.

Another way would be to generate pairwise comparisons from those ranked list. However, Elo in its present form couldn’t handle those generated comparisons due to the limitation around a single user being limited to ~6 grades a book (as you point out). We could perhaps address that issue with a change to a static Elo system such as bradley-terry which I’ll eventually do… just would take a quite a bit of work and there are lots of high priority things now. However, the static elo system could probably handle the comparisons generated from this interface.

@seanblue does bring up some reasonable interface issues as well. I think i’d always allow you to just do the comparisons in pairs (its easy) but then generate the personal ranked list which you could tweak.

I think this is an interesting idea though, and if you wanted to make a product request, we could chat more there too. :slight_smile:


Made a product request for it. Should have probably started one from the start to keep things organized, but somehow I’m always a little hesistant about creating one. They feel so official:see_no_evil:
Posted a question regarding your answer over there :wave:


Just wanted to update you all - still working on movies. The marking tv progress mechanism is just quite tricky and giving me trouble, but I feel confident with everything else.

Additional Details on Issue

As you might imagine, since tv seasons are composed of many episodes and watching sessions (with timing) can span across multiple episodes it’s much more complicated than a movie or a book progress update.

Additionally, since you need to allow users to simply mark episodes watched or not watched individually, you can get some tricky behavior.

And, unfortunately, I think allowing people to update their progress pretty granularly is important for language learners as people watch things very slowly. So this complication is worthwhile and necessary.

In all honesty, I should’ve launched with only movies first, but that’s water under the bridge at this point!

It will launch soon. Perhaps the tv season progress marking may be a bit bumpy, but I need to get this thing out. :slight_smile:


And it’s all a matter of learning, too; you’ll be much more prepared for the Korean release, and then much more prepared for the next big thing… Honestly I’d be shocked if the audiovisual update released on time, no bugs, no complaints, etc., given that you’re, what, one developer?


Yes you’re always learning, this is true. But a little frustration with yourself can also make the lesson stick more :slight_smile:

As I’ve said before though, I’ve always imagined this release would be the most difficult and intimidating release I’d have to do, which it has proven to be. So I’m not super surprised.

All the prospective features we’ve laid out (even Korean) should be much smaller and limited in scope.

All in all, I will be so happy to get this out!


I can very relate to this.

I learnt the hard way how to manage a website that got too big before I could grasp myself with the basics.

Just take your time. While I can understand you want to get “rid” of this on the to-do list, managing a bad update is worse than delaying the release.

Also you might want to clone the database and do a beta.learnnatively for people to try break with such major changes.


Not really knowing all the details, but would it make it easier if you just made it a fixed granularity? Just 10%, 20%, 30%, …, 100%? Or even just 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%? (Every episode is only 4 “pages”.)
At least when I plan schedules and budgets, I find it’s easier to keep the numbers simple – easier for both the trackers and the trackees. :slight_smile:


Is it really necessary to support partial episode watching? For people who track “days watched” they can still manually mark a day as watched. Is there really any other use case for marking an episode as 10 minutes out of 25 minutes completed?


Yeah I’d lean more towards “partially watched” and “fully watched” states if anything, although I’m sure some people will want down to the minute granularity. I do… But I have a spreadsheet for that level of tracking as I’d hardly expect the site to include YouTube videos, podcasts, audiobook samples, etc


I really do think partial episode watching needs to be supported.

Language learners are very different profile than normal content users. A larger proportion of people are highly motivated by stats. I frequently see users coming on the site daily and only logging a few pages of a book read. From my own experience too, I frequently only watch a portion of a Korean episode. Sometimes over multiple days.

To add onto this, allowing page updates and timed sessions is frequently cited as a reason to use Natively over BookMeter.

I agree I could probably do buckor progress (25/50/75%) but that doesn’t simplify it that much and it eliminates people’s ability to do timed sessions.

Overall I don’t think this system is hard for the user, but rather it’s hard for me… which I think is a more acceptable situation.

Of course, I could be wrong on all of this, but that’s my strong intuition. I’ll be very interested to hear your feedback on how it works when it launches! :slight_smile:


Did you consider making a poll months ago? It’s good to get user opinions ahead of time, even if you go against those opinions sometimes. A poll might tell you that 20% of users would use this feature, and you might say that’s more than enough to justify working on it. But the poll could instead show only 2% would use it and that it’s a waste of development time. Probably too late at this point, but maybe something to consider in the future.

I’ve long been in the “I’ll read and watch what I want when I want” camp, so I’m clearly not the right person to ask in general about stats like this.

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Perhaps. I definitely regret not have more progress updates and asking for more feedback. I’m not entirely sure a poll would’ve been appropriate for this particular case, as I feel somewhat strongly on this point based on the current behavior I see and expect.

I also don’t think the users here are very representative of the user base as a whole (you all skew heavily towards more advanced users :slight_smile: ). However, I agree that getting your written feedback earlier would’ve been better and I regret that.

Before this I was trying to do monthly updates, which felt natural as I was releasing smaller updates at that cadence. Even if I’m not releasing due to a larger release (like this one). I should’ve kept those updates and feedback conversations, I agree.


Fair enough! As the creator you have insights that the rest of us don’t have, and having a strong vision is certainly a good thing too!


Calling me out like this :eyes:


I don’t know how hard that would be, but couldn’t you have the poll directly on the site, rather than on the forum? Or even just a pop-up/banner/whatever asking for feedbacks with a link to the forum thread (which may contain said poll)? That way you could also target a broader range of users.


:joy: well I’m the same way. I feel a sense of completion only after I ‘log it’, no matter how small. It kinda gamefies it

Perhaps. However when it comes to valuing prospective features, it can get a bit complicated imo. It can really depend on how a feature is designed on whether or not it’s useful. If I make marking tv progress clunky with the partial episode progress marking, then everyone will want it removed. If it’s done well, then perhaps people who weren’t expecting to mark their minutes watched will enjoy marking their minutes and find value there.

So i’m somewhat skeptical of the value of a poll on prospective features. I’d only do it if I didn’t have a strong opinion on something and there were multiple viable options. Kinda like how you all use the “what to read next” thread - you’re happy no matter the outcome :slight_smile:


For what it’s worth, I’m someone that logs their pages almost every day and I’m also someone that sometimes ends up watching only half an episode, even without the language learning aspect. I’m sure there’s more like me out there, thanks for thinking of us :wave:


I’m confused, so can you partially mark episodes watched? That would be amazing. I’m watching the original Pokemon series, which is nearly 300 episodes, and I skip episodes a lot. I always wished Anilist, MyAnimeList or MyDramaList had that feature.


Yes. By default, we assume that you watch things sequentially and we automatically update tv shows as ‘watched’ based on your current episode number… similar to anilist.

However, if you go to the season page, you can toggle episodes watched/watching/finished…etc and customize the time spent on each episode if you like:

Once you start messing around with manually toggling the episodes, you enter our ‘manual progress’ mode where you can no longer use the update progress popup from your dashboard… you have to go to the TV season page to update your episodes watched.

Perhaps at some point we streamline that so that you can you can mark them inside the popup, but we’ll see! I want to get a sense on how often people are doing that behavior :slight_smile:

Hopefully people who want the simple AniList behavior can get that and the people who want more specificity can also have that :slight_smile: