News Post

The year in review: 2023

Jake the Admin

December 15, 2023

Believe it or not, we’re in the final days of 2023! That means it’s time for the traditional wrap-up here at ALTopedia. As is now the custom, I went and asked the database about everything that happened between December 15 of last year and this year, and the numbers are:

  • 1480 activities were created (this doesn’t include activities that didn’t make it through moderation or were deleted later)
  • 3900 comments were posted
  • 4600 user accounts were created (not including accounts that were deleted later)
  • 2900 lessons were tracked using the Lesson Tracker
  • 260 tags were voted on using the new Tag Voting system
  • 2500 activity collections were created
  • 12 Community Moderators started
  • These moderators made 1400 decisions on activities
  • 29,700 thumbs up were given on activities

Comments and thumbs up have grown enormously - in 2022 the numbers were 1830 new comments and 7199 new thumbs up. The thumbs up count quadrupled!

The five activities that got the most thumbs up during 2023 were:

All of them received over 100 thumbs up during the year.

I don’t have the stats for pages visited during 2023, since I turned off Google Analytics in the summer. The service was doing some kind of complete revision that apparently would have tossed out all of the previous data. It was nice to have some sort of rough visitor count, but I didn’t really have much in the way of actionable insights that I could get from it, and I trust Google and the other megatech companies less and less every day. My guess based on all of the stats I’ve just posted is that the number of visitors continues to increase, but if you asked me how many people visit the site every day, I really don’t know. Good thing I’m not trying to sell ad space!

But I suppose that it would be irresponsible to talk about ALTopedia this year without mentioning the biggest thing that happened, the large controversy over what activities are or aren’t permissible on the site. If you weren’t using the site last spring and summer, there was a lot of discussion about whether activities that touched on modern-day political topics should be allowed on the site. I don’t know if there’s any way I can frame it that everyone would agree with, but if you look back on the news posts from the middle of the year, it should give you some idea of what it was like.

I developed the Community Moderation system to try and address how I didn’t have the time to check each individual activity, and developed some guidelines with input from the community. I’m not going to pretend that it’s perfect, and I certainly heard from a fair number of people who were quite upset.

I wish I’d anticipated an event like what happened this year and had better systems and practices in place to deal with it. There are advantages to being a big organization with rules and processes and a decision-making hierarchy, but a lot of disadvantages as well. I don’t think the essence of what makes the site useful could be preserved if it had to earn enough revenue to pay the salaries of a team of people, or at least not yet. Maybe it’s time that I bring in more people to help administer the site, but it’s a lot to ask of anyone for free.

Speaking of which, I’m very thankful for everyone who’s helped with the site financially by becoming a Subscriber. I know that a lot of people don’t like that the large file links are grayed out for them, but without some limit on the largest accessible files, the bandwidth costs just grow and grow every month. I’m going to take another look at payment options besides Ko-fi and Patreon, but we’ll have to see how that turns out.

I’ve got quite a list of features that I want to work on, and I’m trying to prioritize them. If I’ve heard correctly, are new Elementary School textbooks on the horizon for next year? The textbook system needs a good renovation, so maybe it might be good to start with those.

Thanks for all of your contributions, comments, feedback, and energy. Please enjoy the winter break, and good luck in 2024!

  1. Rilakkuman December 18, 2023

    Thank you for your continued hard work, Jake.

  2. ALTresource December 18, 2023

    Happy holidays, Jake!

  3. HeyItsMori December 18, 2023

    Thank you for your hardwork, Jake!

  4. greenteapeople December 18, 2023

    Thank you Jake and the Community Moderators for all of your hard work this year! Happy holidays everyone! ✧。٩(ˊᗜˋ )✧*。

  5. genieg December 18, 2023

    Thank you for putting a lot of effort. By now we all know how great your work in managing this site. Have a wonderful Holidays.

  6. srunyon415 December 18, 2023

    Happy holidays! Thank you as always for your hard work!

  7. AVGKF December 18, 2023

    Thank you for your hard work! This site makes my work easier, which makes my life easier, which makes me happy!

    Would buying membership through Paypal be a viable suggestion?

  8. Jake the Admin December 19, 2023

    Sure, if anyone wants to buy Subscriber tokens directly through Paypal then that's an option as well. Just use the Contact link on the site or email me and I'll tell you the account to send them to.

  9. Danakco December 19, 2023

    Your amazing and Altopedia in invaluable!!

  10. Celestar129 December 19, 2023

    Thank you for putting so much of your time and effort into this site. It's helped many ALTs with their jobs and relieved a lot of extra stress that comes with teaching. Happy holidays~

  11. connichiwow December 19, 2023

    This site, and everyone who helped run it, are amazing! Thank you so much, and I hope you keep going!
    I wonder if there's a way to show old posts (from last year, or previous year) that were the most popular, on a certain month or time period? I'm a 2023 ALT and was not aware of previous posts (it did not turn up in my search) until someone commented on my particular post this month about a similar one from last year. It will surely help new ALTs if popular posts from years back are flagged at the top of the dashboard. Thanks!

  12. Cityfan December 20, 2023

    Thanks to this sites contents, Im able to sustain the illusion that Im a decent teacher! Without it Id be lost. So, thank you to you and the many contributors.

  13. ohnoko December 21, 2023

    Jake, this site is such an invaluable resource. Thanks for all you put into it, and also to the mods who have been doing such a great job making swift decisions! I hope everyone has a fun and restful winter vacation. Happy Holidays!! ⛄🎁

  14. akitaallt December 21, 2023

    "I wish I’d anticipated an event like what happened this year and had better systems and practices in place to deal with it."

    We can't predict the future, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that teaching children largely from predetermined textbooks wouldn't be the most socially/politically challenging activity. I think you did an amazing job keeping the site together and maintianing integrity and thoughtfulness.

    This site is really great, and only improving, thanks for doing such a good job with it.

  15. Matthew December 22, 2023

    Great work as always. Thank you so much for this great resource.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy new year to all!

  16. Breezybird December 22, 2023

    Thank you for your hard work as always! This site has saved me countless times this year!
    Happy Holidays!

  17. ratclass January 9, 2024

    I hope you had wonderful holidays. thanks in advance for helping me be a better teacher in 2024!

  18. janeenmp January 10, 2024

    I really believe this site does a lot of good for all the students in Japan. Everyone I have showed it to, my OTE/JTEs included have been so excited about it. Let's keep it up!

  19. Beverbin January 23, 2024

    Thank you for your 'above and beyond' efforts in running this incredibley useful site!

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