From the perspective of the lurker...
I just figured that I am now part of the scary silent majority - that invisible army of the mute - and am therefore able now to provide some insights into their world for the VFPs, and EFPs, and UFPs.
Due to time constraints I now primarily consume and only rarely produce. This is how I still use the site:
- I listen to the new lesson on the way to work - via m.chinesepod.com. That is, only if someone comments on the lesson, because the "feed" does not work for me for whatever reasons. Never did.
- I download the lessons (including audio review, PDF, HTML. expansion). That is right - no feed, manual download. I've been dowing that since the dawn of time.
- For assigned lessons (guided) or selected additional lessons, I work through the dialogue and expansion parts + listen to the audio review and the full show. Then I do the Skritter part and eventually listen to the dialogue once again.
- I skip through the comments once or twice a day to look out for interesting contributions (I always watch out for Changye-comments!).
- Once in a while I do a placement test for the fun of it. Although, the punctuation-"errors" are still annoying.
Progress has of course slowed down in comparison to the "wild days", but I try to keep going anyway.
This is how the changes to the site affected me:
- Browsing through the comments have become a little harder since the introduction of threading (and of course the first week of the dashboard comments were unusable). But that is not dramatic, since I don't actively participate.
- I don't really get what the "dashboard" is all about. It seems to melt together the feed-idea with the groups-concept and somehow multiplies their usability (for me: both below the value of 1). But I don't mind, as long as I find a way to the good old lesson pages with their download options.
So in summery: no significant change for this type of usage profile.
For me, changes to the community features don't have much impact (currently). Regardless of how good the features will become! Unless it includes a time machine feature it will not bring me to contribute. I profit from all content related changes that fit into my time slot - although superior new features might substitue old ones (as Skritter did with the exercises).
So, the bottom line is simple: If CPod wants to add value for the community, go with the Very, the Extreme, or the Ultra Frequent Posters. Do not listen to me as it doesn't affect me anyway.