Lang-8 autodata?

Have you guys crafted autodata for Lang-8?, I really cannot use beeminder without autodata (I am too lazy to manually enter the data) and I’d love to beemind language learning in Lang-8


Cool. Hadn’t come across the Lang-8 community of mutually-supportive language learners. Here are some random ideas for automating arbitrary data sources:

If they send you a convenient email every time that you’ve done something productive, you could use that and IFTTT or Zapier to add a datapoint to a Beeminder goal.

If that email happens to have a numeric points value in just the right place, you may be able to extract it using our IFTTT macros or some fancy Zapier parsing. If not, then there may still be value in just using the number of emails as a proxy for your progress.

If you’re not already using this RescueTime hack, you could set the Lang-8 website as its own special category (I think you’re only allowed to have one) and beemind the time spent on the site. If you wanted to count that as ‘days that I studied’ rather than the elapsed time, our premium plans let you set a custom ‘aggregation’ function that treats the day as binary.

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Many thanks for the ideas. I’ve checked Lang-8 email-preferences and it could work (not ideal, though) using the notifications sent when someone comments/makes corrections to my posts. This is of course not the best way to do it, because it does not necessarily depends on my productivity on Lang-8, but on my popularity and other users’ willingness to correct my text (and when many people correct one single entry I would overestimate my Lang-8 work). Unfortunately there is no notification when I post something (ideally I would like beemind the number of word I publish, …, something like you have for Draft, or, second-best, to beemind the number of posts, …, one post per day or a fixed number of posts per week).

Regarding RescueTime, I’ve used it and, in general, I do not like it. First, it does not really reflect my productivity on the site (I could spend a lot of time on the site, but without writing anything) and second, I’ve found it kinda unreliable (I still don’t know why, but sometimes it underestimate the time I spent in one site). I think RescueTime works nicely for “do-less” goals (such as gaming sites, …, this is for what I use it for) but it works lousy for “do-more” goals (like the one I want in Lang-8).

Looking around, perhaps a good alternative to beemind Lang-8 would be to monitor my journal. In Lang-8, you can make your journal public (in your journal -sort of a blog- there will be one entry for every text you post for others’ to correct. For example, Is there any beeminder tool/plugin to monitor and notify about website content changes?, Perhaps I can use something like that to monitor my journal and send the data to beeminder every time I post something to Lang-8.


Is there an RSS feed, either for your progress or for your journal?

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Good idea!!!, let me check that out.

For RSS is there a way to measure number of words?, or just a trigger for every new post?

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I am not sure if there is a macro for word count, but we can nag the devs
here if there isn’t. I think a bunch of us could use that if it doesn’t
already exist.

However, using functionality we have today, you can tie RSS to IFTTT to
Beeminder. I think you can also use Zapier for that but I am more familiar
with IFTTT.

You can sign up for a free IFTTT account, set up the Feed (or RSS, I
forget) channel and the Beeminder channel, and set it that when a new item
shows up on the RSS, it adds a datapoint into a Beeminder goal.

Please let me know if you need more details than that to do this. I will
be away most of the day at a conference but I’ll keep an eye out.


Thanks! It would be great to have a macro for word count new entries in RSS feeds. I’ve used IFTTT for RSS, but as far as I know, it only detects new entries (title, link, etc) but not its contents.

After a 5-minutes search. I couldn’t find any RSS in Lang-8, though. But I’ll keep on looking.

Thanks @adamwolf and good luck in your conference.

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I couldn’t find an RSS for journal entries either, but what you can do is connect a Twitter or Facebook account to your Lang-8 and have it autopost entries there. With IFTTT you can search for it on Twitter (with a search query like “from:edalfon lang-8”), and it would add a +1 to Beeminder for every new journal entry.

This doesn’t solve the word-count problem though. It looks like Lang-8 can post the entire journal entry to Facebook, so if you know some programming, you can grab the post off Facebook and do a word-count that way. But if you don’t, I would just have two separate goals: one for word count (through Draft), and one for entries (via Twitter/Facebook).

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Thanks for the ideas. Facebook posting could work for the word count. Perhaps someday I will look into that.

It turns out there is actually RSS feed for the Lang-8 journal. It does not seem to be documented anywhere, but you only need to add /rss to the journal address (e.g. So, now I am using IFTTT to send a datapoint (+1) to Beeminder every time there is a new entry in my journal.

In these cases however, an IFTTT macro for counting words would be just great. IFTTT lets you pass around the full content of the new entry. So, something like wordcnt[ {{EntryContent}} ]) in the data point value to send to Beeminder would be awesome!. And, as @adamwolf said, perhaps a bunch of people can take advantage of such a macro.


This is brilliant and a super easy #UVI idea. Thanks so much for all the ideas in this thread, everyone!

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I just added a wordcount macro to our ifttt channel (have to test it out still, and update the macro documentation post).



We think WORDCOUNT[{{EntryContent}}] should work now! Eager to hear from people who try it!


And for character-based languages:

Full documentation of IFTTT macros:

many many thanks @bee and @dreev

I’ve tried WORDCOUNT[{{EntryContent}}] and it works perfect!!!

(it kinda overestimate the number of words, but it’s not beeminder’s fault; it turns out the EntryContent contains extra info such as a long-format date; but this is not a problem because it is the same format every time, so I can handle it by adjusting the weekly rate in beeminder)

I’ll keep using it and I’ll send you feedback if I find anything weird. Thanks!


Or you might estimate which number of words this extra information amount to, and substract it (using SUM macro) from the number you feed into beeminder.
I haven’t tried it yet, but perhaps I will do it this way when I make a similar goal of my own :smile: