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ProZ needs to become more job-oriented!
Thread poster: bochkor
bochkor
Local time: 21:16
English to German
+ ...
Apr 30, 2002

ProZ is a great place to chitchat, to help each other out with a few words, but the main thing is suffering from lack of attention: number of jobs.



Therefore I\'d like to see how many other translators agree with me to make ProZ more and primarily job-oriented, which could only be done, of course, by the ProZ owners by investing more into advertising that attracts outsourcers.



I have heard excuses before and explanations on how many great jobs there are, but if I still experience a decline (and not an increase, for which I actually joined ProZ in the first place!), then nothing else counts, but actual jobs to be had. Explanations/excuses that KudoZ questions increased, so it means there are more jobs, didn\'t satisfy me at all. There is some correlation to KudoZ, but KudoZ is certainly not an accurate index to measure jobs.



Being mostly concerned about the decline of the U.S.-based outsourcers, obviously because I live here, September 11 and the U.S. recession are definitely the top 2 reasons for this decline, but number 3 is the lack of compensation for this by ProZ management regarding advertising.



If some severe market condition hits you, it\'s such a natural to want to compensate for it by even more advertising. And whatever numbers will be brought up as an excuse, I can only say that what impresses me rather is, if I see 10 times as many (U.S.-based) jobs rolling in. That\'s the ONLY thing that impresses me: what I will see tomorrow in my mailbox!



So who else feels this way?



P.S.: And I don\'t care, how much money you spent on advertising, if you even sold your house for it: if it didn\'t bring in enough actual jobs, you did something wrong! You may have advertised in the wrong places or simply you need to do EVEN MORE..., UNTIL it\'s enough! And when is it enough? Just look at the number of your translators: the majority didn\'t get even 1 job through ProZ or between 1-5%, as they admit, hence they regard ProZ just as a place for socializing and expert discussions, but not as a source for jobs and that\'s exactly what\'s wrong with it. So the attitude should not be \"oh, I\'ve done so much already\", but rather \"if it\'s not enough, okay, I\'ll do more\", period.



Who agrees with me?

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-05-01 01:08 ]


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 21:16
German to English
+ ...
My 2 cents Apr 30, 2002

I don\'t think that ProZ could be any more job-oriented than it already is. Sure, we\'ve seen those low-paying jobs as well, but there is a lot more to it.



Members of this site obtain jobs not only through bidding, but by being contacted by direct clients and agencies through their profiles. I also know, from the tracking information I receive through my counter, that several people find my ProZ profile on Google and thus end up on ProZ.com (that is to say, they don\'t access ProZ.com and do a search there; they search Google). In other words, there are plenty more jobs out there that never end up on the bidding page of ProZ, so you can\'t go by that number alone (or the number of members who say that they landed a job through the bidding process; I am sure there are many more like me who get most of their \"ProZ jobs\" directly through their member profile pages).



In addition, you must not rely on ProZ only; it is merely one of hundreds of marketing channels: sign up with other sites, put your own website out there, get listed in the directories (print and online) of translators\' associations, take out an ad in your local Yellow Pages, etc.



What do you want to do about advertising? The whole industry knows about ProZ. And through \"favourite links\" on translators\' personal websites, ProZ is brought to the attention of direct clients outside the translation industry as well (or by translators referring their clients to the site to look for a translator who can serve them better).

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-30 16:09 ]


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Lucia Dogbeh, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:16
Member (2002)
English to French
+ ...
The problem is elsewhere. Apr 30, 2002

I totally agree with Werner. 15% of my clients contacted me directly after having visited my Proz profile page, and those jobs have never been posted at Proz. But still, I owe this to my presence here.



I would also add that Proz isn\'t only there to provide jobs. The amount of resources, information, tips, contacts etc. that translators get through this site are as valuable/important as jobs.



Lázló, I think you don\'t have to rely only on Proz to get more jobs. You need more marketing strategies, since you work in languages and fields which are highly in demand.

Viel Glück!









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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:16
SITE FOUNDER
The number of jobs is growing Apr 30, 2002

Laszlo,



The number of jobs posted by outsourcers has been and is growing. In fact the number of jobs posted in April is the highest ever with over 1200 assignments posted. On average 41 new jobs were posted every day this month. In January only 893 jobs were posted. No excuses here. The number of registered Agencies - future job posters, is also increasing.

We are working on developing relationships with Agencies and are advertising in many professional magazines.

Outsourcers find out about www.ProZ.com not only through our direct marketing efforts. I would like to acknowledge that many ProZ.com members took the initiative of promoting the site and its services in local translation newsletters and journals.



Marta@proz.com



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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:16
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
My 2 grosze Apr 30, 2002

Strangely enough I can agree with both Laszlo and Marta. It is very good and encouraging to hear that number of jobs posted increases, but what always strikes me is that practically translation AGENCIES only use the ProZ job function. My experience shows that they use it mainly to fill their databases (perhaps to impress their clients). Such place as ProZ, a giant database of translators and interpreters for obvious reasons should be most valuable for direct outsources who could easily find a supplier meeting their exact needs. But surprisingly, very few, if any direct clients use ProZ.com. Why? May be they just don\'t know about it? The translation industry certainly is well informed, the translation industry is even here, but perhaps we relay too much on agencies and forgot about those who really pay us.



Magda


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CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 21:16
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
How many jobs did you get from Proz.com, Lazlo? Apr 30, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-04-30 15:53, bochkor wrote:

ProZ is a great place to chitchat, to help each other out with a few words, but the main thing is suffering from lack of attention: number of jobs.



Who agrees with me?

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-30 16:01 ]





I am just curious. Personally, since becoming a Lexi-tech employee I have steadily contacted and assigned translations only to Proz.com translators, except for the translators we already have in our inventory.

And, here is my email address, so that you know how to get in touch with me.





Paola Ludovici MacQuarrie

Recruiting Manager

Lexi-tech International

Ottawa, Ontario

pludovici@lexitech.ca

http://www.lexitech.ca





[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-30 18:31 ]

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bochkor
Local time: 21:16
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Disagree, more should be done still. Apr 30, 2002

Why is it carved in stone for some people that ProZ should not be your only source? That\'s an excuse right there! We can\'t go out and pay every website just for a tiny success. We\'d end up paying as much as we\'re taking in. No, we should expect something as paying members. Of course, I\'m exploring other channels, too, but I can\'t claim the success that Werner has received from that. Probably because he\'s been longer around and on the web you have to get old to get noticed. I mean, your web page has to get old, whether it\'s your own website or your ProZ profile, whatever.



And I may have been misunderstood, but I stressed from the beginning that jobs are the most important function of all. So I\'m naturally disappointed to also get an opinion saying it\'s just equally important. Well, do you live on money or on words?



And although I wrote that record numbers don\'t impress me, still some have been quoted. Congratulations, Henry, but where are the takeable U.S. jobs?



There\'s for example this \"English to German Web Content Localization\" job at http://www.proz.com/job?id=21398. The outsourcer brags that it\'s immediate (remember, rush charge applies!), still he has posted this ad already before and I applied even then, but no reply. So today I looked at the guy\'s website and immediately understood why. This cheapskate company offers their services to clients at only 15 cents a word and my rate is 12. Sorry, but I can\'t work for 7 cents like he would want me to, so this for one is not a valid, takeable agency to me. And I\'m sure, others feel the same way. There was enough talk about low-end rates.



However, if we had 10 more English > German localization jobs, then we would have a real choice! We could filter out the low payers and the ones we don\'t qualify for, and finally apply to 3 or 4, out of which we would end up getting at least 1 job. This is what I\'m talking about when I mean quantity of jobs on ProZ. Is THIS hard to achieve?



Also, I doubt very much that the whole industry knows about ProZ. I always come across several agencies that only pick up their ATA member directory (or the local chapter\'s booklet) and that\'s ALL they rely on when looking for translators. These agencies work in the old-fashioned way and don\'t even want to listen. They know better, they have money. So how do we crack these agencies and get them on the web? I don\'t know, but we have to. Plus there are also many not old-fashioned ones, but those who simply haven\'t heard of ProZ.



With the recommendation it\'s not that easy. No (smart) translator wants to diminish his chances by suggesting an easy source for agencies to get other translators, than him. Everybody thinks that if the agency\'s desperate, they will have to take me. But if they know of other, sometimes even better alternatives/translators, you might never get a job from that agency. So why would you make it easy for them to find translators? It\'s not even your job to recommend ProZ!



Still, a few days ago I risked it to recommend ProZ to an agency that was asking me, whether I have any translator friends in other languages. Now this will be the test for the future, whether I should do it or not. Sure they will be looking for other languages, than mine, first, but then may decide to give the jobs in my 3 languages to someone else, too, while I\'m there waiting for gratitude probably all my life. It all depends on that project manager, what kind of person he is and of course, I have no idea about that. We\'ll see. So take it easy with the recommendations, okay?


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bochkor
Local time: 21:16
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Paola! Apr 30, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-04-30 18:29, ludovici wrote:



I am just curious. Personally, since becoming a Lexi-tech employee I have steadily contacted and assigned translations only to Proz.com translators, except for the translators we already have in our inventory.

And, here is my email address, so that you know how to get in touch with me.





Paola Ludovici MacQuarrie

Recruiting Manager

Lexi-tech International

Ottawa, Ontario

pludovici@lexitech.ca

http://www.lexitech.ca





Thank you, Paola! Well, I know you even wrote to me personally, but I haven\'t contacted you for 2 reasons:



1. Because we seemed to substantially disagree on ProZ forums and I thought you don\'t really want to work with me.

2. You\'re in Canada and I have only worked so far for U.S.-based agencies, because foreign checks / bank transfers are costly. Well, at least too small jobs I couldn\'t take.



Okay, I\'ll write you, we\'ll see. Thank you, though!

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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 21:16
German to English
+ ...
Re: "growing old on the net" Apr 30, 2002

I will not go into your different issues (there are many I agree with, but also several I don\'t - and dissecting your lengthy article would take up too much time).



Just one thing: NO, you don\'t have to grow old on the Internet to get noticed.



Some time in 1996 or 1997, I put up a personal website for the first time. It was very basic and just one screen page. But I got it listed with search engines, and it started reeling in clients within the first 3-4 months.



And if you want to insist on being \"served\" by ProZ only, without looking into other options as well, then so be it. But that would be the same as to rely on a single agency or client - no one can survive that way (variatio delectat!).

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-30 19:07 ]


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bochkor
Local time: 21:16
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reply to Werner Apr 30, 2002

No, Werner, I\'m not insisting on being served by ProZ only, I was just protesting against this way to look at it, thereby allowing ProZ to do less. Plus I agree to look at a few more options, as well, but since nothing is free, there\'s a limit as to how many more websites we can invest in. Certainly not hundreds as you mentioned before. So believe me, I\'m doing my part, I also have a website up, I\'m also in 3 local Yellow Pages (piece of something, BTW), have my ProZ profile just like you, search the web constantly for agencies and register with them, etc. Still, for 3 weeks I\'ve had no jobs at all and before I also had two big jobs only locally, not from ProZ.



Well, 1996-97 were different times, Werner. Now you have a myriad of websites and the search engines became a lot pickier, than you think. Same thing with the Yellow Pages, back then it was worth something, today they just take your money in return for the belief you place in them, but forget about results. 2-3 calls in half a year and even those just individuals reluctant to pay? The Yellow Pages on the web are also full with old e-mail addresses, which get returned (yellowpages.com, superpages.com). So those times are over, when the Yellow Pages had paid off.



With search engines I\'ve also had my share of experiences. In terms of ROI it\'s simply not there. I\'ve tried Goto.com/Overture.com\'s keyword bidding, Dmoz.org, Inktomi, you name it. Sorry, I don\'t have $3000-10000 to invest in an ad campaign with Yahoo or AOL. I even subscribed to translators\' newsletters like Radek\'s list, now I bought another one, but no, the results are just not there. So as I said, in 1996 you could have done it even by just filling out a simple \"Add URL\" form, today some search engines even punish you for it.



Sorry to say, but I guess we disagree.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-30 19:40 ]


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 21:16
German to English
+ ...
I don't think that there is major disagreement Apr 30, 2002

Yes, to some degree, our views differ, but overall they match, I think.



Of course, things were a lot easier back in 1996/97; the Internet has grown since then, and more individuals have their own websites out there.



I never said, however, that you should invest money in hundreds of websites; I was more general than that: I said, \"hundreds of channels\".



I believe it comes down to a good marketing mix: have your ProZ profile with a link to your website; have a Yellow Pages ad, again with a link to your website; get a listing in the directory of a major translators\' association and link to your site; ...



My Yellow Pages ad generates about 5-6 calls every week; my website is teeming with visitors every day and accounts for about 70% of my clients; every week I get about 10 calls and/or e-mails from potential clients, who have found me through one of the directories I\'m listed in (e.g., ATA, ATIO).



Other jobs come in through my \"network\": colleagues of mine that I went to university with (some of them, after graduating from our translation program, went on to become translators, while others took on jobs in other industries) also supply me with regular work.



As for sitting around for 3 weeks without getting a job, well, this happens to the best of us . Think of us as movie actors, if you will: the big stars do one or two major movies every year or two years, while other actors jump from bit part to bit part.



In general, I work on 4-5 large projects throughout the year, and that\'s it. I also tackle small and medium jobs from regular clients, but that\'s all I do. I don\'t chase after every single job that\'s out there. If I don\'t get what I want, I move on. Yes, sometimes I sit around for 1 or 2 weeks, but I don\'t mind. As I said, my net working time per year is about 4 to 5 months (maybe 6, if you add in the small and medium jobs).





[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-30 19:55 ]


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bochkor
Local time: 21:16
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Just trying to comment concretely on a few of Werner's points Apr 30, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-04-30 19:52, AbacusTrans wrote:

I never said, however, that you should invest money in hundreds of websites; I was more general than that: I said, \"hundreds of channels\".



Channels cost money, too. I\'ve lost a huge amount on the Yellow Pages and still owe them. Who can pay $3000 or almost $400 a month, if the jobs just aren\'t there? The local printed Yellow Pages are a channel, not a website, but do cost a lot and no return.



Quote:


I believe it comes down to a good marketing mix: have your ProZ profile with a link to your website; have a Yellow Pages ad, again with a link to your website; get a listing in the directory of a major translators\' association and link to your site; ...



I have all that and these were 3 examples. Maybe you could let me in on the secret of the other 97 techniques, perhaps by direct e-mail to me.



Quote:


My Yellow Pages ad generates about 5-6 calls every week; my website is teeming with visitors every day and accounts for about 70% of my clients; every week I get about 10 calls and/or e-mails from potential clients, who have found me through one of the directories I\'m listed in (e.g., ATA, ATIO).



You get 5-6 calls every week from the Yellow Pages, Werner, because you have been around long enough and probably advertised with them since 1996. In my case I signed with the Yellow Pages only for 1 year. Enough to test the worth of $3000, isn\'t it?



From my website I only get some translators from time to time, who are looking for work themselves. Not one agency has contacted me yet, despite my advertising efforts and nice design.



I\'m also listed on ATA\'s website, but only occasionally I get a job through them. I haven\'t joined the Canadian ATIO, because for my legal protection and because of the payment method I had to avoid working for foreign outsourcers.



Quote:


Other jobs come in through my \"network\": colleagues of mine that I went to university with (some of them, after graduating from our translation program, went on to become translators, while others took on jobs in other industries) also supply me with regular work.



Well, my fellow university students from Berlin have gone astray since the reunification of Germany and I know the address of only one, plus another German (but non-translator) friend, who now lives in Switzerland. So basically job supply from them is out of the question, unfortunately.



Bottomline: I have joined ProZ only about a year ago, maybe a little more, so there\'s a huge difference between us. You have been around a lot longer, not just with respect to ProZ, everything. I think you realized that in quite a few sentences.



But regardless, ProZ should pay off even for people who become members for just 1 year, but I hear others, too and they have the same problem. They regard ProZ just as a place to spend their time, but not to make money. That\'s why I said I\'d like to see 10 U.S.-based localization/website jobs, 10 legal jobs and 10 medical jobs every day in my mailbox, so we can choose. Right now ProZ is a paradise for agencies, but not a paradise for translators. In terms of jobs, of course.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-30 20:45 ]

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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 21:16
German to English
+ ...
$3,000 for Yellow Pages? Apr 30, 2002

Sorry, but my (very effective) YP ad only costs me about $50 a month (and that\'s in Canadian dollars!). I hope you did not fall for that business directory scam that\'s been around for a number of years.



Also, I am not paying a single cent for having my website included in various search engines. Getting a good position has a lot to do with the contents, title and keywords, and I usually get ranked within the first 20 positions or so, and I am not even paying for it.



Not working for \"foreign sources\"? Not a smart move, I am afraid. Unless you translate from, say, French to English for the Canadian market, you simply cannot afford to limit yourself in such a manner. With your language pairs, you will always have to look to outside sources as well.



You are looking for English-German localization jobs? Well, the bulk of them goes to Germany or other German-speaking countries: the very concept of localization requires these agencies to outsource their projects to German translators living in the country of the target language. So, don\'t be surprised if not too many of these projects come your way (and even those that you might see on ProZ may be marked as \"must reside in Germany\").



You gotta be more flexible, otherwise it\'s curtains



I\'ll get in touch with you privately. Let\'s talk some more



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-30 21:01 ]


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bochkor
Local time: 21:16
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My last word Apr 30, 2002

Okay, Werner, I would appreciate, if you could write me privately, because this discussion seems to have been reduced between you and me only, and I would indeed appreciate your advice on a few issues. So I\'ll be waiting to hear from you then. German or English, doesn\'t matter, whichever you prefer.



As for the other parties, I hope I at least called some attention to the problem and that ProZ mgmt. will make some efforts. Thank you all!


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