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Answerers could do so much more to improve the quality of KudoZ
Thread poster: moken

moken  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
Oct 10, 2008

This morning I woke up to find a KudoZ question where an asker requested translation for over 20 separate terms.

To my surprise, there was actually an answer supplying translations to roughly 15 of them.

Of course, the rule regarding multiple term questions was quickly brought to the attention of the asker.

However, everybody seemed to respect the answerer's 'freedom' to answer.

In my opinion, this type of answer only encourages site abuse and needs looking into, but (in my pairs) it seems to me that just as we are ready to admonish askers, we are equally reluctant to request answerers to stop encouraging these behaviours.

I think it's time to shift focus.


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Ligia Dias Costa  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 04:43
Member (2008)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Squash Oct 10, 2008

Moderator should squash such a question and quote asker the rule.

Simple.


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moken  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not a solution without professional round-the-clock moderators. Oct 10, 2008

Hi Ligia,

No, it is not so simple. In fact, it's simplistic.

The 'squash' system has been running for years and it clearly has not and will not solve the problem.

My language pairs have too much traffic for two, perhaps three, voluntary moderators to cope with every infringement of KudoZ guidelines - and too many infringements that nobody wants bother moderators with, because we are aware of their situation.

Calling moderators in is also additional time spent for users - you can do it from time to time, but it's a tiresome process.

The example provided is just one among a list of bad answering habits (which in turn are also encouraged by poor peer agreement habits) that encourage poorly-asked questions.

In the absence of professional full-time moderators actively controlling KudoZ misuse, we need to appeal to site users (answerers in this case), not to police-force the site but to exercise responsibility in the way they approach answering.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Can't convince everyone - You can convince yourself Oct 10, 2008

Same situation on the roads Álvaro: it would be so much better for safety is some drivers did not speed! But... can you convince them not to speed? They probably stop speeding when they have an accident and learn about the damage they can cause.

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moken  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good example Oct 10, 2008

Hi Tomás,

That is actually a fine example, considering that changes in recent years in Spain have led to a dramatic reduction of deaths on the roads. Something CAN be done.

The authorities not only pass new laws, they also work constantly to raise public awareness on this issue. As a consequence, society at large now frowns upon reckless driving.

Here, we are the society. While ProZ in its 'government' role should be doing more to stamp out 'drunk KudoZing', we all suffer the consequences and should become more involved and make ourselves part of the solution.

[Edited at 2008-10-10 12:29]


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:43
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Blame the asker too Oct 10, 2008

Álvaro said:
"This morning I woke up to find a KudoZ question where an asker requested translation for over 20 separate terms."

The asker is also to blame for accepting a job for which he/she is ill-prepared. Unfortunately, I see similar situations every day. On each occassion, I think to myself: why in heavens did you take this job when, obviously, you know nothing about it?


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Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:43
Member (2006)
English to French
What I do Oct 10, 2008

When this happens in my pair, I usually put a "neutral" to all answerers and tell them that answering questions that do not respect KudoZ rules does not encourage the asker to reformulate his/her question. Don't really know if this is useful or not...

BTW I think it is a pity that the "squash" option cannot be used when answers have already been given.

Stéphanie


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:43
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
To Álvaro Oct 10, 2008

I hope you don't think I'm being too pedantic, but the state should encourage wreckless driving and discourage reckless driving.

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moken  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
We always blame the asker Oct 10, 2008

Luisa Ramos wrote:

The asker is also to blame for accepting a job for which he/she is ill-prepared. Unfortunately, I see similar situations every day.


Hi Luisa - this is my point. We always blame the answer, but we do not really dare question the answerer's stance. In this particular case, the asker was unfamiliar with the site (I dare say the answerer was too) and he claimed that this was not for a job but a part of his studies. Of course he was told that this was not the right approach.


Thanks Stéphanie - I think this is the right approach, but not many people make this effort.

As you very rightly point out, the squash option cannot be used if answers have been entered to the question. Several hours can elapse from the time the moderators are called to the question and the moment when they are actually able to address it (it surprises me that Ligia, a moderator herself, overlooked this issue).

This is also an issue with questions that are posted twice. When the asker is a responsible user, s/he will close the repeat w/o grading, but if not the robot will eventually award the points. I know that this can sometimes go unnoticed by answerers and answers will come in, but this is not always the case (thinking specifically of times when requests that are specifically posted asking peers not to answer are blatantly ignored).


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moken  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No, you made me chuckle Oct 10, 2008

Jack Doughty wrote:

I hope you don't think I'm being too pedantic, but the state should encourage wreckless driving and discourage reckless driving.


Corrected now, thanks for pointing that one out!


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Laurence Forain  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:43
Member (2007)
English to French
+ ...
Agree with Stéphanie Oct 10, 2008

Recently, I was concerned to see that some users ask tons of questions and answer none or a few! And always in the same type of document or field of specialization. Why don't they simply tell their client they are not specialized in this field and refuse the project.
I am not mentionning Luisa who confesses that she accepts projects and sees that it is hard in the end. We all find difficulties translating our projects and that is why KudoZ is a great help. But don't tell me that if we, answerers or potential answerers, find a relevant answer or reference in a few minutes (less than one sometimes, when you search the KudoZ Glossary and find that the question has already been asked - Stéphanie, I see you regularly mention that to the asker ), the asker can't start by searching the glossary, a dictionnary (paper or online) and finally the Internet.
I suggested a poll about this issue indeed. Did not think that a forum would exist for KudoZ. Never saw it before.
Well, I have stopped answering KudoZ when the asker posts a lot of questions and about quite "easy" words or expressions. Sure it may be "easy earned" KudoZ points but what for???


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Proz... not a Government Oct 10, 2008

Álvaro Blanch wrote:
That is actually a fine example, considering that changes in recent years in Spain have led to a dramatic reduction of deaths on the roads. Something CAN be done.

The authorities not only pass new laws, they also work constantly to raise public awareness on this issue. As a consequence, society at large now frowns upon reckless driving.


I think that we cannot compare Proz with a Government, for a number of reasons. Before Proz does anything to change Kudoz and keep us from bad askers, they have to be convinced of the need of such measures and they need to have a powerful motive to implement them (political parties don't propose or pass laws to improve things; they do it only if they think more people will vote them).

I don't really think there is a need to change Kudoz at this stage: let's simply ignore bad askers. That way we will improve Kudoz... a lot!


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Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:43
Member (2006)
English to French
... Oct 10, 2008

Laurence Forain wrote:

when you search the KudoZ Glossary and find that the question has already been asked - Stéphanie, I see you regularly mention that to the asker )


A must admit I am completly obsessed by the way people ask their questions. I can't stand any more people not doing the least bit of research before asking and I am fed up to find the same question asked 10 times in the glossary (because I often search in the glossary and often waste my time doing so, such a mess it is)



Did not think that a forum would exist for KudoZ. Never saw it before.


Well, you will have plenty of threads to read on your long winter nights !


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moken  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Tomás, we're straying Oct 10, 2008

Hi Tomás - I think we're going off on a tangent here.

The way I see it, askers, answerers and peers alike have a role in improving the KudoZ environment, but it seems to me that too much of our energy is dedicated to the 'what to do about bad askers' issue alone.


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Ligia Dias Costa  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 04:43
Member (2008)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Squash questions Oct 10, 2008

"As you very rightly point out, the squash option cannot be used if answers have been entered to the question. Several hours can elapse from the time the moderators are called to the question and the moment when they are actually able to address it (it surprises me that Ligia, a moderator herself, overlooked this issue)."

Álvaro:

"Guidelines for Removing KudoZ Questions
Why remove questions?

The KudoZ terms help network is publicly available and widely used. As a result, sometimes questions are asked that are not of a type intended. In order to reduce the inconvenience caused to members by such questions, ProZ.com gives its experienced members a means of removing such questions."

Who can remove questions? Not only Moderators, but also KudoZ editors.

"ProZ.com members who have earned at least 500 KudoZ points are presumed to have become familiar with the KudoZ rules and culture. These members, and also a group of approximately 100 designated site moderators, have also been given the right to remove certain questions for specific reasons."

For what reasons should a question be removed?


There are a number of specific reasons why a KudoZ question can be removed. An explanation of each is included below. Also below is a list of invalid reasons for removing questions.

...

- Text to be translated is longer than ten words

Expressions or sentences longer than 10 words are not appropriate for KudoZ.

- Includes more than one term question

Unless they share a root or are otherwise related, terms should be posted separately--an asker should not ask how to say "apple" and "banana" in the same question.


Does it matter whether or not an answer has been submitted?

Once an answer has been submitted, only a moderator can squash the question.


So, to sum up, NOT only moderators can remove questions. KudoZ editor can do it too.

A question WITH answers can be removed. In this case, only by a Moderator.

I belive that KudoZ is an excellent tool to help us in cases we do not have a clue in a word or when we have a translation for it but are not really sure of ourselves.

I take advantage of my colleagues opinion when I ask for help here and try to help others when they are in trouble too.

In every place, in every tool there are good and bad players. "Law inforcement", ie, Moderators can help - and they do - to put things into place. But nothing's perfect. There will always be people twisting the rules in every way for a number of reasons.

This is a game. We can participate whenever we want. As much as we want. With whom we want.

PS - I understand that your pairs are much asked for in KudoZ. If one of your moderators needs help to remove answers that do not comply with ProZ.com rules, I will happily help.

Ligia Dias Costa


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