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Dividing KudoZ points
Thread poster: Mario Marcolin

Mario Marcolin  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 22:56
Member (2003)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Mar 4, 2004

I strongly feel that one should be able to award KudoZ-points to more than answerer.
When posting a question you sometimes receive perhaps two or three answers that are *equally* helpful; why should they not then be equally rewarded?


mario


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 22:56
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...
Fair but impossible Mar 4, 2004

Dear Mario,

Your sense of fairness is commendable but it would open a Pandora's box. You would then have endless discussions about the degrees of helpfulness.
After all, there can only be one answer that is the "most helpful" accompanied by the "also very helpful".

Mats


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Christian Flury
Austria
Local time: 22:56
Latin to German
+ ...
I fully agree Mar 4, 2004

Mario Marcolin wrote:

I strongly feel that one should be able to award KudoZ-points to more than answerer.
When posting a question you sometimes receive perhaps two or three answers that are *equally* helpful; why should they not then be equally rewarded?


mario


Hi Mario,

I fully agree with you.

Moreover, your suggestion would help solve another Kudoz-related problem frequently adressed in the French forum. As we all know, there are people (I am not alluding to anyone in particular and I do not mean to say this applies to everybody who has got lots of KudoZ points!) who respond to nearly any Kudoz question without having the slightest idea of the resepective field of expertise or language pair nor indicating any kind of reference. Since some askers seem to be too naive or too impatient (they would simply choose the first answer posted and close the subject after a few minutes), you can make lots of KudoZ points this way. I do not envy them for their points, but they would stop playing that silly game if the grading system worked better. As this is perceived as a nuisance by some members, the new KudoZ rules have addressed the problem by requesting askers to wait at least 24 hours before grading an answer. But I have got the impression it still does not work all that well.

So somebody suggested (or I thought by myself, don't remember) one could calculate KudoZ points based on the ratio of chosen answers to given answers. Problem: Sometimes you post an answer, just to provide additional references or explanations. Or, in some very difficult cases, you need two persons to find the right term: one to explain the meaning in the source language and one to suggest the correct term in the target language.
If it were possible to grade any of the suggested answers (on a scale ranging let's say from "nonsens" to "exactly what I was looking for"), the ratio-based system would work.

Have a nice evening

Christian

P.S.: Hi Mats, I think I got your point, but one could easily avoid confusion by creating an appropriate (transparent) scale as described below:
There could be negative, neutral or positive gradings.

Negative:
The answer was completely useless. -4pts
The answer was useless given the specific context. -2pts.

Neutral:
The answer did not help me, but I should have provided more context./The answer does not contain more information than previous answers./I do not want to comment on this answer 0pts

Positive:
The answer helped me or others find the right term. +2pts
That's exactly what I was looking for. +4pts

The KudoZ points of each member would be calculated by dividing his or her positive points by his or her negative points.

I do not think that would create more discussions than the current system.

And I do not think this is just about fairness, I believe it is also about improving the efficiency of the KudoZ system and thereby increasing the overall quality of the site - which I think is one of the staff's goals.


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Thierry LOTTE  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:56
Member (2001)
English to French
+ ...
Nobody's Perfect Mar 4, 2004

Christian Flury said :



...who respond to nearly any KudoZ question without having the slightest idea of the resepective field of expertise or language pair nor indicating any kind of reference.



Nothing new under the sun... But I wish to point out that "references" are not always "A Reference" : as a matter of fact, I think that there are too many people on this site who are convinced that "translating" is just quoting a Goggle's URL or a "Termium" definition...


Since some askers seem to be too naive or too impatient (they would simply choose the first answer posted and close the subject after a few minutes), you can make lots of KudoZ points this way.



I am afraid that your conclusions are "too fast". The "real" asker - I mean a "pro" who needs to deliver a fair translation to another "pro" will usually wait some more time or some more propositions of answers to make his mind... Only the non-professional askers /for instance, young pupils doing their homework) will jump right on the first answer.

As this is perceived as a nuisance by some members, the new KudoZ rules have addressed the problem by requesting askers to wait at least 24 hours before grading an answer. But I have got the impression it still does not work all that well.




Well, I plead guilty because sometimes I do not always respect the 24 hours before grading : I have a good reason for this.
Sometimes, answerers provide me with an excellent solution (as far as I am able to evaluate it) and I do not see any reason to keep busy other colleagues searching when I perfectly know to whom I will give "The Points" for some good or bad reason...

My excellent and distinguished colleague Mats Wiman said hereabove :



After all, there can only be one answer that is the "most helpful" accompanied by the "also very helpful".




... and I think that this is really "common sense".
"Nobody`s Perfect"
(Some likes it Hot - Billy Wilder)








[Edited at 2004-03-04 23:56]


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Thierry thierry_lafaye
Spain
Local time: 22:56
English to French
+ ...
I quite agree with Thierry (not by solidarity for the Thierry's, no, no) Mar 5, 2004

I do agree with your argumentation Thierry.

This said Christian has a point (hee hee) with the idea of negative points, that this may discourage the KudoZZZZ racers who create more noise and disturbance than the ones that provide educated answer (and as Christian says too, I don't mean to say that there is an absolute link between the top-end of the charts and the fact that these people should be seen as racers).

And to come back to the original topic (well, I guess that's the idea), I would agree with Mats: I prefer to see only one answer greeted with the mention of THE most helpful, with a nice comment (free of charge, aha ah, take that, you little racers out there) "also very helpful". Dividing the points may turn messy at best.

My 2 (too long, I know) cents

[Edited at 2004-03-05 00:22]


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 15:56
Spanish to English
I have sympathy with the negative points idea but... Mar 5, 2004

why bother, it is likely to be misapplied, and is not fair to sincere efforts to help, even if they happen to be bloomers.
However I know a lot of times I am faced with one answer that has done all the work, but not quite phrased the answer properly and another that on the basis of the other's work has found just the right way to say it. This is one of the great things about ProZ, on more than one occasion I have seen that it takes two people, the speaker of source language to decypher the expression and the native of the target language to find the perfect way to express it.
I know it's not cool to care about points, and I respect people that don't but, like it or not, they are an incentive.


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Christian Flury
Austria
Local time: 22:56
Latin to German
+ ...
Partially agree Mar 5, 2004

Thierry LOTTE wrote:

My excellent and distinguished colleague Mats Wiman said hereabove :



After all, there can only be one answer that is the "most helpful" accompanied by the "also very helpful".




... and I think that this is really "common sense".
[Edited at 2004-03-04 23:56]


Bonsoir Thierry, yes I fully agree with you and Mats Wiman, but my point is that, according to my experience, usually there is a only a small difference between "most helpful" and "also very helpful", but a huge difference between "also very helpful" and rubbish. And I think somehow the grading system should reflect that fact.

And as I pointed out before: I do not feel disturbed by others having lots of KudoZ points, I'm just annoyed by the fact that quite often when I open a KudoZ question the first answer is completely unacceptable, and so I have to spend time scrolling down, possibly explaining why I prefer, or decided to post, another answer even though it's clear as mud. It is just annoying, that's it, and I do not think the KudoZ system should reward that sort of behavior.

I would, however, like to emphasize that there are a lot of excellent translators whom I highly appreciate and I am grateful to Proz.com for the KudoZ system as a whole, in spite of its weaknesses it is still a great tool

good night

Christian


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 22:56
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...
I also have sympathy with the negative points idea and... Mar 5, 2004

I'll at least let it ripen as a possibility
BUT
my gut reaction is that it is dangerous in the sense that it would nurture a censoring culture that the friendly KudoZ stage would not benefit from.
Remember: KudoZ askers are not necessarily the best censors and the system rewards (well)founded "most helpful" suggestions but does not punish (maybe hasty) suggestions offered by (maybe) stressed linguists.
In the final anlysis, I think it is more important to have many suggestions (from people, who do not have to fear being punished for wanting to help) rather than few.
Less good answers constitute the soil out of which beautiful orchids grow. I remember vividly my thought when answering my very first KudoZ question: "I think I have a better suggestion".
If I knew that I might be castigated for making that suggestion, I might not have put it forward. Who would gain something by that?

No, I think Thierry is so right when he says: "Nobody is perfect".

One could rephrase it like this:
"Perfection might carry a cruel price within the KudoZ system".

Also: Looking into the KOG one realises that it is one of the most interesting compilations in the world of linguistics:
It displays not only a (most often) correct translation but also the interesting "board meeting" dealing with that particular term.
Which dictionary or glossary offers such richness?

Mats


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Subhamay Ray  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:26
English to Bengali
+ ...
It is needed Mar 5, 2004

I fully agree with Mario and some of Christian's suggestions. There should be some means for giving credit to "also very helpful" answer/answers. I would even say that non-members be debarred from crediting answers. For such questions the answers should be graded with the help of the agreements from fellow professionals who are members of this site.

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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:56
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
We should concentrate on Mar 5, 2004

Christian Flury wrote:
Negative:
The answer was completely useless. -4pts
The answer was useless given the specific context. -2pts.


With all due respect, I do not agree with the above opinion. The whole idea behind the KudoZ system is to help someone in need and to get help, not to judge those who try to help you.

Also, in my opinion, there are no useless answers. IMHO, all the answers are useful. Even those answers that are not 100% correct, in a way, help the asker to identify the correct answer better, so after all, the less correct answers are useful too.

I do think however that sometimes it is difficult to choose a KudoZ winner. I for instance have an open question right now, only because I am not sure yet who deserves the 4 points, the answer that helped me first right away, or another answer that was a bit more complete, but came a little bit later... I still have to decide about this.
Have a happy day everyone,

Monika

[Edited at 2004-03-06 04:27]


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Sonia Gomes  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 03:26
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Kudoz replies Mar 5, 2004

Hello,
In my opinion, it is only the "asker" who can determine, which answer is the best. For as the person who has the entire text in front of him, he knows what suits best in that particular context.Many times a combination of the various answers provided is the best solution, at other times one answer is so apt, that there is no need to look for anything else.
It is at times when I use a combination of a variety of replies that I wish I could give some points to the 'others' who have helped me too, but as Mats has pointed out this could cause a lot of confusion.
I however, disagree with the opinion that some answers are out of context totally and the asker awards points to these replies simply because he is rushed and has no time to choose the most correct answer. Are the people who answer the questions, with maybe incorrect answers, (whatever their motives, even if if it amassing a huge amount of Kudoz points)to be blamed for answering the questions , or it the asker who is so pressed for time that he awards points to the totally wrong answer to be blamed ?
I do not think a really wrong answer will be selected for there are peers who agree and disagree as well, an asker normally would look at these before selecting his answer, if there are lapses, then it is the Good fortune of the 'answerer' After all there is an elemnt of luck in any job bid one places or any other competitive exercise.
Incidentally, what do the "gatherers" of Kudoz do with the Kudoz. Am curious

Best wishes

Sonia


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lien
Netherlands
Local time: 22:56
English to French
+ ...
I agree with you on this point Mar 5, 2004

Christian Flury wrote:

Problem: Sometimes you post an answer, just to provide additional references or explanations. Or, in some very difficult cases, you need two persons to find the right term: one to explain the meaning in the source language and one to suggest the correct term in the target language.


and that is the heart of prozz.

But I find your system too complicated. Why not have four points to give and be able to give them in any way which please the asker.
Could be 2+2, 3+1, or just four as usual. And I do not think it will create problem, nobody argue when the asker choose the answer he wants (only when the answer is so wrong and everyone write to protest, even after closing the question).


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Huijer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:56
Norwegian to Dutch
+ ...
agree with lien Mar 5, 2004

I agree with lien. When the asker has 4 points to give away, it is still possible to give 4 points to the answer that was most helpful, for those that think there can only be one answer that is most helpful.

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Sonia Gomes  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 03:26
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Lien, that is a good suggestion Mar 5, 2004

Lien I agree with you, it could be the various combinations you suggested, i.e 3+1, 2+2, 1+1+1+! (why not?) or plain 4 when you feel the answer is the best. But negative marking would discourage many of the timid answerers, after all the peers, DISAGREE is deterrent enough.

Sonia


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Thierry thierry_lafaye
Spain
Local time: 22:56
English to French
+ ...
Ok, so what about not giving points - a little question as I don't know too enough the system Mar 5, 2004

I see the thread has developed quite a bit since I last visited That's very good.

Ok, I think you almost got me convinced that sharing the points if done in all fairness wouldn't be such a bad thing.

As a new user, I haven't seen one thing though: what happens if all you have is a bunch of answers that really don't help you out, do you currently have the possibility to close the question without giving points away or do you just leave the question indefinitely opened? If the latter, wouldn't the system reminds you indefinitely that your question is still opened? Just that I never had the occasion to post a question yet as a new comer so I don't know in practice how it works. Yeah, I'm one of these poor people "waiting" to get a mission.

Just that I think we should only give points to helping answers but I don't know if that's already a possibility.

My 2 cents as a candid new comer.


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