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Different colours for frequent askers
Thread poster: Kirill Semenov

Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 10:15
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Feb 26, 2005

It's a simple proposal: it would be great to show the names of askers who asked twice/thrice more questions that they answered with red colour, while showing other askers names with a green colour.

Just to see who asks much more than answers, that's all. I leave the reasonable proportion to my colleagues to decide, but such an indicator would be great.


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:15
Dutch to English
+ ...
Why would it be great? Feb 26, 2005

Why would you like to know? You can tell anyway by going to the person's page.

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Charlesp  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 09:15
English
+ ...
differetn colors for members and non-members Feb 27, 2005

I'd like to see different colors, or rather some indication for members and non-members on the Kudoz main page. It would tend to reflect the validity of the question(s) asked, and if worth responding to.

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Javier Herrera
Spanish
It's already happening Feb 27, 2005

When you open a question, under the asker's name you see the information in the following format: Q/A #/#, where Q stands for questions and A for answers. You can only see it if the asker logged in, if they're not, I don't think you'd like to answer to their questions, in any case.
HTH


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Stephanie Mitchel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:15
French to English
Checks and balances? Feb 27, 2005

If there is an obligation to answer as many questions as I ask, I'm guilty of multiple offenses: I'm usually working too much to have time to answer the queries of others, and, due to that same workload, I post many queries myself. When I have a lull, I do what I can, but it doesn't even approach equilibrium.

Isn't awarding points a fair enough method of compensation?


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gad
United States
Local time: 03:15
Member
French to English
Some food for thought regarding asking and answering KudoZ Feb 27, 2005

I have recently been asking quite a few questions. I had several documents that I was finishing up at once and have been a bit overworked with these lately and just needed to toss around some ideas and double check what I had. I always make a point to at least TRY to graciously accept all input, as we are here to work together, I don't see this as a competition but rather as a place to collaborate. Sometimes I don't even accept one particular response because all the responses have helped - and points, while I know they do mean something, do not mean everything.

On the other hand, I have not been able to respond to as many KudoZ for quite some time. I will tell you why - it is because quite often, by the time I get the email notification and have clicked on the link, someone has already responded with the correct response. There are times when I have even clicked immediately upon receiving the email notification of the question, and I have still been too late. In fact, I got rather discouraged about responding so that is basically why I have not for awhile. However, I do try to accept input graciously.

You may want to consider the fact that many people do not respond to as many KudoZ, perhaps not because they do not feel they should contribute, but rather, because those individuals may be busy working on their translations and doing other things and have missed being the first to respond to a question - and of course, if the correct response is already there, it is pointless to repeat it.


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 09:15
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Do the Askers suppose that those who answer aren't working? Feb 28, 2005

Sorry, but the argument of being too busy to participate really doesn't make sense. Do you really think that people who answer are just sitting at their computers not working? If you have enough time to ask questions (that is time consuming-I prefer doing my own research and only bother asking when I can't find any solution at all), then you have enough time to help others too. There are some people who (seemingly) do nothing but answer Kudoz all day, but on the other hand, there are others who (seemingly) do nothing but post questions.

[Edited at 2005-02-28 02:12]


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 10:15
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The best way to thank for help is to help someone Feb 28, 2005

writeaway wrote:
Sorry, but the argument of being too busy to participate really doesn't make sense.


That was exactly what I was going to say.

Stephanie Mitchel wrote:
Isn't awarding points a fair enough method of compensation?


Points are obviously not the point. There is a much better, maybe the perfect way to thank for the help you get, and it's to help someone else who need an advice on translation.

Charles Phillips wrote:
I'd like to see different colors, or rather some indication for members and non-members on the Kudoz main page. It would tend to reflect the validity of the question(s) asked, and if worth responding to.


Yes, Charles, that was what I meant. For me, Q/A 10000/0 is an evident sign of a person who abuses others' help, and I would like to see such askers without investigating their profiles, kudoZ history and so on. This time may be spend much more efficient. If askers' name are shown at the main page or, at least, in the large list of questions which opens by "See more questions..." links, I would just pass by the questions whose askers are marked with "red".


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Eva Blanar  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 09:15
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Let's focus on quality instead of quantity Feb 28, 2005

Without colours, this system already is in place, as many contributors to this topic already pointed out. If somebody looks suspicious to you, why don't you have a look at the profile page: it is more reliable to tell his/her seriousness than a summary table with some numbers or ratios.

I don't think a distinction by applying colours would be a good idea: I ask myself a terrible lot of questions (sometimes "true" questions, sometimes I am just looking for some kind of confirmation), but in answering, I prefer to agree/disagree, to providing an answer of my own, so the number of the questions answered may not be "sufficient", in my case either. And just think of that: the logical consequence of such a system would be that all of those who want to jump from one colour to a "better" one, would feel compelled to answer questions, instead of commenting. And why should we hesitate about asking questions?

Another consideration: there are people with some very special knowledge (such as microbiology or maths) who rarely answer questions, simply because of the lack of occasions therefor - are they less valuable? And those who answer any question, in any language pair: do they represent an example to follow?

Yes, there are sometimes absolutely silly questions - I would not mind a facility to divert all of those "Merry Christmas in all languages" type of questions to some special page - but most of the askers are our colleagues in need. Sometimes you take a job in "your line" and you discover that the appendix is full of product names or statistical methodology issues. So what? (Agencies rarely send you the document to check before you accept the job - especially if they know it is a tough one.) A company's presentation paper or annual report usually contains lots of very technical terms, some of them created in-house - shall the translator be ashamed to ask 15-20 questions in a 10,000 word project?

No, I am against this kind of differentiation based on quantity, mainly for the above considerations (but also because of the rare language pairs): quantity in this case does NOT indicate quality.




[Edited at 2005-02-28 07:00]


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gad
United States
Local time: 03:15
Member
French to English
The argument was not being too busy - questions are often answered very quickly by someone else Mar 2, 2005

writeaway wrote:

Sorry, but the argument of being too busy to participate really doesn't make sense. Do you really think that people who answer are just sitting at their computers not working? If you have enough time to ask questions (that is time consuming-I prefer doing my own research and only bother asking when I can't find any solution at all), then you have enough time to help others too. There are some people who (seemingly) do nothing but answer Kudoz all day, but on the other hand, there are others who (seemingly) do nothing but post questions.

[Edited at 2005-02-28 02:12]



Yes, I think that there are some - not many - who I think MUST sit on this site, because if I get an email notification for a question and click on it IMMEDIATELY, and it has already been answered, then I have no other explanation for how someone could have responded so quickly. So it makes perfect sense. And that gets very discouraging very quickly. This happened to me repeatedly, and it was during a time when I was not so busy and would click on the links about as quickly as the questions were being posted.

I ask questions once I have done research. Sometimes I makes mistakes and miss something, but I do search for these first. Most of the questions I post, I also include what I have come up with so far. Many times I'm just stumped or want verification that what I'm thinking is correct or at least on the right track. No one is obligated to respond - and one of the results of questions being posted is that they are now in the Proz.com database so that in the future when someone searches for those terms, they are now there.


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gad
United States
Local time: 03:15
Member
French to English
So many good points... Mar 2, 2005

Eva, you make so many good points, like here:

I ask myself a terrible lot of questions (sometimes "true" questions, sometimes I am just looking for some kind of confirmation)

Yes, I do too, and like I stated above, I try to post what I have so far, and many times I too am looking for some kind of confirmation. Contrary to what some may think, I’m not asking anyone to do my work for me.

, but in answering, I prefer to agree/disagree, to providing an answer of my own, so the number of the questions answered may not be "sufficient", in my case either.

In my case, I end up doing the agreeing (or disagreeing) mostly because by the time I get to the question, the response I would have given is already posted anyway.

And just think of that: the logical consequence of such a system would be that all of those who want to jump from one colour to a "better" one, would feel compelled to answer questions, instead of commenting. And why should we hesitate about asking questions?

Yes, are people not supposed to ask questions? I don’t understand this concept of getting annoyed at someone for asking questions and assuming – without thoroughly reading them, obviously – that this means that the person is being lazy, has not researched, is not knowledgeable and/or is expecting the site to do his/her work. Honestly, even if a person posts a lot of questions at once, say 15, aren’t most documents that we get lengthy enough that even that is a very small part of the work anyway?

This is a VERY good point:
Sometimes you take a job in "your line" and you discover that the appendix is full of product names or statistical methodology issues. So what? (Agencies rarely send you the document to check before you accept the job - especially if they know it is a tough one.) A company's presentation paper or annual report usually contains lots of very technical terms, some of them created in-house - shall the translator be ashamed to ask 15-20 questions in a 10,000 word project?

I think this probably accounts for a great number of KudoZ questions posted! But I get the feeling that some automatically assume that the person posting those questions are just not knowledgeable in general, instead of someone knowledgeable and have accepted a translation in one field that has terminology in other fields of specialization. I mean, how does one GET specialized, but through experience, besides?

No, I am against this kind of differentiation based on quantity, mainly for the above considerations (but also because of the rare language pairs): quantity in this case does NOT indicate quality.

I’m not entirely against it, but I did want to post my “food for thought” – and your post here has so many good points that I just had to post and comment on those points – so that people might understand and consider that there might be reasons why someone doesn’t have as many points accumulated for being the first to respond, yet have quite a few questions posted.
The other point I had made which I would like to re-iterate is that the end result of me posting questions is ultimately that the question is stored in the site – so that the next person who searches does not come up empty on that search, like I did; instead, that person has the answer. Are people forgetting about that, or thinking simply of points and competing? This is a site to collaborate, as far as I’m concerned.


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gad
United States
Local time: 03:15
Member
French to English
In response to some other points made... Mar 2, 2005

Kirill Semenov wrote:

writeaway wrote:
Sorry, but the argument of being too busy to participate really doesn't make sense.

That was exactly what I was going to say.


Then you, too, misunderstood - someone can even NOT be that busy, but instead, just busy enough to have clicked just too late, even when clicking on a link IMMEDIATELY.

I like what you wrote here:

Points are obviously not the point. There is a much better, maybe the perfect way to thank for the help you get, and it's to help someone else who need an advice on translation.?


Why does it seem that some are so concerned about points, and not about helping someone - when the end result, of course, is also that the response is now available for future reference for anyone ELSE who needs it? I've even received annoyed emails when I've chosen another response, or when I made a nice and complimentary comment to someone who posted another response, not to mention one case in which notes were posted, once my question had been closed, which were rather insulting to the person who had answered what I considered correctly, and besides the question was closed at that point. I don't get the feeling that any of these cases indicate someone is trying to help me, the above type of scenarios indicate to me that something else is going on. At best, it also doesn't seem very "sportsmanlike", because as I've stated before, people are here to collaborate and not compete or criticize or complain without justification.


others' help, and I would like to see such askers without investigating their profiles, kudoZ history and so on. This time may be spend much more efficient. If askers' name are shown at the main page or, at least, in the large list of questions which opens by "See more questions..." links, I would just pass by the questions whose askers are marked with "red".


Perhaps, if that is the way you and others feel, then the color-coding system could be considered fair, but I think you would have to make it for proportions like that which you referred to above, rather than someone asking 150 questions and only responding to 25.

I see your point and don't disagree but then ask the proportions be taken into consideration, so that it doesn't become such a contest to respond and people don't feel reluctant to ask questions, either. If people stop asking, then there would be no responses, besides.


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 09:15
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Agree with you Eva Mar 2, 2005

Eva Blanar wrote:

Without colours, this system already is in place, as many contributors to this topic already pointed out. If somebody looks suspicious to you, why don't you have a look at the profile page: it is more reliable to tell his/her seriousness than a summary table with some numbers or ratios.

...
Another consideration: there are people with some very special knowledge (such as microbiology or maths) who rarely answer questions, simply because of the lack of occasions therefor - are they less valuable? And those who answer any question, in any language pair: do they represent an example to follow?
....
Sometimes you take a job in "your line" and you discover that the appendix is full of product names or statistical methodology issues. So what? (Agencies rarely send you the document to check before you accept the job - especially if they know it is a tough one.) A company's presentation paper or annual report usually contains lots of very technical terms, some of them created in-house - shall the translator be ashamed to ask 15-20 questions in a 10,000 word project?

No, I am against this kind of differentiation based on quantity, mainly for the above considerations (but also because of the rare language pairs): quantity in this case does NOT indicate quality.




[Edited at 2005-02-28 07:00]


It's not a question of quantity per se and most questions I myself have asked stemmed from the sudden appearence of terms in a field/fields I don't do/know.

But I do object to overusing (note I am saying over-using) the site as a free proofreading service, especially for terms that can be found in any dictionary and when questions asked simply reveal insufficient general knowledge of the language and/or subject matter together with an attitude that one has better things to do than do a bit of research.


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gad
United States
Local time: 03:15
Member
French to English
I think it's depends upon how we would define "over-use" or "abuse" Mar 2, 2005

Writeaway, I don’t disagree, but I think the thing is, sometimes the difference between questions asked and those answered may be due to things other than the person not being willing, or the person actually over-using and/or abusing the site as such. So yes, I would agree that if someone answers none and posts thousands, that might be cause for concern, but if someone posts 150 and has answered 25, and at least most of the questions asked were good and well-thought out questions, and the person has researched and posts context and also posts what s/he has so far, then why should that person be given a “black mark” for perhaps not being quick enough to click on questions to answer?

I also consider it rather “unsportsmanlike” to see this site as a way to compete, and to jump to conclusions about why a person may post a question, or several questions at once. Some people have made comments about who they considered inexperienced translators trying to “learn” how to translate – comments which I consider condescending at best – when they don’t know that to be the case, unless they have thoroughly and completely read every single question a person has posted. Many questions are actually good and thought-provoking questions, and most are not just a "tell me the answer" type postings.

Again, I’ll reiterate two other points I have made: 1) once a question is answered, that information remains on the site for other translators to benefit from this in the future, thanks to the person who took the time to ask, as well as those who took the time to respond, and 2) if there were no questions, then there would be no responses (and thus, no points either).




[Edited at 2005-03-02 20:59]


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