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Donating KudoZ or BrownieZ points? Never!
Thread poster: Kirill Semenov

Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 08:11
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Nov 20, 2006

I have a sound reason to vote against the ideas.

Donating brownieZ (not mentioning kudoZ) points means discouraging people from participating in kudoZ area. If anyone can just receive brownieZ or kudoZ points for free - which sounds perfectly silly to me! why on earth anyone may have kudoZ points just for nothing? it's not a charity, nor is it an empty bottle or a beer can.

The idea kills the the other idea: to *participate* in the the site. If anyone who needs some kudoZ just to pay for her/his platinumship may get the points freely from a "good Samaritan", it won't do anything good for kudoZ, glossaries, etc.

I don't think ProZ is the place for the charity of this kind. We need more active participants, not passive users. The idea of donating *anything* kills it all.


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 01:11
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Donating KudoZ? Nov 20, 2006

I'm confused, Kirill. What's this about donating KudoZ? I didn't think this was possible.

Nancy


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 08:11
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The idea was proposed Nov 20, 2006

NancyLynn wrote:
I'm confused, Kirill. What's this about donating KudoZ? I didn't think this was possible.


Luckily, it isn't possible now, but the idea was also proposed recently at ProZ forums.


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 03:11
SITE STAFF
Feature neither supported nor planned Nov 20, 2006

Donating KudoZ is not supported by the site, and we don't plan to introduce this feature.

Regards,
Enrique


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:11
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Not exactly that Nov 20, 2006

Kirill Semenov wrote:

NancyLynn wrote:
I'm confused, Kirill. What's this about donating KudoZ? I didn't think this was possible.


Luckily, it isn't possible now, but the idea was also proposed recently at ProZ forums.


As far as I remember, the idea was not just donating KudoZ, but kinda sharing them: from one who was awarded with the whole nine yards to someone other whose answer is worthy too in the opinion of the winner.

As the Proz's FAQ clearly says, KudoZ are measure of someone's competence, while BrowniZ are measure of activity. That's why donating KudoZ really makes little sense, but BrowniZ are a different story, donating them:
a) lets the benefactor be sincerely thanked (well, I guess);
b) lets the beneficiary become member for an amount that he/she can afford;
c) lets the ProZ team have some money that they probably would not get otherwise.
It's not win-win, it's win-win-win!


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 08:11
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Donating ANYTHING Nov 20, 2006

Common, people, forget about donating KudoZ, it was just someone's idea.

But donating BrownieZ is legalized, even being promoted. Don't you see my arguments? Donating anything for free, even brownieZ, reduces their input to the site, that's my point!

As it was said long ago before me, if someone is hungry don't give him fish, give him a fishing rod instead!

These days, when I open ProZ main page, I see this ad "Donate your brownies". Why on earth should I? I earned my brownieZ by giving peer comments, answering polls, sometimes making a glossary entry. Why they who need my or yours brownieZ can't do the same? Why promote those who do nothing for the site but readily get someone else' brownieZ? Let them participate, let them being active and earn their own brownieZ, kudoZ, anything!

[Edited at 2006-11-20 20:11]


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Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 07:11
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
economics of charity Nov 20, 2006

You are not FORCED to give away your hard-earned points. It's an option.

Charity or donation to the needy rests upon the basic principle of economics and marginal utility (and opportunity cost).
If I have 1000 units of wealth, and the level of possessive satisfaction I would gain from owning an additional unit of wealth is lower than the level of moral satisfaction when I give away that extra unit of wealth, the answer is simple: I will give it away.

Obviously, people have different sets of values and different levels of wealth. Given the right mix of these two factors, some people will be all too happy donating to a cause. At the end of the day, everyone benefits. The donor gains moral satisfaction and maybe even public recognition that is worth more for him/her than the financial value of the donation, and the beneficiary will also benefit: for them, the financial value of the donation is higher than the perceived moral cost of receiving aid.

Csaba


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 08:11
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Economics of the site Nov 20, 2006

Dear Csaba,

Everything is different and much simpler.

By encouraging people to donate their extra brownieZ, the site promotes the people who are not active at the site (don't earn brownieZ, so they don't participate in kudoZ and glossaries) to buy their membership with the XXX brownieZ discount, that's all. Even with the brownieZ discount, but it's a sale, anyway. I see the reason clearly, and it's OK for me.

What is more important, omn my opinion, is that by donating brownieZ we don't encourage non-active users to be more active - vice versa, they remain even less active in KudoZ, forumZ, and ProZ in general. That's the point.

Remember about a fish to eat now vs. a fishing pole to eat everytime you want. We do a bad service to our fellows by donating them brownieZ or anything. It comes for free, and it goes freely.

Csaba Ban wrote:

You are not FORCED to give away your hard-earned points. It's an option.

Charity or donation to the needy rests upon the basic principle of economics and marginal utility (and opportunity cost).
If I have 1000 units of wealth, and the level of possessive satisfaction I would gain from owning an additional unit of wealth is lower than the level of moral satisfaction when I give away that extra unit of wealth, the answer is simple: I will give it away.

Obviously, people have different sets of values and different levels of wealth. Given the right mix of these two factors, some people will be all too happy donating to a cause. At the end of the day, everyone benefits. The donor gains moral satisfaction and maybe even public recognition that is worth more for him/her than the financial value of the donation, and the beneficiary will also benefit: for them, the financial value of the donation is higher than the perceived moral cost of receiving aid.

Csaba


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Russell Gillis  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:11
Spanish to English
Tis the season of giving... Nov 20, 2006

It's interesting to see the stark differences in attitudes towards giving.

By the way, if anyone is looking for BrowniZ points to complete their membership, I believe there still are ProZ colleagues willing to donate - just go to this link:

http://www.proz.com/topic/56580


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gad
United States
Local time: 01:11
Member
French to English
I disagree Nov 21, 2006

Kirill Semenov wrote:

I don't think ProZ is the place for the charity of this kind. We need more active participants, not passive users. The idea of donating *anything* kills it all.


What if I don't need the BrowniZ and someone else can benefit from them? By donating them, then that person IS getting more involved in the site - by becoming a member. The person still has to pay, I believe, to become a member, the BrowniZ just help defray the costs for that new member.


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Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:11
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Couldn't find the button, but I disagree anyway Nov 21, 2006

I'm sure the only reason you oppose the sharing of brownies is that you own a lot of shares in a cable company and you're afraid these sweetmeatZ are clogging you're fibreglass!
But then, I'm a little bit apprehesive for the borderline between planned economy and free market. Maybe we can turn a sword into a plodshare and put the competitor / colleague thing into perspective.

Though in first instance I would like everybody to contribute in the knowledge sharing system called Kudoz, I guess it doesn't make much sense for some people because they don't have so much time for it and / or in their field are already very skilled answerers.
Against (I like that word so much!) this background I think sharing of brownies perfectly complements and compliments the idea of knowledge sharing.
Earning brownies (and Kudoz as well) makes sense as long as you are able to put them into perspective.
Piling up only makes limited sense. Sure, they reflect your participation and you're able to partly buy your prozaist show ticket with them.
But then, your radius of action actually is quite limited to some 70 years of only 24 hours a day and while sharing them instead of worrying about their shelf life, other people turn their inherent value into real value.


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 11:41
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
It is really only a small monetary incentive to the receiver Nov 21, 2006

Dear Kirill,

It means a saving of only $20 for the receiver.

The current membership fee is $120. Browniz discount will reduce it by only $20 or about 16 per cent. So the receiver still has to pay a substantial part of the membership fee and is not really getting anything free. All that he/she gets is just a small monetary incentive to becoming a member.

Regarding making people active on the site, I think to many it would seem that they are already too active and reverse incentive is what is in fact needed, especially in areas like kudoz.

Secondly, apart from donating the browniz to someone else, there is nothing else that you can do with them. They have no utility value for members. Non-members of course require it for bidding for jobs. But we all know that the really juicy jobs are never posted on the jobs pages.

Another positive aspect of donating browinz that would have escaped your notice is that this feature allows existing members a small say in who becomes members of this site. We would offer browniz to only those users whom we know to be good translators. Thus, we can bring in the right kind of people to the site, which will ultimately improve the interactions on this site, to the benefit of all.

To make donating browniz more attractive to members, I suggest that a small discount in renewal of membership (or some other suitable compensation) be also offered to donors for their contribution in bringing in new and tried members to the site.


[Edited at 2006-11-21 05:35]


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 11:41
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
That can be easily taken care of Nov 21, 2006

Kirill Semenov wrote:
By encouraging people to donate their extra brownieZ, the site promotes the people who are not active at the site (don't earn brownieZ, so they don't participate in kudoZ and glossaries)


This objection seems valid, but can be easily taken care of. Here is how.

Make it mandatory that browniz can only be donated to a user who satisfies these conditions:

1) Has been an user of the site for at least six months.

2) Has at least 1000 (or any such suitable upper limit) browniz to his credit.

3) Has at least earned 50 kudoz points.

This will ensure that only deserving users get the browniz discount.


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 08:11
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What to do with extra brownieZ Nov 21, 2006

Balasubramaniam wrote:
Secondly, apart from donating the browniz to someone else, there is nothing else that you can do with them. They have no utility value for members.


This is not quite right. For a member, there is at least one nice way to use her or his brownieZ : to spend them on Text Ads and become more visible when anyone uses the search through the freelancers' directory. And if you specialize in three or more fields in a major language pair, you will probably never have extra brownieZ, I believe.

In any case, the brownieZ are a measure of our activity. How can one donate or share it? Can I say: "Please consider this user or member being active" - despite the fact that the person has never answered a single kudoZ question?


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Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:11
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
On the other hand Nov 21, 2006

Balasubramaniam wrote:

Kirill Semenov wrote:
By encouraging people to donate their extra brownieZ, the site promotes the people who are not active at the site (don't earn brownieZ, so they don't participate in kudoZ and glossaries)


This objection seems valid, but can be easily taken care of. Here is how.

Make it mandatory that browniz can only be donated to a user who satisfies these conditions:

1) Has been an user of the site for at least six months.

2) Has at least 1000 (or any such suitable upper limit) browniz to his credit.

3) Has at least earned 50 kudoz points.

This will ensure that only deserving users get the browniz discount.


I) in my opinion some displayed free browniez could attract new bees tot the site. Being a member could encourage them to take part in Kudoz.

II) this might encourage newbees to participate professionally, instead of becoming blunt Kudoz and Browniez grabbers to get that 40 bucks deduction as soon as possible.

III) I thought it's not so much desirable people borrow ten years in a row browniez form colleagues (although I don't really mind).





Question to ProZ.com:
What about the possibility for people who want to share their browniez to enter a real list, as to give interested partieZ the possibility to contact the enlisted browniez barrow-boys? I did experience the same like other barrow-boys & girls: the addressed colleagues aren't interested partieZ, even could find it haughty.
Yes, I realize that this way the bouquet of flowers idea has gone, but it's nearly winter (er ... well, in my country) and the flowers are nearly gone.


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