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Who gave the right answer first?
Thread poster: Gerard Michael Burns

Gerard Michael Burns
Paraguay
Local time: 05:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feb 21, 2008

I have run into a dilemna on a KudoZ question. Two responders gave what I believe to be perfect (and very similar) answers. I think I should "agree" with the person who gave their answer first, but unfortunately, it is not possible to be sure who did that from anything on that page. One entry says "3 minutes", the other "4 minutes", but is that 3 minutes _ago_ or 3 minutes after the query was posted. I am sure that others have been confused by this and unknowingly "agreed" with the second person to post a similar answer.

It would be so easy to make the time the answer was given explicit that this confusion is really unnecessary.


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Capesha  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:20
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Always after Feb 21, 2008

3 Minutes means that the writer wrote the answer 3 minutes after you posted your question.
So the 4 minutes writer answered later than the 3 minutes writer.


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:20
Italian to English
+ ...
No confusion Feb 21, 2008

As Capesha says, the time of answers is always relative to the time the question was posted. So "3 minutes" was posted before "4 minutes".

In any case, given that the second answerer almost certainly cross-posted with the first, given the very short time delay, you could just agree with both of them - it's for the asker to decide who to give the points to anyway, not you.

[Edited at 2008-02-21 08:03]


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Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:20
German to English
+ ...
this isn't supposed to be a contest... Feb 21, 2008

If you are posting a peer comment, you can agree or disagree to any answer regardless of the time of posting -- the order of posting is irrelevant.

If you are the asker, you are supposed to select the 'most helpful' answer, which may not necessarily be the first 'correct' answer. In many cases, the additional information an answerer provides, such as links and explanations, can be more helpful than the bare translation, even if it is correct.

If two or more answerers provide equally correct and equally helpful answers, regardless of who posted first, you can choose any one of them. Many users have suggested that it would be desirable to be able to split points between several answers, but the operators of the Proz site do not wish to allow this option.

[Edited at 2008-02-21 13:46]

[Edited at 2008-02-21 13:48]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
It is a contest Feb 22, 2008

C'mon, just about everyone here is going for the points. At least they don't mind getting them.

We can agree with any answer, but many times there can be several answers in the same minute, all the same or perhaps different but equally as good. There is no way to tell who is first in the same minute.

There should be. The first one to answer would get my agree, and if I were asking, they would get the points.

Nothing says it must be that way, but it seems to be the fairest way to do it. Therefore I think there should way we can tell who was first when more than one answer comes through in the same minute.


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Gerard Michael Burns
Paraguay
Local time: 05:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Okay, but the language on the site should be made clearer Feb 22, 2008

Capesha wrote:

3 Minutes means that the writer wrote the answer 3 minutes after you posted your question.
So the 4 minutes writer answered later than the 3 minutes writer.


Thank you. This tells me what to do as long as I rememember it, but we have all worked on documents whose authors assumed that everyone knew everything he knew (as if he was writing only for his closest collaborators). Some language on the ProZ website, written by people who are on ProZ all the time, is unclear to those who are not here as much (and it probably scares away some new users).

What I am requesting is that the language showing when someone answered be made clearer so that I don't have to put a post-it note on my computer saying, "ProZ: answers are _minutes after question_, not "ago". I sometimes have long periods with no free time, and then I have to learn ProZ slang all over again.

By the way, I wasn't the asker, I wanted to have a criteria for which answerer to "agree" with. The two answers seemed of equal value to me.


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:20
Italian to English
+ ...
As Ken and I have said, you can agree with both of them Feb 22, 2008

Gerard Michael Burns wrote:


By the way, I wasn't the asker, I wanted to have a criteria for which answerer to "agree" with. The two answers seemed of equal value to me.


You think they're of equal value, so agree with them both, simple as that.


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:20
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Not everybody is going for the points Feb 22, 2008

Henry Hinds wrote:

C'mon, just about everyone here is going for the points. At least they don't mind getting them.



Not everybody is going for the points - and the system would very likely yield better answers (albeit fewer in number) if the point system was removed from KudoZ.


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Gerard Michael Burns
Paraguay
Local time: 05:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Do people answer for points or from altruism? Answer: Yes. Feb 22, 2008

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:

Henry Hinds wrote:
C'mon, just about everyone here is going for the points. At least they don't mind getting them.



Not everybody is going for the points - and the system would very likely yield better answers (albeit fewer in number) if the point system was removed from KudoZ.


Riccardo is at least partly right, probably nearly everybody does enjoy getting points, but there are many email lists for translators where colleagues help each other from "enlightened self interest" (hope of future help or the returns brought by informally awarded prestige) and, frankly, the format of those lists, and the lack of a point system, encourages a give-and-take that helps ideas become fully developed, with the ultimate reward for helpers, prestige, being awarded (often silently) to those who come up with contributions that have been reviewed from many angles by people who can be very circumspect about whether they agree, disagree, or are "neutral" - a fact that saves many egos.

However, the virtue of the KudoZ system is that it encourages getting answers quickly, and for almost any query. I'd say that one may get better answers in a good email group, given time, but sometimes those answers come too late, and sometimes no one answers at all. So I consider the KudoZ point system a useful incentive that creates a type of help, fast help, that is not always available elsewhere.


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:20
Italian to English
+ ...
Points or altruism? Feb 26, 2008

Perhaps I'm fortunate, but in the Kudoz sections I frequent (English monolingual, EN-IT and IT-EN) altruism undoubtedly predominates. The English monolingual section in particular benefits from a bunch of seriously helpful answerers where mutual respect is the order of the day. I'm not saying that the points aren't appreciated, but I think it's clear that they're not the prime motiviation for most of the answerers in there.

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moken  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
Time shouldn't be the main issue Apr 15, 2008

I feel that quite often, the time issue is detrimental to the overall quality of answers and I feel that when 'judging' answers, peers (and askers) should take into consideration other aspects, such as the explanations and/or references provided. More often than not, backing up an answer with a well-chosen reference or two is the difference between posting an answer 1st, 2nd, 3rd or even 5th, and I feel that it is all too often overlooked.

Then again, considering that most of the time I do make a special effort to try to back up my answers, what else could I say?

Alvaro

P.S. Yes, it's competitive. Yes, we lend each other a hand. Aren't both aspects compatible?


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