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The real value of the Blueboard
Thread poster: Aniello Scognamiglio

Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:26
English to German
+ ...
Feb 23, 2009

A UK agency with 195 entries in the Blueboard is currently hiring English into German External Quality Managers offering a standard rate of $20/hour for External Quality Management.

To make it clear right from the start, I do not want to kick-off a whining discussion about ridiculous rates. Rather, it's about the real value of the Blueboard. It is of little value to me. What are your experiences?

Thanks, Aniello


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:26
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
It depends on how do you use it Feb 23, 2009

and so is its value.
In my opinion BB is the unique and best directory of that kind, which may be found in the whole Internet.
Beside BB I'm also using some payment mailing lists, so I always put all the information together. But nothing is as fast, as easy accessible and as easy to read as BlueBoard.

Jerzy


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:26
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Of use to avoid chronic non-payers Feb 23, 2009

I think the main benefit is from the negative entries, to help you to avoid chronic non-payers.

As to positive entries, I see various problems. First the rating from 1-5 is fairly meaningless, since the question--"Are you willing to work again for this company?"--is basically a yes or no question. If you work for an agency that has nice people but pays terrible rates, will you be WWA? It probably depends on how desperate you are, which means nothing as a recommendation to other translators. If you're desperate to find work, you will not likely give that agency a low rating, because you want them to hire you again. Ratings are usually 1 (I didn't get paid), or 4-5 (I got paid and I'm willing to work again--maybe if I can't find anything better). I can't say that I've ever seen 2 and 3.

So, BB is of value, but its value is limited.


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Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Greenboard? Feb 23, 2009

Yes, it would also be worth while to have a list of companies ranked by how much they pay, but I don't think that one is going to materialize any time soon. Meanwhile, I am glad just to have a heads up about who doesn't honor their commitments, be they large or small.

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Johanna Timm, PhD  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:26
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Excellent value Feb 23, 2009

One morning I was contacted, by phone, at 8 am, by an individual located in the States a few hundred miles south from where I live. He claimed to be the manager of an agency specializing in patent translations. I had never heard of him or his company before. Plus, I am not actively looking for clients, I am busy enough as it is. This gentleman needed an urgent, same-day translation, legal stuff, contract-related, saying that he found me “by googling”. He accepted my rush rate without hesitation. I was skeptical.

Then I checked his information on the Proz.com Blueboard. The contact information he had provided matched. He had 2 excellent references by respected colleagues. Reassured, I took the job, completed it and was paid within 3 days - cheque sent by Purolator courier. He even called to thank me and inquired twice if I had indeed received the cheque. Subsequent assignments followed.

I have to say I was more than pleased and am very grateful to our Blueboard team. Their diligent work alone gave me the confidence to take a job I would have normally discarded as dubious. And: I gained a reliable new client thanks to them.


[Edited at 2009-02-25 03:15 GMT]


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kimjasper  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 16:26
Member (2006)
English to Danish
+ ...
Agree - excellent value Feb 23, 2009

I also use Blueboard when I am contacted by an agency.
A few months ago I was contacted by an agency with a rush job.
I checked Blueboard and saw that there had been payment issues with some translators. I told the agency that due to the Blueboard record I had to request prepayment in order to mitigate business risk. 10 minutes later they prepayment was in my PayPal account. We completed the project and I gave them a nice quote on Blueboard. This way Blueboard can also help an agency to get back on track after what may have been temporary cash flow issues.

Kim


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kimjasper  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 16:26
Member (2006)
English to Danish
+ ...
Success stories Feb 23, 2009

In addition, I have had at least two other positive experiences with Blueboard. Seeing companies with very good ratings motivated me to send quotes to the when they posted on proz.com . In both cases the agencies were extremely nice and professional with well structured jobs, nice support and prompt payment. One of them has even acted as a reference for me on a later occasion.

Kim


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:26
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
You THINK... Feb 23, 2009

Liv Fridtjofsen wrote:

I THINK it might as well happen that translators may have to delete their negative comments to get paid.......


So you are basing your opinion solely on a supposition, which is unfair and in my opinion should not be allowed.

[Edited at 2009-02-23 20:58 GMT]


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:26
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Prohibited under Blue Board rules Feb 23, 2009

Liv Fridtjofsen wrote:
I think it might as well happen that translators may have to delete their negative comments to get paid.......


Hi Liv,

Such coercion by outsourcers is prohibited by Blue Board rules - see http://www.proz.com/siterules/blue_board_bb_blueboard/8#8

If you ever notice such a behaviour, please alert a jobs/Blue Board moderator or ProZ.com support staff.

Best regards,
Steffen

P.S. Back on topic, I basically agree with Jerzy that the Blue Board is the most comprehensive directory of its kind on the web, and has proven its worth also for me on many occasions.


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Irene Elmerot  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 16:26
Member (2005)
Dutch to Swedish
+ ...
Was thinking the same Feb 23, 2009

I just saw a job posting here, offering translators into Scandinavian languages 6 to 8 cents per word. I would say that's totally ridiculous (in Scandinavia), but the company had fine BB ratings.
(If it had been into Spanish, I've understood that there are so many translators both from and into English/Spanish that the competition is very hard, but into Scandinavian?)

So, what can we propose ProZ.com? Perhaps an extra feature where translators can answer "do you think you were paid a decent amount?", but if I lived in a low-cost country and still translatred into Swedish, even 6 to 8 cents would be decent, so it's a very difficult thing. It would be interesting to try out, though.


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Valery Kaminski  Identity Verified
Belarus
Local time: 17:26
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Another plus Feb 23, 2009

Another plus is that you see all those people who make comments.

Last year I had to do something to get ~ $ 1500 from a US agency. When I got the job and checked them at BB, their score was something like 4.2-4.3. After I did not get paid on time and some unanswered emails, I had another look - there were some new 1s and 2s.
I wrote to one of the translators and he provided me with some valuable insight into this agency's peculiarities.

Although it took me over 5 months, I finally was paid in full.

I know that if I did not have a chance to get that kind of 'insider' information, I would have probably said goodbye to the money. The agency was finally banned from Proz.


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Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 17:26
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
One cannot... Feb 23, 2009

Jessica Noyes wrote:
a list of companies ranked by how much they pay


I'm not sure many companies will disclose the figures... actually, you will get the same BB with oblique references like "willing to cooperate", "sticking to dates", and "always paying on time"...

One cannot perfect the perfect. For the time being, leave the BB as it is.


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 16:26
English to Croatian
+ ...
BB seems like a highly valuable feature Feb 23, 2009

It seems to me that BB has some fantastic assets, despite ocassional shortcomings that are indicated by some of you.

It feels good to know that there is always a safe resort where you can go and do something about the financial injustice that had been done to you, such as adding an appropriate BB entry, or simply reminding the non-payer you can always do it and thus ruin their reputation. It is a very smart mechanism.


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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:26
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Excellent value Feb 23, 2009

The BB has been of excellent value to me based on three facts:

1. It has been of great help in verifying the reliability of outsoucers. Nearly 100% of the times I have checked the BB after receiving job offers from new clients, it has proven their reliability, provided they have a rating close to 5.
2. By entering low ratings for late payers, the Proz.com staff has helped me 3 times to recover almost immediately the money overdue.
3. When I started working as a full-time freelancer 5 years ago, I used the BB to write to all agencies for freelance collaboration. Eventually, some of them became the excellent outsourcers I keep to date.


[Edited at 2009-02-23 22:02 GMT]


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