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Poll: How do you view the new member / non-member distinction (where those who pay are members)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:33
SITE STAFF
Mar 22, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How do you view the new member / non-member distinction (where those who pay are members)?".

This poll was originally submitted by Mihai Badea

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:33
Member (2003)
German to English
Not sure I understand the question Mar 22, 2006

What are we judging as fair or not fair?

That some people pay and some don't? That paying 'users' are privileged? The term "member/non-member"?

Might the quiz framer clarify, please?


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two2tango  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 16:33
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
On Members and Users Mar 22, 2006

Steven Sidore wrote:

What are we judging as fair or not fair?

That some people pay and some don't? That paying 'users' are privileged? The term "member/non-member"?

Might the quiz framer clarify, please?


ProZ.com member - A site user with a current paid membership subscription

ProZ.com user, site user, user - Anyone who uses ProZ.com

Source: http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/591/

In short, site members are those who pay for their membership.

Regards,
Enrique


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 14:33
SITE FOUNDER
I can't speak for Mihai... Mar 22, 2006

... but I edited the poll question, so I can give you my understanding and intention.

As I see it, the poll asks whether or not you view as fair ProZ.com's decision to refer to those who pay a subscription fee as "members", and to those who do not as "non-members". (This decision was made last fall, and has been implemented in site texts gradually ever since.)


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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:33
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
whether fair or unfair - bad semantics Mar 22, 2006

At the risk of being a nit-picky translator:

Oxford English Reference Dictionary definition of member:

"A person belonging to a society, team, etc."

Do non-paying "non-members" not belong to the Proz.com society? All are "registered" and many "contribute"; this to me constitutes membership.

Was the "platinum member" status not enough in order to make a (deserved) distinction for paying members?


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Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 20:33
English to Swedish
+ ...
The word "USER" is insulting. Mar 22, 2006

The word "user" can be read as:

parasite, bloodsucker, freeloader, hanger-on, leech, exploiter

Many Platinum Members seem to do so.

[Edited at 2006-03-22 14:14]


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:33
French to English
Blimey, is THAT what it means?! Mar 22, 2006

Henry wrote:

... but I edited the poll question, so I can give you my understanding and intention.

As I see it, the poll asks whether or not you view as fair ProZ.com's decision to refer to those who pay a subscription fee as "members", and to those who do not as "non-members". (This decision was made last fall, and has been implemented in site texts gradually ever since.)


Personally, I thought it meant "do you think it's fair that members get benefits that non-members don't?"

In fact, it's basically a terminology question, which could have been phrased much better, e.g. "Do you think that the terms member (for those who pay) and non-member (those who don't) are fair"?

[Later] And FWIW, no I don't. I saw nothing wrong with the platinum thing. It wasn't bust, so why fix it?

[Edited at 2006-03-22 14:08]


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two2tango  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 16:33
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
The site's position Mar 22, 2006

Simon Bruni wrote:

At the risk of being a nit-picky translator:

Oxford English Reference Dictionary definition of member:

"A person belonging to a society, team, etc."

Do non-paying "non-members" not belong to the Proz.com society? All are "registered" and many "contribute"; this to me constitutes membership.

Was the "platinum member" status not enough in order to make a (deserved) distinction for paying members?


ProZ.com reserves use of the term "member" for those with subscriptions.

Please check http://www.proz.com/post/302230#302230

Regards,
Enrique Cavalitto


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 14:33
SITE FOUNDER
A fix was needed, Charlie Mar 22, 2006

Charlie Bavington wrote:
It wasn't bust, so why fix it?

Actually, it was broken. I'll explain.

Apparently, to degrees that vary from person to person, there are certains assumptions and expectations associated with the term "member". I'll give just one example to illustrate.

In some cases, non-paying site users have entered large numbers of support tickets, which have required hours of support staff time. In and of itself, this is fine, and I do not want to discourage any site user--paying or not--from entering support tickets. Each ticket gives us an opportunity to improve the site, and after all we can choose which support tickets to address, and to what level. However, when the tone of the ticket (say, the fifth entered within a month) is "I am a member, I expect better service", this is a clear indication of a misunderstanding. Clarification should be made for the benefit of all parties involved.

(Now, before someone proposes that we restrict support to members (ie. those who pay), let me say that (1) we don't want to do that; we of course give priority to members, but still want to serve all site users to the extent practical, (2) this is just one example of several ways in which the problem was manifested, and (3) my preference is to address the underlying misunderstanding.)

I don't blame those who entered such support tickets. I feel that we were to blame for their mistaken assumptions. I believe the underlying problem was that we were telling people they were "members", when in fact, being a full member of a community involves bearing one's fair share of any unavoidable costs. Servers, development, support staff, bandwidth, all cost money, regardless of what one chooses to do with them (making helpful forum posts is welcome, but it does not in any way offset these costs.) We would be doing a disservice to continue to mislead people into thinking they are bearing their fair share, and in turn, causing them to develop associated expectations which are in fact unreasonable.

This question is a terminology question, only. Whether or not commercial benefits should be given to "members" is another question that might have another poll. However, this question was in fact addressed sometime around the year 2000, and frankly I would not expect many people to disagree that one who invests deserves commercial advantages.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 14:33
SITE FOUNDER
A site user is "one who uses the site." Mar 22, 2006

Sven Petersson wrote:
The word "user" can be read as: parasite, bloodsucker, freeloader, hanger-on, leech, exploiter

A site user, in our parlance, is "one who uses the site." This includes both members and non-members.


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Serkan Doğan  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 22:33
Turkish to English
+ ...
Using Mar 22, 2006

I {want to} agree with Henry..

Henry wrote:

Sven Petersson wrote:
The word "user" can be read as: parasite, bloodsucker, freeloader, hanger-on, leech, exploiter

A site user, in our parlance, is "one who uses the site." This includes both members and non-members.


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Marisa Condurso de Nohara  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 16:33
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dictionaries are full of variations for (any) term Mar 22, 2006

Sven Petersson wrote:

The word "user" can be read as:

parasite, bloodsucker, freeloader, hanger-on, leech, exploiter

Many Platinum Members seem to do so.

[Edited at 2006-03-22 14:14]


Since 2002 I’ve been engaged in the translation of websites, most of them addressing health care professionals. Pharmaceutical companies and health organizations plan and analyze extensively and long in advance the vocabulary to be used in their websites. A doctor, a nurse, or a patient, will need to enter their “user” name (and password) if they want, for example, to subscribe for a specific service provided by the site. I see no relation, in this case, to your “parasites”.
Furthermore, and apart from its IT meaning, a user is a patient who, not suffering a disease, uses a medical specialty, mostly, but not limited to, an OTC (over the counter) product: Women who purchase a pregnancy-test are users, couples who need a contraception method are users, and other women who even need a hormone therapy (prescribed by a doctor) are also HT users. None of your readings of “user” seem to apply here.

And in my own case, I’ve been a Proz.com “user” since 2004, until I could afford my membership last December. Do you mean I used to be a parasite?


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 20:33
English to German
+ ...
it is fair... Mar 22, 2006

as Henry said sometime back, that the site is being managed through the contribution of the paying members, where the non-paying or contributing members participate. I guess that the site was being supported by Henry himself, without considering the aspect of paying and non-paying members and the number of participants was probably not high. It actually means, it was his initiative, that lead many to move to this community and the site had grown up in size, complications and workings. He did as I see everything sofar to make this site very friendly and easily accessible. Now there are times that this design pays back, just like we all demand a pay-off after a translation is done and delivered. Well, paying and non-paying members may be a way to classify the participating groups and users generally are all or those that just stick around out of boredom. The more paying members we have the better it would be in many ways for all of us. After all I don´t look upon a few paying contributors as tax-payers and others as the enjoyers of the benefit. Sorry if I am wrong in my expression ( choose your alternatives instead, the site gives a 3 bid opportunity and various other facilities to any aspiring user / member / paying or non-paying and it certainly.. well I have already said it). But here we have a community that is operating globally. I am saying IT IS FAIR TO SUPPORT THIS SITE THROUGH MEMBERSHIP CONTRIBUTIONS when all of us are deriving a professional advantage, I despise using proz.com like a social office.Brandis

[Edited at 2006-03-22 17:26]


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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:33
English to Polish
+ ...
I couldn't agree more Mar 22, 2006

Simon Bruni wrote:

At the risk of being a nit-picky translator:

Oxford English Reference Dictionary definition of member:

"A person belonging to a society, team, etc."

Do non-paying "non-members" not belong to the Proz.com society? All are "registered" and many "contribute"; this to me constitutes membership.

Was the "platinum member" status not enough in order to make a (deserved) distinction for paying members?


The rules for Platinum and non-Platinum membership were all there, and everybody accepted the fact that being Platinum (= paying) gives you privileges. Can't see any point in changing something that worked well, to the dismay of many who suddenly got dismembered.
"Let's go and change something" policy?
If the staff felt drowning in support tickets, it would have been perfectly OK to add new rules in this respect.
We translators are very terminology-sensitive folk...


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 14:33
SITE FOUNDER
As I said, the number of support tickets was not the issue Mar 22, 2006

Iza Szczypka wrote:
If the staff felt drowning in support tickets, it would have been perfectly OK to add new rules in this respect.

Please reread my post, Iza -- as I explained, the number of support tickets was not the issue.
We translators are very terminology-sensitive folk...

Exactly - this is why it was necessary to define what we mean when we say "member".


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