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Poll: Is ProZ.com a good knowledge management (KM) tool for translators?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 07:51
SITE STAFF
May 22, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Is ProZ.com a good knowledge management (KM) tool for translators?".

This poll was originally submitted by Sam Berner

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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Sam Berner  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 00:51
Member (2003)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Curious about the "No" responses May 23, 2006

I would really love to hear from those who do not perceive Proz as a good KM tool for translators. What do you think is missing, or could be improved on Proz to facilitate sharing and creation of knowledge among the T&I professionals?

Thanks in advance.


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Sarah Brenchley  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
What is KM? May 23, 2006

Can anyone explain what is KM? There seems to be quite a high percentage of people like me who don't know what it is and it would be interesting to find out.
Thanks. Sarah.


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:51
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
KM - Knowledge Management May 23, 2006

KM - Knowledge Management

Monika

Sarah Brenchley wrote:

Can anyone explain what is KM? There seems to be quite a high percentage of people like me who don't know what it is and it would be interesting to find out.
Thanks. Sarah.


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Marius Reika  Identity Verified
Member (2006)
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
The term is obscure May 23, 2006

...that is why so many people are confused about this "KM".

I think the topic of this poll should have been put in simpler words like: "Is proZ.com a good source of information regarding translation business" or sth like this.

To me proZ.com is an extremely useful source of information. I am glad I came across this community.

Marius


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Arianna Tremayne  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:51
German to English
+ ...
Agree with Marius May 23, 2006

Thank you Marius for the explanations of 'KM'.

I did not really understand what was meant, so my response was 'What is KM'.

Your post explains it.

Now I would most certainly vote 'Yes'.

Arianna


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Sam Berner  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 00:51
Member (2003)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Why there was no definition in the poll May 23, 2006

There is a reason why KM was not defined more clearly, and why I used this term instead of say, information sharing.

I needed to know how many of my colleagues were aware that what they do on this site is actually KM: "creating, sharing and dissiminating knowledge, not just information, in such a way that it can be reused to create even more knowledge." This is a cyclic process.

I am engaging in my other specialization - information science - and writing an article about translation portals, specifically about Proz, as a KM environment. It was vital that I had a "blind poll" - that people either knew of KM, or did not, and that their knowledge/lack thereof were reflected in the statistics.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, I am still waiting for those who said "No, it is not," to give me a few ideas from their bags.

Thanks for participating.


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
I answered "no" May 23, 2006

If we go by wikipedia's definition, what ProZ promotes is basically knowledge transfer (one aspect of KM).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_management

In my experience, KM is not only about quantity. Quality (among other values) plays an important role. That is what I find lacking in ProZ, where the good, the bad and the ugly are all mixed together for the user to figure out.

Maybe when ProZ goes from beta to final?

--
Dyran


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John Colangelo  Identity Verified
Qatar
Local time: 17:51
Member (2006)
Arabic to English
+ ...
I was aware all the time ... May 23, 2006

Sam Berner wrote:

There is a reason why KM was not defined more clearly, and why I used this term instead of say, information sharing.

I needed to know how many of my colleagues were aware that what they do on this site is actually KM: "creating, sharing and dissiminating knowledge, not just information, in such a way that it can be reused to create even more knowledge." This is a cyclic process.

I am engaging in my other specialization - information science - and writing an article about translation portals, specifically about Proz, as a KM environment. It was vital that I had a "blind poll" - that people either knew of KM, or did not, and that their knowledge/lack thereof were reflected in the statistics.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, I am still waiting for those who said "No, it is not," to give me a few ideas from their bags.

Thanks for participating.


I just didn´t know what you meant by Knowledge Management. I think it is much more beneficial than other translator sites ( not that the others are useless). I just believe it is more professional here.


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
wisdom May 23, 2006

My (limited) understanding of KM is that it takes bits of data, which become information, from that builds knowledge, and eventually, it goes a step farther, to reach wisdom. (A vague concept, I suppose, but by that. I mean something like knowing how best to deploy one's knowledge.)

I know that ProZ mixes the "good, the bad, and the ugly" (as someone said abvoe, and I contribute to the latter two too often!). But what I find so useful is that by seeing--and being forced to think about and evaluate--the ugly and bad, I feel that I'm nudged a little closer to wisdom. All thanks to my colleagues' willingness to share their ideas and insights!


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
knowledge creation or transfer / knowledge community - May 23, 2006

Dyran Altenburg wrote:

If we go by wikipedia's definition, what ProZ promotes is basically knowledge transfer (one aspect of KM).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_management

In my experience, KM is not only about quantity. Quality (among other values) plays an important role. That is what I find lacking in ProZ, where the good, the bad and the ugly are all mixed together for the user to figure out.

Maybe when ProZ goes from beta to final?

--
Dyran


I read the definition, and my first reaction is - that's not knowledge management....that seems more like knowledge creation,


then I read Dyran's reply, and I couldn't help but agree, Proz sounds more like knowledge transfer or creation than management.

We may also be termed a knowledge community perhaps?

KM makes it sound like we have control, collectively or individually over the K that is created or transferred here....we may have, but only in a minimal way...



As Dyran also points out, Proz has good, bad, mediocre in it...management would imply some kind of guarantee that something was more good than mediocre or bad....we don't exercise that kind of control though

[Edited at 2006-05-23 19:09]

And patricia's comment: again this is not what KM would mean, or if this is teh definition of KM, I diasgree.

Management implies some kind of fairly coordinated control. What Patricia describes is a kind of organic growth.

My 2 eurocents worth:-)

[Edited at 2006-05-23 19:11]


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 11:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
:-)))) May 23, 2006

Sam Berner wrote:

I would really love to hear from those who do not perceive Proz as a good KM tool for translators. What do you think is missing, or could be improved on Proz to facilitate sharing and creation of knowledge among the T&I professionals?

Thanks in advance.


Same thought here, also ... what are you doing HERE if you don't like it (=consider it useful)? Were you 'zapping' in the Internet?

Au

ps: I took a couple of seconds to realize what KM was, but being a legal translator...I did realize (lawyers love to put initials close to 'defined concepts')


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Eva T
English to Albanian
+ ...
Agree with Aurora May 23, 2006

You said it girl! What are you doing in an environment you do not like? It is not healthy to stay in a place you do not like by the way...

I believe Proz is the best place of KM in the internet. I have not found any better and there are many others that are trying hard.

Eva

Aurora Humarán wrote:

Same thought here, also ... what are you doing HERE if you don't like it (=consider it useful)? Were you 'zapping' in the Internet?

Au


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Sam Berner  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 00:51
Member (2003)
English to Arabic
+ ...
A CoP - more acronyms for the willing May 23, 2006

Lia Fail wrote:

We may also be termed a knowledge community perhaps?

KM makes it sound like we have control, collectively or individually over the K that is created or transferred here....we may have, but only in a minimal way...



Thanks Lia,

We are most definitely a CoP (community of practice). One more for you, Aurora.

My 2 Australian cents - throughtout the past ten years of KM discussions, and in working as a consultant in the ephemeric field, I have always found it a bit scary that the M in KM is about "control". One certainly has control over what one says, but to control the whole process feels Orwellian. Knowledge grows out of the free flow of information here, is incorporated into others mental sets, and they in turn produce knowledge and share it. And as a colleague here said, and I can't agree more, the ability to analyse and discern between the good and the bad is in itself a knowledge process.

Thank you all very, very much for contributing.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:51
French to English
Liking Proz is not the point at issue.... May 23, 2006

...and was not the question. The two should not be confused (and neither should "liking" something and "finding it useful" - I find my toilet a godsend, but by no stretch of the imagination could I be said to "like" it ). For the record, I voted 'no' because the undoubtedly valuable info that proz contains is disorganised and mixed in with a load of rubbish. It is not systematically managed.

Sure, there are categories for kudoz Qs, for example, but nothing to stop me posting a legal question under animal husbandry (say) and some kind soul may or may not re-categorise it for me. Categories overlap ("computers" and "IT", for example). While on the subject of kudoz, witness the number of askers who are told that a Q has been previously posted and respond by claiming not to be able to find it. If you need to find the meaning of a two-letter abbreviation, you'll do well, since while it can be posted as a Q, it can't be searched for. Other weaknesses of the kudoz system have been discussed ad nauseum, but with well over a million questions and God knows how many answers, we just have to take it for it is - a huge pile of 'knowledge', yes, but 'managed'?, no. It has undoubted value, if you know how to find what you want, but cannot be considered a KM tool, IMHO.


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