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Moderators: what happens now? How is it proposed to recruit new moderators?
Thread poster: Marie-Hélène Hayles

Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
Italian to English
+ ...
Mar 5, 2009

Anyone who's been in the forums in the last few days will have noticed that the changes in moderator status announced by Henry here http://www.proz.com/forum/prozcom:_translator_coop/128900-moderator_role_has_been_redefined:_sounding_board_role_now_left_to_general_member_community.html
have led to largescale resignation of the existing moderators, leaving at least one area with no moderators at all that I am aware of.

So what happens now? How is it proposed to recruit new moderators? Are applications or recommendations being sought or will staff be contacting potential candidates with an invitation?

I am not interested in discussing the rights and wrongs of the changes and the resulting resignations. However, it seems clear that they will have an enormous effect on the community - and I believe there is a need to get things "back to normal" as quickly as possible, by appointing new moderators (or recovering old ones) to fill the gaps.


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-03-05 15:55 GMT]


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xxxValerie35
Local time: 22:28
German to English
Frankly ... Mar 5, 2009

I'm frankly astounded that this commercial enterprise has gotten so many people to work for free with the pretense of a "home-spun community". It seems to be clear - when orders are handed down from above - that there is no community, no joint decision-making and no profit-sharing.

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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 22:28
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Only a handful of Moderators have resigned (20 or so) Mar 5, 2009

Marie-Hélène Hayles wrote:

Anyone who's been in the forums in the last few days will have noticed that the changes in moderator status announced by Henry here http://www.proz.com/forum/prozcom:_translator_coop/128900-moderator_role_has_been_redefined:_sounding_board_role_now_left_to_general_member_community.html
have led to largescale resignation of the existing moderators, leaving at least one area with no moderators at all that I am aware of.

So what happens now? How is it proposed to recruit new moderators? Are applications or recommendations being sought or will staff be contacting potential candidates with an invitation?

I am not interested in discussing the rights and wrongs of the changes and the resulting resignations. However, it seems clear that they will have an enormous effect on the community - and I believe there is a need to get things "back to normal" as quickly as possible, by appointing new moderators (or recovering old ones) to fill the gaps.


Several mods may have resigned but all the Mods in my 3 language pairs are apparently in full agreement with their revised status and haven't gone anywhere at all. So I don't think you can really speak of large-scale resignations. I think it's around 20 or so. And replacements can be found by simply assigning the vacancies to Mods already signed up. After all, many Mods already hold a number of moderatorships.


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not strictly true? Mar 5, 2009

writeaway wrote:

Several mods may have resigned but all the Mods in my 3 language pairs are apparently in full agreement with their revised status and haven't gone anywhere at all. So I don't think you can really speak of large-scale resignations. I think it's around 20 or so. And replacements can be found by simply assigning the vacancies to Mods already signed up. After all, many Mods already hold a number of moderatorships.



I have no idea of the proportions of mods resigning to mods staying but to my knowledge there are now no moderators at all left for the Italian forum or the EN-IT language pair and only one left for IT-EN, so I doubt that all vacancies can be assigned to the remaining mods.

Still, no doubt you're right that the situation is less drastic than it seems.

[Edited at 2009-03-05 15:28 GMT]


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 18:28
SITE STAFF
The future for moderators and the community Mar 5, 2009

Hello Marie-Hélène,

Good question. There will be new moderators, yes. Staff does actively contact members of the community in this regard, but any who wish to volunteer are welcome to do so, as always, via support request.

This does not really respond to your question, but I think it is important to point out that, as the moderator role has changed, so has the way for the community to interact and contribute to the site. Already small groups of community volunteers have come forward to help in different projects (the GBK system is an example), and these volunteers may be moderators too, but this is not a requirement for participation. I think you can look forward to further opportunities to contribute and play a more active role. The point is, if you have an idea that would help you as a language professional and is in line with the mission statement or want to help improve something, the door is open for anyone to step up and help that happen.

By the way, if you have trouble or need help with something in a forum, KudoZ pair or any other area of the site where no moderator is currently assigned, you may contact any moderator for help, or site staff through the support system. Thanks.

Best regards,

Jared


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:28
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jared Mar 5, 2009

.

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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:28
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No moderators either in the Spanish-speaking forum... Mar 5, 2009

It feels odd indeed... I can only thank moderators who did exactly that: moderating me when I was in unmoderated rant mode...

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Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:28
English to German
+ ...
ProZ.com management has the answer(s) Mar 5, 2009

During the next weeks and months the professional, successful and popular moderators who have already resigned after years of hard work will leave a huge gap. Perhaps more moderators will resign. The changes in moderator status will make it more difficult to attract moderators and even more difficult to attract moderators willing to accept the new role. It will take some time to fill the gaps the moderators have left.

"What happens now?" is a good question that only ProZ.com management can answer.

We translators cannot answer this question because we have not been involved in appointing moderators (how is a moderator choosen, by the way? Obviously, it is not a democratic process), and Proz.com management did not ask our opinion.

The conclusions I have drawn during the last months are that ProZ.com is no longer the "community" it used to be but a company aiming at maximizing its profits (which is a normal thing I have no problem with).

BUT: ProZ.com management should keep in mind that the paying ProZ members (translators, interpreters etc.) are the ProZ clients. Has ProZ.com ever conducted a client satisfaction survey? Is ProZ.com management really interested in knowing what their clients think? Does ProZ.com management perceive criticism as a chance to improve things?

I would have appreciated it a lot if ProZ.com management had informed its "clients" a priori that organizational changes were going to take place, and ideally the reasons why.

Unfortunately, it didn't happen.

Best, Aniello

PS: At least 4 (!) moderators (Giuliana, Gianfranco, María José, Roberta) in the Italian forum have resigned.

[Edited at 2009-03-05 16:06 GMT]


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:28
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Five-point penalty Mar 5, 2009

Jared wrote:

if you have an idea that
d is in line with the mission statement [/quote]

Hi Jared: five-point penalty for use of corporatese - I hope that volunteers and unpaid moderators are motivated by something better than by such trite corporate language as "mission statements".

I realize ProZ is a business from your side. For the members, however, it is a community, and communities do not have "mission statements".


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xxxValerie35
Local time: 22:28
German to English
Appearances Mar 5, 2009

Aniello Scognamiglio wrote:

The conclusions I have drawn during the last months are that ProZ.com is no longer the "community" it used to be but a company aiming at maximizing its profits (which is a normal thing I have no problem with).



I would have a problem with a commercial enterprise if it is maximizing its profits in part by appearing to be a "community" and getting free labor in that way. I don't know the extent to which this site intentionally does that, if at all. A lot of money is being pulled in here, and a lot of people are working for free.


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 18:28
SITE STAFF
Five points? Mar 5, 2009

Hi Riccardo,

Penalty taken! However, and at the risk of incurring further penalties, I should point out that, while ProZ.com is a company, and the company for which I work, it is also a community for me, and for each staff member. And that short mission statement contains lines staff try to live and operate by, in service of this community. Whatever it is called, I hope that shows. I wouldn't expect anyone to be motivated by the term "mission statement" (is it five points each time I use the term, or can it just be a one-time point deduction?), but I believe the words in it, the idea, are what should be kept in mind.

Best regards,

Jared


The ProZ.com mission: Provide tools and opportunities that translators, translation companies, and others in the language industry use to:

* network,
* expand their businesses,
* improve their work,
* experience added enjoyment in their professional endeavors.


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Austra Muizniece  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 23:28
English to Latvian
+ ...
Clients vs. community Mar 5, 2009


The conclusions I have drawn during the last months are that ProZ.com is no longer the "community" it used to be but a company aiming at maximizing its profits (which is a normal thing I have no problem with).

BUT: ProZ.com management should keep in mind that the paying ProZ members (translators, interpreters etc.) are the ProZ clients. Has ProZ.com ever conducted a client satisfaction survey? Is ProZ.com management really interested in knowing what their clients think? Does ProZ.com management perceive criticism as a chance to improve things?

I would have appreciated it a lot if ProZ.com management had informed its "clients" a priori that organizational changes were going to take place, and ideally the reasons why.


Something to think about - are current members still receiving the service they originally purchased, if we consider the positions of the moderators who have resigned up to now, what functions they had, etc. While "community" might be somewhat forgiving in regards to the commercial part, the notion of a "client" is a different story. If we're talking business and clients now, is the product still the same?

Regards,
Austra

[Rediģēts plkst. 2009-03-05 18:13 GMT]

[Rediģēts plkst. 2009-03-05 18:13 GMT]


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 18:28
SITE STAFF
Clients and community Mar 5, 2009

Hello Austra,

In general, I don't think the service is the same. It should be better.

In particular, with regard to moderator vacancies, I think some areas may be temporarily affected, sure. Staff and current moderators are working to fill any gaps with respect to rules enforcement and site guidance, and as I mentioned earlier, new moderators are forthcoming. Other aspects which affect the community will be more in the hands of the community-- and I trust the community to take advantage of this and use it well.

Best regards,

Jared


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