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Should the "P" symbol be for internal eyes only?
Thread poster: Paul Cohen

Paul Cohen  Identity Verified
Greenland
Local time: 20:56
German to English
+ ...
Mar 13, 2009

The short-lived gold stars idea has generated quite a lot of discussion about the importance of symbols and the corporate image / corporate design of the website. So while we're on the topic of confusing symbols, I'd like to talk about the "P" badge. As it now stands, any outsider who stumbles across the directory or a profile will get the mistaken impression Proz.Com is a qualified certifying body and a linguistic authority.

It's not.

To uninitiated outsiders -- to our customers -- it appears, however, that it is. Nothing against the many highly-qualified site members with a "P" but, frankly, that is a disservice to the industry.

Please don't be offended, but it makes us look (almost) just as rinky-dink as the gold stars did.

I have a proposal. Let's remove the "P" as a search option in the public directory.

The "P" Network is just that -- an internal network. Let's keep it that way, at least for now. I think we should limit visibility of the "P" to a select group of people on the site.

For example, we could make it a "member's only" feature in the directory. If you're a paying member, then you could search the directory for "P" members. That certainly sounds fair -- and it would create an extra incentive for people to become full members.

Another option would be to make it only visible to other "P" members.

I also propose that the "P" PRO Certificates on people's profiles only be visible to a select group on the site.

And finally, it should also be possible to "opt out" of showing the "P". Currently, that is not the case, despite claims that this badge may be "optionally" displayed.


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 19:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Disagree Mar 13, 2009

Paul Cohen wrote:

I have a proposal. Let's remove the "P" as a search option in the public directory.


I strongly disagree with this proposal. The P option in directory searches was added after many members requested it in several threads.


The "P" Network is just that -- an internal network. Let's keep it that way, at least for now. I think we should limit visibility of the "P" to a select group of people on the site.


The P is not only an internal network. It`s much more than that. Please, read more about it.

Besides, any member can apply for it. And once you have, if you get to the minimun standards required, it`s something you are proud of and want to be shown everywhere.

So I don`t understand and disagree with this proposal. Why would you want to hide the P?


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:56
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Doesn't make sense Mar 13, 2009

That doesn't make sense to me. My colleagues on Proz do not need to see the P to know whether or not I'm a professional. It is potential clients who need to see it. If the P is not visible, it becomes meaningless.

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Ali Bayraktar  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Examples? Mar 13, 2009

Walter Landesman wrote:
I strongly disagree with this proposal. The P option in directory searches was added after many members requested it in several threads.



Thats not true. There was no request of such application. That was imposed by the site staff. (And there are some theories that they have contacted with group of members before applying it but this was only in theory of course).


The P is not only an internal network. It`s much more than that. Please, read more about it.


Yes it is much more than it: Especially for the others who have not accepted in this program.



Besides, any member can apply for it. And once you have, if you get to the minimum standards required, it`s something you are proud of and want to be shown everywhere.


Not any member but only paying members.
As for the "minimum" standards required:
1-If you are a certified translator (by an official body) and if you had broken the site rules, then this program announces you that you are not a Certified Pro Translator.
2-If you are a certified translator and you have not money to pay your membership, as per the requirements of the said program then you are not a Certified Pro Translator

Do you think that the above mentioned facts which create inequality in Certification of the Translators, brakes the principle of equal opportunities (although they all pay the same amount of money) and tags them basing on the groundless criteria, something that to be proud of or shown to everybody?


So I don`t understand and disagree with this proposal. Why would you want to hide the P?


In all concepts such kind of certifications made in order to select the best ones.
But in a place where there is a system "pay and get service" creating such tags unacceptable.
Because the only thing that makes difference between your money and my money is that; you did not brake the site rules. In all other things (except experience) we are the same.

Those are the reasons of my DISAGREEMENT with the whole program.

This is not an ordinary forum site or any other site where tagging its users: Hero, Super Hero, The Big King etc.

This is Translation Workplace and here there is already Natural Selection as in everywhere in this World.



[Edited at 2009-03-13 17:03 GMT]


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:56
Italian to English
+ ...
Private forum Mar 13, 2009

M. Ali Bayraktar wrote:

Walter Landesman wrote:
I strongly disagree with this proposal. The P option in directory searches was added after many members requested it in several threads.



Thats not true. There was no request of such application. That was imposed by the site staff. (And there are some theories that they have contacted with group of members before applying it but this was only in theory of course).



Without going into the pros and cons of Paul's proposal or the other points raised by M. Ali, I'd just like to point out that there is actually a private forum of Proz-certified Pros (I don't think this is confidential information!) and it was in there that the P option was requested for directory searches - not in the public forums. It was not imposed by staff.

[Edited at 2009-03-13 17:08 GMT]


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Paul Cohen  Identity Verified
Greenland
Local time: 20:56
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Why hide it? Mar 13, 2009

Walter Landesman wrote:

Why would you want to hide the P?


Excellent question.

I'm already hiding my "P".

I was accepted into the program a couple of months ago. Since then I've had second thoughts about the professionalism of advertising that I have, by all appearances, been certified as a "pro" by a website that is not a linguistic authority. Let's just say that I have concerns about the validity of promoting myself with something that could be misinterpreted by potential clients.

As staff members have pointed out, it is a network, an opportunity to work and exchange with a select group of people. But it is not an "elite" group -- as staff members have assured me. So I think we should talk about the image that it conveys to the outside world.


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Paul Cohen  Identity Verified
Greenland
Local time: 20:56
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How is it perceived by potential clients? Mar 13, 2009

Tina Vonhof wrote:

That doesn't make sense to me. My colleagues on Proz do not need to see the P to know whether or not I'm a professional. It is potential clients who need to see it. If the P is not visible, it becomes meaningless.


You've gone right to the heart of the question, Tina.

The "P" is perceived by potential clients and visitors to the site as a seal of professionalism. It looks impressive. At least it's meant to look impressive. And it gives members an advantage in the directory, no doubt about it.

But it's awarded by a website, not by a linguistic authority.

There is also a very strong internal component to the "P" that I imagine not very many potential clients care too much about -- if they have even take the trouble to read about what the "P" means, that is. The "P" badge certifies, among other things, that you maintain "good online citizenship", in other words, you respect the ruleZ of the site and treat your colleagues with respect. That's great, but I see it as more of an internal quality, and not something that should necessarily be used to impress outsiders. After all, the fact that I respect the ruleZ says relatively little about my ability to produce a professional translation -- but it means quite a lot here at ProZ.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:56
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It's a sign that you have climbed some way up the ladder Mar 13, 2009

I like the P programme.

I like the way Proz.com is open to everyone, from absolute beginners and wannabes upwards. They need to start where they can get reliable help, and the serious students can soon start contributing too, with the latest from the academic world, or their knowledge of other professions and whatever they have to offer.

But the site is intended for professional translators, and outsourcers need to know who they are for certain jobs. At other times it may be less critical, and beginners will do the routine jobs perfectly well.

Although Proz.com is not a qualified certifying body, one of the criteria for being given a P badge is having a qualification from a recognised body, or having so many years of translation experience that you must have learnt 'the hard way' before there were so many university programmes and courses around.

Like the people who compiled the dictionaries and wrote the textbooks... and are still doing it in some of the more unusual pairs!

There are other criteria of course. The P scheme is voluntary, but used properly, it is an aid to outsourcers as well as an internal network, and hiding it would defeat its purpose.

I find it meaningful and I make a conscious effort to live up to its intentions.
Have a nice weekend, folks!



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Paul Cohen  Identity Verified
Greenland
Local time: 20:56
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Membership is required, yes, but only after you have been accepted Mar 13, 2009

M. Ali Bayraktar wrote:

Walter Landesman wrote:

Any member can apply for it. And once you have, if you get to the minimum standards required, it's something you are proud of and want to be shown everywhere.


Not any member but only paying members.



Not quite true, Ali. Anyone can apply for it. It's only if you are accepted that you have to become a paying member.

I believe you can also become a partial paying member of the site if you are accepted into the "P" network.



[Edited at 2009-03-13 18:28 GMT]


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Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 01:56
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Don't (rule the world) Mar 13, 2009

Paul Cohen wrote:
certified as a "pro" by a website that is not a linguistic authority.


I would say certified by a community of linguistic professionals. The same idea, just another wording.

What is "linguistic authority"? College? University? Non-profit "association of translators" (also paid membership, but not anonymous assessment)? Being a linguist is not being a translator/interpreter. That is the point we all would like to be assimilated as soon as possible.

Whom would you trust when you need to mend your shoes? Will you trust the certificate issued by "university of shoe-making" or a collective opinion (word-of-mouth) of the fellow shoemakers?
PRO is a sort of "recognition by peers". Accept it or not. It has more value.

Paul Cohen...
concerns about the validity of promoting myself with something that could be misinterpreted by potential clients.


You will never influence others' minds. Everything can be misinterpreted and is by some always. It is like making somebody's life better -- you will be blamed for everything if something is wrong and.. you will never understand what IS wrong.

PRO is good (for me ).

[Редактировалось 2009-03-13 19:00 GMT]


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Patrick Dotterer
Local time: 18:56
SITE STAFF
Thanks for the suggestions Mar 13, 2009

Dear Paul,
The short-lived gold stars idea has generated quite a lot of discussion about the importance of symbols and the corporate image / corporate design of the website. So while we're on the topic of confusing symbols, I'd like to talk about the "P" badge. As it now stands, any outsider who stumbles across the directory or a profile will get the mistaken impression Proz.Com is a qualified certifying body and a linguistic authority.

There are clear FAQs on the site about the Certified PRO Network and even text pop-ups that explain what the "P" signifies for outsourcers to read and go over.
I have a proposal. Let's remove the "P" as a search option in the public directory.

The "P" Network is just that -- an internal network. Let's keep it that way, at least for now. I think we should limit visibility of the "P" to a select group of people on the site.

For example, we could make it a "member's only" feature in the directory. If you're a paying member, then you could search the directory for "P" members. That certainly sounds fair -- and it would create an extra incentive for people to become full members.

Another option would be to make it only visible to other "P" members.

I also propose that the "P" PRO Certificates on people's profiles only be visible to a select group on the site.

Thanks for the suggestions, but none of these changes will be implemented. If anything, there will be more promotion throughout the site for ProZ.com Certified PROs and other ways for outsourcers to connect with them as well.
And finally, it should also be possible to "opt out" of showing the "P". Currently, that is not the case, despite claims that this badge may be "optionally" displayed.

There is not a way technically to hide the "P" in your profile nor throughout the site, but there is a way to "opt out" of the network at anytime by submitting an online support ticket. Once you "opt out" of the network, the "P" is obviously removed entirely. (This procedure of "opting out" was implemented to deter non-participants from trying to imply on the site that he or she is a participant in the Certified PRO network, when in fact they are not.) Of course, it does make sense on one level to allow Certified PROs to choose whether they want the "P" promoted throughout the site (aside from their profile), which will be taken into consideration.

Kind Regards,

Patrick


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Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:56
English to German
+ ...
Really? Mar 13, 2009

Sergei Leshchinsky wrote:

Whom would you trust when you need to mend your shoes? Will you trust the certificate issued by "university of shoe-making" or a collective opinion (word-of-mouth) of the fellow shoemakers?

"university of shoe-making"

PRO is a sort of "recognition by peers". Accept it or not. It has more value.

Really?


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Patrick Dotterer
Local time: 18:56
SITE STAFF
Some clarification Mar 13, 2009

Dear M. Ali Bayraktar,
Not any member but only paying members.
As for the "minimum" standards required:
1-If you are a certified translator (by an official body) and if you had broken the site rules, then this program announces you that you are not a Certified Pro Translator.
2-If you are a certified translator and you have not money to pay your membership, as per the requirements of the said program then you are not a Certified Pro Translator

Do you think that the above mentioned facts which create inequality in Certification of the Translators, brakes the principle of equal opportunities (although they all pay the same amount of money) and tags them basing on the groundless criteria, something that to be proud of or shown to everybody?

Anyone can apply to the Certified PRO Network, but it is true that you must be a member in order to participate in the network. Aside from the financial aspect and administrator actions, the screening process is accepting applications. Therefore, if an application does not adequately confirm all three areas of professionalism, the application will be denied, which is not implying anything about the user/member; it is only implying that the candidate did not substantiate all three areas of professionalism during the screening process in their application.

Kind Regards,

Patrick


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xxxPRen
Canada
Local time: 19:56
French to English
+ ...
Really? Mar 13, 2009

Christine Andersen wrote:



But the site is intended for professional translators, and outsourcers need to know who they are for certain jobs. At other times it may be less critical, and beginners will do the routine jobs perfectly well.





Well, I think it started out that way (intended for professionals). But explain to me how outsourcers know that someone with a P is "professional". What they know is that the person paid for a membership and has had some kind of dubious go-ahead from other P-people and site staff who may or may not have ever attempted a translation.


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 19:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Are you really, Paul? Mar 13, 2009

Paul Cohen wrote:
Walter Landesman wrote:

Why would you want to hide the P?


Excellent question.

I'm already hiding my "P".



Really? How did you do it, Paul? According to Patrick that is not possible:

Patrick Dotterer wrote:

There is not a way technically to hide the "P" in your profile nor throughout the site, but there is a way to "opt out" of the network at anytime by submitting an online support ticket.


I checked your profile and OK, the P is not there. But under "standardized information" there is no trace either, just a N/A.

I`m so confused. It sounds really weird to me.


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