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Suggestions for ProZ.com
Thread poster: Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 11:17
German to English
+ ...
Mar 2, 2002

Given everything I have read here today and before, there is no doubt in my mind that several things need to be improved ASAP.



Job Postings



Henry said that outsourcers’ privacy needed to be protected. That’s fine, as long as freelancers are equally protected: we need to know who the outsourcer is, where they are located, how to get in touch with them, etc. Seeing all those cheap offers of 2-4 cents on a daily (!) basis, it is quite clear to me that members (non-paying and paying) will have trepidations about placing a bid.



Unfortunately, there are too many bad apples out there, and way too many ProZ members get burnt regularly (some of the regular job posters are well-known “payment offenders”).



What Henry seems to forget is that his paying clientele is all of us, not the outsourcers. Until the job posters come and sit in the same boat with us (i.e., pay for posting jobs), there will be no even balance. Right now, the outsourcers are coddled, while the freelancers end up with the short end of the stick.



Sure, some improvements have been made (job history, no more open bids), but a whole lot more needs to be done to ensure the well-being of freelancers all over the world.



Member Profiles



Empty profiles must be chucked out: give every new member about a week to prepare a complete profile; otherwise, delete them. Also, members should be required to identify themselves (same goes for job posters).



The “e-mail contact feature” must also be modified. Too often now, certain elements in this community have taken advantage of this feature and abused it (sending out hate mails to other members using other people’s e-mail addresses). ProZ must find a way to block such abuse.



KudoZ



ProZ must set firm rules on what constitutes KudoZ abuse (e.g., 20 questions in a row by the same person for the same job).



Also, what about fairness to new members? Members that have been with ProZ since its inception and have, say, 6,000 KudoZ points will always be ahead of “junior members”. The latter basically have no chance of ever catching up with the KudoZ leaders, who have been around for years. Here’s my – bold – suggestion: why not delete all KudoZ points every year to give everyone a fair chance? The glossary would still be around (and previous answers could still be viewed – so the “old warhorses” would not really lose their credits ).



Site rules & etiquette



Rules need to be enforced in order to be effective. Right now, it is quite clear that even severe violations of the site rules are not punished. Not too long ago, one member assailed several other members in the KudoZ section with such “lovely” language as “F… you” and so on. It was not until the 4th or 5th incident of this sort that this member was finally removed.



In short, the site needs clear rules (as for netiquette, etc., they are quite clear, but they need to be enforced).



Customer Service & Support Requests



Launching and maintaining a site like ProZ is no small undertaking, and Henry needs to be applauded for shouldering such a burden. But if you get yourself into such a project, you must be willing to work for it. Don’t get me wrong: I know that Henry works hard, but, again, more needs to be done – and the tone must be changed.



Support requests repeatedly go unanswered, and it does not seem to matter whether you are a paying member or not. It does not take much to solve the problem: ProZ has a large group of moderators and other volunteers. They could all take turns (e.g., certain days, on a weekly basis, etc.) answering support requests, and it would not cost ProZ anything.



Having over 30,000 members and only 1-2 people manning the customer-service desk is insane.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-03-03 20:05 ]


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Margaret Lagoyianni
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:17
English to Greek
+ ...
Mar 2, 2002

This is an excellent overview of a very tricky situation.

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CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 11:17
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Certain elements of our community Mar 2, 2002

Werner wrote:

The “e-mail contact feature” must also be modified. Too often now, certain elements in this community have taken advantage of this feature and abused it (sending out hate mails to other members using other people’s e-mail addresses). ProZ must find a way to block such abuse.



I smell a rat, Werner. Certain elements in this community should read a few elements of this community. And other members should read two members, as far as your message and Lazlo\'s are concerned. Not many, not even a majority, not even a minority, very very few.

Shall we let bygones be bygones, or start dig up dirt and start slinging around?

Of course the site is being improved all the time. What does not lead to improvements and constructive discussion is when ideas get packaged with a sense of disproportionate righteousness, a sense of holier than thou. In your account of things there always seem to be a plot--a plot that may be in the eyes of the beyolder as much as in the thing itself.

I know that now your wrath is going to descend upon me for saying this, Werner, but I can be as outspoken as the other guys. You want to play hard ball, then don\'t cry uncle when somebody feels offended and fights back.

You have been implying all along that Henry sent those emails, when you know full well that it could have been anybody else, as others have explained.

There have been constant improvements in the site for those who pay and don\'t pay. And more improvements will come. Why this attack now?

Through Proz.com I have got more clients that I can handle, and they have all paid me; the fact that I have come to know, trust and be trusted by so many colleagues around the world, was a crucial element in the job offer I received by a large translation agency in Canada to work for them recruiting translators. Pas mal for a measly 120 dollars a year, I would have had to pay as much for a couple of ads in the paper, and no assurance to get a job.

Whether the glass if half full or half empty depends entirely on our personal outlook and not just on the glass.

Good luck and all the best



paola l m



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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 11:17
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reply to Paola Mar 2, 2002

What I said was that Henry knows the identity of the anonymous e-mailer and that he should tell us who it is (under the law, he is required to do so anyway in case of online abuse).



And, again, it was Henry, who, knowingly and intentionally, allowed several hate messages to be posted here - he was responsible for them, not the e-mails (probably).



And what\'s the bloody difference between \"certain elements\" and a \"few elements\"?? You make no sense.


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CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 11:17
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
No! You said that Henry knows the identity of the sender of Mar 2, 2002

those messages ONLY AFTER somebody pointed out to you that anybody could have sent those messages. And yet, having done no research on who could send those messages with that return address, you went ahead and accused Henry, without checking who could have sent those message.

Certain elements, indeed, we have here on Proz.com.

I make no sense? So be it.

over and out, Werner.



paola l m





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Jane Lamb-Ruiz  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Summary of Suggestions to Improve Proz Mar 2, 2002

1)Transparency of Posters (company name at least or name of individual)

2)Transparency of Bidders

3)Message Deletion by Existing Moderators on a Volunteer-Rotating Basis

4)Improved Customer Service

5)Improved Site Use Behavior Guidelines

6)Improved Site Behavior Enforcement

Anything I missed?

7)Let\'s accentuate the positive as the song says

Cheers


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Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 21:47
English to Hindi
+ ...
All bluster and heat and bluff and word play Mar 2, 2002

I think if anyone were the offended party, if at all, with Henry Dotterer [which I find highly unlikely] they should have had the guts to ask him directly or at least wait with decency till he replied rather than post all sorts of flaming attacks which I think is quite unseemly and useless. This is mere bluster and heat...



I wholeheartedly agree with Paola.


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 11:17
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yep, that's it! Mar 2, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-03-02 19:41, nonogogo wrote:

1)Transparency of Posters (company name at least or name of individual)

2)Transparency of Bidders

3)Message Deletion by Existing Moderators on a Volunteer-Rotating Basis

4)Improved Customer Service

5)Improved Site Use Behavior Guidelines

6)Improved Site Behavior Enforcement

Anything I missed?

7)Let\'s accentuate the positive as the song says

Cheers



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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 11:17
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Henry is aware of the problem ... Mar 2, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-03-02 19:47, roomynaqvy wrote:

I think if anyone were the offended party, if at all, with Henry Dotterer [which I find highly unlikely] they should have had the guts to ask him directly or at least wait with decency till he replied rather than post all sorts of flaming attacks which I think is quite unseemly and useless. This is mere bluster and heat...



I wholeheartedly agree with Paola.





... but has failed to explain himself and his actions. That says a lot. I\'m not the only one: many other members have brought valid complaints before Henry, but he brushes them off (or even turns against those that raise valid issues).

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two2tango  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 13:17
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Is it really that bad? Mar 2, 2002

Dear Abacus

You sound so unhappy about this site that one wonders what keeps you in it...

Of course everything can be improved, but I am a bit tired of seeing those who do a job being told, by people who don\'t, about the way things should have been done.

Maybe you could build a site and show us all the proper way to do it.

With all due respect,

Enrique


[addsig]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 11:17
SITE FOUNDER
replies Mar 2, 2002

Replies to the suggestions...



1)Transparency of Posters (company name at least or name of individual)



Agreed. We will have something soon.



2)Transparency of Bidders



Not sure what this means. If this refers to Werner\'s point about blank profiles, we have no plans to delete profiles with limited information. Some people like to track kudoz or job postings, and this is a perfectly valid way of using the site.



3)Message Deletion by Existing Moderators on a Volunteer-Rotating Basis



This is the system now.



4)Improved Customer Service



There is no problem with customer service. Marta is doing a very good job with customer service; tickets are generally closed within a day or two. We are trying to get the message out that all support requests should go through the menu, rather than by regular email, which does frequently go unanswered.



5)Improved Site Use Behavior Guidelines

6)Improved Site Behavior Enforcement



We have outlined basic rules of etiquette, and continue to refine them as incidents arise. However, the vast majority of ProZ.com users are professionals, and we will continue to treat them as such. A case could be made that some members abuse the wide berth that we allow. My opinion is that the problems are usually corrected naturally. In the few cases where members have caused problems that are serious, or persistent, we have stepped in and removed the offending parties.



7)Let\'s accentuate the positive as the song says



Yes.



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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 11:17
SITE FOUNDER
the sky is not falling Mar 2, 2002

Werner,



In general, your portrayal of the site, and the industry as a whole, is unduly negative. There is not nearly as much abuse, and prices are not nearly as low, as you would have others believe. There is lots of room for improvement, that\'s true. We\'re working on it. You are welcome to help.



I appreciate that among your objectives is raising the level of the profession and the level of this site. That is an objective that we share.



So as a colleague, let me share with you some data: in our recent survey, when we asked members what they do not like about the site, the number one answer had nothing to do with any of the \'crises\' you bemoan. It was not the jobs systems or kudoz--these were both praised. Instead, it was the negativity in the forums.



As someone with a knack (a gift?) for turning the forums negative or positive, you are in as good a position as I to address that particular problem. Please do your part.


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 11:17
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, Henry Mar 2, 2002

Thank you for your comments.



But, please, explain, why the offending member, BNatt, is still around?


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 11:17
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I will gladly do my part Mar 2, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-03-02 22:38, Henry wrote:

Werner,



In general, your portrayal of the site, and the industry as a whole, is unduly negative. There is not nearly as much abuse, and prices are not nearly as low, as you would have others believe. There is lots of room for improvement, that\'s true. We\'re working on it. You are welcome to help.



I appreciate that among your objectives is raising the level of the profession and the level of this site. That is an objective that we share.



So as a colleague, let me share with you some data: in our recent survey, when we asked members what they do not like about the site, the number one answer had nothing to do with any of the \'crises\' you bemoan. It was not the jobs systems or kudoz--these were both praised. Instead, it was the negativity in the forums.



As someone with a knack (a gift?) for turning the forums negative or positive, you are in as good a position as I to address that particular problem. Please do your part.





That is one main reason why your customer service needs to be improved. Many problems go unnoticed or unanswered, so frequently there is no other choice but to take things public.

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bochkor
Local time: 11:17
English to German
+ ...
Thank you, Henry, but e-mail would still be a minimum! Mar 3, 2002

I really welcome this reply of yours to the suggestions:



\"Transparency of Posters (company name at least or name of individual)



Agreed. We will have something soon.\"



So be it! But e-mail would still be a minimum and I hope you\'ll consider it based on the numerous reasons given. What do you think? Otherwise I really thank you!


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