That is some performance in 5 years. Very appreciable. Today when I log on to Proz.com site, it is as though a whole new world is there to get to know. My personal congratulations and ofcorse on all future developments go with it.
On the occasion of ProZ.com's 5th birthday, I would like to recognize several things we have achieved together as a community. Then, I would like to congratulate the three groups that I believe deserve the most credit.
There were “translation marketplaces” before ProZ.com. My vision for this site was different: ProZ.com would be a place founded on cooperation. Success would come from both collaboration and recognition of individual ability and contributions. I used the term “translation workplace” to describe my vision.
Now five years on, thousands of people around the world who share the vision have come together and made it work. All of us here are the ones who know that two heads are better than one, that together we are greater than the sum of our parts. We have proven that as a cooperative group, not only are we stronger, we are also better translators. And we have more fun!
The following are what I consider our major accomplishments so far:
KudoZ - say anything in any language
With KudoZ, anyone with an internet connection can find out how to say just about anything in just about any language. That has never before been possible! Everyone who took part in creating the KudoZ infrastructure and community—which is as diverse as perhaps any on the planet—should be proud. KudoZ is a tool that benefits not just the translation industry, but anyone in the world with an interest in language. Great job!
Bringing translators together
When ProZ.com went online, freelance translation was, for many people, a solitary profession. Some reported that they did not know even one translator living near their homes. Thanks to our online workplace, and to local powwows and events organized by ProZ.com members, many freelance translators now enjoy professional relationships and friendships not just locally, but across the globe. Does your circle of friends extend further than it did five years ago?
A more favorable business environment
Among the most rewarding of ProZ.com phenomenons, to me, is the number of members who have created successful freelance businesses with the support of the ProZ.com community.
The act of meeting a client online and completing a project is straightforward enough. But creating an environment conducive to successful freelancing is an accomplishment of which we can be proud. ProZ.com moderators and key members have expanded the potential of all members by creating unique tools and practices to support them in their businesses. The client Blue Board, job vetting, member-to-member technical and CAT tool support, identity verification, etc.--these all make the field more manageable than it once was. As a result, the industry environment is increasingly favorable to good translators and businesses.
If you have taken part in the above accomplishments, congratulations on this occasion! And if you have not yet contributed, please join in on the next five years...
Meanwhile, I would encourage every member to take a few seconds to recognize or someone whose whose hard work and creativity has made the workplace useful to you. You might want to thank the person that invited you, or a person that made you feel welcome here.
For my part, I would like to thank three groups who were most responsible for what we have achieved. Each of the accomplishments above (KudoZ, networking and improvements to the business environment), required that technical, organizational and social challenges be overcome. Three groups have tackled those challenges and should be congratulated.
First group to congratulate: Moderators and leading members
Behind the scenes at ProZ.com is an exceptional group of core users. Some serve as moderators, others contribute as non-moderators. This group of professionals not only run their own businesses, they are organized and passionate enough to also work on improving the industry as a whole. Together, they have steered ProZ.com's development and defined its culture.
Take KudoZ as an example. Technically it was challenging, to be sure. But the technology would not work in practice unless a suitable culture and clear set of rules an guidelines existed for the community. Bringing together the KudoZ community, and achieving harmony (mostly!), starting from anarchy, has been a remarkable feat. At times, the job has called for creativity, or for sensitivity. Other times, the tasks required have been less glamorous, even mundane. But moderators and leading members with the vision and commitment have always been there to see things through. Congratulations!
In recognition of these achievements, I encourage members to thank a moderator or long-standing leading member today. For a list of all moderators, click here
Next group to congratulate (and thank): our Platinum members.
Making ProZ.com accessible, reliable and fast costs money. So do ProZ.com's full-time staff members. That money is supplied by platinum members, without whom this site would not exist.
Furthermore, the pace at which our shared vision for a translator workplace gets realized is determined by the number of members who invest in platinum membership. All the vision and good intentions would amount to nothing without the resources to make them real.
Therefore, I would like to thank--on behalf of myself, the staff, moderators and non-paying members--the people who subsidize the entire operation: our platinum members. Your support is appreciated, and as staff members, we are committed to seeing to it that your investment continues to be repaid in multiples, in the form of value delivered and clients sourced.
Third group to congratulate: the ProZ.com staff.
Finally, I want to thank our ProZ.com staff members. There are easier places to work than ProZ.com, places with more clearly defined tasks and fewer challenges. And given the choice, many people would take more predictable "bit parts" in big companies with posh offices. What ProZ.com staff members have chosen is a place where they could make a difference, in a key role, right from the start.
Staffers, you can be proud of the impact you have made. Most businesses do not touch the lives of their customers and their industry in the way that this one has, and each and every one of you has played a significant role.
So happy birthday ProZ.com, members, moderators and staff. Here's to fun and progress over our next five years.