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Suggestions for a policy on KudoZ etiquette
Thread poster: CLS Lexi-tech

CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 16:18
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Oct 23, 2001

How do you feel about implementing a Kudoz etiquette along these lines?

I posted this message in the EN>IT SC and the response was very positive.

I am glad to share it with other interested members.



Kudoz Etiquette



1. Squashing... The owner does not feel, with my support, that we should put a fence around the site. If you feel that the questions are too easy for you, please refrain from answering or delete, delete, delete. Keep in mind that this is a tiny irritant, not a major cause of concern, considering the low percentage of very easy questions and the large percentage of questions that enlighten us all.

2. Peer-grading... (implemented).

3. Please refrain from any comments on the answers provided by other colleagues. And I mean it. I will squash any Kudoz question containing personal remarks of any kind on the abilities of others and as a result no points will be assigned for that question. If you feel that it is necessary to comment on somebody’s answer, please do it in a polite, professional, peer-like way without imputing motives and ignorance. If you feel that the asker has chosen the wrong answer, please append a respectful comment and/or write to the asker privately. The same considerations apply to the comments on peer-grades.

4. It is not the answerer’s fault if an asker assigns points to a documented answer over a similar, undocumented and unreferenced answer. Nor is it the answerer’s fault if the answer is peer-graded favourably or otherwise. Let’s keep the points in perspective as one component a very useful tool, not the end-all and be-all of this exercise.

5. Please refrain from prefacing or post-facing your answer with comments such “this is the way it is”, “I know best,” “this is how you say it.” Please just append “experience” as reference. They may be misleading to the asker. It is pointless to say “knowledge of the languages in question” as this is the assumption on which Kudoz are based. I am, as other members of this subcommunity, almost bilingual, but this does not give me a patent on knowledge. Actually it makes me very cautious as I might be prone to linguistic interference.

6. Keep in mind that the questions provided thus far on Proz are searchable and that they form an invaluable glossary of terms. When in doubt about an answer I would suggest that we provide a definition in both the source and the target language, that will be part and parcel of the glossary for future reference.

7. Keep in mind the time factor. Sometimes I get questions with no answer and after I do my search and enter the reply, I realize that other answers had been provided. Such are the vagaries of the net, time zones and whatever else may be at play.(I am not very savvy on this aspect.)

8. Please always assume good faith, unless you have PROOF to the contrary. It is a much better approach, that makes for friendliness and open exchange. As in any group of people, we get along better with some and less so with others. And sometimes there are misunderstandings, misreadings and miwritings (i guess I making up these words). It does not mean that the site as a whole is going down the tube. The site is growing, with many new members. The glass is always half full, at least to me.

9. If you are not satisfied with my role as a moderator, please say so, and I will graciously (I hope) step down. And be sure to report also any problem or concern.



Too bad I have nothing to round them off to ten...

End of posted message.



paola l m





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Andrea Bullrich  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:18
Member
English to Spanish
Number Ten - No capitals, please... Oct 23, 2001

I offer you first thing that pops into my head as number 10: do not write in all capitals! It\'s universally understood as yelling, and can be very aggressive, yet many people seem to feel the need to emphasize their statements this way.

Just my two cents...

Andrea Bullrich


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Nina Engberg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:18
Member (2003)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Great idea! Oct 23, 2001

I think that sounds great, Paola!



Nina Olds


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Gilda Manara  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:18
German to Italian
+ ...
I agree completely Oct 23, 2001

and underline especially one point mentioned by Paola - we all have the options agree/disagree - let us use them explaining why we disagree, eventually, but without making personal remarks against the person who has suggested a solution. Also wrong contributions sometimes can be useful - they encourage us to make further research, or they can show us how misunderstandings can arise. Let us appreciate that who wrote an answer wanted anyway to help and not attack him/her personally. The incidence of wrong answers is anyway very low, while the possibility of choosing among a range of alternative solutions is extremely interesting. It is like homework edited in a class... sometimes you learn even more from the mistakes of others, so no need to \"crash\" them under your own \"knowing better\"!

Gilda


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Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:18
Partial member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Excellent suggestions Oct 24, 2001

I agree with the suggestions made by Paola.

We should all keep in mind that in virtual communities people tend to overreact, so we should all refrain from any comment which might sound nasty to other people\'s sensitive ears.

Thanks, Paola, for all the energy, time and dedication you put in your work as moderator!



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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:18
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
Squashing Oct 24, 2001

To be honest, I have never seen (in the ITA>ENG SC in any event) cases of \"I disagree because you\'re totally off, an idiot and incompetent to boot\". First of all, there isn\'t enough room.

Instead of \"squashing\" before it ever hits the ether, why don\'t we leave it to the good sense of the writer, answerer and peer graders to be polite and adult about this.

After all, we all do the same kind of work and are essentially here to help each other out.

I disagree with \"squashing\" as a matter of principle.



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Paul Stevens  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:18
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Totally agree Oct 24, 2001

I agree 100% with Paola - especially in respect of discourteous \"disagree\" comments. I saw one yesterday which, was totally unjust (I won\'t give precise details).



I would also put forward another suggestion:



Whilst it is fully understandable that people submit (almost) identical answers within a few minutes of each other because of the vagaries of the net, can we all please refrain from offering doing long after the initial answer is given? This sometimes (inexplicably) results in the latter answer being awarded the points, which can be rather annoying to the person who supplied the correct answer first.



Finally, thanks for all your valuable work as a moderator, Paola.







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CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 16:18
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Squashing and etiquette Oct 24, 2001

As I recall, I have never squashed a question, but rather \"unsquashed\" them (question to Henry: what happened to the possibility of searching for \"squashed\" questions and unsquashing them?). The only squashing I have done is of questions that appear twice or thrice or more, for any reason.

There have been some negative comments (not necessarily in peergrading) imputing ignorance or lack of professionalism/inexperience, bad faith, asking people to be less \"forward\" in answering questions, which have produced some heated debates. And this was why I conceived the etiquette message.

This is a public/professional site and we have to allow for all kinds of levels of participation. I agree with Gilda wholeheartedly on the usefulness of Kudoz for our glossary and for our own personal growth.



ciao



paola l m



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Jerold Stamp  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:18
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
“Let the victim decide” and “Who moderates the moderator” Oct 24, 2001

“Let the victim decide” and “Who moderates the moderator”



Paola, based on recent altercations that I’ve seen on the site, I certainly must say that the objectivity and judgement of the moderator of such a system would have to be at a pretty high level for it to work. Recent arguments demonstrate that we are far from that goal. I don’t want to blame people. We’re human, we make mistakes. I do all day long. It’s our nature. But we are just not there. I’m sorry.



As Catherine says, we should be adults, and many of here do know how to argue and may prefer to respond to such a remark in an adult manner, given that the pretexts and salient points are evident any visitors or observers. I myself would know how to respond to many of the personal attacks I have seen on this site. It is essential though that my response not be retaliatory of a retaliatory form. I would have to stick to facts and reality and not respond to the person but to his arguments. I may request the other to clarify his point and if he is out of order, maybe I didn’t understand what he was trying to say. Maybe he was joking. Maybe he’ll respond “Excuse me, you are right” and we’ll go on being friends. Maybe I would say, “Aren’t we getting out of hand here, can you clarify your position off the list”.



On the other hand I’ve seen some arguments that have compromised the professional image of others and the arguer themselves, sometimes cunningly and insidiously, other times blatantly and obviously. Since our professional images are important for our success as translators (along with our true professionalism, as opposed to our image), I can think of circumstance wherein I would simply want an offensive or slanderous comment to be censored (especially if there are grounds to believe that the person is beyond reasoned with). I would want to be notified by someone if I were the victims of such an attack (I may be busy with other things at the time). Then I’d like to be able to depend on a monitor to censor it.



That my idea.



What do you think?



[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-10-24 05:13 ]


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Beth Kantus  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:18
German to English
Very good point and very well said! Oct 24, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-10-23 21:21, reymarktco wrote:

and underline especially one point mentioned by Paola - we all have the options agree/disagree - let us use them explaining why we disagree, eventually, but without making personal remarks against the person who has suggested a solution. Also wrong contributions sometimes can be useful - they encourage us to make further research, or they can show us how misunderstandings can arise. Let us appreciate that who wrote an answer wanted anyway to help and not attack him/her personally. The incidence of wrong answers is anyway very low, while the possibility of choosing among a range of alternative solutions is extremely interesting. It is like homework edited in a class... sometimes you learn even more from the mistakes of others, so no need to \"crash\" them under your own \"knowing better\"!

Gilda



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CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 16:18
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Flame for a flame is not right. Oct 24, 2001

You have a point. The moderator is moderated by the community in which he or she moderates every day, publicly or privately. This was why I appended to my Etiquette message the last point, asking the SC whether I was doing the job entrusted to me. It is the SC that ultimately decides on that.

I have been on Proz.com now for almost two years. The message you see above was my adult (I hope you will agree) response to altercations and pointed commentaries on answers by colleagues who had complained to me as moderator.

The altercations you are probably referring to are very recent. And you are right that one should not respond to provocations or to heat with heat. But, we are not perfect and we may sometimes feel unduly provoked or that the tone is inappropriate. If one cannot stand the heat, one should not go into the kitchen, and especially should not play with fire. This should not turn into a SC debate since we are in a general Proz.com forum, but I don\'t know how long you have been in the EN>IT SC and how many inflamatory comments you have seen coming from me.

I appreciate your comments: flame for a flame is not right, but flame there was.

You don\'t address the general tone and content of the Etiquette. I would like to know what you think and how we could implement it for peaceful and productive coexistence within Proz.com.



All the best. Ciao

paola l m



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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:18
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
I agree with Jerry Oct 24, 2001

I think that Jerry DID answer the point on etiquette. It\'s up to us to act like the adults we are and monitor our own behavior.

As to the squashing, all I have seen -- now that I recall -- involved a question or two that were deemed \"inappropriate\" for the site, but with no explanation as to WHY they were inappropriate. Again, if it\'s an off-color term I think we are old enough to handle it.

As to \"flame for flame\", Paola is right. You shouldn\'t fight fire with fire, but in that particular instance there was \"heat\" on both sides.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-10-24 06:01 ]


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Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
Jerold has made an excellent point. Oct 24, 2001

The English/Italian language pair has dominated this site in good and in bad ways. It is good when constructive discussion is stimulated and it was very good when we got together in Tuscany. But on other occasions, it looks like we need more policing of excessive ambitions and egos. Since I suspect Henry is not interested in holding elections for a ProZ-UN, or ProZ-NATO at this juncture, why don\'t we simply incorporate by reference the Ten Commandments under the missing item #10 of Paola\'s KudoZ Etiquette and get back to business? Including, without limitation:

Give others the benefit of the doubt. Refrain from reading into other people\'s comments nastiness that is not there. Do as you would be done by.



As you see, I particularly liked in Paola\'s exposé relevant portions of items nos. 3 and 8. In this connection, a question to other SCs: Have you experienced this sort of turbulence in your language combinations too? Eng>Pol, for instance, has, IMHO, grown up over the past 2 years. We no longer see \"prefacing or post-facing your answer with comments such “this is the way it is”, “I know best,” “this is how you say it.”\" (Paola\'s item #5), but more and more of solid, highly professional, well researched, balanced and documented answers. And more and more co-operation.



So, by getting back to business I mean getting back to what has made the entire ProZ and not only one of its SCs strong and attractive worldwide.



Jacek







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Jerold Stamp  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:18
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
The tone almost borders on “Big Brother is watching you” but otherwise it seems to be OK Oct 24, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-10-24 05:19, ludovici wrote:



You don\'t address the general tone and content of the Etiquette. I would like to know what you think and how we could implement it for peaceful and productive coexistence within Proz.com.



All the best. Ciao

paola l m







There is a difference between moderating and censoring. I think freedom of speech is a rather important issue and I’m not really keen on having my comments being censored “a priori” by anyone.



The words “I will squash …” sounds bullyish. I certainly wouldn’t want to join a list where I risk being “squashed”. Let’s put it this way, moderators should moderate with moderation. I wouldn’t want to get punished for a joke or a misunderstood comment.



PS ProZ has gone so far as to include a page on peace in its site to promote peaceful virtues:



http://www.proz.com/?sp=peace&eid_c=5554



It’s a great idea. I think when something like what has happened has occurred, it would be nice if sooner or later the people involved can make a sincere attempt to understand each and maybe even make a phone call and try to reconcile their differences to the best of their abilities. Let bygones be bygones and let’s get with being friends.



Pace e bene

Jerry







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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 16:18
SITE FOUNDER
A policy, and enforcement of the policy, will be beneficial Oct 24, 2001

Online communities can be viewed as organisms. They need to reside on a structure that allows them to grow in positive ways.



From the perspective, Paola\'s suggestion is a good one.



We can learn a lesson from the history of this forum. This is the fourth implementation. The other three failed, and this one, too, initially took a very negative turn.



The current forum structure is not perfect, but for the first time, it is working in a way that is sustainable. Lesson learned: (1) create a policy (2) enforce it.



The tone of forum comments is much more positive as a result of having taken these two steps in tandem. Step (1) alone worked fairly well, but was not enough. Step (2) alone (ie. policing without guidelines) took too much time, and felt something like paddling upstream.



KudoZ is a bit different, to be sure. Perhaps because it is more structured than an open discussion forum, KudoZ has not required a code of etiquette to work well. Nevertheless, I believe that posting a carefully crafted policy for etiquette can only improve our atmosphere of collaboration. (FYI, I do get emails from time to time from people who resign because of negative experiences on KudoZ.)



In short, I am in favor of this initiative, and you can expect that a policy based on Paola\'s suggestions will be implemented soon. If you have additional suggestions for things to be included, post them now.



(A word about moderating in moderation, a very important topic. The KudoZ Etiquette policy will govern moderators, too. For example, the \"assumption of good faith\" would give me something to reference when guiding new moderators.)


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