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KudoZ suggestions: intermediate level, separation of pro/easy in point histories
Thread poster: Rowan Morrell
Rowan Morrell  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 15:16
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Aug 8, 2002

Further to my earlier post about possibly introducing a new \"BonuZ\" points system to supplement the existing KudoZ one, I would like to suggest a couple of other possible ideas for reforming the existing system.



Firstly, I think an \"Intermediate\" level should be introduced. While the \"Easy\" section does contain a large number of ridiculously easy questions, it also has quite a number that require more than very basic knowledge of the language, but also demand a bit of translation nous. Examples of \"Intermediate\" questions would be mottos or slogans, or perhaps questions inquiring about a particular word\'s meaning in a certain context. Such questions may not require specialist knowledge of a field, but they still call for a greater degree of linguistic ability than say, a question asking the word for \"cat\" in whatever language. An Intermediate level would better reflect this. Only registered members would be able to use the Intermediate or Pro levels, while the Easy level would remain open to all. \"High school\" stuff would obviously remain in the Easy level.



A second idea is to change the KudoZ record so that it reflects the number of points for Easy and Pro answers (or Intermediate answers, should that category be introduced). Currently, points are broken down by language pair, then by field. But if points are also differentiated by Easy and Pro answers, it might give a more accurate picture of a person\'s expertise. More Pro points would generally indicate higher skill levels. A high percentage of Easy points would show that the person might possess reasonably basic knowledge, but perhaps lacks greater ability. Thus, a person with 1,000 KudoZ points, with about 800 being Pro and 200 being Easy, could be assumed to have good knowledge and high skill levels, while a person with the same number of points, but maybe 900 of them being for Easy answers and only 100 for Pro, would obviously have somewhat less translation ability.



Perhaps the biggest advantage of distinguishing between Easy and Pro answers is that it may discourage those who try to bolster their KudoZ records by answering very straightforward questions (though I will admit I\'ve answered my share of such questions - not always with success however). As shown by my above example, 1,000 KudoZ points on their own may seem impressive, but that figure becomes rather less so if it is demonstrated that most of those points have come from answering really easy questions. On the other hand, if the majority of those points have come from specialist Pro questions, than the figure becomes rather more meaningful.



Anyway, those are a couple more ideas for you to consider. I look forward to reading others\' views on them.



Best Regards



ROWAN MORRELL

(WriteWord Translations)


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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 03:16
Member
English to Dutch
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A few very short comments Aug 8, 2002

Hi Rowan,





\'Intermediate\' level: I\'m not particularly fond of this idea. This is a translation site, not a points grabbing site...



Implementing BonuZ points, on the other hand, could be a good idea, not for the sake of simply earning points, but because many KudoZ answerers are indeed left in the cold.

Since BrowniZ already exist, why not simply awarding BrowniZ for this category?





Distinguishing between Easy and Pro questions: actually, this already exists (beta version) and will be implemented soon (GPA - Easy and Pro)



Take care,



Evert Deloof-Sys
[addsig]


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Leonardo Parachú  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
Your answer was peer graded Aug 8, 2002

Grade: agree.



Comment: Very interesting indeed. Just like you I believe the \"Intermediate level\" and the splitting of points are a great idea. Practical, feasible (I guess), more representative of competence for prospective clients as well as peers.



Hope we´re not alone in this.

Regards,

Leonardo.
[addsig]


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Antonella Andreella  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:16
German to Italian
+ ...
Agree Aug 8, 2002

))

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Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
Askers already have a hard time distinguishing between easy and pro Aug 8, 2002

2 out of 5 today\'s easy Eng>Pol questions are

\"panoply\" and \"absorb\" in the following context: the safeguards of that provision implying the full panoply of a judical procedure are stricter than, and absorb those of Art 12...



Respectfully, I disagree with assigning those to the easy category, but, for instance, as has been noted many times (please correct me if I am wrong), those who are not registered members can only ask easy questions in the first place.



IMO, having more than 2 categories of questions would only be an unnecessary complication and thus a deterrent only increasing the unreliability and inaccuracy of the questions classification.



Simple is beautiful, don\'t you think?


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:16
SITE FOUNDER
Your suggestion will be kept in mind Aug 8, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-08-08 12:20, jacek wrote:

Simple is beautiful, don\'t you think?





Didn\'t Einstein say something about making everything as simple as possible, but no simpler?



The list of tasks to be completed as part of a major kudoz upgrade contains more that 50 items. For the most part, these are items that have obvious benefits and few apparent drawbacks (things like adding categories, allowing batch bumping of questions, etc.)



Your \"bonuz\" points suggestion might have benefits. It might also have drawbacks. I will keep it in mind, but I am afraid we can not make time to experiment with something like this until we complete the current upgrade.



Thanks!

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diana bb  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 04:16
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Agree with Jacek Aug 8, 2002

about simple being beautiful. Why complicate things (I can already hear objecting voices that progress as such is impossible without this or that...)?

Besides, it seems to me that it would be better - and simpler, maybe - to find a way of splitting KudoZ than adding a new type of points.



Respectfully,



Diana


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:16
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Sorry Rowan, but disagree Aug 8, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-08-08 08:43, WriteWord wrote:



But if points are also differentiated by Easy and Pro answers, it might give a more accurate picture of a person\'s expertise. More Pro points would generally indicate higher skill levels. A high percentage of Easy points would show that the person might possess reasonably basic knowledge, but perhaps lacks greater ability.



ROWAN MORRELL

(WriteWord Translations)





You have actually express a concept that a person with more KudoZ points is better translator than a person with less KudoZ points. What makes you feee like that? KudoZ is not a test or exam - it is a way for helping others, it is a way of entertainment, a method of improving your language abilities and learning new terms and even new languages and at least for some people a type of sport - they race, compete and win (points), but number of points does not tell you which translator is better!

Do you seriously believe that people who for any reason do not want to be bothered with questions and answer only ocassionally, just if there is something particularly interesting or amusing maybe, lack of translation abilities?



A 1000 or 10.0000 KudoZ points shown in the profile tells you only that a person is 1) quite a long time with ProZ, 2) spends considerably long time in front of computer, perhaps not terribly busy at work, 3)likes to discuss terminology issues, 4) likes the interactions with other colleagues, 5) has permanent internet connection, certainly not a dial-up modem, 6) has learnt this particular skill of answering KudoZ questions in a points generating way (it is a skill!) and 7) that this person actually enjoys KudoZ system. And that is it.



You should also take into account very important fact that points are awarded by the Asker, that is by a person who do not know the answer and uses all sorts of subjective criteria to award points - actually in many cases choosing a wrong answer or awarding just the fact that someone have tried to help. IMHO for this very reason, a number of KudoZ points cannot give you an \"accurate picture of a person\'s expertise\".



Magda

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Rowan Morrell  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 15:16
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reply to Diana Aug 9, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-08-08 15:05, diana bb wrote:

Besides, it seems to me that it would be better - and simpler, maybe - to find a way of splitting KudoZ than adding a new type of points.



Although I have often wished I could split KudoZ points, I don\'t particularly like the idea of tampering with the actual KudoZ system (beyond dividing points between Easy and Pro). That\'s why I favour the introduction of a kind of \"second-tier\" points system, which leaves the current KudoZ system intact but still gives an asker the opportunity to award other answers that are good. Personally, I think the pros of a BonuZ points system would outweigh the cons. From what Henry says, this is not in the pipeline for now, but hopefully it might come into consideration further down the track.



Best Regards



ROWAN MORRELL

(WriteWord Translations)

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Rowan Morrell  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 15:16
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
BonuZ vs. BrowniZ Aug 9, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-08-08 11:37, jazyk wrote:

Hi Rowan,





\'Intermediate\' level: I\'m not particularly fond of this idea. This is a translation site, not a points grabbing site...





Yes, it is a translation site, but points have their part as well. Why do we have them otherwise? As I have already said in another thread, we are not here only to help each other, though that\'s a big part of it. We\'re not charity workers. We deserve some reward for our time and efforts, and that reward is KudoZ points (sometimes). Points which, in theory at least, demonstrate a certain amount of expertise. Points which may even help us gain one or two customers.



My suggestion of an Intermediate level seems to have met with a mixed response, but I still think it would be a good idea to introduce it, although three categories is probably enough.



Quote:


Implementing BonuZ points, on the other hand, could be a good idea, not for the sake of simply earning points, but because many KudoZ answerers are indeed left in the cold.

Since BrowniZ already exist, why not simply awarding BrowniZ for this category?





For the simple reason that BrowniZ do not go on your public profile, whereas BonuZ points would, just as KudoZ points do now.



Quote:


Distinguishing between Easy and Pro questions: actually, this already exists (beta version) and will be implemented soon (GPA - Easy and Pro)





That\'s interesting news. Pleased to hear it.



Best Regards



ROWAN MORRELL

(WriteWord Translations)



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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:16
German to English
+ ...
Agree with Diana Aug 9, 2002

I think it would be better to be able to split KudoZ points than to add a new category. Getting BonuZ points somehow would make one feel \"second best\"



On second thought, maybe we should leave things the way they are. Let\'s say there are 5 identical answers (can happen with easy questions like \"I love you\"), you\'d run out of Kudoz after the first 4! ) And after how much time would an answer be a \"copy cat\" answer? How many seconds would you allow for someone to say \"I didn\'t see your answer. I wrote this while you posted.\"



Just some food for thought...



Trudy


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Rowan Morrell  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 15:16
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reply to Magda Aug 9, 2002

Hi Magda.



You do a great \"disagree\". Some excellent and well-argued points here, though there are one or two things I would like to debate with you.



Quote:


You have actually express a concept that a person with more KudoZ points is better translator than a person with less KudoZ points. What makes you feee like that? KudoZ is not a test or exam - it is a way for helping others, it is a way of entertainment, a method of improving your language abilities and learning new terms and even new languages and at least for some people a type of sport - they race, compete and win (points), but number of points does not tell you which translator is better!

Do you seriously believe that people who for any reason do not want to be bothered with questions and answer only ocassionally, just if there is something particularly interesting or amusing maybe, lack of translation abilities?





I don\'t actually think that a person with truckloads of KudoZ points is necessarily better than one with fewer. That\'s kind of my point when it comes to dividing the points. At the moment it\'s too easy to get an impressive-looking record by answering lots of simple questions. In a way, it devalues the points. But differentiating between Easy and Pro points would give a better indication of their worth, and the person\'s ability. Not a totally accurate indication, just a better one than at present.



I would disagree to some extent about KudoZ not being a test. As I see it, KudoZ does test your problem-solving abilities and research skills. Every KudoZ question is like a miniature job. It may be only one word or one sentence, but to solve it successfully, you need to apply the same skills that you do when solving a word or sentence in a job of your own. Therefore, it does give some indication of your abilities, if not always a completely true one (depending on the asker\'s subjective selection process).



Having said that, KudoZ is also all the other things you say it is, and I have no dispute with that. Except that it\'s not ONLY those things.



Finally, no I don\'t seriously believe that a KudoZ \"part-timer\" with few points is worse than one with a ton of points, but let me move to your next paragraph before discussing this further.



Quote:


A 1000 or 10.0000 KudoZ points shown in the profile tells you only that a person is 1) quite a long time with ProZ, 2) spends considerably long time in front of computer, perhaps not terribly busy at work, 3)likes to discuss terminology issues, 4) likes the interactions with other colleagues, 5) has permanent internet connection, certainly not a dial-up modem, 6) has learnt this particular skill of answering KudoZ questions in a points generating way (it is a skill!) and 7) that this person actually enjoys KudoZ system. And that is it.





No, that\'s not it. There\'s a bit more. I think there is certainly some truth to all these assertions, but you need to understand that not everyone sees it like you do. Image and perception are important. Rightly or wrongly, a large number of KudoZ points create an impression of translation competence. They appear on everyone\'s profile as an additional marketing tool. Certainly, they do not create a very accurate impression of expertise, which is why I have made the suggestions I have. And it looks like at least one of those suggestions is going to be implemented, though not because of anything I said; it had evidently already been decided on.



Any advertiser or political spin doctor will tell you that image is everything. It is image, rather than substance, that often sells products or wins votes. It\'s all about how people perceive things. KudoZ points are part of our \"image\" here on ProZ. And that\'s one of the major reasons why someone with more KudoZ points can be perceived as being a better translator than a person with fewer points. Just as an superior product with a poor sales pitch will sell worse than an inferior product with a fantastic sales pitch, or a better politician with low poll ratings will attract fewer votes than an inferior politician with more charisma and higher poll ratings, so a higher number of KudoZ points make you look like a better translator, even if someone with half the points has twice the ability. Which means you may well attract more customers than that other person, rightly or wrongly.



But images are not always accurate. Just as pictures of models can be airbrushed to remove spots and wrinkles, so KudoZ points can be \"airbrushed\" if you answer lots of simple ones and thereby pad your total. But differentiating between Easy and Pro points would go some way to redressing this, as I think the ProZ staff have already recognised.



Quote:


You should also take into account very important fact that points are awarded by the Asker, that is by a person who do not know the answer and uses all sorts of subjective criteria to award points - actually in many cases choosing a wrong answer or awarding just the fact that someone have tried to help. IMHO for this very reason, a number of KudoZ points cannot give you an \"accurate picture of a person\'s expertise\".





Alas, yes, this is very true. However, some askers are pretty astute, I\'ve found, although everyone can get it wrong occasionally. It helps when the asker at least explains his or her reason for awarding the points to a particular person (I always try to do that so that people understand my line of thinking). When an asker overlooks an answer that gets overwhelming support in favour of an answer that got none, and gives no explanation, you wonder what\'s going on in their head. But I digress.



I think it\'s a little harsh to say the asker doesn\'t know the answer when finally choosing a winner. The asker might not know the answer initially (hence the question), but if someone provides a good answer with good references, and has plenty of people agreeing, there is a good chance the asker will know or be pretty sure by the end of it. So give the asker a little credit. But nonetheless, it is a subjective process, and because of that, it is somewhat flawed. However, there are ways to iron out some of the flaws, and I have tried to suggest one or two here.



In conclusion: KudoZ points give some indication of expertise, but not the most accurate one. Moreover, they create an \"image\" that\'s a component of the way you market yourself. Man has long judged by the outward appearance without bothering to look behind the mask, and this is the case with KudoZ points too. More points = greater skills. Not necessarily true, but often perceived that way, and how things are perceived can make the difference between winning or losing a job. (Though keeping the customer depends on how well you perform in their project.) It isn\'t particularly fair, but things can be done to improve the accuracy with which KudoZ points are perceived and hopefully make a wider range of people better understand their true value.



Best Regards



ROWAN MORRELL

(WriteWord Translations)

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Hans-Henning Judek  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:16
German to English
+ ...
KUDOZ split is a good idea Aug 9, 2002

I am both, frequent asker and answer provider, if my work load allows it, and the \"One-shot\" KUDOZ rule was sometimes anyoing.



When asking, I had frequently the situation that I would have liked to give two or more answerers the KUDOZ, but also when answering myself, I had frequently disappointing experiences. For example, the asker gave a term and then added the context in a sentence in the body text.



After 20 minutes difficult research on the net I answered with the equivalent term in the target language. 5 minutes later another answerer took my answer and translated the sentence as well, which was now, where the crucial term was on the table, a piece of cake. He/she got the KUDOZ and I was frustrated.



KUDOZ split would give anybody the chance to get a share of the pie and is most probably the easiest method to implement at the moment without creating another category of points. Henry, think about it


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 03:16
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
ProZ.com is not simple !! Aug 9, 2002

Dear Henry, Jacek and all,



I agree with most of what Rowan has said and I think he has made brilliant suggestions.

I\'ll try to elaborate on them in my upcoming \'Confessions of a point grabber\' (bogged down right now!).



Simple can be beautiful

BUT

the argument that complex suggestions should not be implemented because they are not simple I do not buy.

You Henry, the creator of a wonderfully complex and nevertheless fantastically functioning website should know better.

Aquarius and ... are simple - and ugly.

ProZ.com is complex and beautiful!



Mats



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-08-09 03:43 ]


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Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
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Score vs. record Aug 9, 2002



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-08-09 08:36 ]


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