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WWA update: some glitches fixed, early adopters anticipate good results (few yet noticing impact)
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 02:23
SITE FOUNDER
Oct 30, 2006

This posting is to update the community on the progress of the new WWA ("willingness to work again") feature first released in beta form in July.

We recently ran a survey, and have been monitoring usage patterns.

Usage statistics

So far, the overwhelming majority of ProZ.com users has neither used nor opted out of the WWA system. Many who are aware of the beta program and not yet using it report that they intend to wait and see how things develop before deciding whether to use the system.

Approximately 2200 early adopters have turned on display of WWA, and about 1100 have requested and received positive entries from satisfied clients. By comparison, about 30 site users have already decided that they will never use the WWA system, and have opted out entirely.

Current status

Functionally, things are about as they stood the last time we posted: the only way to receive an entry is to turn on display and/or request an entry from a specific outsourcer. Additionally, only positive entries are possible. The intention is to develop this feature as an optional marketing tool for use by those who wish to use it. Use of it is entirely optional.

Feedback from early adopters

We recently asked early adopters of the WWA feature: "Why are you using WWA?"

Among the responses:

- "... third person referral is the best way to acquire new clients."
- "... it's like listing another reference that potential clients can see."
- "... (to) minimize the need for (free) test translations."
- "... as an extra marketing tool"
- "... (as) a fair counterpart for LWA in BlueBoard."
- "... to test it"
- "... good marketing sense"

It is possible to request entries before deciding whether or not to make them visible, and some site users have done so. Of those who have received entries, 92.5% have chosen to make them visible.

Has it made any difference yet? Those using WWA are not yet sure. Quotes:

- "...can't say for sure..."
- "... don't know exactly, but have received a huge order since..."
- "... That is unfortunately impossible to say. I did get several jobs, but then again, I might have gotten them without WWA's too."
- "... Yes, I have. I have received more answers for my quotes since I use this tool"
- "... No. We get emails sent via our profile but the sender never states exactly which part of the profile made them select us."
- "... No, I have none, except a good feeling... can not hurt."
- "... I am not displaying it, so no."
- "... They are recent entries, but I'm optimistic about their effects."

Technical improvements

There are technical glitches that needed to be worked out in the system. Approximately one in five users had trouble requesting entries, and two-thirds did not get responses from at least one outsourcer from whom they requested an entry. It turned out that improvements needed to be made to make it easier for outsourcers to make entries, so some changes were made and a mailing was done to outsourcers who had failed to make entries. The option was also given for outsourcers to decline to make entries (which some used.)

Client response

How common was any disinclination to make entries? Those who requested entries, without exception, saw no hesitation from outsourcers. Comments:

- "The one client I approached was more than happy to make her appreciation publicly known."
- "No, no hesitation at all. They were very willing to make the WWA entry."
- "No hesitation was expressed. One answered the same day, the other some days later..."
- "They said they would gladly give a positive comment about me and would be happy to work again."
- "So far, I guess I had more clients willing to work with me after checking my profile than hesitation."
- "No, in fact the agency that provided the positive WWA has repeatedly called me to do translation/editing projects for them."

Developing procedures for oversight

Developing an effective approach to oversight is an important objective for this beta period. So far, all WWA entries made have been reviewed by site staff members. In some cases, those making or receiving entries have been contacted so that clarification could be obtained that the system was being used in the intended manner. (In some cases, where such clarification was not obtained, entries were not vetted.) Learning from these interactions, standardized tools and procedures are being formed for overseeing the WWA system.

Next steps

A number of those who have received entries have asked for a more intuitive display in their profiles. We will rework the WWA display box accordingly, and send a request for feedback to those with WWA turned on before making any changes.

Beyond that, we will send notifications and updates before any other changes are made to the WWA systems.

How to use it

To request WWA entries from your satisfied clients, go to your quick profile updater and follow the link from the WWA section.

You can request entries from the client or clients of your choice, and decide whether to display them after you view them.

Once again, we look forward to your feedback as we work to improve this new feature.

Note: If you are among those who will not be using WWA, we ask for your understanding in allowing those who have chosen to use the feature to discuss and improve it here.


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Patrice  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:23
Member
French to English
+ ...
WWA has already increased my business Oct 30, 2006

I referred potential clients to my WWA and whenever I did I seemed to get the job.

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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:23
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Could it be made easier for client? Oct 30, 2006

I only have positive feedback from my clients, yet, although I invited several of them to send their comments to the WWA, I have received only one. I believe clients are put off by the fact that they have to create a user id in order to leave a comment. For some, it is a bit of a hassle they rather avoid.

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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 02:23
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
We can go either way on requiring registration from outsourcers Oct 30, 2006

The initial feedback we got indicated a preference among the community that the right to make entries be restricted to registered users. We could relax that if this is the preference, although this would involve making some adjustments (such as collecting company name, etc.)

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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:23
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
An access code? Oct 31, 2006

Maybe not open access all the way.

Since the request for comments has to be issued by the freelancer, I was thinking maybe the system could assign some sort of access code that would appear on the request. In turn, the outsourcer would have to input that access code to gain access to the WWA section in the freelancer's profile.

Kind of the access code generated when you send an ecard; in order to view the card, the recipient has to input the access code.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 02:23
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Patricia Oct 31, 2006

Patricia Struyk wrote:

I referred potential clients to my WWA and whenever I did I seemed to get the job.

Great to hear! Thanks for posting.


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Andrej  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:23
Member (2005)
German to Russian
+ ...
It's a really useful feature, I think. Nov 1, 2006

It really works. I feel that I get more customers since I turned on the WWA.

The next profit is, that I can give a link to the opinions of my clients in the WWA when a new customer is asking for some references. It works much better and faster and the customer can be sure that my quality attracts other clients too.


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David Seycek  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 08:23
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Access Code OR Regisistered Outsourcer Nov 2, 2006

Luisa Ramos wrote:

Maybe not open access all the way.

Since the request for comments has to be issued by the freelancer, I was thinking maybe the system could assign some sort of access code that would appear on the request. In turn, the outsourcer would have to input that access code to gain access to the WWA section in the freelancer's profile.


Luisa, this indeed is a good idea. This morning I recieved an e-mail from an employee with a large agency – one of my clients. She wrote that she tried to give me a WWA credit following my request (which I had sent through regular e-mail as a response to her thanking me ever so much for ...) but failed because she was unable to log on. I believe that outsourcer should be given the opportunity to make WWA entries either by:

(1) signing in and moving ahead or

(2) filling in their company name, location, e-mail (for verification only & to prevent abuse) and the suggested Access Code which should be generated along with the request for an entry made through the site by a freelancer

Not all satisfied outsourcers are acquired through ProZ.com, and large agencies employ a few people, not all of which are aware of the site, let alone have access to their company’s log in data. If (2) were available, all of the above could easily make WWA entries without creating accounts which – let’s face it – nobody will do just for the purpose of giving credit to their translator.


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WWA update: some glitches fixed, early adopters anticipate good results (few yet noticing impact)

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