Dear ProZ.com members and moderators,
In November, we'll be on the road meeting members at the regional conference in Edinburgh and at the ATA Conference in New Orleans, where ProZ.com will have a booth and will co-host a translator awards night. Then in December, we'll be focusing on plans for 2007, and your feedback. Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to recap ProZ.com's progress as a workplace and community in 2006, to date.
- Site membership increased substantially, with new members joining from across Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and the rest of the world. ProZ.com now have members in virtually every country on the globe. Welcome new members!
In the survey of members performed last August (with over 500 respondents), over 93% of ProZ.com members said they would recommend ProZ.com membership to colleagues. Only 4.2% of current members report being dissatisfied with their membership investment.
Over 80% of members rate the site staff as good or excellent in communicating with the community, handling support tickets and handling payments and 77% would be willing to take on a volunteer role in the community in some capacity (or already have).
Polls and surveys show continued (and increasing) success in achievement of the four promises of ProZ.com's mission statement: to provide tools and opportunities you can use to (1) network, (2) expand your business, (3) do better work and (4) have more fun. (See testimonials.)
New membership revenues were invested in (1) marketing the services of site members to a wider audience of potential clients (i.e. Project Connect), (2) improving the infrastructure to support the increased traffic, (3) adding staff members (in a new Argentina office) to assist not only with customer support, but also in the active task of helping members to get the most out of the site and (4) improving site features and systems.
- Unique visitors to the site increased, and profile traffic was up 60% on the year. Among those who used ProZ.com to locate translator candidates in 2006 are: Credit Suisse, The World Bank, Xerox, Sega, Larousse, Blizzard, Sony Pictures Television, Ncsoft, Oracle, Air France, J.V.C., Google and Telefónica.
- Alexa Internet, the Amazon.com company which gathers web information and statistics, ranked ProZ.com in the top 5,000 most visited online destinations in the world, validating its position as the largest and most visited networking forum in the language, localization and globalization industry. Read the press release here.
Several new servers were added, and additional changes were made to the site to boost speed and accommodate the increase in traffic experienced so far this year.
The increased membership income made possible several additions to the site team.
A new office was opened in La Plata, Argentina, to support the needs of the growing base of members and other users, and to focus on the site's mission statement, particularly in non-technical ways. In addition to providing online support, team members in this office have coordinated efforts to localize the site, assisted in the planning of local events, and will increasingly be reaching out to site members to help ensure that they are aware of all the benefits available to them. The goal is to help ensure that all members get the most out of their investments.
Complementing this community effort, ProZ.com hired Michael Kidd, previously a business unit vice president for TRADOS. He will lead the "Project Connect" effort to bring the services of ProZ.com members to the world's top language companies and end clients. Read the press release here on Mike's hiring and here on of the first public announcement of the new platform developed in connection with Project Connect.
Also joining ProZ.com this year was Drew MacFadyen, who formerly managed the American Translators Association account for the McNeill Group. He is leading advertising and vendor sales efforts. (Advertising income is reinvested, together with membership income, in improving the workplace.)
Off line events
- On November 25-27, 2005 ProZ.com's third international conference, organized in Krakow by site member and moderator Magda Dziadosz, surpassed expectations by gathering 174 attendees in a great professional and social event.
The first ProZ.com regional conference was held on 27/28 May in Berlin, organized by site member and moderator Steffen Walter. The city provided the backdrop to a successful event that gathered 96 ProZians who gave a very positive feedback from their experience.
- Then came August, when over 300 professionals from 22 countries gathered in Buenos Aires for ProZ.com's 4th international conference, the site's largest event to date. Of the 134 attendees who completed the post-conference survey, all 134 rated it 'good', 'very good' or 'excellent', and only 2 said that they would not attend a future ProZ.com event in Argentina. KudoZ to organizer Aurora Humarán and the rest of the organizing committee.
- Registration for the Edinburgh Regional Conference, to be held November 10-11 is approaching the maximum capacity of 150 participants. Excellent work by organizers Rebekka Gross and Katharina Wawrzon in putting together a great program in a great location.
- Powwows have been already held more than 160 times (over 50% increment over 2005) in 44 countries, with over 2000 unique colleagues attending them. Buenos Aires broke its own global record last August with 181 attendants, and the 30 or so events announced for the reminder of 2006 include the first powwow ever in Uruguay.
- Project Connect
ProZ.com's most ambitious endeavor in the jobs area is "Project Connect", a new initiative to market the services of ProZ.com members to the world's top translation companies and end clients. This project includes a new category of "premium" job postings, where clients that meet a certain standard of desirability and have paid for the right to post the premium jobs get additional exposure and a more convenient interface for finding top professionals who meet the required criteria.
Project Connect began in June, and the platform was first announced to the public at the Localization World conference in Montreal. Read the press release here
- New profile format
A more attractive and better organized new profile format was created, including a map, an availability calendar, standardized and personalized modes to combine better flexibility with an uniform experience to viewers, the ability to add custom tabs, localization of content, colleague cross linking, an aggregate 'Settings' tab to ease the process of editing profiles and keeping them up to date, KudoZ & Project History "modules" and more powerful options for search engine optimization.
A quick profile updater was created for updating the information profiles that is either required (for quoting or being including in the premium jobs platform) or strongly encouraged for standing out in general.
Site member jmdirico won a free trip to the next ProZ.com conference in Edinburgh as part of a successful campaign run in the site to improve the information stored in profiles.
- Directory updated
The directory was updated to make searching for professionals easier and more comprehensive. Average searches were made faster and a new "candidate folder" was added for quickly selecting and emailing a group of translators.
The number of directory searches showed again a strong growth, leading to significantly more job opportunities for members, who appear in the first set of directory results, and are therefore the primary beneficiaries of this growth.
- Willingness to Work Again (WWA) tool
A new WWA feature is being introduced in stages. WWA is an optional marketing tool that allows site users to collect and display in their profiles "willingness to work again" (WWA) entries from satisfied clients. Approximately 2200 early adopters have turned on display of WWA, and about 1100 have requested and received positive entries from satisfied clients.
Use of the WWA system is entirely optional.
- KudoZ system updated
Several new features were introduced, including two new limits on weekly and open questions, the FVA mode and queuing for questions beyond the daily limits. The archive search function, and the KOG interface continue to be very popular.
On the year so far, 400,000 terms have been added to the KudoZ archive (60% more than in the same period last year) . The 1.5 million mark was surpassed in August, with a term posted by Translate4u and answered by Nicole Schnell .
- Blue Board faster, more popular
The Blue Board experienced further growth in entries, thus increasing its value as a community resource. Thanks to the team of jobs/Blue Board moderators for their efforts around the clock to put as much information as possible at the disposal of members for managing risk in working with new clients!
- Additional options, information available in job postings
Several improvements were made in the jobs area, such as showing aggregate rates information to jobs posters when they are about to post a job at rates below the average site minimum. Also, outsourcers have been provided with the ability to generate and send boilerplate explanations for declined quotes.
- Hosting made easy for ProZ.com's members
A new SiteCreator was developed, an easy-to-use wizard that members can use to generate a custom website in minutes using the data already available in the profiles, making it easier for them to create and host their own domains. Use and hosting is entirely free to members (i.e. included in the membership fee.).
- ProZ.com localized
Teams of volunteers have worked hard to localize ProZ.com into various languages, including German, Romanian, Spanish, Russian, Hungarian, Portuguese (Br), Latvian and Albanian. Several other languages, including Italian and French, are being worked on now, with more languages to follow.
Also, the site was converted to Unicode to allow text written in various languages to be displayed on the same page without requiring the viewer to manually change the browser character encoding.
- Rates calculator created
An online rates calculator was created to remind one to take all expenses into consideration, as well as holidays, etc., in order to calculate the rate per word that should be charge to clients in order to achieve a certain level of income.
- Improvements in forums
Several improvements were made to the forums. For example, recent posts are shown for reference when replying (suggested by site members and moderators Jerzy Czopik and Marion Schimmelpfennig) and postings that are pending are visible and editable by their posters. Also, the time period during which a posting can be edited has been reduced.
- More ways to share knowledge and information
Wikiwords was created as the collaborative project to create an open, multilingual lexicon of all terms in all languages.
The Articles Knowledgebase kept growing in 2006. This large collection of member-contributed translation articles offers a new way to exchange information among members, and a great way for authors to communicate to the industry their areas of expertise. Among the active contributors are Michael McCann, and site members Marta de Marchena, Samuel Murray, Mats Wiman and Haydee.
The Quick Polls feature gained popularity, with site members constantly suggesting one-question / multiple choice polls of general interest that usually attract the participation of over a thousand voters. Access to the complete history of site polls is also available to members.
- Exchange redesigned
The ProZ.com Exchange was redesigned from the ground up and re-released. This feature is actively used suggest exchanges (paid or non) of training, language lessons, translation memories, lodging and more.
Member / staff communications
- Site rules were consolidated and integrated in a coherent and user-friendly interface.
Feedback on ways to improve ProZ.com was requested from the community and many valuable suggestions were received. They were later compiled and analyzed together with information received from other channels, including emails and support tickets, face to face exchanges at events, surveys results and site usage patterns
The basic principles that form the foundation of this site and community were posted, and the site plans will be published in general terms to provide additional insight on what can or can not be expected from the site team in the future.
Group purchases were organized for tools from TRADOS, SDL and Wordfast. In each case, ProZ.com members buying together in bulk enjoyed the lowest prices worldwide for the products.
The site design was revised and its “look and feel” was improved by a greater standardization of fonts and more consistent use of design elements sitewide.
- Two documents (published as knowledgebase articles) were published on "Getting the most out of ProZ.com", a Guide for translators and interpreters and a Guide for translation companies and other outsourcers
More to come this year and next...
Looking ahead to next year, the ProZ.com team will continue working with you to further enhance our workplace (and our profession). To that end, in the following weeks the general plan will be published in stages.
Site members will be invited again to provide feedback and direction and to discuss ProZ.com's future. As several key projects are just being started, we all may look forward to a very exciting 2007.
A membership campaign will also be announced soon, targeted at active site users who are not members. If you are among this group, and are a professional translator, you will soon be offered several incentives to invest in your business, and industry, by becoming a full member of ProZ.com. By taking advantage of this opportunity, you will position yourself to enjoy increased advantages as changes and enhancements are made to the site in 2007.
Together with this membership drive, the completion of site profiles will remain a high priority, to allow site members and other users to better market themselves.
Many members contributed to the accomplishments listed above. In particular, leaving aside for a moment moderation activities, the following members deserve special thanks for suggestions, feedback or work that influenced ProZ.com's activities this year: Magda Dziadosz, Steffen Walter, Aurora Humarán, Eduardo Pérez, Natalia Zudaire, Mariana Idiart, María Corinaldesi, Sabrina Ciserchia, Gisela Re, Rebekka Gross, Katharina Wawrzon, Vladimir Dubissky, Konstantin Kisin, Natalie, Endre Both, Cristiana Coblis, Claudia Iglesias, Katalin Horvath McClure, Tomás Rosa Bueno, Uldis Liepkalns, Austra Muizniece, Monika Coulson, Argonauta, Vitomir (Vito) Smolej, Ford Prefect, Henry Hinds, Elías Sauza, María José Iglesias, Luis Arri Cibils, silvia b, miranda56, belitrix, Chinoise, Walter Landesman, NancyLynn, sylvienault, Louise Dupont, Fabio Descalzi Sgarbi, Paola Ludovici MacQuarrie, Jack Doughty, Samuel Murray, Karl Archbold, Magdalena Reyes and many, many others.
Also, the entire team of volunteer moderators continues to play a crucial role in ProZ.com's workplace. Moderators contribute leadership and feedback on site development, act as a bridge to communicate central issues to members working in various languages, formulate and develop site rules, investigate abuse, vet forum and job posts, and otherwise help make ProZ.com a great place to work and meet. Please consider sending a note or otherwise pausing to thank the moderator(s) who have contributed to your enjoyment of the site.
Remember, dear site members: the ProZ.com team works for you. Let us know how we are doing, and what more we can do for you. (Entering support tickets is the best way to communicate with us.)
Thanks for making ProZ.com possible. Happy translating.
[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-02-07 18:26]
[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2010-06-16 13:23 GMT]
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