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KudoZ: among identical answers, why doesn\'t the first always get the points?
Thread poster: Domenica Grangiotti

Domenica Grangiotti  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:57
English to Italian
+ ...
Nov 8, 2002

Hallo!

My non-vital question concerns Kudoz points assigned. I am almost a new-comer to the site but I came to value it as a good working site. That is why I decided to go Platinum a couple of days ago.

I am working hard to get as much visibility as I can and Kudoz points are great for this since they push you up in the list.

So why is it that in view of IDENTICAL replies, points are not awarded on a \"first come first served\" basis?

I also realise that the asker is free to do whatever he chooses but I am a bit annoyed, I confess.

I include a reference as an example.

http://www.proz.com/kudoz/305032

Please note that this should NOT be read as a personal attack to the asker of the question.

I just felt I had to provide some ground for my complaint!



Thanks for lending a ear!



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Kimmy
Local time: 06:57
Italian to English
+ ...
Painfull but nothing to be done........ Nov 8, 2002

The asker can choose who he wants to assign points too.

The only reason I can give you as an outsider is that maybe the second answerer gave a reference that was more appreciated by the asker.

Try to give as much back up to your answers as possible - links, explanations, even iof you are 200% sure. This may help.

Other than that I can only say - good luck next time.

It\'s happened to all of us!

Kimmy


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:57
English to German
+ ...
Errors happen Nov 8, 2002

Hi Domenica,

The only difference I can see between your answer and the one chosen is that the other answer contains a reference (albeit in the wrong place... ).



These things happen sometimes; in the vast majority of cases, it\'s a matter of simple oversight. (I\'m reassured by your assessment of this issue being \"non-vital\" - believe me, I\'ve seen people taking this VERY seriously... ) However, if you should detect a pattern (i.e. if you get \"left out\" on a recurring basis, probably by the same asker), it\'s ok to contact the moderator for the language pair involved (see the link at the bottom of each question).



HTH - best regards, Ralf


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Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
Annoying, indeed, but hopefully not too frequent Nov 8, 2002

Definitely, and I am not referring to this particular case which might be a simple oversight, KudoZ should not be a place for popularity contests!



I have also noticed that some people love limiting the number of points assigned to 2 or 3, where rather than applying a value judgment they should comply with the following Grading key:



4: Answer was acceptable, explanation was good, reference was provided (or not needed)

3: Answer was acceptable, explanation was good, but reference was lacking

2: Answer was acceptable

1: Answer was somewhat helpful



I come across, for instance, entire phrases translated for 2 KudoZ because, probably, in the opinion of the Asker, those are not perfect translations. What about the fact that a 5 word long phrase already \"weighs\" 5 times more than a single term? Also, ProZ does not provide guidelines whereby a Pro technical term which, in the opinion of the Asker, is not that sophisticated is \"worth\" less than a more complicated term. As a courtesy to those who generously help us free of charge, let us also be generous in thanking them for their time and effort.


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Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
Annoying, indeed, but hopefully not too frequent Nov 8, 2002



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-08 12:00 ]


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Andrea Bullrich  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:57
English to Spanish
It's all in day's ProZ :) Nov 8, 2002

Hi Domenica,



You\'ve already had great feedback, but I will add my personal experience: the asker can also click in the wrong place when choosing a winner! I once answered a question posted by a very dear Prozie friend of mine (hi Bill!). After a while I got an \"answer selected\" message, meaning my answer had not been chosen, but when I went to the page I saw the asker\'s comment: Thanks everybody. I\'m choosing Andrea\'s answer because such and such... In a second I got his e-mail saying he was sorry, he had just clicked in the wrong place! So, these things happen, and it\'s usually no big deal (unless of course, as Ralf says, you see a pattern there).



Cheers



Andrea


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Guillermo de la Puerta  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:57
German to Spanish
+ ...
not very frequent, but happens Nov 8, 2002

It happened to me. I gave the first answer with references and I got 5 \"agree\" of support. The second gave the same answer without references and without any \"agree\" and.... he got the kudoz points!

Well, I asked the asker for an explanation,but without any success.

But there is not a lot you can do,but telling the asker.



Kind Regards wildlp


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Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 04:57
English
+ ...
Justice is Not (Always) of This Earth Nov 8, 2002

Not long ago, I was first in with \"Court of Cassation\" and the next fellow down suggested \"Cassation Court\". Either works of course, but institutions prefer a little extra wind in their titles now and then. Anyhow, the asked awarded four beautiful KudoZ points to \"Cassation Court\" and entered \"Court of Cassation\" in the glossary.
[addsig]


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Domenica Grangiotti  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:57
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great support Nov 8, 2002

Thanks, everybody.

No, absolutely no patterns, it just happened twice. That\'s why I noticed it.

I do understand about references to support your answers, but I do not believe that\'s the case. Aren\'t you supposed to \"know\" something, too?

Anyway, it was nice of you to share this.

Have a good afternoon/ morning ... wherever you are.


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Rowan Morrell  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 08:57
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
On Choosing Winners Nov 9, 2002

This is a very interesting thread. As one who both asks and answers KudoZ questions on a fairly regular basis, let me offer some comments from both perspectives.



Firstly, from the Asker\'s perspective. I have sometimes had two or three identical answers to a question, and while I generally award points to the fastest answer in such cases, I have sometimes awarded points to later answers even if they were the same as earlier ones.



My reason for awarding points to a later identical answer is usually that this later answer was more convincing. The explanation was better, the references were better. And so I felt the answer left me in no doubt, whereas earlier answers, even if quite correct, may have lacked a reference or explanation and therefore left doubt in my mind.



However, I always try to explain my decisions, especially in instances where I choose a later answer even if it was identical to an earlier one, or where I award a grade lower than 4.



Which now brings me to the Answerer\'s perspective. One of my pet hates in KudoZ is askers who award points without any explanation. Now admittedly, sometimes no explanation is needed. But there are other times when it would be nice to know why the asker chose one answer over another, especially in cases where the answer that probably should have won gets loads of \"agrees\" (and maybe even additional comments) while the \"winning\" answer gets few or none at all. Or why a 1 or 2 grade was awarded to an answer that seemed to be perfectly correct and was affirmed as such by several peers.



I have been on both ends of some mighty strange decisions. There have been times when I gave what I felt to be a winning answer, and which was pretty much affirmed as such by peers, but lost to a lesser answer (at least I thought it was and the lack of peer grades seemed to confirm this). There have also been times when a correct answer of mine got a 1 or 2 grade, even if a lot of people wholeheartedly endorsed it. But conversely, I have also won points in questions where I had to admit my answer was not as good as someone else\'s. (In some cases, I even agreed with the other person\'s answer and said it was better, but the asker still chose mine! Go figure.) In practically all these cases, the asker never explained his or her decision. Either no comment, or just \"thanks\".



Oh well, I suppose it\'s ultimately the asker\'s problem if they choose an inferior answer. But it can still be a bit frustrating to see the obviously superior answer being overlooked, regardless of whether it was me or someone else who supplied it.



I wonder whether some fresh guidelines should be written for askers? Such guidelines do not have to be binding, but would maybe better educate people about KudoZ etiquette. Here are a few ideas:



1) Before making a final decision, please ensure that you have read ALL answers and peer grades CAREFULLY. (I am sure that some askers don\'t do that. If the first answer is there or thereabouts, they\'ll go with it and overlook a better answer below. I\'m ashamed to say I\'ve been guilty of that a couple of times myself.) Doing this not only increases the chance of a grade being awarded fairly, but you yourself can benefit considerably.



2) Treat answers on their merits, not on who answers them. Don\'t allow your feelings (whether positive or negative) towards an individual cloud your view of their answer. Do not grade an answer because the person is the same race or nationality as you, or avoid grading the best answer because it was given by someone you don\'t like or have a grudge against. (I think all these scenarios have occurred at one time or another, though not to me, usually.)



3) It is strongly recommended that when selecting your answer, you should explain your decision. This applies especially to cases where you do not choose the first of identical answers or are awarding a grade lower than 4. It is also a good idea in cases where several good answers are given.



I\'m sure others could supply some additional ideas. But if the above three guidelines were followed a little more often by askers, it would probably cut down on some aggro.



I\'ve rambled on long enough now, so I\'ll close. But I hope I\'ve provided a bit of food for thought and/or debate, as well as some additional insight into why the fastest correct answer is not always chosen.



Best Regards



ROWAN MORRELL

(WriteWord Translations)

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-09 03:53 ]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Don't worry, be happy. Nov 9, 2002

You\'ll win a few, you\'ll lose a few, now and then you\'ll get cheated, and here and there things will also fall in your lap that you didn\'t deserve.



So just keep at it and have a good time; and if you\'re good it will show.


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Clive Wilshin  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:57
Russian to English
+ ...
"Value added" answers Nov 9, 2002

When I post a question, I probably have a hunch or two myself as to the correct answer. Someone who merely posts the same hunch as mine is giving some help, it is true, but not very much. But someone who posts a supportive reference is providing much more help. That person has gone to more trouble, has credited you with the intelligence to have had the same idea yourself, and has perhaps alerted you to a source that will be of further use to you in your current translation or future translations. When I post a question, I don\'t really want an unsupported guess - I can do that for myself, thank you very much.

An answer with a reference will get the points from me every time.


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Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 04:57
English
+ ...
Reread Henry Hines Nov 9, 2002

He puts it simply and beautifully: life is a game and ProZ is no better than anywhere else. The point is to have while you\'re down here on Mother Earth -- the rest is pure hogwash and unhealthy ego trips.

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David Sirett
Local time: 22:57
French to English
+ ...
KudoZ = helpfulness, points ± incidental Nov 9, 2002

Rowan has contributed such a thoughtful analysis that there is little to add concerning courtesy/logic in answer selection and the awarding of KudoZ points.

However, in view of the fact that KudoZ points apparently give higher positions in the list of translators seen by potential customers, it should perhaps be made clearer that the points are awarded for asker-perceived \'helpfulness\', not for \'objective competence\', for example (even if some correlation between the two might be possible).

Rather less logical is the fact that the askers (who, by definition, are less competent with respect to the particular terms under discussion) get the first opportunity to enter their preference into the ProZ glossaries! (But perhaps I\'m straying off -thread here.)



Regards

David


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Domenica Grangiotti  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:57
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Some comments Nov 11, 2002

First, thanks a lot. I must have touched a soft spot here. Many of you were ready to give a hand and some advice, which is always good!



Some comments:

1) Quality counts and shows. This is a community so I do not want to \"show off\" with collegues. I am more than happy if customers are satisfied. I myself will learn something new from you every day.

2) Politeness never killed anyone. This is the lesson I am trying to teach my 4-year-old daughter, and it applies to this site, too.

I have tried never to hurt anyone\'s feelings even though I was placing a \"disagree\" grade. I got a few myself.

3) Rules cannot substitute common sense. I do not believe we should ask for stricter rules for askers.

I will certainly try and see things more from the asker\'s point of view when answering questions. Also, I see the point of always providing references. This also enables the asker to check context more thoroughly.

Can I say once again that I am happy I came across this community. It is a great help in an otherwise rather solitary job.

Have a good day, You all.





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