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Job poster contact information will be shown exclusively to those who meet quoting requirements
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 07:52
SITE FOUNDER
Mar 18, 2008

Hi all,

Over the next few days a change will be made to the (traditional) job posting system so that job poster contact information appears only to those who meet the criteria for quoting. Instead of the actual contact information, general information (ex. "a regular job poster with average Blue Board entry of 4.2") may be shown.

This change is intended to (1) cut down on unauthorized reposting of jobs, (2) limit quoter contacts made in ways other than that preferred by the poster, and (3) further encourage and reward paid membership.

Thanks to those who suggested this change.


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Natasa Grubor  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 13:52
Member
English to Serbian
+ ...
Limited Mar 18, 2008

Hi,

What about us who are multilingual and can declare only 2 MT? For example, speakers of former Serbo-Croat are now fluent in 3-4 languages and can say with full right their mother tongues are Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Montenegrin and Serbo-Croat but due to restrictions cannot declare more than 2 and now wont be able to bid for jobs although they are paying membership?
I can understand your decision, but must be some way to protect people who are in similar position.

Regards,
Nataša Čubrilović


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 13:52
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Does this mean people won't know who is actually posting the job? Mar 18, 2008

Henry D wrote:

Hi all,

Over the next few days a change will be made to the (traditional) job posting system so that job poster contact information appears only to those who meet the criteria for quoting. Instead of the actual contact information, general information (ex. "a regular job poster with average Blue Board entry of 4.2") may be shown.

This change is intended to (1) cut down on unauthorized reposting of jobs, (2) limit quoter contacts made in ways other than that preferred by the poster, and (3) further encourage and reward paid membership.

Thanks to those who suggested this change.


Hi Henry,
Does this mean that people will be bidding 'blind' or will people who meet the criteria to bid be able to see the full information?
Will outsourcers now be required to provide full details about the job, along with a sample of the text, so people will know 'what' they are bidding on?
Thanks!


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:52
English to German
+ ...
Information shown to those who meet criteria for quoting Mar 18, 2008

Hi writeaway,
Does this mean that people will be bidding 'blind' or will people who meet the criteria to bid be able to see the full information?


Looking at Henry's posting, I believe he answered this question already:

Over the next few days a change will be made to the (traditional) job posting system so that job poster contact information appears only to those who meet the criteria for quoting.


Best regards,
Ralf


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 13:52
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Yes but........ Mar 18, 2008

Ralf Lemster wrote:

Hi writeaway,
Does this mean that people will be bidding 'blind' or will people who meet the criteria to bid be able to see the full information?


Looking at Henry's posting, I believe he answered this question already:

Over the next few days a change will be made to the (traditional) job posting system so that job poster contact information appears only to those who meet the criteria for quoting.


Best regards,
Ralf


Hi Ralf,
What has me confused is the sentence that follows in Henry's statement:

"Instead of the actual contact information, general information (ex. "a regular job poster with average Blue Board entry of 4.2") may be shown."

Whom does that apply to?
Thanks!


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Eleni Makantani
Greece
Local time: 14:52
English to Greek
+ ...
Job alerts contain info? Mar 18, 2008

I suppose that when someone is sent a job alert it is because they meet the criteria, therefore they will be given contact information of the outsourcer.

Am I right here?


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 07:52
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Good question, writeaway Mar 18, 2008

writeaway wrote:
"Instead of the actual contact information, general information (ex. "a regular job poster with average Blue Board entry of 4.2") may be shown."

Whom does that apply to?
Thanks!

The thinking is that this bit of information, and the post itself, may still be of interest for people browsing job activity, including those considering membership.


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 13:52
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Now it's clear Mar 18, 2008

Henry D wrote:

writeaway wrote:
"Instead of the actual contact information, general information (ex. "a regular job poster with average Blue Board entry of 4.2") may be shown."

Whom does that apply to?
Thanks!

The thinking is that this bit of information, and the post itself, may still be of interest for people browsing job activity, including those considering membership.


Thanks Henry! Now it's clear.


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Ms.Straus  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 13:52
Member (2007)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
This change is bad for translators and outsourcers Mar 18, 2008

Henry D wrote:
Over the next few days a change will be made to the (traditional) job posting system so that job poster contact information appears only to those who meet the criteria for quoting. Instead of the actual contact information, general information (ex. "a regular job poster with average Blue Board entry of 4.2") may be shown.

This change is intended to (1) cut down on unauthorized reposting of jobs, (2) limit quoter contacts made in ways other than that preferred by the poster, and (3) further encourage and reward paid membership.


Don't mean to be a pest but this change is certainly not in the best interest of job posters and it for sure isn't good news for translators and interpreters either. It seems a bit short-sighted to say the least.

I have so many objections that summarising all of them might prove to be a challenge but I'll give it a try for the sake of other individuals and companies on ProZ. If this post starts getting too long I'll submit my objections in instalments Or I'll set up a RSS feed

My main points:

1. Sometimes job posters/outsourcers WANT TO BE NOTICED.
What happens if a job poster actually wants to be seen by candidates who don't meet the criteria for a particular job? These candidates may be perfectly suited for some other job!
Look at the two scenarios below and tell me which one you think any outsourcer would prefer.

Scenario A. Let's imagine a translator specialising in legal translation and an outsourcer seeking mostly technical translators. The 'legal' translator observes this job poster over a few months thinking "wow they do offer a lot of work, their rates are nice, too bad they aren't looking for legal translators – you know what, I'll certainly apply for a job when they post one matching my specialisation". And guess what, the outsourcer finally moves on to legal translation and our legal translator doesn't waste time deciding whether she likes this potential client or not. She's quick to submit her quote.

Scenario B. An outsourcer posts a job in a new subject field (or in a new language pair). A well-qualified translator with not too much time to waste (because she's good at what she does and consequently sought-after) looks at this new job post and thinks to herself "can't say I've seen them before, they must be new here; maybe I'll quote, maybe I won't".

So what happens if an outsourcer actually doesn't want to be noticed by service providers who don't meet the criteria? This is the only scenario where the change you mention could possibly offer some benefits – if you made it into an option outsourcers can tick off if they do not wish to draw attention to themselves for whatever reason imaginable.

QED: This latest change should be made available as an option, not as a default.

2. Sometimes translators can actually HELP THEIR COLLEAGUES avoid potentially risky jobs if they can see who's posting.

I can't count the times I've seen a forum discussion spark up after a job poster with disagreeable business practices endeavoured to offer a new assignment. Translators who've had bad experience with such an outsourcer (but not meeting the criteria for making a BB entry – or perhaps not wanting to expose themselves to the ill will a bad BB comment would generate) sometimes provide useful hints in forums (usually worded somewhat like "I've noticed a certain TA from *insert country* is headhunting again but lemme tell you they really pulled a fast one on me"). I'm fairly alert to such cues and I often contact such translators privately and ask them which outsourcer that was and what actually happened – these translators mostly work in language pairs other than mine and if this questionable change is applied they will never realise that some outsourcer is the same as the one that treated them unfairly.

QED: Hiding outsourcer details is BAD for translators.

3. I agree with what Nataša Čubrilović said. I used to live in Yugoslavia just like her and I know first hand that ex-Yugoslavs are often right to claim they have MORE THAN TWO MOTHER TONGUES. Why prevent them from getting in touch with outsourcers who – to put it simply - don't know they can use their services? Outsourcers don't know everything, do they?

QED: This change will prevent some (paying) members from accessing jobs they are eligible for.

4. Last but not least: your points don’t convince me at all to be honest. Let me explain:

You say: "(1) cut down on unauthorized reposting of jobs."

So? Let's think for a moment what the outsourcers want. They want to REACH THE LARGEST POOL of service providers meeting their criteria. They don't really care where they came from, do they? ProZ, ZoPr, ZPro, they don't care. They want their perfect provider. By preventing 'unauthorised' reposting you're effectively preventing them from reaching this goal. I understand you have to protect your interests but please find another way of doing this. Instruct the outsourcers it's unsafe to buy services from people who're not listed on ProZ or something. But please don't hurt their interests – they're not dumb and they're bound to notice sooner or later.

You say: "(2) limit quoter contacts made in ways other than that preferred by the poster."

Come on, outsourcers are FREE TO TURN DOWN WHOEVER THEY PLEASE. And any translator/interpreter who chooses to ignore clear instructions on contacting an outsourcer probably should be ignored or turned down anyway. Rules are rules. And if the poor put-upon outsourcer is serious about staying in business they should probably learn to deal with unsolicited mail, phone calls etc. Otherwise they'll simply go nuts one day and by hastening this inevitable fate you might actually save them from additional few years in the wrong business. No, but seriously: this point doesn't do much for me. If someone so desperately wants to hide their contact details they should be presented with a small box to tick. That should do the trick.

You say: "and (3) further encourage and reward paid membership."

I am a paying member and I only see downsides to the change you're announcing. I already paid my membership fee and I don't want benefits taken away from me now. Your strategies to 'encourage and reward paid membership' should not discourage and punish paying members, right?

QED: The change seems to serve ProZ and hurt Prozians.

That'd be all for now.


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 13:52
English to German
+ ...
@ Henry D Mar 19, 2008

Eva has some very legible arguments and I support these. I personally do not see much benefit for myself or other paying members in the coming changes, I guess but the ball is with you. Brandis

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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 07:52
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Responses to Eva. Thanks for posting! Mar 19, 2008

Hi Eva,

Thanks for taking the time to think this change through and post your concerns. I will reply to your points in lumps...
Eva Straus wrote:
2. Sometimes translators can actually HELP THEIR COLLEAGUES avoid potentially risky jobs if they can see who's posting.

I agree with your thinking here, to the extent that knowing is better than not knowing. When it comes to this sort of risk management, the Blue Board is the structured and responsible means that has been put in place here to facilitate this sort of information sharing. That is why Blue Board info is (and will continue to be) made available from the page to anyone who can quote.
3. ... I know first hand that ex-Yugoslavs are often right to claim they have MORE THAN TWO MOTHER TONGUES. Why prevent them from getting in touch with outsourcers who – to put it simply - don't know they can use their services? Outsourcers don't know everything, do they?

True, they don't know everything. And the issue with languages that are arguably "close" is one we need to look at. Mainly it is a separate matter, but given the comments here, I can see that this change perhaps makes it more critical that we look at that issue (separately), and specifically how it can be addressed within the job posting system.
1. Sometimes job posters/outsourcers WANT TO BE NOTICED.
... Let's think for a moment what the outsourcers want. They want to REACH THE LARGEST POOL of service providers meeting their criteria...
... outsourcers are FREE TO TURN DOWN WHOEVER THEY PLEASE.

With all due respect, I guess you are not an outsourcer. They are the ones that want this change the most.
... I am a paying member and I only see downsides to the change you're announcing.

I respect your opinion, but you should know that this change has been requested by members, and when it was floated with moderators, there was only support expressed. Of course, we will be watching to see how it works out in practice, and if it turns out not to be the right thing for the community, we'll either revise the approach or return to the status quo.

Thanks again for posting, and thanks for supporting the site!


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Juan Chen  Identity Verified
China
Member (2008)
English to Chinese
+ ...
very very bad policy Mar 27, 2008

very very bad policy

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Buck
Netherlands
Local time: 13:52
Member (2007)
Dutch to English
I agree with the change Mar 27, 2008

As a paying member, I support the change. And anyway, why would you want to see the name of the job poster if you don't meet the criteria for a specific job anyway?

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Joy Lewis

Local time: 07:52
French to English
+ ...
Annoyed Mar 28, 2008

Eva wrote:

[I am a paying member and I only see downsides to the change you're announcing. I already paid my membership fee and I don't want benefits taken away from me now. Your strategies to 'encourage and reward paid membership' should not discourage and punish paying members, right?]

I totally agree with Eva. I am a fully paid up member and do not want to see my 'privileges' taken away. To be honest, I feel somewhat cheated and am more than a little annoyed that having made my payment, one of the implied benefits of paid Proz subscription, i.e., unlimited access to the job board has now been taken away. And do you know what? Many of my current, satisfied clients contacted me after I sent them my details, which may or may not have met all the criteria of the specific job posting. They 'entered' my particulars on their databases and contacted me when projects in my area of expertise arose.

[Edited at 2008-03-29 00:28]


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