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Availability calendar and ProZ directory searches
Thread poster: Vladimir Pochinov

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 02:26
Member (2002)
English to Russian
Sep 1, 2007

I have just tried to check how my availability calendar affects ProZ directory search results. My findings were rather interesting, which led me to posting this topic.

(1) The availability calendar provides the following options:

n/a
Available today
Mostly available
Partially available
Barely available
Not available

Perfect. However, I don't see a single reason while a client/outsourcer would be interested in looking for "barely available" translators. I believe that only two options should be available to clients searching for a translator: "Available today" and "Not available". The search results for the first option would include the first four availability categories above. Availability indicators (green, yellow, etc.) would help to identify the current capacity of each available translator.

(2) As it is now, your search for "Partially available" translators would reject all "Mostly available" translators and all those "Available today". And searhing for translators "Available today" would miss out "Mostly available" translators. Moreover, it would also miss out all translators who did not set any availability status. Honestly, I don't see any logic in this at all. It appears that in order to identify all avalable (to some extent) translators you will need to run 5 (five!) separate searchers. Not the most efficient to go, isn't it?

(3) My suggestion is as follows:

(a) All 6 availability types remain as is.
(b) For directory search purposes, only 2 availability opitons are available/visible: "Available today" and "Not available".
(c) Search for translators "Available today" returns all translators, except those "Not available".
(d) Search reasults show a clear indication of actual capacity, as it is now ("Partially available", Available today", etc.).

I believe this approach would be more helpful and efficient.

Look forward to your comments on this.

[Edited at 2007-09-01 06:34]


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Daniel Gebauer  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:26
Member
Spanish to German
+ ...
And what if I search somebody for tomorrow? Sep 1, 2007

Interesting investigation you made. You should address it to the Proz team.

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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 02:26
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Availability levels... Sep 1, 2007

For me it is natural that if you are searching for "partially available" translators, then the search should return those and all those with a higher level of availability (and those who do not have the availability set at all). In fact, it is so obvious I was sure it already works that way!

In other words, the search should filter out only those who are "less" available than the set parameter.

Moreover, it would be nice to specify the period of availability - say, I want a translator for two weeks starting in a week from now. However, this option should be "smart", i.e. if I want the translator to be fully available for two weeks, it will not automatically reject him or her if they have one or two days off in that period.

[Edited at 2007-09-01 10:26]


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Hilde Granlund  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 02:26
English to Norwegian
+ ...
is this feature used? Sep 1, 2007

Is there any indication as to outsourcers actually looking at this feature?
I have tried to set my availability level - but
1. - it is difficult, jobs come and go on an almost daily basis
2. - I notice no difference in the amount of job offers that appear in my mailbox according to my set availability.

In fact - maybe it has something to do with Murphy's law, but the busier I am, the more job offers come along...


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Lüder Meyer  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 02:26
Member (2007)
Spanish to German
+ ...
Good idea! Sep 1, 2007

[quote]Jabberwock wrote:

Moreover, it would be nice to specify the period of availability - say, I want a translator for two weeks starting in a week from now. However, this option should be "smart", i.e. if I want the translator to be fully available for two weeks, it will not automatically reject him or her if they have one or two days off in that period.


Very interesting idea, Jabberwock. That would definitely improve the availability feature.

[Edited at 2007-09-01 12:59]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 20:26
SITE FOUNDER
Thanks, Vladimir! Sep 2, 2007

Vladimir Pochinov wrote:
... My suggestion is as follows:

(a) All 6 availability types remain as is.
(b) For directory search purposes, only 2 availability opitons are available/visible: "Available today" and "Not available".
(c) Search for translators "Available today" returns all translators, except those "Not available".
(d) Search reasults show a clear indication of actual capacity, as it is now ("Partially available", Available today", etc.).

I believe this approach would be more helpful and efficient.

This makes perfect sense. Thank you, we will do it soon.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:26
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Possible refinement (further suggestion) Sep 2, 2007

Relate search to number of words needed.

As I recall, the availability options relate to the declared number of words possible in a day (or over a longer period of time, for that matter).

If, say, I had 1500 words to be done, in an ideal circumstance I should be able to locate the people who have the capacity to do this before my desired deadline. The same should be possible if I had 10000 words needed before a given date.

[Edited at 2007-09-02 10:37]


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