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'Members only' job postings - why not make them available to non-members, too?
Thread poster: Khalid Hantash

Khalid Hantash  Identity Verified
Palestine
Local time: 10:40
Member (2007)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Jun 6, 2006

Dear Members of Proz,

I have recently noticed the following note attached to most of the jobs in PROZ:
"member only" (in blue) and "The outsourcer has chosen to restrict the job to Proz.com members"

Great! The term members here refers to paying members.

I think that this sign is unfair and futile because:
1. The outsourcer doesn't care whether this translator\interpreter/linguist is a paying member or not. His/Her comfort lies in quality, accuracy, deadline...etc rather than paying or unpaying member which is not a decisive point to grade members.

2. Some of the jobs that are posted and marked "Members only" are delivered elsewhere without such an exclusive stamping. So I wonder, why this 12-hour delay?

I am addressing the founder of this site to eliminate such a sign because there are some members, like me, who are not able to get much work and pay for "Featured Membership". However, it is an honor for the site and his founder to raise the level of unknown translators a little bit and get them known as one day they will become his real permanent featured members.

All regards,

Khalid

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-06-07 12:49]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:40
English to German
+ ...
Decision by outsourcer Jun 7, 2006

Hi Khalid,
I have notified Henry Dotterer of your posting.

A few comments from me:


I have recently noticed the following note attached to most of the jobs in PROZ:
"member only" (in blue) and "The outsourcer has chosen to restrict the job to Proz.com members"

Great! The term members here refers to paying members.

Note that outsourcers decide whether or not to restrict jobs to (paying) members.

I think that this sign is unfair and futile because:
1. The outsourcer doesn't care whether this translator\interpreter/linguist is a paying member or not. His/Her comfort lies in quality, accuracy, deadline...etc rather than paying or unpaying member which is not a decisive point to grade members.

In that case, all jobs would be posted without restriction.

2. Some of the jobs that are posted and marked "Members only" are delivered elsewhere without such an exclusive stamping. So I wonder, why this 12-hour delay?

You would need to ask the outsourcer in question; they might not bother to change the 12-hour 'members-only' restriction, which is the (changeable) default setting; or such a restriction might not be available elsewhere.

Best regards
Ralf

[Edited at 2006-06-07 12:25]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 03:40
SITE FOUNDER
In principle, commercial activities are not free Jun 7, 2006

Hello Khalid,

My view...

I do not recommend that translators do commercial work without being paid for doing so. Translating for non-profits is another matter; I don't see much harm in doing free translation when the work will not be sold.

Using the same logic, we at ProZ.com offer many free services, but we draw the line at commercial work. Basically, exposure before paying clients is a service for which we charge. I hope you can understand this approach, and that you will consider becoming a member. In exchange, we work very hard for you, and the statistics say that membership pays off for professional translators in any country and at any stage of their careers.


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xxxdf49f
France
Local time: 09:40
outsourcer's choice Jun 7, 2006

Hi Khalid
It is the outsourcer's choice to restrict their offers to "paying members".
It is the site owner's choice to offer this feature as a bonus for paying members, as one way to attract paying memberships.

Many outsourcers are unfortunately under the false impression / pure misconception, and misled by the ungrounded belief that PAYING members are solely competent as translators: i.e. non-paying members like you and me being thought as non-competent amateurs...
Just like "diplomas" or "certifications" purchased at a high price from in certain private schools or from Translators Associations are supposed to prove beyond a doubt the competence of translators!
But look at it this way: you're not missing out on much of anything worthwhile and most offers are simply not worth even responding to anyway! (except for people willing to work at cut-rate prices) . So let the paying members have the privilege of the 3-cent job offers... !)
df


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Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 09:40
Member (2008)
English to German
+ ...
Funny World Jun 9, 2006

To be a member does not mean that you are a good translator, it only means that you have paid the fee. So when the outsourcer specifies "members only", he/she helps you getting paying members, whereas quality does not matter at all.

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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 10:40
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Sure Jun 9, 2006

Rolf Kern wrote:

To be a member does not mean that you are a good translator, it only means that you have paid the fee.


Surely agree to the first part of the sentence. However, I'd like to formulate the second part a bit differently: "It only means you have invested in promotion of yourself as a professional translator". (As we all know, to create a profile on ProZ.com is free and takes few minutes). So, being mostly an outsourcer, if I have to choose a translator, I prefer to deal with people who have to chosen to invest. This way I at least have some hopes I'm dealing with with a person, who takes his occupation seriously. All too often all of us have met the situation of "translator gone hiding" and from my personal experience I have to say that working with members only that risk is reduced manifold.


So when the outsourcer specifies "members only", he/she helps you getting paying members, whereas quality does not matter at all.


Membership, of course doesn't guarantee quality (actually, even having a degree in translation doesn't), but it more or less assures me I'm dealing with a professional. I do not intend to degrade non-member users in any way, but personally I can sleep better, if I have given my job to a member.

Uldis

[Edited at 2006-06-09 20:53]


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 00:40
English to French
+ ...
More like the site's choice Jun 13, 2006

df49f wrote:

Hi Khalid
It is the outsourcer's choice to restrict their offers to "paying members".


Dominique,

If you'll read Ralf's post carefully, you will see that the 12-hour delay is a default setting. I am willing to bet that most outsourcers don't even know what it is about so they just leave it as is. If they did they would probably remove the restriction to increase their ad's exposure.

What the 12-hour delay really does is bar non-members from quoting for a number of reasons.

1. The outsourcer usually finds a vender sooner.
2. After 12 hours, most ads are buried under subsequent ads.
3. By the time the restriction is lifted, non-members may be discouraged by the number of bids that piled up while they were waiting.

Besides, this 12-hour delay could result in restricting an ad to a given time zone -or a handful of them-, think about it.

Anyway, it's the site owner's decision so we have to live with it.


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'Members only' job postings - why not make them available to non-members, too?

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