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ProZ.com translation competitions for non-members
Thread poster: xxxsavaria
xxxsavaria
Hungary
Local time: 06:19
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Sep 4, 2008

I do not know if I am alone with my desire,but I would be really happy to see translation competitions on ProZ.com that are open (even if not exclusively) for non-members.
I think even non-members deserve this kind of two-minute fame.
I am really loking forward to hearing your comments.


The prizes could be:
*membership(even if the site could afford itself only a partial one)
*a certificate
*anything else that proz.com could afford(a dictionary,a language course book(very useful for those of us,who are also teachers at the same time,I suppose there are many people like that)

I think this site does already have enough number of visitors to attract enough advertisers on a serious level to be able to fulfill these desires.Am I right?

Or am I alone with my wish?


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 01:19
SITE STAFF
For the time being, contest entries can be submitted by paying members Sep 4, 2008

Hello savaria,

For the time being, contest entries can be submitted by paying members. Non-paying users may vote on entries and suggest source texts for the contests.

Note that the site and the tools and features it offers are made possible by its paying members. Advertising generates only a small part of the site's income.

Best regards,

Jared


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xxxsavaria
Hungary
Local time: 06:19
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What about a certificate? Sep 4, 2008

A for me,I would be happy to take part in such a competition even if there were no prizes at all,only a certificate testifying our achievements that ProZ.com could easily send to any address simply by post(the preparation price of which would not be more than say,a couple of euros/dollars/pound sterlings/whatever.)



[Módosítva: 2008-09-04 17:07]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:19
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Maybe this would generate too many poor-quality entries? Sep 4, 2008

Before everyone jumps down my throat, I am not, repeat not, saying that non-members in general necessarily produce poorer quality translations. Paying for site membership is no gauge of translation ability, and there are some paying members who submit pretty awful competition entries.

I don't have any idea what percentage of registered ProZ users are paying members (perhaps a staff member could come up with a figure if it's not classified information?), but I imagine it's a fairly small figure. Opening up the competition would result in at least the same percentage of rubbishy entries, but it would mean a very much higher number of entries to eliminate before you got down to the decent ones.

I for one am not prepared to spend hours sifting through a mountain of rubbish to select the best translation, whilst I am prepared to sift through a few. I imagine the same would apply to many other overworked translators.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:19
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Perhaps... Sep 4, 2008

Jared wrote:
For the time being, contest entries can be submitted by paying members. Non-paying users may vote on entries and suggest source texts for the contests.


Well, I don't disagree with this decision, but I would not mind if non-paying members could be permitted in certain circumstances. So here is an idea: sponsoring.

Allow non-payers to participate if their translation is "sponsored" by a paid member. By sponsoring I mean that the paid member attests that he had read the translation, that the translation isn't a fake translation just to get some exposure, and that the translation is reasonably up to standard.

To further prevent abuse, limit the sponsoring privilege to paying members who have participated in at least one previous contest. It should be possible for a sponsor to sponsor more than one translation (up to 5, I think).


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:19
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Members and users can team up Sep 4, 2008

Samuel wrote:
Allow non-payers to participate if their translation is "sponsored" by a paid member. By sponsoring I mean that the paid member attests that he had read the translation, that the translation isn't a fake translation just to get some exposure, and that the translation is reasonably up to standard.


There is a way for users to participate: if they pair up with a member they can enter the contest together.

member = paying member
user = non-paying user

From the contest FAQ:

http://www.proz.com/?sp=contests&sp_mode=faqs

25. Can I enter the contest in collaboration with a site user?

Yes. ProZ.com members can pair up with site users to enter the contest. The option to submit an entry will only be visible to the member of the site. After uploading the contest entry, he/she should identify the site user as his/her contest partner.


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xxxsavaria
Hungary
Local time: 06:19
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How non-members could be involved(an alternative suggestion) Sep 4, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:

Jared wrote:
For the time being, contest entries can be submitted by paying members. Non-paying users may vote on entries and suggest source texts for the contests.


Well, I don't disagree with this decision, but I would not mind if non-paying members could be permitted in certain circumstances. So here is an idea: sponsoring.

Allow non-payers to participate if their translation is "sponsored" by a paid member. By sponsoring I mean that the paid member attests that he had read the translation, that the translation isn't a fake translation just to get some exposure, and that the translation is reasonably up to standard.

To further prevent abuse, limit the sponsoring privilege to paying members who have participated in at least one previous contest. It should be possible for a sponsor to sponsor more than one translation (up to 5, I think).



My idea is the following: the translation of a non-member could appear publicly on the site,if a member(or a person who is acknowledged by this community because of his/her thorough knowledge or expertise in several fields even if he/she is not a member,as purely purchasing membership does not give you expertise in itself after all),an independently elected person or,let's say so, a moderator approved it.


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Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:19
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Competitions for non-members PLEASE Sep 5, 2008

I hereby make this post to ask the Proz.com site staff to *please* have translation competitions for non-paying users. My idea would be a competition exclusively for non-users, and instead of cash prizes there would be some kind of recognition (for example, a number of stars according to performance) that could appear on the user's profile. (In contrast, the competition for members could have cash or other prizes).

The truth is that in Proz.com the odds are stacked against non-paying users, as we have very little visibility, which means that a non-paying user finding a job with Proz.com is like finding a needle in a haystack. Something should be done to give non-paying users the chance to get jobs, as in most cases users can't pay for financial reasons, and this comes from shortage of jobs, yet we can't get jobs because we don't pay. This competition would be a great help in working towards this aim, as the stars in the profile would prove the translator's skill and worth.

The idea would be that someone would see "a five-star translator" and think, ooh this translator must be good, and take him or her on for the job, regardless of whether the translator is a member or a non-paying user.

All I can say is that something must be done to give non-paying users more visibility and access to jobs - then, in the future, they could become members.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:19
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
You have pretty good visibility, IMHO Sep 5, 2008

Paul,
I just checked the directory, and found the followings.
For Portuguese to English, specializing in Mathematics and Statistics, there are only 5 (five) translators listed. Only two of them are members, and you are the third one.
I would say that is pretty good.
If I change the level of expertise to Proficient (as opposed to Specialist), and search that way, I get 37 matches, of which 10 are members, the rest are users, and you are listed as the 12th in the overall list, so the second among non-members.
I believe there are effective ways of "getting visibility", possibly more than what contests provide. There is no search criteria for contest participation, you are not getting any KudoZ for it, so I don't think it would make any difference to your place in the directory. Contest winners have a note in their profile (at the bottom), but the outsourcer still would have to go to the profile to see it.

If I were you, I would look around the directory, and see if there are any other ways to make myself more visible.
I think there are many more jobs outsourced via direct searches in the directory than via publicly posted job offers, so your first focus should probably be on the directory.

Another reason that you may not be getting as many jobs via this site is that your specialization is somewhat a niche, and so the chance of an outsourcer looking for that spec, right here is less than for more general areas. So, in your case, it would probably be best not to put all your eggs in the same basket, I mean you should participate in other sites, venues, work the local market, go after agencies that handle jobs in your specialization (perhaps the academic market?) so you would have a broader base for connecting with clients. If you do anything medical, or willing to invest in studying terminology, there is a great field of clinical trials, where statistics are involved, and that is a great paying, and good size market.

[Módosítva: 2008-09-05 14:23]


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Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:19
Portuguese to English
+ ...
In benefit of all Sep 6, 2008

Just to add that, contrary to what Katalin suggests in her reply, my campaign in favour of translation competitions for non-paying users is not exclusively for my own benefit, but acting in favour of those thousands of translator colleagues who, like myself, currently do not have access to participation in translation competitions.

So, please... let's have translation competitions for non-paying users NOW, urgently!


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:19
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Contests and visibility Sep 6, 2008

contrary to what Katalin suggests in her reply, my campaign in favour of translation competitions for non-paying users is not exclusively for my own benefit,

Just to set the record straight, in no way I suggested that you are asking for this for your own benefit. I am pretty sure you had the best interest of your colleagues in mind, and I never questioned that.

My answer was meant to be rather general, I referred to your example in the first part of my posting, and in the very last few sentences, just to provide a specific example.

Everything that comes in between starting with this sentence:
I believe there are effective ways of "getting visibility", possibly more than what contests provide.

is rather general, and I thought it may be helpful for anybody that is in a similar situation than you and/or wants to improve their chances of getting jobs.

All I was trying to say is that if one's goal is getting more jobs, then it would probably be a mistake to place too much emphasis/hope on participating and/or winning a ProZ.com contest, as it probably would not make a difference. Remember, one have to draw the outsourcer's attention to one's profile first, and that is the key. So it is better to find and use something that provides a more sustainable advantage than just a "15-minute fame".

[Módosítva: 2008-09-06 01:20]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:19
English to German
+ ...
Asking for a lot of favors Sep 6, 2008

Please don't get me wrong here, the following isn't meant aggressively in any way. It's just a summary.

- A bunch of coworkers is supposed to organize a worldwide contest, at no pay.
- A bunch of paying members is supposed do spend a lot of their time to sift through all the entries.
- After all those man-hours, a "certificate" is supposed to be designed and to be mailed. For your personal benefit and at no charge.

Wow.

No further comment.


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xxxsavaria
Hungary
Local time: 06:19
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
As far as I can see it,the text of these competitions are not very long,so... Sep 6, 2008

...so how can this pairing up be imagined...?

Maybe so that I do the half of the text (say, 300-600 characters,given the short length of these texts), and a member acknowledged by this community does the other half ? Or how?

I cannot imagine.Maybe I am too narrow-minded or my imagination is not creative enough.If so,I am sorry.

[Módosítva: 2008-09-06 07:41]


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 05:19
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Visibility Sep 6, 2008

Nicole Schnell wrote:
- A bunch of coworkers is supposed to organize a worldwide contest, at no pay.
- A bunch of paying members is supposed do spend a lot of their time to sift through all the entries.
- After all those man-hours, a "certificate" is supposed to be designed and to be mailed. For your personal benefit and at no charge.


Well, all this takes time, and time is money as they say. Where does this money come from?

I'm actually rather indifferent to whether the suggestion is adopted or not; I don't mind membership fees subsidizing things which benefit others, especially not if the overall quality and attractiveness of the portal is improved. If this suggestion will do that, Henry & Co. should go for it.

However, as a way to attract attention I don't think this is much of a winner. Putting together a good profile and gathering KudoZ points will take you much farther. I didn't have much in the way of KudoZ points before I became a member in 2003, but I still got jobs off ProZ and some rather nice contacts through my profile. I'm a non-paying user of other sites too, and I get contacts and jobs from those profiles, which - not surprisingly - seem to correspond proportionally to the traffic I expect those sites have.

It's true that members enjoy significant advantages. To be quite honest, while I still had the time to go chasing after posted jobs, I did much better with the faster access to job postings to the point where my "catch rate" was probably somewhere around 50% or better as a member. I came nowhere close to that as a non-member.

Is that unfair? Not really. You get what you pay for. In the case of the ProZ membership, I get a lot more than I pay for, really. The investment of € 100 euros or so is pretty trivial and pays for itself with one decent job a year. Of course you have to do some work to get the most out of your investment, which I think includes to a very great degree work on creating an effective profile. Just for laughs I do Google searches on myself from time to time using my language combination, favorite specialties and area of residence. Guess what comes out right near the top of the Google listings? My ProZ profile! That would probably explain why I get so many calls from local agencies and customers wanting translation service in my favorite areas. I have basically the same info posted in many other places, and those profiles are way far down the list.

So as far as I'm concerned, I could pay more and all that extra revenue could be plowed into extras for the non-payers. If the quality of the site is enhanced, it's still the members who will benefit more. I'd think long and hard about that if you are a non-member and consider whether it wouldn't make sense to spend a little money and effort to make some money.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:19
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Workarounds: teams and private forums Sep 6, 2008

Jared wrote:
For the time being, contest entries can be submitted by paying members.


Well, if non-paying users wish to use ProZ.com's infrastructure to organise informal contests among themselves, they have two avenues as far as I can see, namely teams and private forums. Actually, teams may not be suited for this, but a private forum certain will be.

Of course, staff should please confirm if what I write here is in fact correct. The biggest question is whether it would be permissible to announce private contests in the public forum (personally I don't see a problem with it). The second question is whether it would be acceptable to mention the names (and profile links) of the winners of such contests, using the public forums.

Read here: http://www.proz.com/faq/forums#private_forum_owner

My idea is that a paying member requests a private forum for a certain language. If it is granted, he invites/adds non-paying users to his forum, and they discuss the contest. All entrants send their entries directly to the paying member, and he posts them under his name (so no-one knows the identity of the entrant), each as a separate thread, so that forum users can comment on and discuss each entry. After a certain time, voting takes place in a new thread (irrelevant posts are deleted promptly), and the contest winners are announced.

A private forum is visible only to members of the forum, so this contest would truly be a private affair. To get more members to the forum, an announcement can be made in the public forum that a private contest is to be held and that interested translators should contact the private forum leader to get invited to it. After the contest is over, the winning and runner-up translations may be posted in the public forum, along with the names of the winners.

All of the above are currently allowed in ProZ.com's infrastructure, although staff might have to say if it is truly okay to announce the contest and to publish the two or three winning entries in the public forum.

Some issues I can think of:

* There should be no discrimination in the private contests that exclude paying members. After all, what if a non-paying user becomes a paying member later, and wishes to continue taking part or being part of the private forum group?

* Participants should realise that there is no exposure to be gained from participation -- no official points are awareded for it, there is no official mention of it on your profile (although nothing prevents you from mentioning it yourself), and the only reward is peer review and having a bit of fun with colleagues.

* Perhaps it should be watched carefully to ensure that it does not detract from the official contests. But personally I think informal contests may give people more flexibility over the types of texts. The official contests are usually literary texts only.

So, the question is, can staff tell us if this idea would be permitted?


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