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If I were "Henry"...
Thread poster: Lingo Pros

Lingo Pros
United States
Local time: 20:35
Persian (Farsi) to English
+ ...
Sep 4, 2005

If I were Henry:

1- Only Platinum members could post questions and answers in Kudoz section.
The non-Platinum members could only READ the Kudoz section and agree/disagree with given answers.
Non members could only read the Kudoz!

2- Only the ID verified could post job ads.

3- Those profiles with more than 10 language pairs had to be flagged "Multilanguage profile/agency" all over the proz.com (e.g. Kudoz)

4- ALL individual members HAD TO indicate at least one language as native language. Agencies had to indicate the dominant official language/s of the country/region the agency was located in AND the native language of the owner/s or partners.

5- The location of each member (country) had to be mentioned in all profiles. No location, no profile!


What would you change?



[Edited at 2005-09-04 03:57]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
I am Henry... Sep 4, 2005

Though not the same one you refer to. I think the measures you suggest are a bit drastic; perhaps there are defects and abuses on the site but I think the freedom more than makes up for it.

If I were to err, then it would be on the side of freedom.

But that's just one Henry's opinion.


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Ines Garcia Botana  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:35
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
I am Platinum... Sep 4, 2005

Henry Hinds wrote:

I think the measures you suggest are a bit drastic; perhaps there are defects and abuses on the site but I think the freedom more than makes up for it.

If I were to err, then it would be on the side of freedom.



I agree with you, Henry II, and I am Platinum.

If only Platinum members could post questions and answers in KudoZ section, this site wouldn't be the same ever.

If people can't afford a membership, it doesn't mean they are bad translators. And who can assure me that only Platinum members will provide an excellent translation?

As Henry II, I am on the side of freedom, too.

Inés

[Edited at 2005-09-04 05:11]


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Lingo Pros
United States
Local time: 20:35
Persian (Farsi) to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
"What would YOU change?" was my question :-) Sep 4, 2005

Thank you Henry and Ines for making it clear what you will not do, but it would be nice if you also mention what can be done to make Kudoz section and the rest of proz.com better.

Let's think of better ways to stop the abuse in Kudoz (which is such a hot topic in forums) and the fraud or bogus agencies/individuls from posting job ads freely and not paying the translators in the end. Many of such job posters create another free profile with another name and continue posting ads and not paying...

I expressed my own personal suggestions to Henry in an open letter here. I thought maybe others were waiting for an excuse to write theirs as well...



[Edited at 2005-09-04 08:39]


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Frédéric Bégon
France
Local time: 02:35
English to French
+ ...
The money should make the law ? What's on ... Sep 4, 2005

I begin to discover the commercial politics of another market-place for translators :
This Web-Site has got a good means to present each translators, it is different from Proz and can bring new customers to every translator. One day this other market-place decided to establish financial frontiers to the use of his facilities. One should ask it whether it gets richer of armer after this decision was taken !
Proz would not have enough money to live ? Translators are not so well paid as engineers, I think. Consequently acts around this matter of money should not be followed too quickly, I think so.
For example : when you are looking for a translator the way firstly Proz Platinium are presented and secondly non-paying members is very elegant and shows that Proz interests itself to every category of participants contray to some other Web-Sites :
It is a must ...

Sincerely yours, Frederic.


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Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
Arabic
+ ...
Here are some of the things I would introduce Sep 4, 2005

I have contributed many suggestions, and I have lived to see many of them implemented and to see those that were not implemented at least discussed and debated. I am very happy with the what the site represents, what the site provides to the world-wide linguist community, what it has accomplished in a relatively short time, how its progress has been guided by member input, and how it continues to unfold. I am very proud to have been a witness and a contributor to a marvelous success story.

It is in the spirit of continuing this flowering that I speculate about what I would do if I were Henry. I have made these suggestions in other threads, but I see no harm in summarizing them here (Summarizing? Who is kidding?):

- I would make a clear distinction between members and visitors. Visitors can visit all the pages and look up all information without restriction, in the true spirit of ProZ.com hospitality, any time they wish. But visitors are not members. They should not be enabled to use the functions of posting questions, answers, agree votes, comments, forum contributions, job postings, job bids, or Blue Board entries. These should be for registered members only (not just Platinum members, but all members). In practical terms, this would reduce the number of allowed daily questions for non-registered users from one to zero. I would then allow non-paying members to post one question a day (not five). For paying members, I would allow 5, 10, and 15 questions per day for silver, gold, and platinum ($40, $80, and $120 per year). I would make contributions to the site and the community cover part of the annual dues for any of the three levels.

- I would institute a minimal sign-up fee for any new member (say, $20, paid a once in a lifetime). This should not be confused with any annual dues. A sign-up fee would help keep out frivolous or sham memberships and significantly help cut down multiple profiles. For those who are signing up as paying members at any of the three levels, the sign-up fee would be waived. I would grandfather all existing members, of course. If you are in, you are in, tautology notwithstanding.

- If a visitor attempts to post a question on KudoZ, the visitor would be automatically directed to a sister site, nonProZ.com, where anybody can post any number of questions they wish. On this sister site, there would be no restrictions on the number of questions, no fees, no dues, no KudoZ points, no agrees or disagrees -- just questions and answers. Only the rules of propriety would apply.

- I would make every question posted on KudoZ trigger a ProZ.com term search first. This would help cut down the number of repeat questions.


I present these speculations as food for thought. I am very happy with the site the way it is now, but I see no limit to progress.

I would like to take this opportunity to express special gratitude to the site programmers. What they have done, especially over the past few months, to accommodate every little wish that we have intimated, from minute formatting issues to major functionality changes, amazes me. The site is simply a marvel. I salute their ingenuity and dedication.

And thank you for the question.

[Edited at 2005-09-05 20:59]


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Lingo Pros
United States
Local time: 20:35
Persian (Farsi) to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
One time sign up fee for Kudoz Sep 4, 2005

Phew, that was a close shave. You saved my life Fuad. Thank you!

A "minimal sign up fee" to be able to participate in Kudoz seems to be one of the solutions for stopping 'serial profile creators' and abuse of Kudoz. That way, ALL who pay that fee will participate in Kudoz, so Henry II and Ines won't shoot me when/if we happen to attend the same powwow or something...



[Edited at 2005-09-04 10:21]


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Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 02:35
English to Swedish
+ ...
If I were “Henry” … Sep 4, 2005

If I were Henry I would sit down quietly in a corner and evaluate what I was good at (cracking ideas, motivating people, etc.) and what I was not so good at. Then I would go out and hire the best business manager I could find and concentrate on “Chairman of the Board” tasks.

If I were “Lingo Pros” I would sit down quietly in a corner and meditate over the sentence “Right is what increases ProZ.com’s chance of long term survival; wrong is what decreases ProZ.com’s chance of long term survival”. Then I would post a humble retraction of my proposed changes.


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Lingo Pros
United States
Local time: 20:35
Persian (Farsi) to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
"If I were Henry": A note written with good intentions and respect Sep 4, 2005

Sven Petersson wrote:

If I were Henry I would sit down quietly in a corner and evaluate what I was good at (cracking ideas, motivating people, etc.) and what I was not so good at. Then I would go out and hire the best business manager I could find and concentrate on “Chairman of the Board” tasks.

If I were “Lingo Pros” I would sit down quietly in a corner and meditate over the sentence “Right is what increases ProZ.com’s chance of long term survival; wrong is what decreases ProZ.com’s chance of long term survival”. Then I would post a humble retraction of my proposed changes.


I respect Henry not only as the site founder, but also as a person and I think he is aware of that. I am a Platinum member, so obviously I believe in this website and appreciate what Henry and the site staff are doing. I just don't see the need to repeat the obvious all the time!!!

About the misunderstanding and the harsh comment by Sven, I posted some suggestions and asked for the same. Here I clarify:

We all LOVE this website and know that Henry and the staff are great. But what can we do to make proz.com yet better? If some have no constructive suggestion, I understand. No need to preach for politeness (or the methods of long term survival for a business?) in an impolite way.

As a "humble retraction of my proposed changes", a flower bouquet and a document signed with my blood indicating I don't have any intention to be actually Henry and take over all his headaches will be sent to Proz HQ tomorrow.



[Edited at 2005-09-04 09:40]


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:35
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Mandatory "search-before-ask" feature to be implemented soon Sep 4, 2005

Fuad Yahya wrote:
- I would make every question posted on KudoZ trigger a ProZ.com term search first. This would help cut down the number of repeat questions.


Hi Fuad,

Just for the record, at least the above feature is going to be implemented soon. If my memory serves me right, Henry announced this in one of the many threads that developed in response to the introduction of the new KudoZ design.

Best,
Steffen


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:35
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Remove some of the restictions that were introduced. Sep 4, 2005

If I were Henry
I would realize that a lot of restrictions have been introduced in the current past. Such as restrictions on the number of Kudoz one can post. I would also realize a traffic increase in other translators web sites with more questions asked there.

I would remove the restrictions in Kudoz again to get the traffic back. Means to select and filter questions and askers should be tools that are good enough to protect the people using Proz.

I would improve the KOG content. This could be a hidden treasure, that would allow to develop new business.

The KOG forms with the "Article Knowledge base", the "Freelancers directory" and the "Blue Board" the "content" part of Proz.

The KOG and the "Article Knowledge base" require more work to improve them. The "Article Knowledge base" has however a much smaller user base. The KOG could be developed in a tool that attracts a huge user base (generating more traffic and more business)

The creation of glossaries, dictionaries, ontologies, spell checking dictionaries etc. would be a line of business I would target.

To summarize it: I would try to get the traffic back, give the people in Proz the tools that are required to protect themselves against what they consider abuse of the system and I would try to improve traffic by creating more and new content that is interesting enough to get people to visit Proz.

By the way, I support that this topic has been brought up, even if I do not support any of "Lingo Pros" suggestions.
The way Proz is developping, away from a free site to a more and more restricted and regulated site does worry me a little. And havening to realize the increasing number of topics that deal with "oh, he/she has taken my toy" or "please daddy help he/she is not fair" does worry me too.
This is my 2. post for today that might be considered not politically correct, but I opt for the highest possible level of freedom together with the individuals option to protect themselves by beeing able to select what they want to view/answer, etc.

I have been a beginner in Proz 2 years ago, and I would not be here if it would have been as restricted as other sites or if I would have had to pay a "start-up" fee.

It took me a while to learn the rules (at least some) and I made many mistakes, but the freedom and friendliness in Proz made my sozialization in this society a positive experience. This is something that I value very high. I support that others, independent of how inexperienced they are, get the same opportunities.

Regards
Siegfried

[Edited at 2005-09-04 08:51]


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Fiona Gonçalves  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:35
Member
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I would like to see... Sep 4, 2005

Maybe this already exists somewhere on the site and I just haven't found it yet, but I would like to see a similar section (or maybe a sub-section) of the ask questions section where you can ask for advice, as opposed to suggestions for translations of specific terms or phrases. Yesterday, I needed some advice on how to explain to an intermediary (a translation agency) the difference between two English translations of the same Portuguese word - "design" and "drawing", which in Portuguese are both rendered by the word "desenho". To me, as a native English speaker, the difference between the two is obvious, but I couldn't work out how to make that difference obvious to an agency secretary whose language uses the same word for both concepts.

I posted the question on the English to Portuguese board but with the niggling sensation that it wasn't really the right place to be posting. One of the colleauges who so kindly helped out effectively confirmed this by pointing out that this shouldn't have been posted as a "for points question" (thanks António, I wondered about that).

So, if there were a separate "ask advice" section, it would help out (in particular) those of us who are still in our "infancy" as professional translators.


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Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 02:35
English to Swedish
+ ...
If I were Siegfried’s tutor … Sep 4, 2005

If I were Siegfried’s tutor I would mark his contribution SUMMA CUM LAUDE

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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:35
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
You still are one of them, you just never realized Sep 4, 2005

Sven Petersson wrote:

If I were Siegfried’s tutor I would mark his ......


Thanks for the flowers, I stop working now and go celebrating. But seriously, you and people like Mats, Kim, Steven, Klaus, Johanna, Ariane, Ralf, Hans, Henry and many others have been my tutors on this site and still are. You just never realized. But I listend and I tried to learn.

I did realize that some of the people whose opinion I do value have gone relatively quite over the last year or so. This is something that worries me too.

You guys were the pioneers that helped to build Proz.

Your voices and opinions are required to keep Proz on track.

Off to the beach,

Have a nice weekend
Siegfried

[Edited at 2005-09-04 11:20]

[Edited at 2005-09-04 11:31]


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes and yes Sep 4, 2005

Lingo Pros wrote:

We all LOVE this website and know that Henry and the staff are great. But what can we do to make proz.com yet better? If some have no constructive suggestion, I understand. No need to preach for politeness (or the methods of long term survival for a business?) in an impolite way.



After all the Prozident is always encouraging us to do this: to give him our thoughts, our feedback on his changes to our site, to suggest a plan B), to offer alternative roads or insights...

Au


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