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Why not post KudoZ percentages?
Thread poster: Robert Forstag
Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:28
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 1, 2006

Since this data is collected anyway, at least for Platinum members, why not post the percentages, either conjointly with the total points on leader boards, or perhaps as a separate list altogether to run alternately on the home page.

More importantly, percentages could also be displayed on the profile page of platinum members.

I realize that some might object that making this data public might intensify in an unproductive way an already competitive environment, but I think that these data are important, and might also be beneficial in helping counteract the tendancy of some persons to be overly promiscuous in their answering patterns.

In that way, inclusion of the data could greatly enhance the overall professionalism of this site.

What does everyone else think?



[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-03-01 19:38]


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xxxMichaelRS
Local time: 03:28
... Mar 1, 2006

It would probably increase the competition. People who try to sort out very difficult concepts may stop bothering.

On the other hand, a good effect that may arise is that people will start boycotting posters who never close their answers out.


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 03:28
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
No real point Mar 1, 2006

Robert Forstag wrote:

Since this data is collected anyway, at least for Platinum members, why not post the percentages, either conjointly with the total points on leader boards, or perhaps as a separate list altogether to run alternately on the home page.

More importantly, percentages could also be displayed on the profile page of platinum members.

I realize that some might object that making this data public might intensify in an unproductive way an already competitive environment, but I think that these data are important, and might also be beneficial in helping counteract the tendancy of some persons to be overly promiscuous in their answering patterns.

In that way, inclusion of the data could greatly enhance the overall professionalism of this site.

What does everyone else think?



[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-03-01 19:38]


Answers are chosen by Asker, who is completely free to pick any answer he/she wants. They have nothing to do with accuracy or anything else. Theoretically they are purely a personal choice. 100% incorrect answers can "get points" as well as 100% correct ones. This makes 'percentages' and to some degree 'points' relatively meaningless. Kudoz is fun, it's amusing and it can be instructive. Let's not make into more than it is, please.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:28
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
If Kudoz is completely arbitrary, why bother at all? Mar 1, 2006

Writeaway:

The system certainly has its weaknesses, one of them being that askers sometimes choose answers that are not by any objective reckoning "the best" and that are sometimes downright off the wall. However, you make it sound like the entire decision-making process is *usually* highly arbitrary and I must say that I have not found this to be the case at all. My experience is that good answers are usually awarded points.

I myself could not imagine wanting to use the system at all, either as an answerer or an asker, if I felt that it was as arbitrary as you seem to think it is. I also think that the general purpose of Kudoz is a serious one and that posting accuracy percentages would serve three useful purposes: 1.) It would provide greater help to askers (in discouraging poorly supported answers; 2.) Enhance the marketing value of the site for those members who do have good percentages, and 3.) Enhance the overall professionalism of the site (something that ought to be desired by all of its members, and that would likely encourage more membership and participation by serious professionals).

I am interested to hear the opinions of others on this issue.


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 20:28
German to English
Fair warning to askers Mar 1, 2006

Robert Forstag wrote:

might also be beneficial in helping counteract the tendancy of some persons to be overly promiscuous in their answering patterns

1.) It would provide greater help to askers (in discouraging poorly supported answers; 2.) Enhance the marketing value of the site for those members who do have good percentages, and 3.) Enhance the overall professionalism of the site (something that ought to be desired by all of its members, and that would likely encourage more membership and participation by serious professionals).



Sounds like the old reliability ratio, Robert:

http://www.proz.com/post/269055#269055

I think the bottom line for your proposal and similar ones made frequently over the years is to warn askers that not everybody answering KudoZ questions can be relied on. If Joe Shmo has answered 20,000 questions and his answers have been selected 10% of the time, he may have 8,000 KudoZ points. If all the asker sees is his 8,000 points,
he may be lured into the trap.

I don't remember the exact wording, but when a person has asked a question, he gets a message saying something like: "your question has been sent to 450 language professionals." I think we should consider rewording this message so that askers are put on notice that some of those "language professionals" are in fact full-time KudoZ point hunters who couldn't care less whether their answers meet any kind of reliability test.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:28
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Points well taken, but... Mar 1, 2006

Kim:

Your points are well taken, but I think that having this "reliability ratio" for all to see would serve kudoz users far more powerfully than the generic warning to askers that you suggest. It would also, I believe, help discourage the very kind of "full-time point hunting" that you refer to, and that I also deplore.


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Andres & Leticia Enjuto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 22:28
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
hummm... Mar 2, 2006

I just checked our "acceptance rate" for kudoz answers.
Since we are relatively new members, we have only 27 answers, and 7 accepted, it means a rate of 25.9%.

I think it is not too bad, since every time we participated we saw (in general) good answers from conscious collegues. I can assure you that every answer made by me or by my (beloved) wife has been preceded by a thorough research, and we have only posted answers we were convinced to be helpful.
BUT other people were faster, or more accurate, or the asker simply liked another answer.

Now, you guys and I know how this works. But maybe someone from outside could take a quick look and think 25.9% is a low rate.

I agree that showing rates would improve professionalism, but I am not sure if I would answer more kudoz, since I would not like to risk lowering my rate, even when I´m sure of the answer (as the asker may just make a mistake or just like another one as good as mine).

Interesting post, I´d like to know other approaches.
Rgds,
Andres


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Ana Cuesta  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:28
Member
English to Spanish
What about using them to weight kudoz total points? Mar 2, 2006

I would propose a slight modification in which the total kudoz points earned by each member were weighted by the percentage of accepted answers that person has. That way no one would need to get embarrased because they only have 20% answers accepted but the kind of answerer who constantly offers wild guesses in the hope that getting just a tiny fraction accepted can make her/him jump to top of the directory would have to re-think her/his approach.

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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 04:28
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Excellent idea! Mar 2, 2006

Ana Cuesta wrote:
I would propose a slight modification in which the total kudoz points earned by each member were weighted by the percentage of accepted answers that person has.


First of all, I would propose to make the percentage visible for everyone. It would be a great way to stop kudoz hunters. But weighting the points according to the stats would be even better!


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 03:28
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Still no real point-those who Kudoz the most will benefit the most Mar 2, 2006

Robert Forstag wrote:

Writeaway:

The system certainly has its weaknesses, one of them being that askers sometimes choose answers that are not by any objective reckoning "the best" and that are sometimes downright off the wall. However, you make it sound like the entire decision-making process is *usually* highly arbitrary and I must say that I have not found this to be the case at all. My experience is that good answers are usually awarded points.

I myself could not imagine wanting to use the system at all, either as an answerer or an asker, if I felt that it was as arbitrary as you seem to think it is. I also think that the general purpose of Kudoz is a serious one and that posting accuracy percentages would serve three useful purposes: 1.) It would provide greater help to askers (in discouraging poorly supported answers; 2.) Enhance the marketing value of the site for those members who do have good percentages, and 3.) Enhance the overall professionalism of the site (something that ought to be desired by all of its members, and that would likely encourage more membership and participation by serious professionals).

I am interested to hear the opinions of others on this issue.


As someone has mentioned, people who are new or who don't spend the day answering Kudoz will inevitably have a 'worse' percentage than those who are active hours on end. There are many people asking questions who are out of their depth in the job they are doing (often one gets the impression that they took the job knowing they could rely on Kudoz to get them through it) and those people tend to trust someone they see all the time rather than someone who shows up out of the blue to offer an answer.
Kudoz is extremely helpful AND reliable when Asker asks in a field and/or language he/she really knows and when answers are proposed by translators who are also pros in that field. It's the 'tourists' who tour the site in quest of extra points and answer questions in fields and languages they barely know, who make the system unreliable and make any 'percentage' listing quite pointless. I find it's an unfair and misleading indication of someone's skills and reliablity. At least by seeing the questions a person has asked and answered, one can get a reasonable idea of that translator. Percentage points are just numbers....
Also, calling the percentage points 'accuracy percentages' brings me back to my original point- being awarded points and being accurate can't really be equated. Sometimes (or even often) that is the case, but sometimes it simply is not. And the numbers won't reflect that.


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James Calder  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
Repeated thread Mar 2, 2006

Hi all

I brought this selfsame topic up last year. Here's the link: http://www.proz.com/topic/29259. The discussion also contains links to other threads on the same subject.
I still believe it's a good idea as it would certainly help sort out the wheat from the chaff.

James


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marybro  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
My 2 cents Mar 2, 2006

I agree with writeaway.

Kudoz is more than a "terms" help network. some of the "phrases "submitted are quite challenging...In many cases, there are several "correct" answers, but it is the asker's decision to decide which suggested answer best fits. I enjoy helping, and have learned a great deal from other's suggestions.


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Andres & Leticia Enjuto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 22:28
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
suggestion Mar 3, 2006

[quote]writeaway wrote:

...Kudoz is extremely helpful AND reliable when Asker asks in a field and/or language he/she really knows and when answers are proposed by translators who are also pros in that field. It's the 'tourists' who tour the site in quest of extra points and answer questions in fields and languages they barely know, who make the system unreliable and make any 'percentage' listing quite pointless...


Reading writeaway´s comment I thought that maybe kudoz answers could be restricted to the speciality fiels declared by the translator, in his/her declared pairs. A maximum number of answers per day could be set for other fields (let´s say, three).
This might prevent some good answers, but would certainly stop many answers from "tourists"

Andrés


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 20:28
German to English
I stand corrected! Mar 3, 2006

Kim Metzger wrote:

I don't remember the exact wording, but when a person has asked a question, he gets a message saying something like: "your question has been sent to 450 language professionals." I think we should consider rewording this message so that askers are put on notice that some of those "language professionals" are in fact full-time KudoZ point hunters who couldn't care less whether their answers meet any kind of reliability test.



I just asked a KudoZ question and the message I received was as follows:

"OK!
-------

Your request for translation help for the following term has been approved to be viewed on ProZ.com:

You will be notified as suggested answers arrive.
Please award KudoZ points to the answer you find most helpful.

It is recommended that you allow 24 hours before selecting a best answer, so that professionals around the world will have time to provide researched answers."

So I stand corrected. But maybe we still need to consider also adding a disclaimer. And I am also in favor of a reliability ratio.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:28
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Other ideas re 'reliability ratio' Mar 3, 2006

Here are some other ideas re the use of a "reliability ratio':

1. It could be presented optionally.

2. It could be presented only for those who have answered more than 100 or 500, or some predetermined number of questions.

3. The various caveats mentioned in this thread about th idea (i.e., that the best answer is sometimes not chosen, that there sometimes are more than one excellent answer, that identical correct answers are posted, etc.) could be mentioned in an information box linked to the category (as is done elsewhere on the site).

I really do think that making visible the "percentage correct", at least as an option, would increase the utility of the Kudoz system by discouraging "point hounding", by enhancing the marketing value of participation (and concomittantly, its usefulness to outsourcers searching for qualified translators for work on projects), and, most of all, by increasing the overall professionalism of the site.

Any other thoughts on the matter?

Thanks to those of you who have thus far contributed to this thread.


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