The Famous "24 Hour" Rule...
Thread poster: Stuart Allsop
Stuart Allsop  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 21:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 12, 2006

I know this has been discussed several times before, but nothing concrete ever seems to have happened, so I’d like to ask again: could you PLEASE do something about enforcing the "wait 24 hours before closing your question" rule? It is VERY annoying when you see a question that has only been out for a few minutes or a couple of hours, take the time to do some research, type up an answer, and when you are about to post it you find that the question is already closed!

Worse still, more often than not questions that are closed rapidly have had poor answers chosen and entered into the glossary. If the asker would have waited 24 hours, then others would have been able to improve on (or comment on) that first suggestion, so that the quality of both the answer and the glossary would improve.

Is it not possible to at least put some kind of minimum limit on closing a question (except maybe for questions asked in error)? Say maybe 8 hours, or four hours, or something like that? Even a one-hour minimum limit would probably stop many of those overly eager beavers.

Another idea, how about warning the asker in large red letters if he tries to close the question before 24 hours, and suggesting that he wait?

Also, on the "Your question has been forwarded..." page that pops up immediately after you send a question, how about just increasing the size of the text that says "It is recommended that you wait 24 hours before selecting...", to make that phrase very large, bold, and psychedelically colored? Maybe some flashing neon lights would help to get across the concept to those who don’t seem to notice the phrase at all…


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 04:04
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
+1 Jun 12, 2006

As an asker, I always wait several days before closing a question and encourage others to do the same.

As an answerer, I stay away from those who close their questions (too) early.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:04
SITE FOUNDER
Not a rule, but a guideline Jun 12, 2006

The decision that was made was to encourage askers to wait 24 hours, but not to mandate the wait. (Just for your information.)

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:04
It is a recommendation Jun 12, 2006

It reads: "2.11 Sufficient time should be allowed for responses to be made. It is recommended that askers allow at least twenty-four (24) hours to pass before closing a question."

Most of the times, I wait for the 24 hours to go by, mostly because I want to read comments, and suggestions from other colleagues before closing the question. But sometimes, the nature of the question is such that a satifactory response can be obtained within hours. In those circumstances, I do not see the need to wait 24 hours to close the question; I close it as soon as I have received a satisfactory answer, and I am glad I have such an option.

Henry just beat me posting the same thought.

[Edited at 2006-06-12 22:17]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 04:04
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
The same here Jun 12, 2006

I keep difficult questions open long enough (though the job for which it was needed is sent to the client 23 hours ago), but sometimes there is 100% satisfying answer in first 10 minutes (and what an idiot I was not to see it myself ), in these cases I don't see any need to keep the question open.

Uldis

In those circumstances, I do not see the need to wait 24 hours to close the question; I close it as soon as I have received a satisfactory answer, and I am glad I have such an option.
[/quote]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Stuart Allsop  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 21:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good advise. Jun 13, 2006

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:

As an answerer, I stay away from those who close their questions (too) early.
Good advice, Mikhail: It seems to me that those who close their questions in a matter of minutes really don't care much for the effort that others are prepared to put into helping them, and don't take into consideration the fact that others might be able to come up with a better answer, even if a really good and valid one has already been proposed.

After all, according to the site itself, the purpose of Proz questions is not just to get a vaguely usable answer in a lighting flash, but rather to populate the glossary database with QUALITY answers for future reference. So even if you get a 100% perfectly, stunningly, amazingly fantastic answer in 10 seconds, there can STILL be valid and valuable alternatives, opinions, agrees, disagrees, and discussions that would happen, and would be very useful additions to the glossary, if only the question was left open for a while longer.

Sure, you can still comment, agree and disagree even after a question is closed, but most of the time that simply doesn't happen. Once the question is closed, people don't bother with it any more.

So I think I'll take your advice, Mikhail: from now on, I'll just put a filter on those people who think it is fun to close every question in 3 minutes flat. After all, if they are not interested in any help that I and others might be able to offer with additional opinions, then why would I even bother offering any?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Stuart Allsop  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 21:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Encouraging Jun 13, 2006

Henry wrote:

The decision that was made was to encourage askers to wait 24 hours, ...


Yes, I do remember seeing that, but clearly not everyone is getting the message: That's why I suggested firstly making the "encouragement" a little more strenuous, by highlighting it in a larger size of bold-faced text, perhaps in a more eye-catching color, and secondly adding an additional “encouragement” if someone tries to close a question too early.

Here I’m not saying that you should actually prevent them from closing it, but simply show a dialogue box saying something like “You are strongly encouraged to not closet this yet, until 24 hours…etc”, but still allowing them to do so if they wish.

As Uldis and Rosa Maria pointed out, there really are some occasions where there simply is no reason to keep it open (especially on those red-faced "Now why on earth did I ask THAT ?!?!?" questions), so just adding a final reminder that you are closing too early would still allow for those occasions, and might discourage the eager beavers.

Would something like that be very complicated to implement, Henry? It seems to me that, at least in the case of my first suggestion, this would just involve increased the font size by a couple of points and adding a boldface HTML tag to the text that says "It is recommended that you wait 24 hours before selecting..." on the dialogue box that appears right after you ask a question.

Isn't it worth a try?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 21:04
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I agree completely, Stuart Jun 13, 2006

You know those annoying messages that come up on your computer, like "Are you sure you want to permanently delete all traces of the work you've been doing for the last 7 hours?" and "Do you want to save this document before closing?" Man, I hate those messages! Does my computer think I'm stupid???

Well, guess what: Sometimes those little messages save me from disaster, because sometimes I *am* stupid--or maybe just a little inattentive.

My point? That your idea of a little "reminder" message would probably reduce the number of speed-of-light closings, while not making it impossible for an experienced ProZer to close early for a valid reason. It might annoy some people sometimes, but I think it would serve a good purpose. Its companion should be automated emails to the askers after, say, 24 or 48 hours to let them know that this might be a good time to close their questions.

One valid reason for early closing that I never see mentioned is that sometimes you're going to be away from your computer for an extended period and want to tie up loose ends first. But I think some askers just close quickly because they got their answer and can't be bothered to go back to the site the next day. I'd rather they close early than leave questions in limbo forever; but it wouldn't hurt to give them a little nudge to let them know that their colleagues really would prefer if they could wait a little longer.

If they continue to ignore it, then as Mikhail said: we can take note of those who regularly close early and not bother to answer their questions.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:04
English to French
+ ...
I don't see any reason to close a question too early Jun 13, 2006

Even if I get the satisfactory answer to my question within hours, I don't see a need to close the question as soon as I get my term. Ultimately, KudoZ is a tool to make the glossary grow so that it can become a valuable resource. But when people close questions too fast (even though they already got what they personally need), like some of you said earlier, it doesn't allow for fine-tuning the answer(s), since people don't have time to give alternative answers or comments on other answers. I mean, the very first answer you get may come from a competent person, but it may not be as good an answer as one that someone could post the day after. So what if you already found the term you were looking for? You can use that term without closing the question. There's no rush - and the glossary's quality can only be improved by waiting a day before closing the question.

I guess what some mebers don't seem to understand is that KudoZ is not meant for YOU personally to take advantage of. Many people answer questions simply for fun and it's not right to "rob" them out of an occasion to have fun answering questions. Some answer questions because they collect KudoZ so their profile shows up higher in the list (promotion), and again, by closing questions too soon, we don't allow them to do this. Sometimes, I see questions that were closed too soon, and I know the right answer to that question - and the only answers that were posted before closing it are not good - but I don't have the chance anymore to help the asker with the question. ProZ is a community and while KudoZ aims to help people when they are stuck when translating, it also has many other uses that shouldn't be overlooked - but I do feel that by closing a question too soon, people do overlook the other functions of KudoZ, which doesn't serve our community.

Also, I prefer for our glossary to be a quality one, not one that people add terms to hastily. Quality over quantity in this case, definitely.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 20:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not everyone is as astute as we Jun 13, 2006

Rosa Maria Duenas Rios wrote:
But sometimes, the nature of the question is such that a satisfactory response can be obtained within hours. In those circumstances, I do not see the need to wait 24 hours to close the question; I close it as soon as I have received a satisfactory answer, and I am glad I have such an option.


No doubt many of us feel the same. Unfortunately too many premature closers don't have our good judgement, and they close a question with an unsuitable answer, leading, as Stuart says, to poor quality in the glossary and KudoZ archives.

Now it wouldn't be at all practical or polite to implement a guideline saying "If you know what you're doing, you can close the question as soon as you get a satisfactory answer, but if you don't have a clue (even if you think you do), then wait 24 hours." But that's in effect what we're asking for if we defend our early closings on correct answers.

After all, it's not a requirement that we close the question before we can ahead and use the answer in our translation. So why not just leave it open until 24 hours have passed in order to set a good example?

[Edited at 2006-06-13 23:06]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 04:04
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Let me flog a dead horse a little more Jun 24, 2006

How about making it a requirement for anyone who has less than 10 questions and/or less than 50 answers?

Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

The Famous "24 Hour" Rule...

Advanced search






Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums