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Can't we do anything about people not closing questions?
Thread poster: Inga Jakobi

Inga Jakobi  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:19
Member (2006)
Chinese to German
+ ...
Apr 23, 2007

Hi,
I know that some people may think this suggestion could only be made by someone hunting KudoZ-points, but this is not the case. I am wondering if there wouldn't be any possibilty to act against members not closing questions. IMO, it is no problem, when someone forgets to close one single question or maybe two (despite receiving the reminders), but I find it annoying when some people leave three or more questions open. This is not a question of Kudoz-points, because in case you got enough agrees, you get the points anyway, but I think that those answering spend a certain amount of time on answering and that those benefiting from this could also spend the time to grade the answer.
One suggestion would be to force the one not having closed a certain number of questions for a certain time to close them by disabling his function to ask new questions.
Maybe I am too strict, but I would be interested in what others think.
Thanks for any comments!
Inga


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Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 17:19
English to Indonesian
+ ...
temporarily ban them Apr 23, 2007

... from asking other kudoz questions if they have not closed maximum of, say, five questions?

[Edited at 2007-04-23 09:48]

[Edited at 2007-04-23 11:10]


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:19
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Send a message from the Proz team Apr 23, 2007

I do not know the Proz rules inside out, but is there an existing Rule about this? If there isn't a rule then it seems rather extreme to ban someone from not closing a question, as he/she is not transgressing any existing rule.

It would be more productive to politely send an email to the "offender" asking them why they fail to close questions.

If it is a case of one or two individuals, it is hardly worth getting worried about.

We all spend a great deal of time researching queries, but that's the reason I joined..

The Proz team should take this on board, if it is a general problem.


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:19
English to Arabic
+ ...
Agree... Apr 23, 2007

They should be banned from asking further questions.

And on a related topic, askers should not be allowed to close questions without grading AND selecting "Answer found elsewhere" unless they specify WHAT that answer is that they found.


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 07:19
SITE STAFF
There is a limit Apr 23, 2007

When a KudoZ question is posted, the following text is shown below the daily/weekly limits:

"In addition, askers with more than 10 questions that have been open for more than a week are asked to close their questions before asking new ones."

This means that a site user who has 10 or more questions that have valid answers and that have been open for at least a week will not be able to ask further questions until some of these old questions are closed.

Regards,
Enrique


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Inga Jakobi  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:19
Member (2006)
Chinese to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I didn't know there was a limit Apr 23, 2007

Dear Enrique,

Enrique wrote:

This means that a site user who has 10 or more questions that have valid answers and that have been open for at least a week will not be able to ask further questions until some of these old questions are closed.

Regards,
Enrique


thanks for this information! I didn't know that a limit already existed.
Inga


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Filter the user Apr 23, 2007

After experiencing a user who didn't close a question I used my personal time to answer, I chose the filter user option on the dashboard. As I understand it, I'll no longer receive Kudoz questions sent in by that user.
It's a way to weed out people who waste my time.


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Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 11:19
English to Swedish
+ ...
Limit doesn't help Apr 23, 2007

Hi all,

Thanks for taking up this very relevant issue.

I think the "10 questions limit" isn't effective against those who just register to Proz in order to ask occasional questions once in a while. Or those non-members who aren't registered with Proz at all!

Those kudoz questions tend to become "flying Dutchmen" and abandoned in all eternity. As I write, there are questions dating back all the way to 2002.

Even e-mailing the user might not be efficient, since they probably have changed address in the meantime.

/Jan


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Nicholas Ferreira  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Vote for past entries > Auto-grading Apr 23, 2007

What happens when people don't know that they should grade / how to grade / why to grade, they just forget about it.

But the auto-grade feature is already in place, whereby an answer with 2+ agrees is automatically selected after a period of time (2 weeks it seems), if the asker does not take any action.

Sometimes there is an answer out there with just one agree, so going through the older KudoZ list and finding open questions and giving agrees is a good way to have those questions closed automatically, and a nice service to the ProZ.com community. People have done it for me, and I am quite grateful. I wish I could have been a little more contributive in this regard myself.


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Inga Jakobi  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:19
Member (2006)
Chinese to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Auto-grading is fine, but how can askers simply forget Apr 23, 2007

Hi Nicholas,

Nicholas Ferreira wrote:

But the auto-grade feature is already in place, whereby an answer with 2+ agrees is automatically selected after a period of time (2 weeks it seems), if the asker does not take any action.


yes, you are right, this is already an advantage, and I benefitted from someone giving me an agree also.
But I just think it is not fair from the askers simply to forget about the questions, especially because they receive the reminders to grade.


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xxxamj_services  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:19
stricter rules? Apr 23, 2007

Thanks for bringing this up.

I had the same problem a few times and still have questions open! It's rather frustrating to see that all your time and nerve cells invested in trying to help someone is going down the drain!

I agree with Nesrin: they should be banned from asking further questions and on a related topic, askers should not be allowed to close questions without grading AND selecting "Answer found elsewhere" unless they specify WHAT that answer is that they found. However, I still think there are ways to get around the rules. Askers with open questions could post questions under different fields/topics.

What Jan and Nicholas say it's specially true with non-registered site users. They could be better instructed on how/why to grade questions and should only be allowed to post auto-grade feature questions, so that fellow translators would pay special attention when they see the "auto-grade feature" on, and can help each other out.

Although this feature is not really true to the idea of choosing the best definition/translation according to your context or learning with further comments from other translators. Some questions get very polemic and in the end they would be decided upon automatically! Would it be possible to submit the open question to a group of moderators who would try to choose the best possible answer or to post it in a forum of "open questions, please vote" specially created for that purpose?

Regards,
A.


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Stuart Allsop  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 07:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Good reasons.... Apr 24, 2007

There actually are a very few good reasons for NOT closing question. Personally, I have a couple of questions open that I will not close, since NONE of the answers proposed was helpful, or where they were ALL equally helpful.

I am not going to be rude and close those questions, just for the sake of closing them, with the typical (and rather insulting, if you ask me) "Answer found elsewhere". Nor am I going to insult 5 people who were equally helpful, by awarding points to a sixth person who did no more nor less than the other five. Neither will I select an answer that has no merit, just to close the question. It is quite possible that, eventually, someone WILL come along with the right answer, at which point I WILL close the question, and enter the answer into the data base, which is the entire point of Proz.com anyway. Why should I close a question if there are no useful answers? What purpose does that serve?

I have also seen questions left open because the question was simply a request for comments, or asking for help with usage in several countries or dialects. If I ask for comments on how an English word is used in England, Australia, the USA, South Africa and India, and I get one response from a translator in each country with a valid answer for that country, then which one should get the points? Obviously, all of them should. They are all equally helpful, and equally correct. So the question stays open. Unless Proz.com allows us to share out points among several answers, then those questions CANNOT be closed.

I'm sorry, but threatening to "ban" a member if he won't close some question or other shows considerable disdain for the collaborative purpose of Proz.com. It isn't about whether or not questions are open or closed. It is about being helpful to fellow translators. If a question has to stay open because all of the answers were equally helpful, then that's just too bad. I'm sure that everyone who took the time to answer realizes that no single answer was more helpful than any other, and they can accept that and move on with their lives. Personally I have answered quite a few questions that have never been closed, and that doesn’t bother me in the least. I know that I was helpful, the asker knows that I was helpful, and that’s all that matters. If the asker doesn’t close the question, then I assume that either they had a good reason for doing so, or that they forgot, or that they are rude. Either way, it’s not my problem. It’s no skin off my nose of the question stays open forever.

Now, having said that, it that does NOT mean that I'm not in favor of encouraging people to close questions! Please don't misunderstand me! On the contrary, I mostly certainly do want to see EVERYONE close as many questions as they possibly can! But at the same time, I do recognize that there really are valid reasons why some questions do not deserve to be closed.

As Enrique has pointed out, the current system is working: Once you hit the limit of 10 open questions, then you HAVE to close something if you want to ask another question. Before that rule was put in place, we would often see people with dozens of open questions (and occasionally even hundreds, if memory serves me well!) That is now a thing of the past, thanks to this rule. A lot of people don’t like the way that rule works (myself among them), but it is there, and it does work fairly well.

And if you really can’t stand to see an open question, if it bothers you that much, then just go ahead and add an “agree” to the answer that YOU think is best. If one other person does the same at some point in time, then that question will get closed AUTOMATICALLY, based solely on two agrees. End of problem!

I do that myself occasionally, when I have a bit of spare time: If I happen to notice that someone has a lot of questions open, then I take a look at all of their open questions to see if I can help to close them, by adding an agree. Sometimes I can. Sometimes not.

Now, one thing that I would like to see is some way of getting to the open questions of unregistered users. Every now and then I come across some inconsiderate non-member who has piled up lots of questions, but there is currently no way to actually get to those questions, since there is no profile for unregistered users! You can see their name, but there is no profile to go to, to look at their questions. So maybe you can see that they have 57 open questions, but you cannot find out what those questions are, so you cannot help to close them.

I would like to see some method of getting to those questions.


Something that bothers me far more than having a dozen open questions, is people who close their questions too fast! I can’t count the number of times that I’ve seen a question come up, taken the time to read it, research it, and type up an answer, but before I even finished reading it, the asker had already closed it! To me, that is far more rude than waiting a week to close a question.

I wish there was a barrier in Proz that PREVENTED people from closing questions until at least 24 hours has elapsed. It is very annoying to see newbies come along, ask a question and close it three minutes later, with the very first answer that came along, especially when you KNOW that the answer is just plain wrong.

Yes, there is a “suggestion” given in tiny print at the bottom of the last screen you get when you ask a question, that says you should wait 24 hours before closing, but that message clearly isn’t getting through to a lot of people. I would dearly love to see it enforced.

Sure, there are some problems with open questions, but overall the system works. It can be improved, I’m sure, but not by banning people who have good reasons to leave questions open. Proz.com is not a chat room where “naughty” members get banned at the drop of a hat. It is a place for professional translators to help each other, and to build a common, detailed, high-quality data base of great answers to tough questions.


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Inga Jakobi  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:19
Member (2006)
Chinese to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I wouldn't ban them Apr 24, 2007

Hi Stuart,

thank you very much for your comment, IMO you pointed out a lot of good views here.

Stuart Allsop wrote:

There actually are a very few good reasons for NOT closing question. Personally, I have a couple of questions open that I will not close, since NONE of the answers proposed was helpful, or where they were ALL equally helpful.

I am not going to be rude and close those questions, just for the sake of closing them, with the typical (and rather insulting, if you ask me) "Answer found elsewhere". Nor am I going to insult 5 people who were equally helpful, by awarding points to a sixth person who did no more nor less than the other five. Neither will I select an answer that has no merit, just to close the question. It is quite possible that, eventually, someone WILL come along with the right answer, at which point I WILL close the question, and enter the answer into the data base, which is the entire point of Proz.com anyway. Why should I close a question if there are no useful answers? What purpose does that serve?



For me, closing a question without grading is not insulting, I've done it a few times also, and never intended to be rude to one of the answerers, but I can also understand, that maybe some do take it like that. Maybe sharing points would be the best way to handle those questions where all answers are equally right.

Stuart Allsop wrote:

I have also seen questions left open because the question was simply a request for comments, or asking for help with usage in several countries or dialects. If I ask for comments on how an English word is used in England, Australia, the USA, South Africa and India, and I get one response from a translator in each country with a valid answer for that country, then which one should get the points? Obviously, all of them should. They are all equally helpful, and equally correct. So the question stays open. Unless Proz.com allows us to share out points among several answers, then those questions CANNOT be closed.



Again it should be sharing points. On the other hand, this kind of answers wouldn't mak up a good entry in the database. But in my opinion, it is not just about building a database and I fully support this kind of questions, and the best way to close them would be sharing points, too.

Stuart Allsop wrote:

I'm sorry, but threatening to "ban" a member if he won't close some question or other shows considerable disdain for the collaborative purpose of Proz.com. It isn't about whether or not questions are open or closed. It is about being helpful to fellow translators.



I totally agree, but still I think in most cases, closing a question would be possible and only take 1 minute, but as you wrote further, you would also appreciate people closing as much questions as possible.

Stuart Allsop wrote:

Something that bothers me far more than having a dozen open questions, is people who close their questions too fast! I can’t count the number of times that I’ve seen a question come up, taken the time to read it, research it, and type up an answer, but before I even finished reading it, the asker had already closed it! To me, that is far more rude than waiting a week to close a question.



Very good point! This is also very annoying and probably happened to the majority of us. I myself remember that I once closed a question more or less immediately, as I was only needing a confirmation, but I usually wouldn't do so. A few days ago, I was also doing some research for an answer and when having typed my version, the question was closed and the very first answer chosen. Maybe it would even be helpful for those asking if they were forced to wait because they might get a better answer then.

Thanks again for your time to share your view!

Inga


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Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 11:19
English to Swedish
+ ...
Legitimate open questions drown among "flying dutchmen" Apr 24, 2007

Stuart Allsop wrote:
If a question has to stay open because all of the answers were equally helpful, then that's just too bad. I'm sure that everyone who took the time to answer realizes that no single answer was more helpful than any other, and they can accept that and move on with their lives. Personally I have answered quite a few questions that have never been closed, and that doesn’t bother me in the least. I know that I was helpful, the asker knows that I was helpful, and that’s all that matters. If the asker doesn’t close the question, then I assume that either they had a good reason for doing so, or that they forgot, or that they are rude. Either way, it’s not my problem. It’s no skin off my nose of the question stays open forever.


Hi Stuart and all,

I disagree with this argument. If you've solved your issue, either with or without help from the answers, there's no point leaving it open in eternity.

By doing this, you actually drown legitimate open questions that haven't been solved yet. From an anwerer's point of view, it makes the Kudoz interface cluttered and overbearing to see hundreds of old questions listed, where maybe 90% are solved and abandoned, and the remaining 10% deliberately left open because the asker genuinely still needs a better answer.

Waiting for more agrees is also unproductive in many "small" language pairs where there sometimes are only an handful active Proz users specialized in the subject.


/Jan

[Edited at 2007-04-24 10:44]


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xxxamj_services  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:19
do it for the data base Apr 24, 2007

Hi all,

I think Stuart has added many important issues to our concern here.

Our purpose is "to build a common, detailed, high-quality data base of great answers to tough questions", questions we run into all the time and that no other online glossaries/dictionaries can help us with. That's what we should always keep in mind when proposing an answer. Not just trying to get the points, but rather do it seriously and professionally.

Unfortunately, I still don't agree with leaving questions open and forgotten, even though "NONE of the answers proposed was helpful or they were ALL equally helpful". May be the answers proposed were not helpful to you, in your context, whatever, but they could be to other people reading your questions in the future!

Getting or not the points is not the main issue here, but rather to know what happened. You could write a note, thanking people for collaborating with you, expressing your thoughts... And when later someone else comes across the same term, it would be very useful to read "All the answers were very helpful and they all match my translation" or "Sorry, but none of the answers seem to fit in my context" ... or something like that... There might be valid reasons why some questions do not deserve to be closed, but I also think we should do it, even without grading if you think everybody deserves the points! There should be a valid explanation entered by the asker. And when the question is later closed automatically due to peer agreement, your comment will remain.

How many times have we searched the Proz.com data base and chose a term that was not the answer selected by the asker? All the information we can enter will in the future help ourselves and none but ourselves. I think that's what we should keep in mind.

A.


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