More options for areas of expertise in our profiles
Thread poster: Niraja Nanjundan
Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:25
German to English
Jun 25, 2007

Hi,

I find the areas of expertise that we can select to show on our profiles rather limited and would like to suggest having an empty field where we can enter further areas of specialisation.

For example, I have been doing translations in the area of road construction and road safety for the past two years and would like to show it as a specialised area on my profile. However, I find neither "Construction/Civil Engineering" nor "Automotive/Cars and Trucks" really suitable. Only about four areas are covered under the "Medical" category, i.e. cardiology and dentistry are included, but not areas such as gynaecology or opthalmology.

Thanks in advance for any comments or further suggestions.

Best regards,
Niraja


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 04:55
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
A very good suggestion! Jun 25, 2007

I agree to all what you say.

It would really be a very good improvement in the jobs area:

Help the outsourcer to find the expert s/he needs.

Mats Wiman


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Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 19:55
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Another point of view... Jun 25, 2007

Now, don't get me wrong, Niraja, I see exactly where you're coming from with this and why it would be a good suggestion. But let me offer another point of view from my short-lived, but pretty fruitful, experience with outsourcers on ProZ. For starters, I have often seen that many of them do not really know exactly what kind of experts they need. Chemistry-intensive projects are posted as medical projects because they are related to pharmaceuticals, project managers (some) sometimes require extensive field-specific background for documents of a general scientific nature that any translating engineer with a minor grasp on physics could handle perfectly, documents that contain pretty specific financial terminology are posted as general business projects, etc. This even happens all the time in KudoZ (which is, admittedly, another issue).
Now, I can understand the reason for this. Someone who, for instance, may have studied translation and music and works as a project manager is not likely to understand just how specific or not a document dealing with op-amps is. Just like someone who studied engineering and translation is probably not going to understand the difference regarding just what level of expertise it takes to translate a biography on Mozart vs. a 12-tone theory analysis of something by Webern. So they just have a general idea instead. Which is not the best solution in the world, but it's how the ProZ market, at least from my perspective, often operates.
Thus, getting really specific, in my opinion, would end up being more limiting than helpful. I understand that you have this particular "road construction and safety" field that you would like to exploit, and it honestly makes perfect sense, but I think if everyone starts posting their own extremely specific subcategories, it would end up being more difficult for the outsourcer to "find the experts that they need" (to quote Mats).
My line of thought is that our profile description area and our individual messages to outsourcers are where we can make up for this lack of specificity. It would also be nice if all outsourcers were a little more specific about their projects (a "general business letter" than ends up being a legal injunction can be a headache in a number of ways), but, well, that one's a little harder to enforce.

[Edited at 2007-06-25 07:32]


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Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:55
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
fill-in-the-blank Jun 25, 2007

Niraja Nanjundan wrote:

I find the areas of expertise that we can select to show on our profiles rather limited and would like to suggest having an empty field where we can enter further areas of specialisation.



I agree. I made this same suggestion several months ago in the thread
"Let's improve...3 things I would do if I were running ProZ.com" .


Michele Fauble wrote
Tweak the "specializes in" categories allowing a "fill in the blank" category be added to the specialization options.


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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:25
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you very much.... Jun 25, 2007

....all of you, for the replies so far.

Michele Fauble wrote:

I agree. I made this same suggestion several months ago in the thread
"Let's improve...3 things I would do if I were running ProZ.com" .


Sorry, Michele, I seem to have missed that one.



[Edited at 2007-06-25 08:44]


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Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:55
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
A good suggestion Jun 25, 2007

Niraja Nanjundan wrote:


Michele Fauble wrote:

I agree. I made this same suggestion several months ago in the thread
"Let's improve...3 things I would do if I were running ProZ.com" .


Sorry, Michele, I seem to have missed that one.



[Edited at 2007-06-25 08:44]


No need to be sorry. There were many good suggestions for improvements in that thread, and several of them have been implemented. I just wanted to say that I agree with your suggestion and am still waiting for it to be implemented.


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 21:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Use the free-form areas in your profile Jun 25, 2007

Marcelo Silveyra wrote:

Now, don't get me wrong, Niraja, I see exactly where you're coming from with this and why it would be a good suggestion. But let me offer another point of view from my short-lived, but pretty fruitful, experience with outsourcers on ProZ. For starters, I have often seen that many of them do not really know exactly what kind of experts they need.

Chemistry-intensive projects are posted as medical projects because they are related to pharmaceuticals, project managers (some) sometimes require extensive field-specific background for documents of a general scientific nature that any translating engineer with a minor grasp on physics could handle perfectly, documents that contain pretty specific financial terminology are posted as general business projects, etc. This even happens all the time in KudoZ (which is, admittedly, another issue).

Now, I can understand the reason for this. Someone who, for instance, may have studied translation and music and works as a project manager is not likely to understand just how specific or not a document dealing with op-amps is. Just like someone who studied engineering and translation is probably not going to understand the difference regarding just what level of expertise it takes to translate a biography on Mozart vs. a 12-tone theory analysis of something by Webern. So they just have a general idea instead. Which is not the best solution in the world, but it's how the ProZ market, at least from my perspective, often operates.

Thus, getting really specific, in my opinion, would end up being more limiting than helpful. I understand that you have this particular "road construction and safety" field that you would like to exploit, and it honestly makes perfect sense, but I think if everyone starts posting their own extremely specific subcategories, it would end up being more difficult for the outsourcer to "find the experts that they need" (to quote Mats).

My line of thought is that our profile description area and our individual messages to outsourcers are where we can make up for this lack of specificity. It would also be nice if all outsourcers were a little more specific about their projects (a "general business letter" than ends up being a legal injunction can be a headache in a number of ways).


I was going to edit this down to the main points, but really, everything which Marcelo has written here is important, and is worth re-reading and taking into consideration.

To summarize, projects are often mis-classified, or they combine fields in a way that makes it difficult to label the subject accurately or usefully.

Moreover, even if more and more breakdowns and specialized fields were added to the "expertise" section, it would be impossible to add the virtual infinity of categories that might serve every user (and the list would become unworkably long). But this is not necessary, because you can list all the fields and areas that you want to in the "about me" and "keywords" sections of your profile.

ProZ translators' pages are extremely well-indexed on Google, and your profile is likely to come out near the top for anyone searching for a translator in your languages and any particular areas of expertise which you have stated anywhere on your profile.


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