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Editing by moderators - will one moderator share with us his experience?
Thread poster: Jesús Marín Mateos

Jesús Marín Mateos  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 25, 2004

Lately I am feeling moderators are everywhere (which is obviously good). But sometimes like in http://www.proz.com/job/57417 only to add the clarification 'Potential job'. I thought all jobs were potential and there's nothing that tells you this job is more or less potential than any other. In Kudoz also I feel moderators do add explanations to the headline that sometimes are not needed.
I am sure there will be one moderator who will share with us his experience and hopefully will not amend my topic subject. By the way this posting may get changed becaused I am not sure whether it comes under technical support or not.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2004-06-26 10:56]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:06
English to German
+ ...
Potential jobs Jun 25, 2004

Hi Jesus,
I edited the headline of that job.

But sometimes like in http://www.proz.com/job/57417 only to add the clarification 'Potential job'. I thought all jobs were potential and there's nothing that tells you this job is more or less potential than any other.

You may want to check the Job Posting FAQ, particularly the section on potential jobs:


12. I don't have a specific job -- but I would like to increase my database of translators.

You may post once. Repeatedly posting calls for translators, without actual jobs, is regarded as intrusive by many professional service providers.

When posting a call for CVs for potential future projects, it is very important that you post complete information about your company and the types of jobs you tend to obtain. Your posting may be removed if such information is not provided.


Here's an example of a potential job.

Some members have complained about excessive posting of potential jobs which some consider as "fishing for CVs". Therefore, it's important to qualify such job postings accordingly.

The reason why I added "potential job" to the posting you queried was that the job poster didn't fully comply with the requirements set out in the FAQ; in fact, an earlier posting had been rejected by Jobs moderators due to insufficient contact details.

This isn't something we do for fun, or to just keep us busy - it's in the interest of transparency, and I guess that should be welcome. Am I wrong?


In Kudoz also I feel moderators do add explanations to the headline that sometimes are not needed.

Headline in KudoZ? Or are you referring to forum topic headings being edited?

I am sure there will be one moderator who will share with us his experience and hopefully will not amend my topic subject. By the way this posting may get changed becaused I am not sure whether it comes under technical support or not.

Well, I suppose it does fit somehow. The reason why forum topics are being edited (at the express request of Henry, BTW) is simple: unclear headings lead to misunderstandings, while a well-formulated heading will attract attention to the respective topic.

Hope this clarifies a few things...

Best regards, Ralf


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 10:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
What is meant by a "potential job" Jun 25, 2004

Any job may be potential to a potential bidder, but the difference between a "potential" job and a "job" from the agency's point of view is that if the end client has firmly decided to alot the job to the agency it is a "job". On the other hand, if the end client is dangling the job in front of the agency, and will decide to award it only if the agency's offer is good enough, then it's a "potential job" and the agency is supposed to indicate this in the ProZ offer.

The reason an agency might post a potential job is if they need to round up a team of willing and able translators in order to put their offer together. It's only fair for translators who might bid on such an offer to understand that it's a "potential", i.e. that they will only get the job if the agency is awarded the job by the end client. That's why the title of the offer was amended in this case; to be fair to the translators.


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Jesús Marín Mateos  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Potential??? Jun 25, 2004

Dear Ralf and Goodwords,
I'm probably confused because there is a sentence in the job posting that says 'We can assure you a volume up to 40.000 words per month to translate.'.
It is not clear to me whether this is potential or the job has been allocated to this agency and they are looking for translators. If they can assure a 40.000 words volumen I'd say it's firm.
Nevertheless for jobs and Kudoz questions (that sometimes are edited by moderators to clarify...) it is starting to feel you can't get it right and you fear when posting a question or job it will be somehow transformed by moderators' comments/amendments.
Let's see what other have to say.


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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:06
Italian to English
+ ...
the Dementors are abroad.... (sorry JK Rowling) Jun 25, 2004

No, only kidding. The moderators do a great job and they only butt in sometimes to make life easier for all of us on the site.



[Edited at 2004-06-25 16:50]


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:06
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Editing the site content Jun 25, 2004

Jesus Marin wrote:
...
Nevertheless for jobs and Kudoz questions (that sometimes are edited by moderators to clarify...) it is starting to feel you can't get it right and you fear when posting a question or job it will be somehow transformed by moderators' omments/amendments.
...


Dear JM,
I don't see it as being something about which to 'fear', as you put it. Let me try to explain why we edit some parts of the site content.


Forum: Thread titles

They appear in the Home page and moderators have the task to ensure that the title is sufficiently clear.

We get many threads with titles such as "Important" or "Trados", where what is important is explained in the posting, but the title is not sufficiently clear, or 'Trados' alone doesn't say much, in a forum having 500 threads about Trados...
For this reason, we edit the titles to improve the forum and help members to find a topic in the future.

Note: the posting content is NOT accessible for editing.


KudoZ questions: title, languages and field

The KudoZ questions cannot be edited, only their title.

The moderators and the members having over 500 KudoZ points have access to edit the Language pair and/or the Field too.
We receive many questions having incorrect or inverted languages, and we fix them.
We may also move questions from Easy to Pro or vice-versa.

The question itself (its content) is NOT accessible for editing.


Jobs: Title only

For the same reason explained above, featuring in the Home page we need occasionally to edit the title with wich the job is posted.

Example: we receive many jobs with titles such as 'Proofreader' or 'Spanish' (only!!).
This is not sufficiently informative and may cause many translators wasting time in reading something that turns out to be of no interest.

We may edit these title, as appropriate, for example "Spanish Proofreader for Legal document" or other variation, to replace the original title.

The Job content is NOT accessible for editing.



Gianfranco
ProZ.com Team

PS: the site staff can edit everything, but we do it only in case of real emergency. The "service" provided by the site moderator is sufficient to keep the site content in good shape.


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Ruxi
German to Romanian
+ ...
My opinion Jun 26, 2004

I want to write here my opinion in this field, as I have noticed some aspects too.
First of all I would like to say I understand very well and appreciate the jobs moderators are doing.Many of their gestures are necessary.
Still I think some of them are to severe and exagerate in understanding and enforcing the rules and so the sense of this site is a little bit deviating.
I am sure that Henry and other members of the founding staff are not observing us any moment with a gun, ready to shoot and I am sure they did not intent to create a kindergarden site: "Don't move, don't talk, don't say this, don't do that".
We are adult people here, with an education and can and should have the responsibilty of what we are doing and saying and controle ourselfs.
A to severe controle leads to tension in a forum, lack of humor and blockade.We are here to speak free (in a certain degree), to feel well, to express our feelings because before translators we are human beings.Now if someone keeps criticise at every word, keeps sending mails:"this word I have to change, or this title is wrong, or so", you feel like being in a kindergarden or a prison and finally give up to write anymore.
It happens in a forum unfortunately but I will not give names.
Then there is another aspect. Some things are over-ruled and over-checked and someothers are being neglected.I already told Henry about some of them.
For instance: it would be really necessary to talk in forums about the outsourcers, to have the opinions of the others. There is a matter of security for all of us.Translators are checked and checked and criticised everywhere. But the outsourcers?
Don't tell me about the blue-board! First of all not all outsourcers for translation jobs are registered there. They are only a few. Some don't even post on this site, but people have problems with them and should warn the others.
And then: we have first of all to make sure a specific outsourcer that has contacted us really exists and really works in this branch, to avoid spyers,viruses, and other security matters. Some may contact you under a false name, ask information about you and use it for some other aims, or just write mails in order to send viruses.
We have to have the possibility to ask people in a specific country (they have the possibility to check there): "Hey, do you know this outsourcer, is it really a translation agency, is it serious?"
But on the other hand every word we write here in forums are checked.
Finally another suggestion: I feel the necessity for a forum where outsourcers (agencies, editors) should also write and communicate with us.They should also be involved on this site, not only by offering jobs, but taking note of us the translators and our opinions so that we don't talk in vaine.Some permanent representatives of the outsourcers here would be wellcome to answer our questions and suggestions.
A question:
Do you moderators (and staff) ever comunicate between you, I mean like a sort of meeting, to discuss some problems and take common decisions, to learn from each other?

Well, thank you anyway and I hope it will be soon better.

Ruxi


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 12:06
SITE FOUNDER
Headlines are edited to represent content (as in a newspaper or magazine) Jun 26, 2004

This is from the forum FAQ ( http://www.proz.com/faq/forums#bb_subject_line ):

------------
ProZ.com moderators and staff may edit subject lines that are not sufficiently descriptive of the content of a post. (This is stated in the posting and reply forms, and also in the forum rules.)

Why is this done? For one, subject lines are shown on the ProZ.com front page. Misleading or incomplete subject lines keep people from efficiently finding topics of interest to them. Subject lines also become part of the summaries mailed out to those tracking topics, and they provide help in find old threads. For these reasons, it is important that subject lines be formulated to convey, as much as possible, the content of a thread.

Examples of bad subject lines:

- KudoZ (problem: too general)
- For all translators to read (problem: not representative of content)

Examples of good subject lines:

- Indemnity insurance - do I need it? Where can I get it?
- New freelancer seeks tips on translation software

Writing good subject lines is not always easy, so be creative!
------------

Not to be a curmedgeon, but I have changed the subject line of this thread (it was originally "Amendments by moderators"). Hopefully you understand that it is important for us to organize our content here so that it is most easily used by all members, now and in the future, and will not be offended.


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:06
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Moderators Jun 26, 2004

Hi Ruxi,
I see that you turn a rather critical eye into ProZ.com, which is good because that’s how the site grows and develops – thanks to ideas and contributions of hundreds of members. Also that’s how the rules of the site are being established – the general framework was designed at the beginning and more detailed rules result from our collective experience of what works and what doesn’t. The best way to avoid moderators’ intervention is to carefully read FAQ and rules (you will find them for every area of the site) – they are fairly simple and based on common sense, I believe. Also, it’s worth to remember that they have not been created just to keep moderators busy, but to make ProZ.com a useful workplace for translators and interpreters.

To address some of your specific problems:

Don't tell me about the blue-board! First of all not all outsourcers for translation jobs are registered there. They are only a few. Some don't even post on this site, but people have problems with them and should warn the others.
And then: we have first of all to make sure a specific outsourcer that has contacted us really exists and really works in this branch, to avoid spyers,viruses, and other security matters. Some may contact you under a false name, ask information about you and use it for some other aims, or just write mails in order to send viruses.
We have to have the possibility to ask people in a specific country (they have the possibility to check there): "Hey, do you know this outsourcer, is it really a translation agency, is it serious?"
But on the other hand every word we write here in forums are checked.


Well, you don’t want to know about the Blue Board, but if you ever try and read related FAQ, you would find that there is not “only a few” outsourcers there, but 3858 (as of today), they don’t have to be members of the site to be rated, you can make a new entry at any time and automatic notifications would be send to site members so they can go back and provide information for you. The objective of moderators’ involvement in BB is to make the information provided reliable, up to date and to prevent abuse. Blue Board is just one of the tools available for translators in the internet - you will find several mailing lists or directories offering similar service, but all of them have their rules, specific formats of asking/providing information, some are free and some are paid – you can choose what best suits you and it’s always recommendable to use more then one source of information on prospective clients.


Finally another suggestion: I feel the necessity for a forum where outsourcers (agencies, editors) should also write and communicate with us.They should also be involved on this site, not only by offering jobs, but taking note of us the translators and our opinions so that we don't talk in vaine.Some permanent representatives of the outsourcers here would be wellcome to answer our questions and suggestions.


It seems indeed that translators are more active forum members then outsourcers, but if you check profiles of contributors, you will find that actually many of them ARE outsourcers. They certainly are welcome on all fora!


A question:
Do you moderators (and staff) ever comunicate between you, I mean like a sort of meeting, to discuss some problems and take common decisions, to learn from each other?


All the time! We are all in permanent contact every day on-line and we meet in person once a year.

All the best,
Magda


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Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 21:36
English to Hindi
+ ...
The distinction is good Jun 26, 2004

Jesus Marin wrote:

Dear Ralf and Goodwords,
I'm probably confused because there is a sentence in the job posting that says 'We can assure you a volume up to 40.000 words per month to translate.'.
It is not clear to me whether this is potential or the job has been allocated to this agency and they are looking for translators. If they can assure a 40.000 words volumen I'd say it's firm.


Jesus, in a business, there's every possibility of a scamster and anyone who a priori states 'we can assure 40,000 words a month' can both be a genuine 'firm' seller but they might just not have the job and it could be potential... or they might just be making that sales pitch to collect translators and then see how it goes... it can be very varied.

The way the site ProZ has developed as a translator's workplace, one knows too well of the various complexities involved. Thus in that sense if the Mod team is working overtime, they only have good intentions.

Pls don't think as something where the 'freedom' of the site is curtailed or anything of that sort.

Best wishes,

Roomy Naqvy

[I'm still travelling on a research trip and if you wish to continue this communication, pls feel free to email me as I'll find that easier to track.]

[Edited at 2004-06-26 11:44]


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Jesús Marín Mateos  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Again...potential??? Jun 26, 2004

I completely agree with Ruxi.S/he's managed to express very well what I meant.
No one has addressed the fact that the job offer I was talking about was not potential (my understanding) since they were offering a 40.000 words volumen.
Finally if someone thinks people are not going to understand what 'Amendments by moderators' means that is too bad because we do understand and the fact is that people visited the posting and well before the topic was changed.
Sorry Henry but that how things look to me.
Many thanks for the efforts which haven't changed my mind.
Probably it would be good if one of you could close this 'mini' forum. It seems everything has been said.


[Edited at 2004-06-26 11:49]


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:06
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Meaning of potential Jun 26, 2004

Jesus Marin wrote:

No one has addressed the fact that the job offer I was talking about was not potential (my understanding) since they were offering a 40.000 words volumen.


Hi Jesus,
It frequently happens that outsourcers are calling for translators' CVs because they need them to BID for a job from a final client. In that sense it is "potential" - they might win the bid or not. The reason why most translators prefer to know in advance if the outsourcer has the job "in hand" or is just only trying to bid for it is that in many cases the CV are used to get the client, but actual job is then comissioned to another translator, without regard to the CVs initially submitted. It certainly was my experience. Another reason is to avoid conflict of interest: same translator could bid for the same job directly or via another, competing agency. The fact that the job has XX thousand words doesn't mean it's an actual job, not potential. In fact, such bids with translators CV are organised rather for bigger jobs then smaller. The most important point is to know if the job is actual or potential.

Hope this clarifes,
Magda

PS The above are general comments only, I'm not referring to the very job you quoted, this one was adressed by Ralf earlier.


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 13:06
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Addressing some of Ruxi's questions Jun 26, 2004

Hello

I don't know anything about the job that Jesus mentions, so I can't comment on it, but I'd like to comment on some other points.

First of all, our mission (to moderators) is to enforce the rules, remind them to those members who could have forgotten or not read them.

In forums we have work every day. Yesterday, a posting that is now in the Off Topic forum (in English, referring to British dinners), was originally posted in the Albanian forum. A posting in Spanish was posted in the Events and announcements Forum (English). Thanks to the vetting system we have been able to avoid illegal practices through the forums or public accusations. When moderators take an action, we inform the concerned member, but sometimes we also say it in public (for instance: I moved your topic...) in order to allow those who were following that thread to understand why it moved. We are confident that this will also help us in the future because members will try to post in the right place. Whenever they don't, nothing happens, nobody is going to tell them that they did something "wrong". We are going to put the posting in the right place, and if that person does it again, again nothing will happen (except that the posting is going to be moved to the right place and that the poster will be informed). As the other moderators explained, it just helps to keep the house in order.

Ruxi wrote:
Still I think some of them are to severe and exagerate in understanding and enforcing the rules and so the sense of this site is a little bit deviating.

We are asked to enforce the rules. We can't close our eyes whenever they are not respected and we see it.

We are adult people here, with an education and can and should have the responsibilty of what we are doing and saying and controle ourselfs.

Ruxi, follow the forums, you'll see people complaining of abuse in KudoZ. Recently a new link to the pair moderator was added in every single question in order to facilitate contacting the mod for any problem in that pair, and we are contacted. As I told you already, in the forums we see things that you don't see, that don't respect the forum rules. So I'm sorry to say that no, everybody doesn't behave as you say. And in these cases moderators have often to do unpleasant tasks.

Now if someone keeps criticise at every word, keeps sending mails:"this word I have to change, or this title is wrong, or so", you feel like being in a kindergarden or a prison and finally give up to write anymore.

Reading and following the rules should be enough not to receive such messages, that are not critics.

It happens in a forum unfortunately but I will not give names.
It happens in all the forums. As long as you don't follow the rules you'll receive reminders.

For instance: it would be really necessary to talk in forums about the outsourcers, to have the opinions of the others. There is a matter of security for all of us.Translators are checked and checked and criticised everywhere. But the outsourcers?

What do you do when you arrive into a foreign country? Do you expect people to behave as you did in your previous country? Do you keep driving on the right side in GB? Well, ProZ.com has its rules, you have to adapt to them. Of course the rules can be changed but you also must think that if they were created there's a reason for that. Translators are not criticized and checked here, neither are outsourcers, and it's forbidden to do so in the forums.
Don't tell me about the blue-board! First of all not all outsourcers for translation jobs are registered there. They are only a few. Some don't even post on this site, but people have problems with them and should warn the others.

As Magda already said, you can add outsourcers (with complete contact details).
We have to have the possibility to ask people in a specific country (they have the possibility to check there): "Hey, do you know this outsourcer, is it really a translation agency, is it serious?"

You can ask a member from that country in a private e-mail, can't you?

Your other points were already answered, I wish these answers help you to understand why we do what we do. In any case it's not for bothering our members.

Claudia


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Ruxi
German to Romanian
+ ...
What is happening? Jun 26, 2004

It seems you do not understand the things me and Jesus have expressed here.
You can not convince me and nobody else that a lot of rules over rules can create a natural and good communication and work.
I was saying that exageration with rules and checking do change badly the atmosphere in a forum generally and I was talking about a recent case (a repetition actually of the same things).
Nobody disobeyed rules;it is that feeling of being spyed and hunted at every word. I don't know about you, but when I write something, I feel it and at that moment I really don't care about rule nr.X but about the subject and my feelings about it.
It is the same with the blockade many pupils become in front of a too severe teacher. They can not learn anymore that stuff, they hate to go to school a.s.o.It is only wrong for somebody to be opressed like this. Believe me I have an experience of a life in country and a family where I was not allowed to do anything and I had only to forget my feelings and obey rules.
I also said that some matters on this site have to many rules, and others have none.
This blueboard (where you have even to pay for it)is one of them.
Why can't we talk free our problems? People read more the forums than the blueboard and besides sending a mails to somebody is not a solution. He may not know, or answer.The more you ask, the better you protect your safety.
KudoZ is another example of matter which is not controled.
Moderators do not have to be for a language,a peer, or have a permanent link.
There are not more than 20-30 questions in a day and if you just keep an eye once at a few hours, passing over the questions you can have an image of what is happening.
People complain because there are a lot of problems on Kudoz and moderators do not come in. They are mostly on forums or ast their own translations.
I know it is a lot of work and you have some other jobs to do and be payed for them, but if you decided to organize the site like this, and you have decided to be moderators there are their risks.
I don't want to offend anyone, I am sorry. But answers like all of you give "see rule number X" make me think to robots.
I repeat what I said, we do not need such severe rules on some matters (like the forums), we are adults, educated and responsible.We have to respect each other and have good manners.It is enough for a communication in a forum.
I must also say a positive fact, that there are so many forums where moderators are very kind and the atmosphere very pleasant.You find there humor and free discussions.
But I said that there are also moderators who are to severe and they disobey theirselfs rules.The atmosphere in such forums is hard and grey and hostile.This is why I have asked about you having change of experience.
Moderators do not have to intervene all the time.It is enough they vet the postings before they are put in.If the tone is too violent, or the content disrespectfull they have to tell it to the writer.That's all. Then people must edit theirselfs their postings. It happended to me once. It was not fair related to the subject, but I disobeyed a rule and had to edit my posting.Moderators are not supposed to modify posters or move them without the agree of the writer.It disobeyes the international rule of privacy of messages.
Thank you all for you efforts, but please, please don't become severe teachers, or even worse, robots.Be friendly and human and sometimes close an eye for the sake of the atmosphere on the site.
Also please consider my suggestions. They may help too.


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:06
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Some comments and general considerations Jun 26, 2004

Dear Ruxi,
see below some comments about your latest posting, closed by some more general considerations about the site choices to moderate some services.



Ruxi wrote:
...
I also said that some matters on this site have to many rules, and others have none. This blueboard (where you have even to pay for it) is one of them.
Why can't we talk free our problems? People read more the forums than the blueboard and besides sending a mails to somebody is not a solution. He may not know, or answer.The more you ask, the better you protect your safety.
...


Discussions in the forum about specific agencies are not allowed for legal reasons.
The BlueBoard format is designed to limit the risks.
Also, the Blue Board is accessible to all members. See the specific FAQ pages for more details.
It is not entirely true that it is necessary to pay. Access is granted using BrowniZ points, awarded in exchange for contributions to the site, and they are free.



Ruxi wrote:
...
KudoZ is another example of matter which is not controled.
Moderators do not have to be for a language,a peer, or have a permanent link.
There are not more than 20-30 questions in a day and if you just keep an eye once at a few hours, passing over the questions you can have an image of what is happening.
People complain because there are a lot of problems on KudoZ and moderators do not come in. They are mostly on forums or ast their own translations.


Actually, we have between 22,000 and 26,000 questions per month (figures valid for the last months), equivalent to between 700 and 850 questions per day, many days we go over 1000 KudoZ questions, and not 20-30.

Moderators do not check them all, in real time, but they rely on the users cooperation, and are available to be contacted, by any member noticing an infringement of the existing rules.
See link available in every KudoZ page to know about the KudoZ rules or guidelines. Again, most of them are pure common sense, but we had to publish them, and refer to them, for the cases when some members, a few cases over many thousand of users, forget to use their common sense...



Ruxi wrote:
...
Moderators are not supposed to modify posters or move them without the agree of the writer. It disobeyes the international rule of privacy of messages.
...


As pointed out earlier, Moderators cannot edit postings, only the titles, and yes, we move the threads, if they are posted in the wrong forum. This is not against the international rules of privacy (nothing to do with privacy, it is about keeping our house in order.




GENERAL COSNIDERATIONS ABOUT THE MODERATOR'S TASK

The site is moderated, for a deliberate choice, because it is vast, with thousands of people converging and interacting here. The team of moderators makes every possible effort to maintain it in order, professional and welcoming. They do it in their spare time, as a service to all other members.

The 'rules', about which you complain of being too many and too severe, are mostly common sense, and they are enforced not to repress anyone, but to keep the atmosphere of the site friendly.
You benefit from the existence of such rules, when you find the forum well organized, on topic, and always within the boundaries of polite and professional exchanges.

Note that the moderators are human and fallible, often pressed for time, and may make judgement mistakes.
The moderators have lively and frequent discussions amongst themselves, exchanging opinions and sharing problems. In case of mistakes, the whole team tries to learn the lesson.

In the past, mistakes have been made, including 'overmoderating' or, in other cases, letting a problem slip through, and we were wrong on the side of 'undermoderating'. Clearly, it is extremely difficult to be always balanced, but overall, in my opinion, the general result is a balanced action, and the results demonstrate it.
The forum traffic is about 7,000-8,000 postings per month, or 220-250 per day, and 99% of them are within the rules, not requiring any kind of intervention from the moderators.


In any case, the site prides itself to listen to its users.

If you have a complaint about a specific rule, if you find it wrong or unfair, you are welcome to start a focused discussion about it, mentioning if possible a specific case or incident that you want to see discussed.

If you have a complaint about a moderator, you may prefer to contact privately the site support desk, and you will receive all our attention.


Gianfranco
ProZ.com Team


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