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ProZ.com user vs ProZ.com member
Thread poster: dieter haake

dieter haake  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 03:38
Italian to German
+ ...
Jan 28, 2006

I just noticed that I am no longer a Proz member but "only" a Proz user
as it shows in the "User Info" clicking "join" under my name:

Promotional features (for freelancers interested in meeting new clients and colleagues) Free User Partial "Community" Member Partial "Jobs" Member FULL Member

What is this difference for?
Is it a new strategy to make me pay
or to make me feel inferior ...?
I'm here since 5 (!) years,
I'm active on proz
etc etc ...
and I'm a "user" of the site and not a "member"?

Someone who knows what's happening
or has this always been so
and the "problem" doesn't exist?

Thanks

didi

www.kaerntenservice.at




[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-01-28 19:09]


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Gianni Pastore  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:38
Member (2007)
English to Italian
Uh... Jan 28, 2006

...didn't notice that myself! What's going on folks?

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dieter haake  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 03:38
Italian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
OK - I had thought ... Jan 28, 2006

... that we were all (paying and not paying)
members


didi


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Joanna Krahelska
Local time: 03:38
Polish to English
+ ...
there is no problem, but... Jan 28, 2006

hi didi,
this is more or less what I expected after the "campaign" of the end of 2005
other niceties are in store, I'm afraid
as I see it, this is definitely a way of making us pay for membership; whether one actually does pay or not depends on individual calculations of course - to me, the former "platinum membership" never seemed really cost-effective but I might decide to pay for it one day, who knows (I happen to be a compulsive online shopper, what difference does it make if I buy another thing I don't really need? )
as regards making us feel inferior, well that, too, depends - this time on one's attitude
there's been quite a discussion during the campaign, people saying that there ain't no such thing as a free lunch and one should pay for whatever one actually uses
of course, the question is which features of the site you use - and how much you contribute for others to use for free...
anyway, the change to "user" is definitely unpleasant and I wonder if it was really necessary; my first reaction to it was, OK, forget it, there are other nice places to visit
but then again, it is hardly often that I visit this site anyway, just don't like the look of the word "user"
oh, and it has not always been like this, the "user" stuff etc. is a novelty...
the best, jk


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Dees  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:38
English to French
+ ...
"User Info" Jan 28, 2006

Hi,

Whether you're a Platinum member or not, your info box (when signed in) says "User Info". That's what I have here (I'm a Platinum member).

Or did I misunderstand your question?

Greetings,
Mitsuko


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 21:38
Member
Spanish
+ ...
? Jan 28, 2006

Mitsuko Moine wrote:

Hi,

Whether you're a Platinum member or not, your info box (when signed in) says "User Info". That's what I have here (I'm a Platinum member).

Or did I misunderstand your question?

Greetings,
Mitsuko


I was gonna ask the same thing. I don't see anything about being a member or a user. If you see on the left side of the screen you can see the new 'members' and most of them are not Platinum.


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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 05:38
English to Russian
I am very sorry. Jan 28, 2006

dieter haake wrote: I just noticed that I am no longer a Proz member but "only" a Proz user


Proz already streamed us as Kudoz askers into masters and slaves based only on pay/free membership, absolutely irrespective of the quality of the questions they ask.

I contribute to Proz both paying and by making suggestions for improvements, many of them have been implemented, the thing is that I do not know which type of support is more valuable to the existence and well-being of Proz.

I regard this step as a very negative sign. Such attempts to boost the sites efficiency are quite clumsy and I *have* seen other Internet projects, mainly for IT folks, which started their way to oblivion exactly this way.

Stay well!

Full-blown komplete kool member
Aleksandr O.


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Joanna Krahelska
Local time: 03:38
Polish to English
+ ...
Platinum is gone Jan 28, 2006

Caliaa wrote:

you see on the left side of the screen you can see the new 'members' and most of them are not Platinum.


mind you, there's no more "platinum"
it's either "members" or "users" and that's the point
the best, jk


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dieter haake  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 03:38
Italian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I was not clear – sorry Jan 28, 2006

in my info-box (when signed in)
I click Join,
on the following page I click Features
and on that page there is:
Feature Comparison:
Promotional features (for freelancers interested in meeting new clients and colleagues)
Free User * Partial "Community" Member * Partial "Jobs" Member * FULL Member

didi


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:38
SITE FOUNDER
Why we are reserving use of the term "member" for those with subscriptions Jan 28, 2006

dieter haake wrote:

I just noticed that I am no longer a Proz member but "only" a Proz user as it shows in the "User Info" clicking "join" under my name... Is it a new strategy to make me pay or to make me feel inferior ...?

No. Certainly, Dieter, we would like to have you as a full paying member of ProZ.com--please consider it. But our objective in limiting our use of the term "member" to those with paid subscriptions is neither to force you to do anything, nor to make you feel inferior--it is to clear up what appears to be a common misunderstanding.

Until last year, I had assumed that most active site users understood that there are significant costs involved in running this site, and that the way these costs are being met is through membership subscriptions. It turns out that many did not, and do not, understand these things. Some still think that either the site costs almost nothing to run, or that income comes from sources other than membership fees (advertising, TRADOS, etc.)

We want to make clear the ProZ.com servers, programming, bandwidth--all of these things cost money, and that money comes from members. This means that if you use the site on an ongoing basis for any purpose (including answering KudoZ questions), but do not pay a membership fee, your use of the site is being subsidized by members. I believe that it is in the interest of all parties concerned--members, site users and ProZ.com (the company)--that this situation be communicated clearly.

In short, being a member of ProZ.com involves sharing costs. And if you do not share costs, you are not a member.
I'm here since 5 (!) years, I'm active on proz etc etc ... and I'm a "user" of the site and not a "member"?

Terminologically speaking, that is correct. But to correct your impression (you said "only" a user), this does not mean you are regarded as inferior. Undoubtedly, your contributions have been appreciated greatly by members of the site (6260 KudoZ points means you have helped a lot of people!). Furthermore, you are welcome to continue using the site as you have up to now. (If this were not the case, we would change our policies.) But I believe that those who make the site possible deserve both appreciation and rewards, and reserving the term "members" for them strikes me as both appropriate and clear.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:38
SITE FOUNDER
Right, Dieter Jan 28, 2006

dieter haake wrote:

OK - I had thought ...
... that we were all (paying and not paying) members

Yes, we did not begin limiting the use of the term "member" to those with paid subscriptions until late last summer. The old terminology still appears in a number of places throughout the site, but will be phased out over time.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:38
SITE FOUNDER
Additional clarifications Jan 28, 2006

Caliaa wrote:
you see on the left side of the screen you can see the new 'members' and most of them are not Platinum.

This is not correct. Those listed in the "welcome new members" box have all taken out paid membership subscriptions, i.e. platinum subscriptions.
Joanna Krahelska wrote:
mind you, there's no more "platinum"
it's either "members" or "users" and that's the point

Right.


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Dees  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:38
English to French
+ ...
i see! Jan 28, 2006

Thanks Didi for the clarification!

Yes, it would be better indeed to read free/paid membership. All registered people, whether they are Platinum or non-Platinum, are users (of the website) and members (of the ProZ community).

Greetings,
Mitsuko

EDIT: I had not seen all the new messages before posting my message. Thank you for the clarification, Henry!


[Edited at 2006-01-28 19:24]


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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:38
German to English
+ ...
Seems fair to me Jan 28, 2006

I have no problem with ProZ giving paying members (or paying users, whatever) more privileges. Bandwidth is not free, nor are the good people who staff the ProZ office(s?) and work hard to develop great new features for us.

The site is in the United States, and that's how it is there. We have a saying: "TANSTAFL" - There Ain't No Such Thing As a Free Lunch, so the fact that one can use quite a few features for nothing even if one is a non-paying user is quite nice. I studied this site for 3 months last fall and decided I liked what I saw and was willing to pay for the features offered to paying members only. Nobody "forced" me to do anything. I think 10 Euros a month is a very modest membership fee, especially for the benefits I feel I'm getting.

In Germany, for example, I am a member of the IHK (roughly the Chamber of Commerce), but not by choice. I have to pay an annual membership fee, even if I'm not interested in their boring monthly magazine or never use their library, or any services at all. Now I call THAT "being forced", because I can't do a thing about it.

If people want to complain about the changes, I would suggest comparing ProZ with other translators' sites. Not one (that I have come across) is as good as this one, and most are inferior in every way, i.e. no or far fewer features, and/or you have to pay to get any information at all about a job offer, etc. It's often difficult to make changes mid-stream, just ask translators who ask low rates because they lack experience, then start raising their prices as they grow in experience and expertise. They have to find new clients and perhaps drop the old ones who do not want to honor or acknowledge that growth with commensurate remuneration. As a site grows, and becomes more successful, some folks who don't want to grow with it must be left behind. Then so be it.

It might be harder to accept the new changes if I had been a valued user/member for several years, but I haven't even noticed any difference. So before anyone gets upset for what they're not getting (anymore), please consider what you are still getting for nothing. Plus a lot of wonderful support from colleagues all over the world, and that's priceless.


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