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The Proz quote system: Do new members have a chance?
Thread poster: Sharon Das

Sharon Das  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:10
French to English
+ ...
Oct 23, 2006

Hello,
I've been wondering if many new Proz members (ie. those who haven't yet built up the Kudoz points necessary to go to the top of the list) are finding jobs by submitting quotes. Or, at least in the early days, is Proz mostly a way to access agencies/ companies. and to get really good advice? I'd also appreciate any comments from agencies/outsourcers on how they view the quote lists they receive.
Thank You


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Dominique Fiedler
Local time: 23:10
English to German
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Yes, new members have a chance. Oct 23, 2006

Sharon Bhagwan wrote:

Hello,
I've been wondering if many new Proz members (ie. those who haven't yet built up the Kudoz points necessary to go to the top of the list) are finding jobs by submitting quotes. Or, at least in the early days, is Proz mostly a way to access agencies/ companies. and to get really good advice? I'd also appreciate any comments from agencies/outsourcers on how they view the quote lists they receive.
Thank You



Hi Sharon,

I became a member of proz.com recently, but registered few months before that. Even then I got translation jobs when quoting for them. It probably depends on many things, not only Kudoz points (of which I do not possess any yet). One thing is your fields of speciality, your rate etc. I think that one outsourcer is perhaps more interested in the rates, and another wants to make sure you have a certain experience. Well, anyway, I can say that I have made good experience with proz as a new member.
Best of luck to you!
Regards, Dominique


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Sharon Das  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:10
French to English
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TOPIC STARTER
That's good to know. Oct 23, 2006

Thanks Dominique. I'll take up your pointers. By the way, congrats on winning the Edinburg trip!

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Teresa Bento  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 22:10
Member
English to Portuguese
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I agree with Dominique Oct 23, 2006

I have registered a couple of months ago, but I have only become a member very recently. At first, I have registered and submitted lots of quotes with little success, but the truth is I got my very first big job without being a member or having KudoZ points.
From then on, I realized things could get better not only if I was a member, but also if I started building up my profile and adding details to it, as well as contributing to the KudoZ MB. It can help you gathering points and you can also solve lots of translation problems. For me, it has been a win win situation all the way, even though, like I said, I'm still a recent member.
Good luck!
Teresa


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:10
German to English
+ ...
Old member, but have never won a job bidding Oct 23, 2006

I have been registered on ProZ for years, but realized quickly (within the first 3-4 jobs I bid on) that I would never win a bid. My rates were too high for that, so I don't bid anymore. Doesn't really matter for me, though, because clients have contacted me through my profile, so I would recommend having a sterling profile so that people can contact you that way.

Personal experience - your mileage may vary!

Wanted to add: I have very few KudoZ points and don't think that's the main thing clients look at, but posting silly/wrong answers does give a really bad impression. Make sure you're only answering KudoZ you really have experience in and can make sensible comments on.

[Edited at 2006-10-23 17:52]


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Suzanne Blangsted  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:10
Danish to English
+ ...
quote system points Oct 23, 2006

To accumulate a lot of points in the quote system depends on several things, f.ex. how many languages do you translate into/from, the specialties, the availability, etc.

I do believe many agencies when posting jobs will give the job to the lowest bidder disregarding the point system.

I had recently turned down a jobt and then was later asked to re-do the translation of the same documents. They had been translated by someone claiming to have a Ph.D. in DA to or from EN. The client refused to accept that Ph.D's translation due to many obvious errors, and I was asked to "clean it up". It was a verbatim translation and obviously also sloppy one. There was no uniformity in terminology, had several typos and some grammatical errors. Next time the agency has a job posted, and that "PhD" replies, I doubt the "PhD" will get the project, even if he/she has accumulated several points.

To correctly answer a posted question is not easy as the whole text cannot be displayed; however, the answer might be selected by the asker because the asker does not understand the finer points in the text/language.



[Edited at 2006-10-23 18:41]


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Nicholas Ferreira  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:10
Spanish to English
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Maybe a ratio would be more indicative (e.g. points/month) Oct 23, 2006

I have been thinking over this problem for a while.

The suggestion I would bring to the attention of the ProZ.com staff (my first one as a new Platinum member!) is rather than emphasizing total number of Kudoz points in areas such as job postings, total boards, etc., the focus should be placed elsewhere.

For example, you could put a ratio of Kudoz points per month of membership. So a site "grandfather" and Kudoz leader with 5 years (i.e. 60 months) as a user and 12,000 Kudoz points would have an average of 200 points per month. A brand new member could come along and in his first month earn 200 points. His listed ratio would be the same as the first member.

The question I pose to the staff is as follows: are you trying to award longevity as a site user/member? Then leave the system as is.

But if you are trying to reward constant and ongoing contribution to the ProZ.com community of translators, regardless of how long they have been around, then a system of ratios would better suit your purposes.

For you to decide...


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Suzanne Blangsted  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:10
Danish to English
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Nicholas Oct 23, 2006

Good point but why not suggest use of both systems. The total and per month point counts could easily be shown together.

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Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:10
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Yes, but not per month Oct 23, 2006

BLANGSTED wrote:

Good point but why not suggest use of both systems. The total and per month point counts could easily be shown together.

Yes, the rate of good answers would be more important than the total number of points. But, to allow members who post infrequent answers that are usually of high quality to get a good rating in this system, I suggest it should be points per answer rather than points per month. A long discussion thread on a similar subject included a post of mine saying roughly the same thing, here:


http://www.proz.com/post/349039#349039

The points-per-answer (PPA) rating would be useful only for a member with more than a certain number of points, perhaps 20 or 50. Then, for example:


4 PPA would be the best possible as every answer was awarded 4 points


1 PPA would probably mean that one in every 4 answers was awarded 4 points. (It could also mean that one in every 2 answers was awarded 2 points, but accepted answers are usually given 4 points).


These ratings would not depend on whether the member concerned posted one good answer per day or one per month.


The PPA value is, in other words, the total number of points divided by the total number of answers proposed by that member (and, I suggest, shown to one decimal place only). Perhaps it should be based on the last (for example) 6 months' answers only, for long-standing members.
Oliver.


[Edited at 2006-10-23 22:39]


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 07:10
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Yes, new members do stand a chance... Oct 24, 2006

Hi Sharon,

It appears that your initial question and the point of your thread has veered off, like so many do, into the endless and tiresome "how to improve Kudoz" domain so I'd like to answer your question and bring it back to the topic at hand:)

Yes, I think new members stand a very good chance of winning their first job via Proz. When myself and my colleague first established Chinese Concept we won the very first job we bid for and that gave us confidence in knowing that we were going in the right direction and gave us the motivation to keep on going. That all happened with zero Kudoz points so I wouldn't worry about Kudoz too much:)

I can't tell you we won every bid since then because we didn't but it doesn't matter because after working for a few months you begin to pick up repeat business from old clients and then new clients find you via your profile, your website etc. and your own net of clients keeps on expanding.

I must admit though, as much as I love Proz and the start it gave us and I am truly faithful to Proz when it comes to being active in the forums and on Kudoz, most of our job offers from new clients come from the other major translation sites. Therefore my advice to you would be to widen your net as much as possible with comprehensive profiles set up on all the major translation sites, get yourself a website, do some marketing and promotion work and you'll be on your way.

Stay positive, keep motivated and you'll be fine.

I wish you the very best of luck:)

Best wishes,
Mark


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Sharon Das  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:10
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Mightn't that lower Kudoz participation? Oct 24, 2006

Hello Oliver,
I think that a more representative ratio is good and should be pursued. But wouldn't doing it per answer, rather than per time unit, have the effect of dampening Kudoz participation, which is akin to a brainstorming session. Yes, I know, it would "raise quality." But if I had asked a Kudoz, I think I'd prefer a lot of competing brainstormed suggestions, than a few overly crafted ones.
Sharon


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Sharon Das  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:10
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great idea, Nick Oct 24, 2006

I guess one could fiddle with the unit of time (why not a per day ratio? ). But that's a smart system you propose.
Did you submit it to the staff?
Sharon


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David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:10
Spanish to English
Old user Oct 24, 2006

[quote]Daina Jauntirans wrote:

I have been registered on ProZ for years, but realized quickly (within the first 3-4 jobs I bid on) that I would never win a bid. My rates were too high for that, so I don't bid anymore. Doesn't really matter for me, though, because clients have contacted me through my profile. ,


This is also true in my case, and as I am still a user, even less so nowadays. I am also fairly high in the "kudoz league" and still haven't won any bids, but I have attracted outsourcers. I believe a good profile, showing your experience is important to attract customers. But, pricing, although I know many will disagree with me, and there are some outsourcers who do offer their price for the jobs, the key to almost all the jobs posted on proz. is "best price".


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Sharon Das  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:10
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Chinese Concept, Very helpful answer. Oct 24, 2006

Hello Mark,
It feels as if you've portrayed the possibilities and limitations of Proz in the most honest and complete way. You made me realize it clearly-- this site is not a one-stop shop. Simple, gotta go fishing and do promo. Thanks for the smart advice.
Sharon


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Eva Middleton  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:10
German to English
KudoZ makes no difference to my workload Oct 24, 2006

I'm not sure it's worth focussing on Kudoz when it comes to starting out. We've had this discussion a few times and the general consensus seems to be that agencies aren't all that interested in your KudoZ score.

I have a low KudoZ score and haven't been a member for all that long, yet get plenty of work through ProZ. I never bid for jobs, agencies usually find me. I'd say that, personally, what has really helped a lot is a tight specialisation. Of course this also makes my job easier and more lucrative - the rates are much better and I am completely comfortable with the field (which I never was when doing technical translations as a beginner).

Also, don't underprice yourself. The good agencies (and you will find them) do put quality above price and recognise that professional translations aren't available for peanuts, and low rates will look iffy.


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