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Kudoz - Had enough
Thread poster: N.M. Eklund

Elizabeth Medina  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
My own KudoZ experience Oct 4, 2008

Hi Everyone,

Just to put in my two cents' worth, with your permission... I've shared 90% of your expressed reactions/feelings/reflections, and in my opinion the ones who get the most out of the exercise of helping out and answering questions, are those of us who have done it. KudoZ has been humbling for me too as I see the impossibly difficult, challenging questions that I sometimes track just to see what sorts of solutions are proffered, and try to pick out which could be the best one. By participating in KudoZ I've gotten a more realistic image of my own capacities. I've learned how to answer, how to research better, have picked up tactics and strategies from my more experienced fellows. And I've laughed a lot too, including at myself!

I don't think KudoZ has to be a perfect system, don't think we need to police the lazy askers or charge fines. I believe we should keep it more-or-less as it is, change obvious things that don't work; I like that it is "ludic" and somewhat anarchical, and how it becomes an opportunity for some wiser ones to chastise and "educate" the less polished.

When I've been in a fix it's been fabulous to receive help at the speed of light, just about. Thanks to everyone for their solidarity.

Ergo, "Bravo for KuDoz," really. (I also appreciate it for being more rigorous than WordReference, though WR is a great resource to have too, but there are a lot of loose ends left hanging there.)

Best regards! ;^P
Elizabeth

[Edited at 2008-10-04 04:53]


Sandra& Kenneth
 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:44
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
What about a ratio-based system? Oct 4, 2008

Enrique wrote:

The alternative of deleting the points system was evaluated by staff and rejected.

The not-for-points alternative was offered for those askers who believe that the awarding of KudoZ points detracts from the KudoZ experience. It is used, even if less frequently than the "for points" version.

Regards,
Enrique


Hi Enrique:

Thank you for your answer.

Could you also tell us if the staff evaluated any of the ratio-based systems that have been suggested over the years? (e.g., ratio of successful answer v. answers given, or, as suggested by others, ratio of questions ansked v. questions answered).

If you have evaluated such suggestions, and the decision was against them, could you tell us why? Otherwise, can you tell us if you plan to evaluate (and maybe discuss in a forum) such systems in the future?

Regards,

Riccardo


 

Maria Eugenia Farre  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:44
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Conversion rate is a great idea Oct 4, 2008

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:

Hi Enrique:

Thank you for your answer.

Could you also tell us if the staff evaluated any of the ratio-based systems that have been suggested over the years? (e.g., ratio of successful answer v. answers given, or, as suggested by others, ratio of questions ansked v. questions answered).



Riccardo


Hi Riccardo

That is an excelent idea. A filter could be added to establish a minimum threshold of answers (20, 30, 50?) and eliminate the cases in which a respondent answered one question in a certain pair, got it right and therefore has a 100% conversion rate.

ME


 

Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:44
Member (2006)
English to French
Ratio-based system Oct 4, 2008

I also agree with this idea (ratio answers given/answers selected). Because :
- newcomers would have a fairer chance to pit against "old" answerers
- it would probably persuade some answerers not to answer randomly at every other question.

I know people who stand among the KudoZ leaders but who have to answer a lot of questions to get all their points. Their acceptance rate is certainly not over 25-30 %.

On the other hand, some people answer less questions, take time to give references and probably have an acceptance rate of 50-60%. I personally would rather work with these "serious" people than with the others.

Compromise solution: mention on each profile the number of Kudoz points earned AND the acceptance rate.

Stéphanie


 

Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 20:44
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Appreciating user Oct 4, 2008

Dear fellow translators:

I read with interest the remarks of those who often respond.

I use the service occasionally, but often involve 2-4 questions. I make the maximum effort to find the term by myself, but consider it my professional duty to reach the best possible translation result. Thus, my questions have been almost alway quite context sensitive.

I can say that I appreciate the answers I received, even the ones I rejected for contextual reasons. I appreciate references, but do not consider them mandatory for finding a good translation. The only answers I do not value are people who clearly guess, something that I can do as well.

Therefore, when I award points, I pick the most appropriate, in my opinion of course, for my context. That does not make the other answers incorrect by any means.

If points bring out the wolves, then I'll pick the "no points" option.

I wish to thank all those of who have helped me in the past (French and Russian) and hope you continue to do so in the future.

Yours truly,

Stephen Rifkind


 

Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:44
German to English
+ ...
Let's keep it running Oct 4, 2008

Kevin Lossner wrote:

When I do search the archives, I make it a point to read all the answers, and often I find the real gems among the answers not chosen. So these people may have missed out on the points, but I suspect there is a silent harvest of respect which may lead to the occasional useful job recommendation. And when I see a pattern of certain askers demonstrating consistent "inebriated logic", that is valuable to know as well icon_smile.gif

So take heart, N.M. You may be getting dissed by a few twits, but for all you know, you are quietly building a fan base who will see you off to a wealthy retirement....


Agree wholeheartedly. Kudoz is abused, but remember that it is also used. As you read this, some sound colleague may well be relying upon an entry you have made in the past and blowing kisses in your direction.

As more newbies join up, the more questions will be asked, and the more answers will be given. It is indeed possible that quality will suffer from dilution.

In mine (and Kevin's) group we have seen a lot of good people wander away from Kudoz, doubtless for the kind of reason mentioned.

O.K. - I too have spat and sworn.

Personally, I avoid answering questions when it becomes apparent that the asker is overdoing the number of questions, not bothering to look elsewhere first or seemingly has not bothered to invest in a dictionary yet... That is tantamount to doing their work for them.

I also have my 'mental blacklist' of people who seem to constantly accept inappropriate answers.

NM - you exude professionalism (and indeed seem to be a charitable person), so please don't walk away. Your profession needs you.

Cheers
Chris


 

Amy Duncan (X)  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:44
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Agree 100% with Elizabeth Oct 4, 2008

Elizabeth Medina wrote:

Hi Everyone,

Just to put in my two cents' worth, with your permission... I've shared 90% of your expressed reactions/feelings/reflections, and in my opinion the ones who get the most out of the exercise of helping out and answering questions, are those of us who have done it. KudoZ has been humbling for me too as I see the impossibly difficult, challenging questions that I sometimes track just to see what sorts of solutions are proffered, and try to pick out which could be the best one. By participating in KudoZ I've gotten a more realistic image of my own capacities. I've learned how to answer, how to research better, have picked up tactics and strategies from my more experienced fellows. And I've laughed a lot too, including at myself!

I don't think KudoZ has to be a perfect system, don't think we need to police the lazy askers or charge fines. I believe we should keep it more-or-less as it is, change obvious things that don't work; I like that it is "ludic" and somewhat anarchical, and how it becomes an opportunity for some wiser ones to chastise and "educate" the less polished.

When I've been in a fix it's been fabulous to receive help at the speed of light, just about. Thanks to everyone for their solidarity.

Ergo, "Bravo for KuDoz," really. (I also appreciate it for being more rigorous than WordReference, though WR is a great resource to have too, but there are a lot of loose ends left hanging there.)

Best regards! ;^P
Elizabeth

[Edited at 2008-10-04 04:53]


All I can say is "Bravo" and "Amen!"

Amy


 

LUÍS HENRIQUE KUBOTA  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:44
English to Portuguese
Suggestions for improving KudoZ - "A fiver for your thoughts" - Very long message Oct 4, 2008

Hi, folks!

I've recently decided to have another go at KudoZ, but I'm really lost because of two things:

a) I'm not so sure I should help askers who seem to have absolutely no clue whatsoever about the subject they are translating - maybe they should stick to other less technical areas; and

b) I believe, in some cases, people are simply too lazy to do a basic google search - or even to look up at the dictionary! Some questions are really simple and should not be placed under the professional-level type of query.

In any case, if I give a long reply, justifying why such and such answer is the correct/wrong one, I feel like I'm "doing the homework" that the person making the question should do.

Again, it's very frustrating when you spend a lot of time trying to help someone and the person chooses the wrong answer - not so much because of the points, but rather because of their lack of understanding why a reply is right or wrong. They simply haven't got a clue and choose based on I don't know what.

I think KudoZ is being abused by some of its users. I'm not saying I've got the solution, but I've got some suggestions nevertheless:

**********************************************************
1) LIMIT THE NUMBER OF FREE QUERIES

I believe there should be a system in place to limit to the number of queries made by any translator over a certain period. For instance:

non-paying members - one question/week;
community partial members - two questions/week;
jobs partial members - three questions/week;
full members - five questions/week;

Above those limits, they should pay, let's say, US$5.00 per additional question.

My impression is that, this way, people would not abuse the system. In other words, they would only send their queries after they really had done their homework.
**********************************************************
2) ENFORCE A MORE COMPLETE CONTEXT

In addition, there should also be a way of making them give a more complete context. In in addition to the whole sentence in which the term appears, askers should include:

a) the language/country of origin of the text (English/UK, French/Cameroon, Spanish/Chile, etc.);
b) the intended audience (lawyers, accountants, general public, etc.);
c) the language/country of destination (Portuguese/Brazil, Italian/Switzerland, English/Belize, etc.);
d) places where asker looked for an answer (which dictionaries, websites, etc.), so people trying to assist would not waste precious time going to the same sourcers;
e) tentative translations asker found for the term (with the respective source); and
f) any other relevant information.
**********************************************************
3) INCENTIVE FOR THE BEST RESPONDENTS

Maybe an incentive could be given to the accepted answer in the form of credits against membership. Perhaps one credit equivalent to US$5.00 for every four accepted answers per month. In any case, no one should be allowed to get more than US$5.00 in credits per month. Should a respondent get, let's say, 15 accepted answers in a given month, he would get the five-buck credit plus the number of KudoZ points accrued in the period.

The way I see it, people asking too many questions should pay for the assistance, since they are the ones being paid to translate the document. And those on the other side of the table would continue to provide assistance "for free" - since there would be no guarantee as to whether one would have their answer accepted - but might get some more concrete - albeit nominal - incentive for their time/effort.
**********************************************************
4) BLIND SYSTEM FOR ANSWERS AND DISAGREES

Another suggestion would be to have a blind answer system, i.e., only the identity of the person who's making the question would be shown. The identity of those replying would be kept hidden from all until the asker decided for one answer. I think, this way, "agrees" and "disagrees" might be less biased by the possible knowledge of who the respondent is. And comments would be exclusively based on content and not simply on "likes" and "dislikes".

There should also be more space for agree/disagree comments, which, by the way, should also be anonymous until the acceptance of the best answer. Respondents with too many "disagrees" - let's say ten negative peer-reviews in a given week - would be penalized by not being allowed to answer to queries during the following week. In any case, "disagrees" should require a justification. Not simply: "I disagree because it is wrong."
**********************************************************

I believe this would improve the quality of both the questions asked and the answers given, by discouraging potential "free riders" in addition to providing an incentive for attracting more qualified respondents.

I don't think it would be very difficult to put that system in place.

Obviously, the figures I used are just a suggestion, too.

Best,
LHK


 

Anne Bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:44
English to French
More context:YES. Blind system: are you sure? Oct 4, 2008

LUÍS HENRIQUE KUBOTA wrote:

..., but I've got some suggestions nevertheless:
**********************************************************
2) ENFORCE A MORE COMPLETE CONTEXT
...askers should include:
a) the language/country of origin of the text;
b) the intended audience;
c) the language/country of destination;
d) places where asker looked for an answer;
e) tentative translations asker found for the term; and
f) any other relevant information.
**********************************************************

I really like that! The context fields might be displayed on an additional panel via a link (to keep the main panel simple) and near each field there could be a button "Provide more context" with a counter (and some statistics behind!) that the tentative answerer could click if the field is empty or doesn't provide the info expected.

**********************************************************
4) BLIND SYSTEM FOR ANSWERS AND DISAGREES

Not really convinced by this one. Although it would increase fairness, I agree (and prevent askers from selecting simply the answerer with the most Kudoz points in the last 3 months), it would also prevent me from knowing who writes what. I have a fairly good idea of what my peers are good at (or not), and I am really amazed by some of them. There are people I'd love to team with, while there are some others, although they may be good terminoloogists, that I could probably not stand proofreading.

Anne

[Modifié le 2008-10-04 22:01]


Christine Andersen
 

LUÍS HENRIQUE KUBOTA  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:44
English to Portuguese
Will try to convince you to go blind! Oct 5, 2008

bohy wrote:


**********************************************************
4) BLIND SYSTEM FOR ANSWERS AND DISAGREES

Not really convinced by this one. Although it would increase fairness, I agree (and prevent askers from selecting simply the answerer with the most Kudoz points in the last 3 months), it would also prevent me from knowing who writes what. I have a fairly good idea of what my peers are good at (or not), and I am really amazed by some of them. There are people I'd love to team with, while there are some others, although they may be good terminoloogists, that I could probably not stand proofreading.

Anne

[Modifié le 2008-10-04 22:01]


Hi, Anne.

The idea is precisely to increase fairness and eliminate bias based on "arguments of authority". It's not because translator X is excellent in a given area that s/he will be right 100% of the time. Also, it's not because translator X says s/he's an expert in a given field that s/he is.

Everyone makes mistakes, no matter what. The way KudoZ is currently set, most people would agree with X only because s/he's perceived to be an expert in the field (and s/he may actually be). Most would refrain from disagreeing with our hypothetical respondent just because they would know who s/he is. X might be making an honest mistake. And the "best answer" would be wrong for the wrong reasons. I've got the impression - but I may be wrong - that more often than not wrong answers are chosen because people know who the respondents are.

Based on my suggestion, people would be more authentic and less biased when agreeing or disagreeing because their input would be only based on X's answer and not his/her reputation.

Best,
LHK


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A blind system won't help Oct 5, 2008

LUÍS HENRIQUE KUBOTA wrote:
4) BLIND SYSTEM FOR ANSWERS AND DISAGREES


I think this would cause much more trouble. With the general lack of reference information or explanations in the answers, in so many questions the only useful thing an asker can use to support a decision is checking whether the answerers are specialised in the field or not and how many points they have from previous questions.

I also think that, in all language pairs, askers are wise enough to identify and remember the names of good answerers who can provide real help in the long run.


Christine Andersen
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Improving Kudoz - OUR DUTY! Oct 5, 2008

Let's improve Kudoz:
1. Let's only answer the questions we DON'T have to research (answer only if we know the answer from experience).

2. Let's ignore askers who never answer any questions.

3. Let's ignore askers who don't explain their doubts, post long sentences as the question and don't react to our requests for information.

4. Let's use the "disagree" when we don't agree! The I-don't-want-trouble approach won't do guys! A kind, reasoned disagree is the way to go and can't disturb anyone.

5. Let's be brief in the forums about Kudoz improvement! Please!icon_smile.gif


 

moken  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Try helping people you trust Oct 9, 2008

Hi N.M.,

A long time ago, in one of the world's most dangerous cities, I met a guy who twice in the space of less than a week returned home in the small hours of the morning wearing only his underpants - no shoes even.icon_eek.gif

He understood that it was the wrong place to have blind faith in absolute strangers and started to go out with the people he knew.icon_rolleyes.gif

Perhaps limiting your KudoZ research and answers to other users you actually have some faith in would make it a richer experience. You'd answer a lot less questions, but at least you wouldn't feel short-changed in the knowledge that they use the right sort of criteria for chosing the most helpful answer.

Good luck!icon_wink.gif


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
"Not this guy again!" Oct 10, 2008

Álvaro Blanch wrote:
Perhaps limiting your KudoZ research and answers to other users you actually have some faith in would make it a richer experience. You'd answer a lot less questions, but at least you wouldn't feel short-changed in the knowledge that they use the right sort of criteria for chosing the most helpful answer.


Indeed Álvaro. This makes a lot of sense and in fact that's what I do. And that's what I proposed earlier in this post: let's ignore bad askers until they learn to be better askers...icon_smile.gif

It's funny because many times when I requested more information of a better attitude from some askers, they often told me to disregard their questions. Now I do. I am happier, and they are happier. They get what they wanted: the worst answers in Kudoz. It serves them right!

[Edited at 2008-10-10 05:18]


pkchan
 

Wilsonn Perez Reyes  Identity Verified
El Salvador
Local time: 12:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Never Mar 15

Stéphanie Soudais wrote:

Thomas Michell wrote:

My suggestion is that, once the program is up and running, there should be options within Kudoz to only send/receive questions to/from the 'certified pro' members.



I do not agree, because as you say it yourself, some great answerers are not paying members. Moreover, I for instance will never be a "certified pro" because my profile is not complete (and I don't want to make it complete), which is the first condition to become "certified pro" -but this is another topic.

[Edited at 2008-10-03 15:55]


Never say never.


 
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