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Would you bother answering if the points system were abolished?
Thread poster: Anne-Marie Grant

Anne-Marie Grant  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:50
French to English
+ ...
Jun 24, 2009

I know I'm whistling in the wind and howling at the moon because they're unlikely to abolish the points system any time soon, but I'm curious. Would you be motivated to answer questions if no points were available?

When I joined ProZ, I thought the points system was great, but after a few months I'm really starting to wonder.

Doesn't it make it LESS likely that the best answer will be found to a particular question if we're all in competition with each other?

Might people be inclined to NOT agree with an answer they think is correct because they don't want that person's answer to be chosen?

Aren't we closing up avenues of lively debate because we don't want to contribute something that might attract criticism or disagreement and because the nature of Kudoz means that it's the all-important answer that counts, rather than the discussion that leads up to it?

I like having my answers chosen, but I try very hard to be magnanimous when I know someone's posted a better answer than I have or could have. I just know that now the initial thrill of earning points has worn off, I'm starting to find the system constraining rather than motivating.

So my question is this: if the points system were abolished, would Kudoz die, would it improve, would you still be interested in answering...What do you think?

[Edited at 2009-06-24 22:03 GMT]


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:50
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
My humble opinion Jun 24, 2009

It would not be KudoZ anymore.

I for one would not bother to answer, unless it was for an asker I really cared about.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:50
English to German
+ ...
KudoZ system Jun 24, 2009

One would think the name is self-explanatory...icon_smile.gif

Of course it would die without points. Why else would anyone disrupt his / her own work to help fellow translators doing their job?

I am certainly not listing the benefits of KudoZ points again and again - the "About" page is just a mouse click away.


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madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:50
Swedish to English
+ ...
I might consider starting to answer again Jun 24, 2009

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Of course it would die without points. Why else would anyone disrupt his / her own work to help fellow translators doing their job?


For the intellectual change some, though not most, questions pose.

As things stand, I stopped answering Kudoz a long time ago.


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Roberto Cavalcanti  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:50
English to Portuguese
Yes Jun 24, 2009

I would do, despite all those little things inherent to the human nature, you can learn a lot answering and participating. If you track Kudoz questions along the time, you'll see translators developing and becoming real professional. Certainly I'm speaking of those who answer questions, not those who ask.

[Edited at 2009-06-24 22:33 GMT]


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
I might Jun 24, 2009

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Why else would anyone disrupt his / her own work to help fellow translators doing their job?




Nicole, I say why not (in fact there's a bigger chance I'd help out under a new system than the one existing at presnt), which puts me on the other side of the fence from you, who says why.


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Anne-Marie Grant  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:50
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@ Nicole Jun 24, 2009

Do you think 'Kudoz' can only be achieved by winning points?

Do you not also achieve Kudoz by giving good answers, arguing your case and debating the intricacies of a question?

People could still agree and disagree, the most appropriate answer could still be selected - I'm not suggesting any of that should go!

Perhaps people would interrupt their work to help others because there would be a bit of camaraderie rather than competition and because they would know that the more they helped others the more they could expect others to help them in their hour of linguistic need....



[Edited at 2009-06-25 21:44 GMT]


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:50
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
I would start answering again Jun 24, 2009

It's never going to happen, but I would be delighted if the current system would be replaced with a no-point one (several other colleagues and I have been advocating just such a system for years, always without any answer from ProZ).

In fact, if it were so, I would start answering again.

To those who fear a KudoZ system wholly without points would provide fewer answers:

of course it would - but the quality of the answers provided would increase considerably, since only answerers motivated by a desire to help colleagues would remain.

Those of us old enough remember the old FLEFO on Compuserve: no points, almost no rules, no pesky, restrictive and overengineered interface (just a simple threaded discussion, instead), and normally answers of much higher quality provided by people out there to help colleagues, and not after points of very doubtful value.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:50
English to German
+ ...
Two reasons Jun 24, 2009

- I strictly separate social live and business. Translation is business and I don't (and can't) work for free. I am answering countless emails already ("Say, this is your field of expertise: How would you translate ...?", "Can you help me with this and that quickly?", and so on.)

- How I found my largest client: The phone rang and the person said: "I noticed that you are among the leaders in regard to KudoZ points in the field xxxxxx. Would you be interested in the following project yyyyyyy?"

ProZ.com is a terrific marketing tool. Priceless. That's what I pay my membership fee for.

icon_smile.gif


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Tracy Greenwood  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:50
Japanese to English
Agreed Jun 24, 2009

Nicole Schnell wrote:

- I strictly separate social live and business. Translation is business and I don't (and can't) work for free. I am answering countless emails already ("Say, this is your field of expertise: How would you translate ...?", "Can you help me with this and that quickly?", and so on.)

- How I found my largest client: The phone rang and the person said: "I noticed that you are among the leaders in regard to KudoZ points in the field xxxxxx. Would you be interested in the following project yyyyyyy?"

ProZ.com is a terrific marketing tool. Priceless. That's what I pay my membership fee for.

icon_smile.gif

I agree. If you have never dealt with a translator before, it is difficult to know if he/she is a good translator. Lots of us have advanced degrees. That does not always make one the best translator.

But I think overall, people still pick by the resume. I get jobs because of my law degree - but that's a specialized field.

Right now, Kudoz is not working in my favor because I don't have time to answer questions and I have no points (I think). In the future, I plan on making them work for my like Nicole said, as a marketing tool.

T


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:50
German to English
The best of both worlds? Jun 24, 2009

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:

It's never going to happen, but I would be delighted if the current system would be replaced with a no-point one (several other colleagues and I have been advocating just such a system for years, always without any answer from ProZ).

To those who fear a KudoZ system wholly without points would provide fewer answers:

of course it would - but the quality of the answers provided would increase considerably, since only answerers motivated by a desire to help colleagues would remain.

Those of us old enough remember the old FLEFO on Compuserve: no points, almost no rules, no pesky, restrictive and overengineered interface (just a simple threaded discussion, instead), and normally answers of much higher quality provided by people out there to help colleagues, and not after points of very doubtful value.


The proponents of no-points KudoZ answers won a Pyrrhic victory when the Powers that Be gave us not-for-points QUESTIONS in response. Askers can specify that they won't award points for their questions, but this option is seldom used and when it is used it is more than likely because the askers have no idea what they're doing. They are usually new to the site and so overwhelmed by all the options that they're afraid to get into something they don't understand.

But members won a real victory when we were given the reference box. We can now participate in finding good solutions to tough translation problems by providing explanations and definitions without being penalized when our information doesn't lead to points. My reliability ratio had suffered from the many times when I had entered information labeled "not for points."

But we could have the best of both worlds if we were given the option to answer regular Pro-level KudoZ questions under a not-for-points system. People could choose whether or not they wanted their answers to be subjected to the points system. If they chose the NFP option their reliability ratio would not be affected.


[Edited at 2009-06-24 23:36 GMT]


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Narcis Lozano Drago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:50
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Want to see quality answers? Make the askers pay for asking. Jun 25, 2009

IMHO, most problems with lack of quality in Kudoz answers chosen and the Proz glossaries can be traced down to askers that are poor translators. I am pretty sure that if translators had to pay Kudoz points for each question they ask, those askers (and also people abusing the system) would almost completely disappear, and Kudoz would be more like the peer-professional-translator-help-system-for-the-common-good that is supposed to be.

That, or maybe we should actually start asking for money for good answers. Why not? After all, good answerers are providing a service (especially when those answers are done in a professional manner), and deserve to be rewarded. If they don't get points (which translate into visibility in the member's list), then maybe they should be paid by the askers, who are obviously benefiting from these answers. Aren't you willing to pay for the advice of a lawyer or a doctor? Why not for that of a professional translator (especially when, as is the case of many askers, you are not one of them)? That way some people may think it twice and do their homework before posting some questions that show, if not lack of professionalism, at least sheer laziness.

Narcis


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:50
German to English
Telling it like it is Jun 25, 2009

Narcis Lozano Drago wrote:

IMHO, most problems with lack of quality in Kudoz answers chosen and the Proz glossaries can be traced down to askers that are poor translators. I am pretty sure that if translators had to pay Kudoz points for each question they ask, those askers (and also people abusing the system) would almost completely disappear, and Kudoz would be more like the peer-professional-translator-help-system-for-the-common-good that is supposed to be.

That, or maybe we should actually start asking for money for good answers. Why not? ....That way some people may think it twice and do their homework before posting some questions that show, if not lack of professionalism, at least sheer laziness.



Bravo! An excellent summary of the current sad state of affairs, Narcis.

[Edited at 2009-06-25 00:13 GMT]


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Anne-Marie Grant  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:50
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
If we want to be considered in the same league as doctors and lawyers Jun 25, 2009

then we must accept that they would not attempt to find solutions to tricky problems by setting up a 'multiple choice' system where only one answer is correct. They would, in the words of Riccardo Schiaffino have 'a threaded discussion' where one suggestion leads on to another, some are discarded along the way, until after some intelligent, open debate one or more really good solutions are found.

Of course if the primary purpose of Kudoz is to be a marketing tool, then it is perfect as it is. If its primary purpose is linguistic excellence, it is seriously flawed.





[Edited at 2009-06-25 07:13 GMT]


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Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 04:50
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
Nice! Jun 25, 2009

Narcis Lozano Drago wrote:

IMHO, most problems with lack of quality in Kudoz answers chosen and the Proz glossaries can be traced down to askers that are poor translators. I am pretty sure that if translators had to pay Kudoz points for each question they ask, those askers (and also people abusing the system) would almost completely disappear, and Kudoz would be more like the peer-professional-translator-help-system-for-the-common-good that is supposed to be.

That, or maybe we should actually start asking for money for good answers. Why not? After all, good answerers are providing a service (especially when those answers are done in a professional manner), and deserve to be rewarded. If they don't get points (which translate into visibility in the member's list), then maybe they should be paid by the askers, who are obviously benefiting from these answers. Aren't you willing to pay for the advice of a lawyer or a doctor? Why not for that of a professional translator (especially when, as is the case of many askers, you are not one of them)? That way some people may think it twice and do their homework before posting some questions that show, if not lack of professionalism, at least sheer laziness.

Narcis


Couldn't have said it better myself.


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