About the "Only ProZ.com members may answer" option
Thread poster: xxxjacana54
xxxjacana54  Identity Verified
Uruguay
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feb 6, 2010

Hi,

Now and then someone will ask a question and mark the option "Only ProZ.com members may answer".

As I see it, marking this option cannot be beneficial for the asker and it prevents the rest of us from learning from some very experienced users who are not paying members.

I'm thinking specifically of the English>Spanish combination and of topics in law, in which some of the highly qualified answerers are people who work regularly for the US court system. They have an inside knowledge which is extremely enlightening for all of us who read the Kudoz pages and any glossary entry which lacks their input is missing an important element.

Additionally, I fail to see how being deprived of the priviledge of answering a couple of questions per month can help to stimulate those users to become members of Proz.com.

So the feature is "punishing" the community, including the paying members, if it does anything at all.

What do you all think about this? Could we eliminate this option?

Enjoy your weekend,



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xxxCarruthers
French to English
Membership Feb 6, 2010

Personally, I can’t see why one would confine the answering of a question to paying members. Membership is in no way an indication of knowledge or expertise. I’ve been excluded from answering a few times even though I believe I had the right answer to the question being asked. I’m ill and not working at the moment so I can’t afford membership. A pity, however, that some decide not to benefit from my experience in certain fields.
But then again, their loss not mine.

[Edited at 2010-02-06 14:07 GMT]


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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:56
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
I wouldn't use this option myself Feb 6, 2010

but after all it's asker's choice. I guess that paying members on average have more experience and some people may feel more secure limiting the pool of potential answers to them. Similarly like in the case of posting a job addressed to members only. I don't think that anyone posts such a job in order to give Proz.com a favour - they just feel more secure working with paying members and it's their choice.

Best Regards
Stanislaw


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:56
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
The purpose of it all... Feb 6, 2010

... is to receive answers, even a variety of them, to difficult translation terminology or passages. Or am I missing something here?

Membership doesn't necessarily represent a profound knowledge in any field. Nor do the displayed fields of specialization indicate the summary of one's knowledge in any given field.

If someone is - for whatever reason - unable or perhaps unwilling to obtain membership, then this is not saying anything about her or his qualifications and knowledge as a translator.

Regarding one's knowledge being "supposedly" limited to the stated fields of specialization, there's a chance that this person has only stated those fields he or she wishes to work in, which claims no "completeness".

Furthermore, such restrictions are discouraging those who know the correct and/or best answer from submitting it.

Yes, the loss is the community's!

Have a great weekend.


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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Paying members are 'pros' Feb 6, 2010

This is nothing new. Some people firmly believe that by being a 'paying' member, one is automatically more 'pro' than non-paying members. It's even part of the P theory-only people who pay can be in the running for a P. No pay, no P, no p(P)ro. It's offered as an option to askers who want to believe that by preventing non-paying translators from answering their questions, they are somehow more likely to get good answers. I say good luck to them. It's their choice.



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Flavio Posse
United States
Local time: 15:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Does a paying member know more than a non-paying member? Feb 6, 2010

Hi, my name is Flavio and I am a non-paying member... It sounds like a personal greeting at the local AA meeting, doesn't it?
But yes, I'm one of "thooooose" people. I admit that the term doesn't sound good at all, it kind'o makes me feel like I'm encroaching on someone else's rights; or even worse, like I'm taking something that doesn't belong to me!!!
Oh God, I can picture myself dressed in an orange jumpsuit, hands cuffed behind my back in front of a judge: "I'm guilty your Honor, I confess I've answered hundreds of questions, I've even asked many of them. But, your honor, I was only trying to help", and the judge says "Silence! you're a non-paying member; I hereby sentence you to NEVER answer a targeted question again!!!"...

What a nightmare, but is it? no it isn't. All kidding aside, non-paying members are prevented from answering (targeted) questions every day, but why?
Are we trying to get access to the Blue Board data base, no; do we want to see restricted job postings, no; are we demanding to be placed at the top of the directory, no. And don't get me wrong, the benefits are fantastic. In regard to professional networking and career advancement being a paying member is definitely a plus. But many of us have little interest in the benefits, we just want to share our knowledge and help others.
I'm a full time court interpreter, part time translator. My source of translation work comes almost exclusively from the court system, I'm not involved in ProZ.com for the job opportunities or self promotion and I've never gotten a single translation assignment through ProZ.com, nor have I tried to get one.
I'm here because I like to share my experience with other translators, and because I want to learn from translators who are more experienced than I am.

Now, about the subject of my reply, does a paying member know more than a non-paying member? It's totally irrelevant.
Membership has nothing to do with knowledge or experience, but someone who is new to the website may think it does. Because, unfortunately, when people post a question they are given the option to include or exclude the non-paying members from answering it. Is this a hint that the non-payer may not be as qualified? of course not. Then, why should they be asked? for the life of me I do not comprehend the purpose of that request.

All we can do is to respectfully point out the facts. That's what I did yesterday and that's what I will do every time I'm excluded.

Regards to all, paying and non-paying members.
Flavio


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jenuli  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Great idea! Feb 6, 2010

As a new member and asker, I thought there was something beneficial to limiting the answerers just because it was an option- I was so wrong!

Eliminating the option would help new askers not make the same mistake I did. Thanks for starting the topic!


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Bilbo Baggins
Catalan to English
+ ...
I don't understand how you can make this claim Feb 7, 2010

Stanislaw Czech wrote:

but after all it's asker's choice. I guess that paying members on average have more experience and some people may feel more secure limiting the pool of potential answers to them. Similarly like in the case of posting a job addressed to members only. I don't think that anyone posts such a job in order to give Proz.com a favour - they just feel more secure working with paying members and it's their choice.

Best Regards
Stanislaw


I think the original poster made an excellent point and that you fail to see the logic:

You imply that:

Member ProZ = more experienced (?)
Member ProZ = more reliable (?)

I've been translating for 20-odd years and am not a member of proZ. That is an objective fact that tumbles your first statement (unless it can be truly proved that ALL proZ members have MORE experience than ALL non-ProZ members).

The second argument is more subjective, but for that very reason, the implication is totally unfounded.

It costs 100 or so euros to be a member of ProZ; the fact that the fora are full of questions from people starting up and that KudoZ is full of questions that are indicative of a lack of training/experience just points to the fact that ProZ provides an easy entry point to amateurs. If anything, limiting answers to ProZ members is limiting answers to less pro elements of the world transator population.

[Edited at 2010-02-07 00:25 GMT]


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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:56
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
On average - yes Feb 7, 2010

Bilbo Baggins wrote:

I think the original poster made an excellent point and that you fail to see the logic:

You imply that:

Member ProZ = more experienced (?)
Member ProZ = more reliable (?)

I've been translating for 20-odd years and am not a member of proZ. That is an objective fact that tumbles your first statement (unless it can be truly proved that ALL proZ members have MORE experience than ALL non-ProZ members).



Hi Bilbo,

I am afraid that you haven't notice small reservation I made on average

There is no need to prove that ALL proZ members have MORE experience than ALL non-ProZ members such statement is obviously untrue as certainly there are many non-members who are much more experienced than members.

However the fact that you have been translating for 20-odd years says little about hundreds of thousands of other registered users who are not members.

As I wrote in the title of my previous post - I wouldn't use tis option myself, but I see no reason to deprive askers from possibility to use it if they wish to do so.

Best Regards
Stanislaw


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Johanna Timm, PhD  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:56
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
previous discussion Feb 7, 2010

http://www.proz.com/forum/kudoz/51354-asker_directing_questions_specifically_to_prozcom_members-page3.html#383536

cheers,
johanna


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xxxjacana54  Identity Verified
Uruguay
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, everyone Feb 7, 2010

for your comments.

I missed that other forum, Johanna, and will read it immediately...

And a special thank you, Jenuli, because now I understand why some people mark this option: new users, who think there may be something beneficial about this.

I get your point, Stanislaw but, as Jenuli has shown us, the option itself can be misleading.

Best,



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Buck
Netherlands
Local time: 00:56
Dutch to English
Proz.com members only Feb 8, 2010

I see it as one of the "benefits" of being a member. If you want to enjoy all the benefits of being a member, why not sign up? If I choose to limit answers to those offered by proz.com members, that is my prerogative as a member.

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