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(Yet another) suggestion to deal with lack of context
Thread poster: Nesrin

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
Sep 23, 2010

I know I know, this topic has been discussed ad nauseam.. but the fact is: despite all the guidelines and rules, context-less Kudoz questions are still a daily occurrence. It is obvious that many askers 1) don't bother reading rules and guidelines, 2) are encouraged by the fact that they get answers no matter how little context they provide, or/and 3) don't care either about rules or the quality of their translation. And that many answerers just want those priceless Kudoz points at any cost.

So anyway, here's a suggestion (though I have a nagging feeling it will be found unacceptable for a reason or another). Apologies if it has been suggested before:

We have (yet another) button under the question saying "Demand more context" or something to that effect. When pressed, the asker is sent a message explaining that without sufficient context, informed answers can't be provided and listing possible examples of context (as already explained in the guidelines).
But what's more important is that until the asker complies (by allowing them to add a note to their answer, rather than writing something in the discussion field), the "Answer" function is disabled - i.e. the asker will not receive any answers until s/he reacts to the request...

----------------
BTW I've posted this suggestion here rather than in the "Ideas" section because, frankly, I'm not tooo impressed with that section and I feel that we get a lot more attention posting stuff on the regular forums than there.
Besides, forums include all sorts of things including ideas - I don't see why "ideas" had to be taken out of forums! Doesn't really make sense to me. Sorry!!


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
...and to prevent abuse Sep 23, 2010

maybe the "blocking" only happens when (e.g) 3 colleagues press the button, similar to what happens when we press the "Vote Pro/Non-pro" buttons.
And we can have a small caption under the "Demand more context button" saying "3 votes are required to block answering function" or whatever...


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:58
French to English
Enforceability / measurement? Sep 23, 2010

Nesrin wrote:

until the asker complies (by allowing them to add a note to their answer, rather than writing something in the discussion field), the "Answer" function is disabled


I used to think there should be a minimum number of characters in the question for similar reasons, but people would just get round it by posting any old nonsense (or just a block of text from the translation that meets a minimum volume requirement but does not actually help in any way).

I can still see this as a potential problem. Or do you see it as a loop that can be repeated for as long as 3 people are unhappy with the level of context?

FWIW, I think that about 5 years ago, I had a similar idea, but talked myself out of it because of the above. And because ultimately, if people can't be bothered to post context, they deserve everything they get. What I really love is the empty-headed insistence you sometimes see that there is "no context". Let 'em sink in their putrid mire. I'm sure we've all got better things to do than lead the pig-ignorant by the nose down the path of enlightenment.


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The loop... Sep 23, 2010

I think the "loop" is a good idea. Context provided not really context? Block again, and so on.

I think also that it's not good enough to say "they deserve what they get". Sometimes behaviour can be corrected over time, and surely that's for the benefit of all Kudoz users.
Also, the measures I suggest not only penalise the askers, but potential answerers as well, of which there are many, who are eager to present answers without a proper basis.


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Ali M. Alsaqqa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:58
English to Arabic
I agree Sep 23, 2010

I completely agree.

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 08:58
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
There may be reasons for no context Sep 23, 2010

In rare language pairs the number of participants is very small, so the proposed method would not work but prevent only useful answers being supplied.
And there are sometimes reasons for askers not to be able to put context, or there is no reasonable context available. The lack of context may be the reason why the questions is asked, otherwise the asker would be able to find the translation herself.

Why does it bother you if there is no context? You are not obliged to answer or even think about the whole matter.

regards
Heinrich


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No context... Sep 23, 2010

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
In rare language pairs the number of participants is very small, so the proposed method would not work but prevent only useful answers being supplied.

If the number of participants is very small, it is unlikely that the "demand more context" will get 3 votes anyway..

And there are sometimes reasons for askers not to be able to put context, or there is no reasonable context available. The lack of context may be the reason why the questions is asked, otherwise the asker would be able to find the translation herself.

Oh the countless times we've discussed this on the forums! And someone has yet to convince me that there's such a thing as "no context". Let me ask you, which of these questions would you prefer:
Question 1:
Term: Trattata
Explanation: Trattata

Question 2:
Term: Trattata
Explanation: I'm sorry there's no sentence. I found the word scribbled on a shred of paper in my attic. What could it possibly mean?
or
Explanation: The word was written on a large banner in the street.

There is ALWAYS something to say about how the term made its way to your life.

Why does it bother you if there is no context? You are not obliged to answer or even think about the whole matter.

Another argument I've come across time and again. And again, I can never accept it. I like this site, I like the Kudoz section, I've enjoyed it over many years, and I care about how it develops. I believe that the enforcement of certain rules will make it better, more useful, more fun for everyone. OF COURSE I can ignore everything that I don't like, but I choose to try and make it better.
But maybe that's just me.

Regards

[Edited at 2010-09-23 11:04 GMT]


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:58
French to English
That'll be where we diverge... Sep 23, 2010

Nesrin wrote:

I think also that it's not good enough to say "they deserve what they get". Sometimes behaviour can be corrected over time, and surely that's for the benefit of all Kudoz users.


For some aspects, absolutely - I'd still like to see the limits reduced to stop individuals flooding the front page with 15 inane questions, for instance. Flooding does spoil it for the user group as a whole (IMHO!).

But if an Asker cannot or will not see that the more information they provide, the more likely they are to get a decent answer - I've lost patience, I'm afraid. I would concede the minor point that knowing the wider context may help those using the answers in future, but we all have to treat past answers with the maximum amount of caution regardless of the context and amount of context given in the question. The good Lord helps those who help themselves. I'm just following His example


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ahmadwadan.com  Identity Verified
Kuwait
Local time: 08:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
Open-door policy Sep 23, 2010

Hello Nesrin,

Professionally speaking, the button idea is brilliant and I wish it gets applied soon.

However, time has proven that Proz website administrators adopt an open-door policy, maybe for more popularity, revenues…etc and may be they are right from the financial perspective (I just try to be in their place).

Accordingly, limitations are not welcomed by Proz even if you, me and many others get nagging feeling when we encounter questions without context.

[Edited at 2010-09-23 14:12 GMT]


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:58
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
This idea had been discussed before, to no avail Sep 23, 2010

What I said in that thread over 2 years ago was this:

I like the idea of sending back the question for more context with the addition that was proposed in the course of the discussion, namely, that the eligibility to push that button would be based on a certain criteria (to prevent misuse).

I also agree that the KOG is an important aspect of KudoZ, and its quality should be high priority. Mechanisms that would help improving the quality of the entries, especially "on the way", would be good, and initiatives, efforts, ideas in that direction should be welcome. "On the way" I mean meanwhile the KudoZ question is active, before the glossary entry is actually made, as after they made their way into the KOG, it is hard to fix erroneous entries.

I believe that honest, but novice users who post questions without context will learn rather quickly, and they would appreciate quality answers over quick ones.

I don't see why the question could not be temporarily disabled. Would it really put the asker at disadvantage, since it would slow down the process?
Well, if someone so desperately needs a quick answer, I assume he/she is sitting by his/her computer, staring at the screen waiting for the answers. Then, when he/she gets the notice that the question is temporarily suspended until he/she provides more context, he/she could quickly provide that and put the question back to everybody's view.

I think not letting a no-context question sit around would prevent the potential answerers from doing guesswork (not good for the asker and not good for the KOG) and extensive, and often fruitless research (which is not fair as it could have been avoided had the asker provided more context).

I agree that there are a few cases (very few) where a single word should be enough for a true specialist to give the right answer (although I think in those cases the question should be targeted to people with that very specialization, and not to the general public).

However, the problem this proposal is trying to address is not about these extremely rare cases, but a phenomenon much more common these days, unfortunately.


Mine was the last post in that thread. There was no further interaction from staff.

The whole discussion can be found here:

http://www.proz.com/forum/kudoz/109300-enhancement_of_the_kudoz_system_by_discouraging_questions_without_context_a_proposal-page6.html


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Enrique
Local time: 02:58
SITE STAFF
This would be not in line with KudoZ' objective Sep 23, 2010

The main objective of normal (not GBK) KudoZ questions is to provide help to the asker.

Preventing users to provide help until the context provided is deemed acceptable by someone else would not be in line with this objective.

Please note that the form for asking questions includes the following message just below the field where context should be posted:





Regards,
Enrique


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You're right, Kathalin! Sep 23, 2010

Your ideas are exactly the sort of thing I'm proposing!

And thanks, Enrique.. When I said I had a nagging feeling the proposal would be rejected I kind of knew that was coming


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Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:58
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
disable the "send" option unless context is provided Sep 23, 2010

I fully support Katalin's and Nesrin's proposal with the only difference that perhaps instead of not allowing answers we should not allow questions being submitted unless there is sufficient context provided. Regarding the objective of KudoZ,

Enrique wrote:
The main objective of normal (not GBK) KudoZ questions is to provide help to the asker.


I fully endorse this objective; however, I don't see how hasty guesses would assist any asker in producing quality translations. Such answers are not reliable and are very likely to *harm* the askers. I would not qualify that as 'help' but rather a 'disservice'. Therefore, allowing no-context questions is actually *not* in line with the objective of KudoZ, in my opinion.


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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 00:58
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I like it Sep 23, 2010

Nesrin wrote:

....
We have (yet another) button under the question saying "Demand more context" or something to that effect. When pressed, the asker is sent a message explaining that without sufficient context, informed answers can't be provided and listing possible examples of context (as already explained in the guidelines).
But what's more important is that until the asker complies (by allowing them to add a note to their answer, rather than writing something in the discussion field), the "Answer" function is disabled - i.e. the asker will not receive any answers until s/he reacts to the request...


Where's the "I like it" button I suggest in the other thread? I want to press it now because I totally support your suggestion.

Yes, right now, the no-context users do what they want because there is NO real mesure against their continuous lack actions, so, we would need something effective.



----------------
BTW I've posted this suggestion here rather than in the "Ideas" section because, frankly, I'm not tooo impressed with that section and I feel that we get a lot more attention posting stuff on the regular forums than there.
Besides, forums include all sorts of things including ideas - I don't see why "ideas" had to be taken out of forums! Doesn't really make sense to me. Sorry!!


I think I have no more votes to support you, but I'll support you when I get some more votes again. I like the "Ideas" section but pehaps it's receiving less visitors than this forum. Would it be possible to implement that voting system here in the forum?

Kind regards!

[Edited at 2010-09-23 18:47 GMT]


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:58
French to English
Exactly Sep 23, 2010

ildiko wrote:
Enrique wrote:
The main objective of normal (not GBK) KudoZ questions is to provide help to the asker.


I fully endorse this objective; however, I don't see how hasty guesses would assist any asker in producing quality translations. Such answers are not reliable and are very likely to *harm* the askers. I would not qualify that as 'help' but rather a 'disservice'. Therefore, allowing no-context questions is actually *not* in line with the objective of KudoZ, in my opinion.


Bingo. Somebody implement Yaotl's "I Like this" button (or whatever it was) so I can press it until my finger bleeds.


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