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Not-for-points questions, again
Thread poster: Nesrin

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
Jun 25, 2011

Sorry to bring this up again. I believe this is the last time this issue led to a long-ish discussion http://www.proz.com/forum/kudoz/138598-removal_of_not_for_points_option.html
with almost everyone agreeing that they dislike/don't understand this option and avoid answering questions that were "rudely" marked "not-for-points".

Enrique then explained that the option is for users who "believe that the awarding of KudoZ points detracts from the KudoZ experience". I.e. they choose this option as a matter of principle, to filter out greedy points-grabbing answerers.

I agree entirely with David Russi's response:
More than once I have pointed out tongue-in-cheek that I have a good answer but won't give it because of the "not for points" option, and users express surprise, or that they had no idea what it meant, or that they had not thought about what that meant. I have never had anyone say "I'll get better answers" or "more answers"...


In my experience:
1) People who choose this option are usually new to the site, and somehow believe that awarding points will "cost" them something, or penalise them in some way!

2) Very serious colleagues provide very professional answerers to "FOR-points" questions, yet refrain from doing so to "not-for-points" questions, because they feel there's something inherently discourteous about them. So if anyone ever uses this option in the way it's intended they actually manage to filter out a lot of good professional answerers. So even if the site encourages the general principle behind it, it's actually doing the asker a disservice through it.

I add my voice to the many colleagues (in the above-mentioned discussion) who think it would be wise for site staff to reconsider this option...


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 19:58
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I totally agree with you... Jun 25, 2011

... and I stopped giving answers to not-for-point questions some time ago, though I am always willing to help colleagues. I do not understand the rationale behind the not-for-point questions, most of all when the question is being asked by a professional translator!

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Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:58
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
What is Kudoz? Jun 25, 2011

Before we go any further, I believe it is important to include in this discussion the basics on KudoZ:

What is KudoZ?
KudoZ is a community-based terminology network. (...)
Through "help" KudoZ, ProZ.com users offer each other, and guests, free assistance in translating tough terms. The question is posted by someone in need of term help, who should then select the "most helpful" among the answers received. Take a look at our flash introduction to learn more. In this type of KudoZ, the emphasis is on helping the asker-- the fact that an archive of previously posted terms with suggested translations has been built is a planned, yet peripheral, benefit.

http://www.proz.com/faq/terminology_term_help.html#kudoz

I don't see anywhere that the emphasis would be on generating points, climbing the ranks, gaining advantage in terms of being on the top when outsourcers search for providers. In light of the above, the below statements, in my opinion, indicate the lack of understanding or misinterpretation of the basic idea behind the KudoZ system.

they dislike/don't understand this option and avoid answering questions that were "rudely" marked "not-for-points".

I have a good answer but won't give it because of the "not for points" option


I respectfully disagree with the following statements:
Very serious colleagues provide very professional answerers to "FOR-points" questions, yet refrain from doing so to "not-for-points" questions

It has been my experience that those who answer nearly all "for-point" question, in all specialty, make guesses using Google as their number one tool, argue their point ad nauseam in the discussion field, etc. but stay away from "not-for-points" questions are far from being very professional and are clearly overactive for one reason only: the points.
if anyone ever uses this option in the way it's intended they actually manage to filter out a lot of good professional answerers

Quite the contrary. In my experience, it is a very simple and effective way to filter out the above described point-oriented answerers.

On the other hand, I have often had the privilege of receiving help from very professional colleagues where they offered their suggestions, reference materials and ideas in the *discussion field* (a clear indication that they could care less about points and simply wanted to help); on more than one occasion we had long discussions on the term in question and, although I gave them nothing but my sincere thanks in return, these colleagues never once asked me for points. So, I am all for the "not-for-points" approach.


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nekonote  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 04:58
Member (2009)
English to Japanese
+ ...
I actually didn't know such an option... Jun 25, 2011

Teresa Borges wrote:

... and I stopped giving answers to not-for-point questions some time ago, though I am always willing to help colleagues. I do not understand the rationale behind the not-for-point questions, most of all when the question is being asked by a professional translator!


I never actually thought about points, to be honest. I was just there to help and by helping colleagues I could also learn. Hence, if someone agreed to my answer I was already VERY happy and when my answer was chosen as the best and found out I got points, I was (with a bit of exaggeration) over the moon.

However, I found now, just by chance, that one person agreed to my answer and the asker even left the comment of appreciation. Yet NO POINT??? I was ignorant and just left the message saying "I'm glad I could help you". Sure!! It was finance&economics, so personally, my answer being the best means a lot, even more than points. And if outsourcer sees what kind of translation I helped, it gives the very good impression as I explained quite much precisely the difference between two synonims!

How can I find out if it's a not-for-points or for-points prior to answer?
I took quite a time and even looked at books I've got to make sure I can help this user with my best!!

I could be a cold person and use that time to study for myself or log in to other site (interpreter) to work.


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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
More like what 'was' Kudoz Jun 25, 2011

[quote]Ildiko Weinberger wrote:

Before we go any further, I believe it is important to include in this discussion the basics on KudoZ:

What is KudoZ?
KudoZ is a community-based terminology network. (...)
Through "help" KudoZ, ProZ.com users offer each other, and guests, free assistance in translating tough terms. The question is posted by someone in need of term help, who should then select the "most helpful" among the answers received. Take a look at our flash introduction to learn more. In this type of KudoZ, the emphasis is on helping the asker-- the fact that an archive of previously posted terms with suggested translations has been built is a planned, yet peripheral, benefit.

http://www.proz.com/faq/terminology_term_help.html#kudoz


Free help, but 'tough' terms are a thing of the past. Kudoz is now free help for translating 'any' term an asker may not know for whatever reason, whether as basic as it gets or something a bit more difficult or any term that asker can't be bothered to stop and think about and would rather let the 'community' do it instead.
Kudoz is now used as a crutch or a substitute for doing the work and some people seem to feel it's a viable alternative to opening a dictionary or looking on the www.
The no points option is just insult to injury, just like those who used to award 1 point for someone's efforts.
No points amounts to announcing that not only can't asker be bothered to do the work but returning to the question to award points is not worth their effort either.
My 2 cents


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:58
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No problem with abolishing points Jun 25, 2011

Ildiko Weinberger wrote:

I don't see anywhere that the emphasis would be on generating points, climbing the ranks, gaining advantage in terms of being on the top when outsourcers search for providers. In light of the above, the below statements, in my opinion, indicate the lack of understanding or misinterpretation of the basic idea behind the KudoZ system.



The issue is not about the importance of points or the benefits of the points system. If Proz decided to abolish the entire points system tomorrow I'll be perfectly happy. This is about the option given to askers to say "yes, I know 99% of askers award points (which ARE indeed useful in the ranking of translators, and hence the possibility of getting jobs, having a more prominent presence etc), but in my case, you'll help me for free".
Again, I wouldn't mind so much if 1) this led indeed to better quality answers and 2) askers who use this option actually knew what they were using it for. But as I said above, in my experience neither is the case.
You tell me your experience is different. I can't argue with you on that.

writeaway wrote:

No points amounts to announcing that not only can't asker be bothered to do the work but returning to the question to award points is not worth their effort either.


Agreed.

[Edited at 2011-06-25 15:35 GMT]


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:58
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
It's a matter of courtesy Jun 25, 2011

Yes, the intent of Kudoz is to help other translators or members of the public free of charge. The way I see it, awarding points is a way of saying thank you to the answerer for their time and effort, a way of giving something in return. It is along the same lines as sending a 'thank you' card or phone call to a friend who has invited me to dinner. Deciding ahead of time not to give any points, regardless of how helpful the answer is or how much effort the answerer may have spent in trying to help me, is simply discourteous. I usually don't bother to answer these questions.

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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 13:58
German to English
Discourteous? Jun 25, 2011

Tina Vonhof wrote:

Deciding ahead of time not to give any points, regardless of how helpful the answer is or how much effort the answerer may have spent in trying to help me, is simply discourteous. I usually don't bother to answer these questions.


Tina, I don't think most NFP askers are discourteous. I think most of them simply don't know what they're doing. A new user is offered a bewildering number of choices. I can imagine askers who don't know anything about the point system not wishing to get drawn into something they don't understand.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Get rid of NFP Jun 25, 2011

I see no use at all for NFP. Yes, we answer questions because we like to help our colleagues, but it costs nothing to award points so they should be awarded. After all, it's how we keep score. Yet with all the points I have (nasty point-grabber that I am) they won't buy me a new Mercedes or even a cup of coffee. They won't even get me a translation job except once in a while to aid a colleague who gets overloaded, but none from actual clients. So I do not see the points helping much to get jobs.

Thus, any asker who posts a NFP question will have to do without any contribution from me. Moreover, this issue is also similar to the "Pro - Non-Pro" situation. I just do not see any sense in that one either, and I will also refuse to answer any question that is improperly classified as "Non-Pro".

So get rid of both NFP and "Non-Pro".


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Non sequitur Jun 25, 2011

Although I apparently have a high kudoz score, that's not my main reason for doing it. I basically just answer any queries I think I can help with, even if by offering an educated guess. I am a bit of a trivia buff and sometimes organise or play pub quizzes, and I think it sort of goes with the area.

I think "do unto others..." is a good modus operandi and am always very grateful when kudoz answerers have helped me out, so I try to reciprocate whever possible. The points awarding is just the icing on the cake IMO, although brownies cqan come in handy for discounts.


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nekonote  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 04:58
Member (2009)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Agree Jun 26, 2011

writeaway wrote:


What is KudoZ?

Kudoz is now used as a crutch or a substitute for doing the work and some people seem to feel it's a viable alternative to opening a dictionary or looking on the www.



I actually had a same opinion. When I find such questions, I just ignore them. Often, same person (usually not "full member") posting questions about same field. I think it's either a specific part was really difficult to translate, or s/he is not good enough to translate it.
And of course, there are many questions that I could easily find the answer using a search engine online.

It's getting like Yahoo Japan's "forum" called "chiebukuro". Some students ask help to do homework and ignorant person kindly answer to it.

I also agree with Henry Hinds regarding getting rid of NFP.


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:58
English to Japanese
+ ...
Are you my Doppelgaenger, Henry? Jun 26, 2011

Henry Hinds wrote:

I see no use at all for NFP. Yes, we answer questions because we like to help our colleagues, but it costs nothing to award points so they should be awarded. After all, it's how we keep score. Yet with all the points I have (nasty point-grabber that I am) they won't buy me a new Mercedes or even a cup of coffee. They won't even get me a translation job except once in a while to aid a colleague who gets overloaded, but none from actual clients. So I do not see the points helping much to get jobs.

Thus, any asker who posts a NFP question will have to do without any contribution from me. Moreover, this issue is also similar to the "Pro - Non-Pro" situation. I just do not see any sense in that one either, and I will also refuse to answer any question that is improperly classified as "Non-Pro".

So get rid of both NFP and "Non-Pro".


When I first read your posting, I thought you were my Doppelgaenger. You wrote everything what I was about to write on this forum. I don't consider myself a point-grabber (maybe I may appear to be to some of the other users, but who cares). I agree to what you wrote above and I support the idea of abolishing not-for-points questions and Non-Pro questions, and I refuse to answer both NFP questions and Non-pro questions, since if the asker considers a question Non-pro, why ask in the first place?


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 20:58
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Filter them Jun 26, 2011

Henry Hinds wrote:
Moreover, this issue is also similar to the "Pro - Non-Pro" situation. I just do not see any sense in that one either, and I will also refuse to answer any question that is improperly classified as "Non-Pro".


Please remember that you can filter out the non-pro questions, so you will not see them at all... On the other hand, if the category is abolished altogether, these questions will be dumped together with those that you would want to answer.

I'm not talking only about all those "I love you" letter phrases asked by people outside of ProZ. If I read a book and come across a supposedly simple phrase in a language I don't speak (and I don't find the answer on the web), it is only natural that I will turn to my colleagues. And many of them will be glad to help. If you cannot be bothered, fine, but why do you want to take away that possibility from the others?


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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Get rid of non-pro AND pro questins Jun 26, 2011

Henry Hinds wrote:

I see no use at all for NFP. Yes, we answer questions because we like to help our colleagues, but it costs nothing to award points so they should be awarded. After all, it's how we keep score. Yet with all the points I have (nasty point-grabber that I am) they won't buy me a new Mercedes or even a cup of coffee. They won't even get me a translation job except once in a while to aid a colleague who gets overloaded, but none from actual clients. So I do not see the points helping much to get jobs.


Moreover, this issue is also similar to the "Pro - Non-Pro" situation. I just do not see any sense in that one either, and I will also refuse to answer any question that is improperly classified as "Non-Pro".

So get rid of both NFP and "Non-Pro".



imo, it makes no sense to get rid of non-pro (ie easy) questions without getting rid of the equally, if not even more, abused pro (ie difficult needing an expert to answer) category as well. Countless numbers of dead simple, easily findable, basic questions are asked improperly and misleadingly as pro.
Like the pointz themselves, the classifications have become completely meaningless, because the word pro plays such a big role on the site and no pro, badged or non-badged, wants to be seen under anything referred to as non-pro. So Google-minded points seekers avoid answering non-pro (and NFP) questions.
Why not just make a question a question without the used and abused pro/non-pro categories and even drop the points system altogether, especially if the main goal of Kudos it to help others? Show a letter (C for chosen etc etc) in the directory to indicate the person had his/her answer chosen as most helpful by Asker.


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xxxhazmatgerman
Local time: 20:58
English to German
points to be done with Jun 26, 2011

I quite agree with "writeaway", both in reasoning and conclusion.

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