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Off topic: Work for Free? Artists say NO to Google
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:10
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Spanish to English
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Jun 16, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/business/media/15illo.html?ref=global-home

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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
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"Spec" Jun 16, 2009

Hi Jeff,
thanks for the link. This reminds me that many US creative professionals have been campaigning against "spec" (= speculative work) for some years now.

The website is here: http://www.no-spec.com/

Laurent K.


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Textklick  Identity Verified
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And translators say "NO!" to freebies... Jun 16, 2009

The well-known site 'LinkedIn' that enables 'professionals' to communicate made a major blunder today.

Thanks to Web 2.0 (Twitter), the group below was set up very quickly on LinkedIn itself (in the meantime, it has over 70 members).

http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=2032092

Read the full story here: http://www.matthewbennett.es/1084/linkedin-infuriates-professional-translators-10-big-questions/

O.K. - we may choose to work for NGOs, charities and we can continue to discuss the remuneration of test translations forever - but this is a different issue IMHO.

If you are a LinkedIn member, then by all means join the group.

Do have your say about how you view making 'donations' in the form of free work to large commercial organisations.

Chris



[Edited at 2009-06-16 19:29 GMT]


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Carla Guerreiro  Identity Verified
France
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Thanks for the information! Jun 16, 2009

Textklick wrote:

The well-known site 'LinkedIn' that enables 'professionals' to communicate made a major blunder today.

Thanks to Web 2.0 (Twitter), the group below was set up very quickly on LinkedIn itself (in the meantime, it has over 70 members).

http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=2032092

Read the full story here: http://www.matthewbennett.es/1084/linkedin-infuriates-professional-translators-10-big-questions/

O.K. - we may choose to work for NGOs, charities and we can continue to discuss the remuneration of test translations forever - but this is a different issue IMHO.

If you are a LinkedIn member, then by all means join the group.

Do have your say about how you view making 'donations' in the form of free work to large commercial organisations.

Chris



[Edited at 2009-06-16 18:19 GMT]


I've just joined this group on linkedin.

Carla


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:10
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Too busy to respond to surveys Jun 16, 2009

But having read this thread (and Matthew Bennett's blog) I immediately opened the email I got from Nico earlier today. I had no problem with question three, the last alternative was "other" with a box where I could specify what this would be. Easy, peasy - ticked the box and specified "Money".

And on the final page Nico asked me to "Please provide any other feedback or comments. Thank You!". So I did provide a comment:

"The multinational company I work for is considering setting up a community site. Could you please check with the members of your IT teams what kind of incentive they'd expect for volunteering their professional skills - a mention on the site, recognition as our preferred IT professional, 5% discount on redundant lines or other (please specify)."

Just waiting for his reply now.

Madeleine


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
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Way to go, Madeleine! Jun 16, 2009

You took every word out of my mouth!

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
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TOPIC STARTER
British Airways wants employees to work for free Jun 16, 2009

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/British-Airways-asks-staff-to-cnnm-15540212.html?.v=1

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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:10
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Thanks Victoria Jun 16, 2009

Even my teenage son was impressed...

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Laureana Pavon  Identity Verified
Uruguay
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Moderator of this forum
Thanks! Jun 17, 2009

I've already joined the LinkedIn group and am spreading the word.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
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Joined already! Jun 17, 2009

Textklick wrote:
Thanks to Web 2.0 (Twitter), the group below was set up very quickly on LinkedIn itself (in the meantime, it has over 70 members).


Thanks for sharing! I have joined the group.

To me, the problem with crowdsourcing in these companies is not actually business figures --let's be honest, these companies don't need much translation really--, but the fact that they ignore the difference between a professional translation and the stuff they get by crowdsourcing. It really hurts to see translation mistakes and typos in websites visited daily by millions!

AND, may I ask you guys reading this forum: Translators who helped Proz.com crowdsource the localisation of this website... please refrain from complaining about LinkedIn! You did the same!

[Edited at 2009-06-17 05:31 GMT]


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Rod Walters  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 06:10
Japanese to English
A word in favour of LinkedIn Jun 17, 2009

I like LinkedIn. It has a lot of good content and it provides a valuable service for nothing.

Having said that, the approach it took was clumsy and seemingly fraudulent even, pretending to present a poll about improving service. The scattershot approach was also clumsy - I translate into English and so would not likely be of much use to them, but they still chose to contact me. Rather than outrage, the remuneration options provoked nothing more than mirth, and I too took the opportunity to add "professional payment" as the option I would consider.

However, starting a whole movement in response to a single email seems like a desperate measure to me. If one has the option of doing paid work, it seems like a simple matter to decline the generous offer of free work and not think any more about it. And realistically, how long is this enthusiasm for protest going to last?


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
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The real point of the protest Jun 17, 2009

Rod Walters wrote:
However, starting a whole movement in response to a single email seems like a desperate measure to me. If one has the option of doing paid work, it seems like a simple matter to decline the generous offer of free work and not think any more about it. And realistically, how long is this enthusiasm for protest going to last?


Unfortunately we are all so busy (we don't really need LinkedIn's work) that it is very likely that we are unable to propagate and widen this specific protest.

However, I do feel that this little Boston Tea Party about LinkedIn's tea is very useful and could help increasing the awareness of a clear separation between people doing crowdsourcing an professional translators. We don't need or want to be made responsible of the awful translations we see in crowdsourced stuff. That's the real point behind all this!

[Edited at 2009-06-17 07:42 GMT]


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Matthew Bennett
Local time: 23:10
English to Spanish
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Great debate and suggestions Jun 17, 2009

Hi, nice to read some more ideas on this topic, which Chris has invited me to comment on.

I was really surprised yesterday when I found so many annoyed translators on Twitter and not one of them with anything nice to say about LinkedIn's idea.

I was even more surprised because I have the impression that translators as a group are pretty hard to annoy - we tend to be open minded and quite relaxed about most things. At least the Twitter bunch are like that.

Especially those of us who have been doing this for a few years. We have been talking about pay and recognition forever but it was surprising yesterday to see how many experienced freelancers who normally never bother with these debates popped up to express their frustration. I think there are some really helpful comments in the LinkedIn discussion thread.

Also interesting to discover the no-spec movement via Laurent's link: Catherine posted about it on their blog today too.

Madeleine: a fine response!

Rod, Tomás: as far as 'a whole movement' goes, I have no idea, it was just a spur of the moment thing yesterday to give people a place to discuss the subject after @pikorua suggested it might be a good idea. Then I have a small blog so it seemed like an interesting post to write. I think it would be useful to continue the discussion and see whether crowdsourcing really is a new trend we will have to learn to deal with or if it's just the latest business buzz word that corporations are having a go at implementing to save money.

Nico Posner from LinkedIn has contacted me today to organise a chat: I'll see if he might be amenable to recording it as a podcast so that everyone can listen in, and I've got some good notes from an e-mail which are relevant to the debate too, so I'll try and post those later.


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ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:10
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Are we being selective about this? Jun 17, 2009

Textklick wrote:

O.K. - we may choose to work for NGOs, charities and we can continue to discuss the remuneration of test translations forever - but this is a different issue IMHO.

If you are a LinkedIn member, then by all means join the group.

Do have your say about how you view making 'donations' in the form of free work to large commercial organisations.


[Chris, free test translations... yuck! ]

But isn't Proz.com, also a commercial website, usually relying on crowdsourcing to translate some (or most) of the contents of the website?

I think (even though, as Rod Walters rightly commented, that LinkedIn had a clumsy approach about this) that it sounds a bit contradictory to criticize so harshly LinkedIn and not Proz.com (or any other similar cases) when it comes to this kind of free work (though maybe in this new reaction group they might include Proz.com in the long run).

On the other hand, if people choose to do this work for free, even in the case of a commercial website, maybe it's because they don't have a problem with this and are fully aware of what they are doing, and will anyway get something out of it (like advertising/marketing exposure or preferential treatment from the corresponding management staff of the website, etc.).

And I would say free voluntary crowdsourcing is completely different from cases where an employment or legal contract or anything like that is involved (like the British Airways case mentioned).



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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:10
German to English
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What's in it for the individual? Jun 17, 2009

ICL wrote:

But isn't Proz.com, also a commercial website, usually relying on crowdsourcing to translate some (or most) of the contents of the website?


Hi Ivette,

Indeed, but given its specialist nature, I see Proz rather as my 'own backyard', where I have an opportunity for targeted networking an opportunity to contribute, be it in the form of Kudoz, participation in discussions, suggestions for improvements, resourcing peers, attendance at events etc. etc. This is to say nothing of the opportunity to benefit from peer knowledge, experience, things like group buys etc. etc.

So I don't see a real parallel here with the LinkedIn issue. Given the very fact that Proz is a commercial site, the localisation costs incurred would have had to be carried somehow. So how? Increased fees? That would mean that you would have been paying for others to benefit in areas that are of no interest to you and I do not think that the community as a whole would have viewed that positively. The fact that the site is now available in e.g. Chinese is of direct benefit to those valiant souls who helped out with the localisation, which is fine for them.

Any benefit to pro bono translators would not exist in the case of what LinkedIn had in mind.

I see the whole discussion as being about major commercial operations seeking freebies, be they Google, LinkedIn or for that matter BA. Denigrating the worth of of the profession in our case.

So to answer your question, I see it as being general rather than selective.

Chris





[Edited at 2009-06-17 11:31 GMT]


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