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Proz.com membership: yes or no?
Thread poster: Rasa Mikalauskaite

Rasa Mikalauskaite
Belgium
Local time: 09:15
Member (2016)
Dutch to Lithuanian
+ ...
Jun 6, 2016

Hello everyone,

I'm considering proz.com membership, as my headline says, and it's not difficult to guess what my question to you is:) Is it worth it?
I suppose, this is the right place for this question since I would do it to expand my market reach, obviously.

Thank you,

Rasa


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Richard Purdom  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:15
Dutch to English
+ ...
Nee, zonder van het geld! Jun 6, 2016

I was a member for a year, then got very miffed that the price in euros is much more than in dollars, for absolutely no reason at all. I asked why this was, the replywas unconvincing to say the least.

That year did help in getting some contacts, but I have more work than I can take on now anyway. The other benefits seem marginal.

For your rare pair, it's unlikely there will be any job postings, but basic membership will allow people to get in touch with you.


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Cilian O'Tuama  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:15
German to English
+ ...
One nice thing about ProZ... Jun 6, 2016

One nice thing about ProZ is that they don't make it difficult to unsubscribe.

So if you sign up for one-year membership and decide after 2 months that it was a bad idea, then just cancel your membership and ProZ will refund you for the remaining 10 months. (At least that's how it used to be.)

The site can be very useful, even for a non-paying user, depending on your expectations and how you hope to benefit.
That said, good non-paying members attract attention too, though most outsourcers admittedly probably do go to the list of paying members first. I for one don't. But that's neither here nor there.
c


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:15
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Interesting question Jun 6, 2016

Rasa Mikalauskaite wrote:
Is it worth it?

Normally, this question gives rise to a standard response:
- stand out more (bigger fish in smaller pond)
- get your quote in earlier
- figure on the first page of the directory.

However, in your case those don't have quite the same validity as there are so few in your pair and none seem to be paying members. Of course, that also means that you'll automatically be in the first spot if you do pay.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:15
English to Portuguese
+ ...
My policy on translation portals Jun 6, 2016

1. If they want payment up-front, before I can see what's inside, I'm out!
I've read about one such "portal" where the "jobs" were probably invented. One guy who paid up-front for the membership reported that each and every job was eventually assigned "to someone else".

2. If they allow free-user status, I'm in, always.
This allows me to monitor the demand for my language pair, and make myself "present", visible.
I stayed on Proz for five years until I saw the demand for my pair rise and hold. Then I took the plunge. Today I noticed that this was 15 years ago.

A competing site, TC for short, has occasional demand for my pair, but it doesn't hold, so I remain a non-paying user there until it does.

3. Apparently there are language-focused such portals too.
For instance, if PL were present in my language pairs, I'd certainly be a paying member at Globtra. Maybe there are other language-centered portals around, I wouldn't know.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:15
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Rasa etc Jun 7, 2016

Rasa Mikalauskaite wrote:
I'm considering ProZ.com membership. Is it worth it?


You can do two things on ProZ.com: make money, and get help. Full membership (USD 144) includes both, but you can also buy partial membership that includes only one of the two. If you have partial membership for the one, then your access to the other is at the same level as that of non-payment members.

Currently, the "make money" (i.e. "jobs") membership costs USD 78 and the "get help" (i.e. "community") membership costs USD 54. For example, with the "jobs" membership, you get full access to the Blue Board, you can quote on jobs that are reserved for paid members, and your name appears in directory searches among those of paying members (i.e. higher up in the list)

Richard Purdom wrote:
I ... got very miffed that the price in euros is much more than in dollars, for absolutely no reason at all.


Yes, the current price for membership does not reflect the current exchange rate. Similar policies are followed by some CAT tool vendors. I suppose the main reason for this is to make the price reliable. Otherwise the price of membership might be e.g. $100 one week and then $105 the next week and then $95 the week after that.

Currently, 1 year costs USD 144 (i.e. EUR 126 as of today) or EUR 116 (i.e. USD 132 as of today). The difference between long-term membership deals (paying for 2, 3, 5, 10 year) are even more, since their figures are the same for USD and EUR (e.g. 5-year membership costs EUR 505 or USD 505).

Cilian O'Tuama wrote:
If you sign up for one-year membership and decide after 2 months that it was a bad idea, then just cancel your membership and ProZ.com will refund you for the remaining 10 months. (At least that's how it used to be.)


It still works that way, but you have to send a support request to "cancel" your membership:
http://www.proz.com/faq/3985#3985

Sheila Wilson wrote:
In your case those don't have quite the same validity as there are so few in your pair and none seem to be paying members. Of course, that also means that you'll automatically be in the first spot if you do pay.


This is perhaps the one major advantage that paying membership would get Rasa: at the moment, she is listed on the same page as all other 6 NL-LT translators, but if she pays for membership (or for "jobs" partial membership), then (if I understand ProZ.com correctly) she will be the only translator on page 1 of the search results, and the other 6 translators will appear on page 2. This assumes that her profile matches the search criteria.

That said, the other 6 NL-LT translators all have very poorly completed profile pages -- Rasa's profile page currently stands out as the sole eye-catcher, so I'm not even sure if being the only one on page 1 would give her any more exposure than she currently gets.


[Edited at 2016-06-07 09:41 GMT]


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Andrea Garfield-Barkworth  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:15
Member (2015)
German to English
It was beneficial to me Jun 7, 2016

Obviously everybody has to decide this for themselves but it certainly paid off for me.

I was a member for six years before I decided to join and hadn't been contacted once. After joining I have made some very useful contacts and had a number of jobs that have more than paid the subscription fee.

Plus, I consider the Blue Board invaluable.

[Edited at 2016-06-07 09:29 GMT]


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:15
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
For me, yes Jun 7, 2016

Rasa Mikalauskaite wrote:
Is it worth it?

I remain irritated by the glacial pace of change at ProZ. I'm disheartened by Henry's willingness to throw time and money at shiny new toys like TM-Town while dragging his feet with regard to improving the (now ancient) forum software or mitigating the issues many users have with KudoZ.

Of course, resolving the latter problems would be a boring and arduous task, probably involving unpleasant and unpopular decisions, which may explain why ProZ management has avoided doing anything.

To be sure, I don't know what's going on behind the scenes. ProZ might announce new forum software tomorrow, or a question cap to prevent some users exploiting KudoZ, but frankly both are already long years overdue. It's good to see people and organisations striving to perform at their highest level of ability and conversely disappointing to see them cruising along comfortably at well below capacity.

But, but, but... For all these gripes, for me personally the ProZ membership has still been a valuable source of contact from clients. If I were you I would certainly try it for a few months and see how it goes.

Dan


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
No but yes but no Jun 7, 2016

I did it for a year and it didn't bring in any sensible job offers so for me it was a waste of money.

But then I'm at the high end of the market and the site seems to target/attract the low end.

It's not a lot of money, though, so it might be worth a shot.


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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:15
German to English
+ ...
I've been a paying member for 10 years Jun 7, 2016

and never regretted it. I find the usefulness far outweighs any annoyances I might have experienced, but each to his or her own.

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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:15
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Hear hear! Jun 7, 2016

Dan Lucas wrote:
I remain irritated by the glacial pace of change at ProZ. I'm disheartened by Henry's willingness to throw time and money at shiny new toys like TM-Town while dragging his feet with regard to improving the (now ancient) forum software or mitigating the issues many users have with KudoZ.

Of course, resolving the latter problems would be a boring and arduous task, probably involving unpleasant and unpopular decisions, which may explain why ProZ management has avoided doing anything.

To be sure, I don't know what's going on behind the scenes. ProZ might announce new forum software tomorrow, or a question cap to prevent some users exploiting KudoZ, but frankly both are already long years overdue. It's good to see people and organisations striving to perform at their highest level of ability and conversely disappointing to see them cruising along comfortably at well below capacity.

But, but, but... For all these gripes, for me personally the ProZ membership has still been a valuable source of contact from clients. If I were you I would certainly try it for a few months and see how it goes.

Dan


I have been a paying member since 2003 and in terms of money I am satisfied, very satisfied... for the rest, well, I hardly use kudoz...


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:15
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Couldn't agree more Jun 7, 2016

Dan Lucas wrote:

I remain irritated by the glacial pace of change at ProZ. I'm disheartened by Henry's willingness to throw time and money at shiny new toys like TM-Town while dragging his feet with regard to improving the (now ancient) forum software or mitigating the issues many users have with KudoZ.

Of course, resolving the latter problems would be a boring and arduous task, probably involving unpleasant and unpopular decisions, which may explain why ProZ management has avoided doing anything.

To be sure, I don't know what's going on behind the scenes. ProZ might announce new forum software tomorrow, or a question cap to prevent some users exploiting KudoZ, but frankly both are already long years overdue. It's good to see people and organisations striving to perform at their highest level of ability and conversely disappointing to see them cruising along comfortably at well below capacity.

But, but, but... For all these gripes, for me personally the ProZ membership has still been a valuable source of contact from clients. If I were you I would certainly try it for a few months and see how it goes.


I would add the debacle of the last Proz translation contest.

I get the impression that in spite of the efforts of the staff to keep Proz coasting (sic!), they are just waiting to be bought as-is by either Microsoft or Google.


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:15
Member (2008)
French to English
Value of the BlueBoard Jun 7, 2016

For me, the simple value is in the losses I haven't incurred when I declined jobs that the BlueBoard reports showed I would not have got paid for.

In any given year, I am sure I would have lost much more than the annual fee, had I not had that information.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:15
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Definitely, however the BB is ailing too Jun 7, 2016

John Fossey wrote:

For me, the simple value is in the losses I haven't incurred when I declined jobs that the BlueBoard reports showed I would not have got paid for.

In any given year, I am sure I would have lost much more than the annual fee, had I not had that information.


The lack of objectivity in the Blue Board concept (as compared to a similar e-venue that asks objective questions on the experience) requires an ability to "read between the lines" from the savvy Blue Board user.

I could name (if it were allowed here) a few translation agencies that uphold IMO some despicable payment practices. So they get bad feedback. Every time their declining composite LWA crosses a specific threshold, they work some way to get a reinvigorating stream of 5s within a week or so to lift it again. Though veeery suspicious, further scrutiny makes it look on the up-and-up.

I wouldn't know, but it should be very easy to get one or two dozen translators to do a 50-word translation each, pay them majestic rates COD, and their (emphatically required) feedback would have the same weight as the one coming from a translator who did tens of thousand words for the same firm, and got paid only for part of them several months later than agreed.


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Rasa Mikalauskaite
Belgium
Local time: 09:15
Member (2016)
Dutch to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting Jun 7, 2016

Thank you all.
Interesting points, especially those I wasn't so much aware of, concerning the working of the site.
Some background. As many have pointed out, normally I should feel quite confident about my main NL-LT combination, for which I presumably wouldn't need much enhancement as such. BTW, nearly no jobs are being published for this combination, but those who need me, find me anyway.
I might need profile enhancement for my second combination, EN-LT, which is basically the problem. Should I promote my two combinations separately? Since my main pair is NL-LT, I myself find it quite logical that possible clients would prefer to skip my profile and go to first-line providers of EN-LT, although I also offer it. Here, I thought, could proz.com membership help me somewhat?
I will now return to the first point I mentioned. I wasn't aware of how important kudoz points apparently are for the profile ranking. Apparently, the very ranking in the hierarchy is quite literally defined by the number of kudoz points, and the same goes for both members and non-members. I find this pretty ghastly to be honest, I don't see myself solving hundreds of questions (what about the quality of the answers?) to earn a better ranking, and I am supposed to do it regardless of whether I am a proz.com member or not??


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