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Why I\'m not renewing my Platinum membership....
Thread poster: Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:28
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Nov 18, 2002

Dear all,



I respect Henry and all he has done for this site and the translation community, but it’s time for me to “retire” from the platinum membership. Why? Many reasons.



I find the site more and more dispersive and the weird mixture of true professionals and amateurs makes it very confusing and, in my opinion, almost useless. Although I understand Henry’s need to keep the site open to everybody, I feel there is the necessity of implementing some kind of filter, to prevent the abuse of the site. Too many empty profiles are no good for Proz.com. I also feel that the true professionals are abandoning the site because of the very low standards. This also applies to the job section. It’s not a secret that amongst the translators community, Proz is now regarded as the safe heaven for agencies who are looking for cheap labour. This is a very negative factor for the true professionals on Proz and I feel that many colleagues are not very active anymore because they don’t want to be associated with such a poor image.



Secondly, I don’t feel that the platinum membership is very good value for money, especially in terms of visibility. It just doesn’t offer enough incentives to spend 120 bucks on it. To be honest, since my membership expired, I have hardly noticed any changes and don’t miss all the “extras” which came with the platinum membership. At least I won’t get upset when somebody drops the server and the site is offline for 3 days.



Proz.com is a great site and has allowed me to make a lot of new friends. I even got jobs through it! Nevertheless, the chaotic nature and openness of it are, in my opinion, not a bonus but a burden, at least for the professionals. It offers great value to newcomers, but the real Pros, on the long run, want to be Pros.



Regards to everybody.



Giovanni



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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 07:28
SITE FOUNDER
How about some couth with your meal? Nov 18, 2002

I gather that you intend to continue using the site as a non-paying member. You are welcome to do so. But please understand that your choice to go non-platinum (while an increasing percentage of the rest of the community goes in the opposite direction) makes you a guest of those who pay. The paying members (who you offend, indirectly) are subsidizing your meeting of friends and clients now!



This is fine, of course--it is part of the business formula. But what I ask is that you *act* the part of the guest. No one likes a guest who criticizes not only the meal, but also his fellow diners.


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:28
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
What is your definition of a professional? Nov 18, 2002

Well, I\'ve read your previous posting about broken links and missing pictures on your profile page. Already then you mentioned not to prolong your Platinum membership.

Now you state, there are to many non-professionals on the site. Well, I\'m wondering about this, as I meet always amlost the same people here - and this since February this year. And idirectly you mean, that many newcommers with empty profiles (which can be temporar situation) are non-professionals. As I joined the site, my profile was quite empty for the first days, and still it is not as full.



But if you grade professionalism through the view of someones profile, this is not my way.

I do not like sites with to much pictures, as they load to slowly. Many pictures on the site do not necessarily show, that a person behind them is a big professional. Yes, perhaps he/she is good in HTML-editing, but we do not mean HTML-editing and website design here, do we?



Jerzy


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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:28
Member
German to English
+ ...
Why I've just renewed my platinum membership. Nov 18, 2002

And no, not only because it\'s on special offer!



To be honest, I really couldn\'t care less about the prices of the jobs offered on Proz. In the eighteen months I have been a member I have bid on two jobs. That is not necessarily the point.



I have made numerous contacts, even, if I may be so bold as to say so, forged relationships and friendships through ProZ. I have been offered work worth many orders of magnitude greater than what I paid for my subscription (and not just work at derisory rates), but that is not why I renewed.



I have renewed my membership because ProZ is worthy of support. Quite simply there would be an empty space in my life without it - an empty space that I would happily pay $120 not to have.



With the best will in the world, I do not think it is possible to have in excess of 40,000 subscribers and maintain a level of exclusivity. ProZ is open to anyone. If membership were restricted to \'professionals\' (however we choose to define them) it would be a completely different beast. And there are elitist societies elsewhere on the Internet, please don\'t let us turn ProZ into one as well. It\'s beauty is in its openness.



From a happy punter



Mary



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Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:28
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
My opinion Nov 18, 2002

I get at least one serious enquiry a week through ProZ, and several of them turn into well paid jobs. In my opinion, many bid jobs offer low rates but people who contact you directly take ProZ very seriously and do not expect you to work for low rates.

I ask many KudoZ questions and receive a lot of help.

I get many info from the forums.

Many people I lost contact with are able to find me through ProZ.

I think all the above is good value for 10 $ a month.


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:28
Member (2004)
English to Italian
TOPIC STARTER
Not criticizing the entire meal, maybe just the first course... Nov 18, 2002

Henry said:



This is fine, of course--it is part of the business formula. But what I ask is that you *act* the part of the guest. No one likes a guest who criticizes not only the meal, but also his fellow diners.



Well, Henry, I\'m very disappointed by your answer. Obviously, you don\'t like criticism, and I understand that. But then, you said it yourself. It\'s a business formula, isn\'t it? It\'s all down to business. If you don\'t like guests who criticize, then you shouldn\'t allow guests at all or maybe you could try and put a muzzle on them. Was it ok to criticize when I was paying? Why do you allow guests? To prop up the numbers. That\'s all that matters. Numbers. The biggest and best site in the world. 40,000 sheep. I was only advocating more control over the mess, the \"zoo\", as I called it once, but all I get it\'s aggression. I have said that ProZ is great site, which could be \"fine-tuned\", but constructive criticism is not welcome, apparently. Only concentrating on the negative points. The real professionals won\'t feel insulted, because they\'ll know what I mean. Act as a guest... behave like host, please.



Giovanni


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:28
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Agree with Mary Nov 18, 2002

Mary Richards writes: \"I have renewed my membership because ProZ is worthy of support. Quite simply there would be an empty space in my life without it.\"

I feel the same way, which is why I took out Platinum membership a few months ago.


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Zuzana Suchá  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:28
Member (2004)
English to Czech
+ ...
Fan of ProZ (not Platinum but realistic) Nov 19, 2002

The question is what you expect. Why should I expect that someone will think that I am a good professional just because I have created a profile on the web and filled it with information that may or may not be true? Why should somebody give me a job if he/she does not know the quality of my work? I agree that many agencies look for cheap labour here - and not only here. Why don´t you ignore them? Let them mind their own business. Let them contact whoever wants to work for them. I never got any job through ProZ. I probably did not care enough to get one. But I like this site very much. I ask and answer KudoZ, copy useful resources, look up agencies on the Blue Board. I like the fact that there are so many people exchanging opinions, ideas, resources, experience, sharing views or even feelings. I am fully freelance and my work often becomes quite solitary. Then I like to stop by the Spanish postings where people write essays and poetry and it makes me feel better. It does not bother me at all that someone will associate me with a poor image (or a good image). ProZ is a great place.

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xxxAnneF
Local time: 20:28
Japanese to English
Just a comment Nov 19, 2002

I read Giovanni\'s comment and could not help but agree with him. No one likes to be criticised, but we ought to take a more philosophical attitude and deal with it positively to allow us to improve. I can understand Henry\'s defensive reaction to his comment as I\'m sure he felt he was being attacked. Another comment is for Henry. We are all entitled to an opinion or two, wthether we are a paying member or not. I\'m sure there\'s something we can learn from what has been said in all the views expressed here.
[addsig]


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Els Hoefman  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:28
Member (2004)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Thank you, platinum member. Nov 19, 2002

I am not a platinum member of ProZ, mainly because I am not an independent translator so I do not need to be able to bid on jobs etc. I am an in-house translator for a computer company. I use ProZ for the glossaries and for the postings interesting (news and resources). ProZ makes me feel part of the translator community, and it is great knowing that all you translators out there are willing to assist me if I have a question (and vice versa, of course).

Thanks to all platinum members who make it possible for me to be part of this community!!!


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David Daduč
Czech Republic
Local time: 13:28
English to Czech
Do numbers matter or not? Nov 19, 2002

Le me just remind two quaotations.



Giovanni\'s first post:

\"I don’t feel that the platinum membership is very good value for money, especially in terms of visibility. It just doesn’t offer enough incentives to spend 120 bucks on it.\"



Giovanni\'s second post:

\"But then, you said it yourself. It\'s a business formula, isn\'t it? It\'s all down to business. If you don\'t like guests who criticize, then you shouldn\'t allow guests at all or maybe you could try and put a muzzle on them. Was it ok to criticize when I was paying? Why do you allow guests? To prop up the numbers. That\'s all that matters. Numbers.\"



No comment.


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:28
Dutch to English
+ ...
Going Platinum Nov 19, 2002

\"I have renewed my membership because ProZ is worthy of support. Quite simply there would be an empty space in my life without it.\"

Spot on!



I agree with Mary and Jack and that is why I also went Platinum.



I rarely get jobs through the site but the KudoZ questions are a great facility. I also regularly look translators up.



I think it should stay open to all and not become elitist.



I\'m renewing next year!


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Francesco Volpe  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:28
English to Italian
+ ...
Well, why don't you all become Platinum and pay? Nov 19, 2002

The point is: which is the added value for being Platinum, pay 120 US, help non professional (some non paying members) with their work and inderectly substain their low rates (I refer to Eng-Ita pair here), or just remain a guest and enjoy the other excellent things Proz offer? I\'ve been a member of Proz for 2 years, a very interesting place and all the rest you have said, but as my membership expires I\'ll just be a guest acting exactly in the same way as I have done as Platinum member.

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Domenica Grangiotti  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:28
English to Italian
+ ...
You choose Nov 19, 2002

I turned Platinum one week ago, after a couple of months of just being a non paying member. So, what\'s the difference? Just give it some time and I will tell you.

I want to add something about newbies and non-professional translators.

I am one myself, in the sense that I am relatively new to the site and that my main job NOW is not translating > I am working to reach that target to be able to drop my present job (I am mainly tired of working for someone else!) and translate full time. Does that make me a NON-professional translator? NO!! I have a very professional attitude, I have established very professional relations with some agencies, and send out very professional invoices (I work on a VAT basis, by the way ... so I do not even try and work behind the back of my professional collegues or the Government).

Also, if Proz.com should establish too strict rules, we all will have more hindrances instead of more freedom.

Once again, being a Platinum member or not is your choice.

What I please ask you not to do is ruin the friendly and open-minded attitude of the site: a community of translators (or would-be translators) who - in general - work hard, try to give one another a hand and have fun in between.

Thanks.


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:28
Member (2004)
English to Italian
TOPIC STARTER
Laura... Nov 19, 2002

you said:

---------quote--------------

\"I get at least one serious enquiry a week through ProZ, and several of them turn into well paid jobs. In my opinion, many bid jobs offer low rates but people who contact you directly take ProZ very seriously and do not expect you to work for low rates.

I ask many KudoZ questions and receive a lot of help.

I get many info from the forums.

Many people I lost contact with are able to find me through ProZ.

I think all the above is good value for 10 $ a month\".

------------end quote---------



Unfortunately, you can do all the things you mentioned without having to pay for the membership. The things you list, I have enjoyed them myself and this is why I\'m not leaving Proz (there are some good comments in my message). But I don\'t see any added value in the platinum membership.



Regards,



Giovanni


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