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Non-platinum members described as "guests"
Thread poster: Nenija Hasanic

Nenija Hasanic
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 01:11
English to Bosnian
+ ...
Aug 26, 2003

"You cannot view this job for the following reasons:

- The job poster has restricted quoting to platinum members until 10:22pm. To have full access to this and future job postings, upgrade to platinum"

Yet when posting jobs, the job posters actualy get the message that non-paying members are "guests". They have no knowledge that it is about regular site members and language professionals, who had decided (for whichever reason)not to upgrade to platinum. Treating or describing us this way, surely will not help us change our standpoint concerning upgrading to platinum!


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 19:11
SITE FOUNDER
'Guests members' are contrasted with 'paying members', making the meaning clear Aug 27, 2003

The term "guest members" is not chosen to encourage upgrades, but rather, to reflect the current realities.

When activity from non-paying members was surpassed by activity from platinum members (in KudoZ, jobs and forums), it no longer made sense to refer to non-paying members as "regular" or "standard" members. They are the minority, not the norm.

The term "guest" members was selected as a substitute. This terminology is apt because it reflects the fact that paying members are the sponsors of the site, while non-paying members benefit from their sponsorship.

In the job posting form, a pull-down menu shows the options of "paying members" vs. "guests". Since there are no other choices, I believe the meaning is clear.

By the way, guests are always welcome here!


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schmurr  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:11
Italian to German
+ ...
Not a reality Aug 27, 2003

Dear Henry,
I'm sorry I can't agree with you that the term "guest members" reflects a reality.

Definition of "guest" by www.hyperdictionary.com:
"a visitor to whom hospitality is extended"

Merriam-Webster online gives as synonyms:
caller, visitant

So, as Nenija said, clients are bound to believe that non-Platinums are like those pupils that pop in just once to ask "I love you" and never come back, or, like guest members on some paying sites, are tolerated for a limited period only and will then be thrown out.

Why not call us simply "non-paying members"?

P.S.:
Dictionary.com gives:
"Guest = One who pays for meals or accommodations…" - thus it would be more correct to call Platinums "guests"…

P.P.S.: I did profit from ProZ 167 times by asking questions, but I have 2706 KudoZ, i. e. I helped others more than 700 times - is this commonly associated with the word "guest"?



[Edited at 2003-08-27 10:20]


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:11
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mmmm Aug 27, 2003

Martin Schmurr wrote:

"Guest = One who pays for meals or accommodations…" - thus it would be more correct to call Platinums "guests"…


Dunno... I'd never make a guest in my house pay for meals or accommodations...


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:11
Dutch to English
+ ...
Guest does sound rather non-professional Aug 27, 2003

I don't like the term guest either. It sounds unprofessional. Many non-paying members of ProZ make important contributions to the site. Why make a distinction at all. Call everybody a member, whether paying or not paying.

Guest sounds as if you do translation work as a hobby when you have free time.


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:41
English to Tamil
+ ...
Given the guest workers and their problems in Germany, the term 'guest' has unpleasant connotations Aug 27, 2003

It would be better if it were just non-platinum and platinum members. Guest workers in Germany do not get treated as guests but as unwanted but unavoidable intruders, who are just tolerated as they accept menial jobs, which the proud native considers to be below him or her.
I am a non-platinum member by choice and I have my commercial reasons for that, which I will not go into at this juncture.
Whenever I get an email for a job-posting, which says that it is reserved for platinum members, I just delete the mail and forget about it. But of late some postings are coming in the open category, as the job posters know enough to change the default option if it suits their needs.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:11
English to German
+ ...
The "Gastarbeiter" issue Aug 27, 2003

Hi Narasimhan,
Guest workers in Germany do not get treated as guests but as unwanted but unavoidable intruders, who are just tolerated as they accept menial jobs, which the proud native considers to be below him or her.

Don't know when you were in Germany last time, but the term "Gastarbeiter" is no longer used that much, precisely for the reason you stated. I won't pretend that xenophobia, racism or whatever you want to call it isn't a problem in Germany (or other places), but I firmly believe that we're past the age where "menial jobs" were reserved for "guest workers".

Best regards, Ralf


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Jörgen Slet  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 02:11
English to Estonian
+ ...
Even non-paying members add to the value of the site Aug 27, 2003

Erm. The universal meaning of "a guest" on Internet sites is an unregistered user. So it DOES tend to be misleading when applied to registered but non-paying users.

Besides, with Platinum members only, the site would be much less useful from both professional and economical viewpoint. There would be less traffic, so agencies and translators alike would find the site less attractive (fewer translators with fewer language combinations and a more limited spectrum of skills for agencies, fewer jobs to attract translators); there would be much less people to translate the site into other languages (many people earn Browniz doing this way), fewer agency reviews, fewer people to help others with Kudoz or forum questions etc.

Besides the fee may look reasonable and the site's services may be much more useful when working at Western rates and translating between more popular language combinations. With exotic languages there are few jobs and very few helpful Kudoz answers. And low Eastern Europe rates make the membership fee look, well, a bit too high. WordFast license, for instance, is priced differently for different parts of the word.

I understand that maintaining the site involves a lot of expenses, but I believe that alienating non-paying members will neither increase the site owner's revenues nor improve the life of paying members.


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Olga Simon  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 01:11
English to Russian
+ ...
By the same token Aug 27, 2003

:
the term "Gastarbeiter" is no longer used that much, precisely for the reason you stated.


By the same token I believe the term "guest members" should be substituted with "non-platinum members" or alike.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 19:11
SITE FOUNDER
OK, 'non-platinum' it is. Aug 27, 2003

Point taken; 'non-platinum' and 'non-paying' are more accurate. I will start using those terms throughout the site rather than 'guest'.

However, I would ask non-platinum members to bear in mind that there is a small cost associated with each page view. This is true whether you are using the page to 'give' or to 'take'. So when you answer another member's KudoZ question, Martin, your magnanimous contribution is valued by that member and the community--but it in no way contributes to paying the costs of the party.

Simply put, if you use the site but do not pay *anything* (and there are payment options as low as $30/yr), your bill is being footed by some platinum member. It is appropriate to remain mindful of that, because our sponsors--the platinum members--are to be thanked.


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:11
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Picking on a word? Aug 27, 2003

Olga Simon wrote:

By the same token I believe the term "guest members" should be substituted with "non-platinum members" or alike.


Dear colleagues,

Henry never said that Guest members do not contribute to the site, actually he has declared that they are very much welcome.

I believe that any choice or word could be criticized, one way or another.
If Henry had chosen the term "Non-paying" he would have received a volley of criticism for remarking the venal aspect of that participation, if he had chosen Non-Platinum other people would have expressed some dislike of that too.

By the way, I personally like more Guests rather than Non-paying or Non-Platinum.
It looks so negative to be a Non-something, don't you agree?

Gianfranco


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:11
Dutch to English
+ ...
Silver members Aug 27, 2003

Gianfranco Manca wrote:

By the way, I personally like more Guests rather than Non-paying or Non-Platinum.
It looks so negative to be a Non-something, don't you agree?

Gianfranco


I think I prefer non-paying or non-platinum better than guest. Just. If we call paying members platinum why not call non-paying members something specific too. For example: silver, marble, ruby, etc., something that is valuable or beautiful in society and has no negative connotations.

Just a thought.


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:41
English to Tamil
+ ...
Me in Germany? Sir I never left India Aug 27, 2003

Dear Ralf,
Another contributor to this thread has already reacted to your posting and suggested that just for those reasons, here too the term guest is to be replaced and Henry graciously accepted the same. My sincere thanks to him and yourself too. Glad to know that the term Gastarbeiter is no longer in use. What term is being used now? I came across this term in the late sixties and early seventies, when I was learning German in the Goethe Institute. By the way I have had no occasion to leave India. On the other hand Germany and France have come to me zu Hause.

Ralf Lemster wrote:

Hi Narasimhan,
Guest workers in Germany do not get treated as guests but as unwanted but unavoidable intruders, who are just tolerated as they accept menial jobs, which the proud native considers to be below him or her.

Don't know when you were in Germany last time, but the term "Gastarbeiter" is no longer used that much, precisely for the reason you stated. I won't pretend that xenophobia, racism or whatever you want to call it isn't a problem in Germany (or other places), but I firmly believe that we're past the age where "menial jobs" were reserved for "guest workers".

Best regards, Ralf


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Judy Rojas  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 21:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
Why not "Member" and "Platinum Member"? Aug 27, 2003

Henry wrote:

Point taken; 'non-platinum' and 'non-paying' are more accurate. I will start using those terms throughout the site rather than 'guest'.


I think that would be a lot "cleaner" than "non-platinum member" and still eliminate any negative connotations.


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Chapete
Local time: 01:11
French to Spanish
+ ...
Nice Aug 27, 2003

Marijke Singer wrote:

Gianfranco Manca wrote:

By the way, I personally like more Guests rather than Non-paying or Non-Platinum.
It looks so negative to be a Non-something, don't you agree?

Gianfranco


I think I prefer non-paying or non-platinum better than guest. Just. If we call paying members platinum why not call non-paying members something specific too. For example: silver, marble, ruby, etc., something that is valuable or beautiful in society and has no negative connotations.

Just a thought.


Silver is nice!


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