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Paying members not allowed to post to the BlueBoard anymore - because they opted out of WWA!
Thread poster: ViktoriaG

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:31
English to French
+ ...
Jul 9, 2006

Sorry for posting a new thread for the question, but I most certainly will not read through a 50-page thread to get the answer to this.

I read a random posting in the WWA announcement thread. It was saying that if one chooses to opt out/out of WWA, then they will thereby waive their right to post BB feedback. Is this true?

I really would like to find out, because I am starting to consider opting out of the site altogether, seeing the changes implemented in May and June - and already anticipating future changes.

Also, if this is true, how do you feel about it? I am really hoping this isn't true...

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-07-09 22:50]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:31
English to German
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The details Jul 9, 2006

Hi Viktoria,
Please see Henry's posting on page 41, specifically:


Option 3: out/out (full out; do not accept even entries that only you would see)

Option 3 is intended for those who are certain that they will never use the WWA system and, furthermore, require a means of refusing to accept even private entries from those who might otherwise leave them.

If you choose option 3:

* A WWA box will *not* appear in your profile
* No one will be permitted to make WWA entries that concern you (via your profile page, or any other page.)

Important notes about this option:

* Because of the "gaming" problem mentioned above, those who select this option will not be able to unselect it without assistance. Undoing this selection requires that a support ticket be entered.

* The choice not to allow others to make unsolicited entries (even those that only the recipient would see), will be regarded as a decision to opt out of the ProZ.com WWA network entirely. Under this condition, those who choose option 3 will not be permitted to make unsolicited WWA entries either for service providers (via profiles, etc.) or for outsourcers (via the Blue Board). In other words, those who choose this option will be permitted to make entries when honoring requests from others, but otherwise will not be permitted to make entries.

* The decision not to make oneself available for feedback may mean that one will not benefit from future features--features not yet conceived--that may emerge as WWA goes into use in the community.


Note that you will be able to post feedback in response to requests.

Best regards,
Ralf


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xxxPFB  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:31
English to French
+ ...
One question, if I may Jul 9, 2006

Ralf Lemster wrote:

Under this condition, those who choose option 3 will not be permitted to make unsolicited WWA entries either for service providers (via profiles, etc.) or for outsourcers (via the Blue Board).


My understanding is that, should I choose Option 3 (the so-called 'out/out' option), I would be deprived of the right to make en entry about an outsourcer I have worked with. Is this correct?

If it is, is this not changing the conditions of the contract that both ProZ.com and I entered into? Part of the fee (or whatever it is called) I paid gave me this right, which as I understand it is now being taken away from me.

Wouldn't that amount to a breach of contract?

That was my question.

May I simply add that, still assuming my understanding is correct, it seems to me ProZ.com doesn't trust its membrers or its users. Of course, there will always be some who will abuse the system and ProZ.com certainly has the means to deal with them. But I should have thought that the vast majority of us are responsible professionals ('ProZ', remember?) whose only wish is to contribute to the Blue Board in a professional way.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:31
English to German
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Not quite Jul 9, 2006

Hi Philippe,


Under this condition, those who choose option 3 will not be permitted to make unsolicited WWA entries either for service providers (via profiles, etc.) or for outsourcers (via the Blue Board).


My understanding is that, should I choose Option 3 (the so-called 'out/out' option), I would be deprived of the right to make en entry about an outsourcer I have worked with. Is this correct?

Not quite - this is about unsolicited entries. Henry and Enrique still need to provide technical details on how these will be distinguished from solicited entries (i.e. those following a call for entries, if I understand correctly).

If it is, is this not changing the conditions of the contract that both ProZ.com and I entered into? Part of the fee (or whatever it is called) I paid gave me this right, which as I understand it is now being taken away from me.

Are you referring to your membership and the fee paid for it? Please note that all users can post BB entries; unrestricted access to BB data is a member privilege. See www.proz.com/join?viewPage=features for details.

Hope that clarifies it.

Best regards,
Ralf


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:31
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
This is outright rude Jul 9, 2006

And it is rude not only to me personally, but to the whole community on ProZ, whether paying members or not.

As someone in another thread has pointed out, by not allowing people who opted out/out to post any BB feedback, it is not that person who is punished, but rather those who rely on BB records to establish whether it is safe or not to enter into a business relationship with that outsourcer.

Simply put, the whole community is punished just because I want to conduct my business my way and not ProZ's way, because I want to protect my data as well as that of my clients and because I refuse the new WWA feature to be pushed upon me.

Shame on me!

P.S.: The decision to opt out of the site altogether is getting ripe. I came here to be part of a community, to have access to knowledge, to be able to get term help when stuck as well as offer it to others who are stuck. Not only were we not consulted on the new WWA feature, not only was it imposed upon us against our will, but now, we get punished for not adhering to it. Meanwhile, we have to pay to have access to BB records but nobody needs to pay to see the comments freelancers get. We also have to pay if we want to quote on jobs, but outsourcers can post jobs for free. On top of this, data is collected on us without us even knowing it. This is REALLY a very honest way to treat paying members of a site. I really don't think I'm getting my money's worth. In fact, I have a feeling I am paying so that outsourcers will never have to. This site is getting worse day by day...

[Edited at 2006-07-09 21:38]


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xxxPFB  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:31
English to French
+ ...
Thanks, Ralf, but... Jul 9, 2006

Ralf Lemster wrote:

Hope that clarifies it.



Thanks, Ralf, for your prompt reply.

Well, not really, but that's probably because I get confused by 'solicited', 'unsolicited' etc...

I'll try to ask my question differently:

So far, I've had the right to make comments on outsourcers if I had worked with them and if I chose to comment on them. No other restriction, as far as I know.

Is this still the case, or not?

Best regards

PS I realize the beginning of my message may come across as rude. The "not really" applies to the clarification, not to my thanks, which are heartfelt.

[Edited at 2006-07-09 21:42]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:31
English to German
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Please read what I posted... Jul 9, 2006

Hi again,

As someone in another thread has pointed out, by not allowing people who opted out/out to post any BB feedback, ...


Please have another look at my posting:


...
* The choice not to allow others to make unsolicited entries (even those that only the recipient would see), will be regarded as a decision to opt out of the ProZ.com WWA network entirely. Under this condition, those who choose option 3 will not be permitted to make unsolicited WWA entries either for service providers (via profiles, etc.) or for outsourcers (via the Blue Board). In other words, those who choose this option will be permitted to make entries when honoring requests from others, but otherwise will not be permitted to make entries.

...


Note that you will be able to post feedback in response to requests.


I will not comment on your views, but I feel it's important to stick to the facts as presented.

Best regards,
Ralf


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:31
English to French
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TOPIC STARTER
Yes, IN RESPONSE, but not otherwise Jul 9, 2006

What happens if I work with someone who fails to pay me? I guess that outsourcer will not ask me to give them feedback, right? And I will not be able to advise other freelancers that I didn't get paid, so that they can judge whether it is risky for them or not to work with the same outsourcer. Do you realize that this means that there will be much less negative BB feedback left for outsourcers by freelancers? In the end, outsourcers are protected against negative feedback, whereas freelancers will have to accept unsolicited feedback. The whole BB system has just become a nice big chunk of crap! In the meantime, I will not be able to promote my services by displaying replies I got to my BB feedback left for outsourcers. A really nice way to help a community of translators. As Henry put it, ProZ is working for YOU. Hahahahahah!

Since when do outsourcers request feedback from translators? I've never seen it happen. Usually, I enter my feedback and they reply to it.

I was happy to be able to display my BB feedbacks, with the replies my clients provided to them. I felt that was more than enough to promote my services, and wanted to stick with that instead of using the redundant WWA feature. Now, this is getting taken away from me. However, THAT is what I paid for.

It comes down to this: I no longer have the right to post BB comments - therefore, I will not get any nice replies to them anymore either - and when I say that I got that right taken away from me, I will get blamed: "Well, you're the one who opted out/out after all!".

Does anybody realize that the expression "opt out/out" contains the word "opt", as in choice? I dare anybody to tell me that I have a choice. The only choice I have at this point is to get privileges taken away from me because I chose not to adhere to a new "optional" feature.

This is completely dishonest and makes me want to puke!

[Edited at 2006-07-09 22:18]


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 13:31
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
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Rhetorical answer to rhetorical question Jul 9, 2006

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
What happens if I work with someone who fails to pay me?


And what happens, when a translator who has opted out/out fails to deliver the job on time and in necessary quality to me?


This is completely dishonest and makes me want to puke!


Can not comment on that.

Uldis


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:31
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, but I deliver the work FIRST, and only then do I - maybe - get paid. Jul 9, 2006

Uldis,

I am sorry, the argument does not hold. You see, if I don't deliver a job on time, it would be stupid of me to complain about not getting paid. Even if I did complain, the outsourcer still has the chance to reply - they can for example say that I didn't send the translation back on time. Isn't that the very reason why they can reply to BB feedback? Take a look at my profile, you will see there the only negative BB I ever left - now look at the reply I got to it. I am not at all ashamed of it, as the outsourcer failed to find an argument why she didn't pay. It was already just fine that way... You are saying it's unjust to the outsourcer that I leave negative feedback because s/he failed to pay, if I didn't deliver on time. I don't think so. They have the same opportunity to say what they have to say as I do. How is that unfair to the outsourcer? What's unfair - to the whole community, mind you - is that I am not allowed to say that I didn't get paid. What clients have to say about me is already visible in my profile. What more do I need to offer them now?

By the way, Uldis, you are yourself raising a concern there. You are saying yourself, although in different terms, that when a translator opts out/out, there's no way to know if they deliver on time or not. This point has been discussed before, and those who don't expect to get any kind of unsolicited negative feedback and opt out for other reasons find it unfair that when they opt out, many people will suspect they did so because they have something to hide. Well, it seems you are simply agreeing with them.

You see, replies to BB feedback are equally important, and trust me, pretty much all freelancers also read replies, not just feedback. The reply to the feedback also helps them to judge whether it's safe to enter a business relationship. If it's true that I didn't deliver on time, everybody will know it. So what's the matter?

Also, your reply doesn't address any of the concerns raised in my other posts. For example, do you honestly believe I have a choice?

[Edited at 2006-07-09 22:35]

[Edited at 2006-07-09 22:51]


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:31
Spanish to English
I agree with Victoria in principle Jul 9, 2006

Victoria, I agree with you in principle, but i wish you wouldn't express yourself in such strong language, particularly with Ralf who is not at all responsible for this decision. It does not do the cause any good.

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:31
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Lesley Jul 9, 2006

I know I have a strong opinion and I express it without putting on my silk gloves, but I did not say anything personal to anyone either. I think Ralf already knows me well enough to know that nothing I said is personal. I have a fiery temper, especially when such things happen as this.

I will say it just for the record. I am frustrated and disgusted yes. But not at anybody in the forum in particular, rather at what is going on. I am maaaad at the fact that someone somewhere inconsiderately changed the way this site works so that it profits a certain group of people, without ever considering that there might be other groups of people whose soup they are spitting into - as we say in my neck of the woods.

There. I am wearing my heart on my sleeve, that's all.

Otherwise, Lesley, what do you think of this situation?


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 13:31
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Skipping the rest Jul 9, 2006

I'd like to bring to your attention that there's always two sides of the coin- until now on ProZ one of them (the outsourcers view) has been completely ignored. Now ProZ has decided to remedy that. I completely fail to see what's wrong with that- except if you're so unsure of your output you have to loose sleep over possible replies. Please note, that being an outsourcer to translators, I myself at the same time am service provider to my clients, so I face "both ends of the stick", you may say.

And during all my experience at ProZ, there have been only 2 translators I'd like to input negative feedback too (as opposed to hundreds, to whom I can give only mark 5). But I will not do even that, as both these cases are more than a year old and I will not bother.

OTOH, I'm open to feedback from my clients- and not afraid of it- as I'm sure nobody can say nothing especially bad about my services.

As to "retaliation issues"- as Henry has explained it many times, the feedback will be subject to vetting by the Staff (please note- not moderators), so I do not expect any difficulties here.

Therefore, in essence I fail to understand your concerns and your unwell physical condition (which according to you) these ProZ latest developments are bringing to you.

Uldis


Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
I know I have a strong opinion and I express it without putting on my silk gloves,


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HarryHedgehog
Germany
Local time: 12:31
German to English
Written opinions don't seem to count much, so vote with your feet Jul 9, 2006

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
P.S.: The decision to opt out of the site altogether is getting ripe.


It seems as if the decision to implement WWA was made from high atop the mount. It has now been implemented - although no longer by stealth, as was apparently the original intention - despite vocal opposition by a large number of community members (in a thread that has now been closed, with a promise that the issues raised will be dealt with some time in the near future... time will tell).

Against the ardent wishes of the staff, resistance to this feature (and the accompanying loss of privileges for those who choose not to use it) remains, as is evidenced in this new thread. Well, since your forum opinions don't seem to count (my concerns about the basic integrity of this new feature apparently don't even rate acknowledgement, as I am a lowly non-member), I humbly suggest that all those who are dissatisfied take the time-honored path of voting with their feet, and hitting ProZ where it counts - in the wallet.

Henry and his staff have repeatedly stated that cancelled memberships are refunded on a pro-rated basis, so you will actually get money back, and won't have any sunk costs. If you're dependent on the job board to get work, downgrade to a partial membership that includes access to restricted job board postings.

Until now, ProZ prided itself as being a "translators' community". I suggest that it is moving away from that model to become more agency-friendly, and agree entirely with Viktoria's point that translators are asked to pay to support this site (and now sacrifice established privileges if they choose to go against the "chosen path"), while agencies have enjoyed a free ride.

If you are displeased with the direction this site seems to be taking, by all means, vote with your feet - and your wallet - and let Henry know. Perhaps this display of your dissatisfaction will impress him more than mere opinions in a locked forum thread. There's nothing to stop you from re-joining once the consequences of refusing to partake of this "feature" have been removed.

Respectfully yours,
HH


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
Focusing on the mechanics Jul 9, 2006

Uldis Liepkalns wrote:
As to "retaliation issues"- as Henry has explained it many times, the feedback will be subject to vetting by the Staff (please note- not moderators), so I do not expect any difficulties here.


And how exactly is the vetting going to be done?

In other words, how are participants (those opting for in/in) going to be assured that the system will not be abused in any way, ever?

--
Dyran


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