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Encouraged fields
Thread poster: Gerard de Noord

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:00
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Dec 28, 2007

"Starting in 2008, outsourcers will be able to restrict job posts and filter directory searches, both Connect! and classic, based on profile completion (profiles which have all required and encouraged fields completed)."

Dear ProZ staff,

I'm utterly disappointed about the direction this site is going. The technical side of this site is exemplary; the commercial side of this site is starting to disconcert me. As of today, 'profile completion' means: adhere to anything we encourage you to complete, otherwise you can be filtered out.

Don't get me wrong, I want ProZ.com to be the authorative database for freelance translators and I encourage you to delete all empty profiles after a month, or so.

But these oldskool salami tactics to get us to complete and accept your idea of this database are an insult to the intelligence of the translator's community.

Regards,
Gerard


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:00
Dutch to English
+ ...
Hear, hear Dec 28, 2007

As far as my profile goes, it is complete to my liking and preference. I will not be intimidated to add things which I find irrelevant.

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William [Bill] Gray  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 05:00
Member (2006)
English
+ ...
We should be visible to every person who searches... Dec 28, 2007

If we were EMPLOYED by ProZ.com it would be acceptable to be "filtered" according to how we have filled out our profiles, but not while we are freelancers who PAY for the privilege of posting our availability on ProZ.com. Remember guys that WE pay YOU for the service we get. I enjoy paying for this privilege, and have found it extremely profitable, but you cannot restrict my purchased right to advertise myself IN MY OWN WAY to EVERYONE who chooses to search for my skill on this site. They may select various fields within the profile to search on, but NOT on whether or not I have completed my profile according to how someone else would like it completed! Incidentally, I just happen to have completed all fields, though not all are visible to everyone, but I did that because I WANTED to, not because I was OBLIGED to if I wanted to be found by a certain group of people.

This unfortunately does smell very like control and manipulation. Big brother is back!! PLEASE reconsider this foolish, and completely unjustified, practice.

Vive le ProZ.com!

Bill


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avsie  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:00
English to French
+ ...
Agree Dec 28, 2007

Marijke wrote:

As far as my profile goes, it is complete to my liking and preference. I will not be intimidated to add things which I find irrelevant.


I completely agree with you, Marijke: my profile is as complete as I want it to be, and complete enough for potential outsourcers to find relevant information about me and my experience.

I understand the need to filter out empty profiles - we know there are many of those - or profiles that are not providing required information. But encouraged as well? This goes too far, IMHO.


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Claudio Nasso  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:00
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Pls, let us decide what WE deem relevant without being "punished" Dec 28, 2007

I agree with you all, and I'd like to go on having the chance to choose which one of the "encouraged fields" I decide to complete, without being filtered according to my personal and exclusive decisions.

I fully agree with Bill:
This unfortunately does smell very like control and manipulation. Big brother is back!! PLEASE reconsider this foolish, and completely unjustified, practice.


Thank you

Claudio


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Claudia Digel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:00
English to German
+ ...
Another agree Dec 28, 2007

I understand the need to filter out empty profiles - we know there are many of those - or profiles that are not providing required information.


I must say that I was rather shocked when I first read this announcement a couple of days ago.

I personally think it might not be a bad idea to be able to filter out profiles that don't have all the required information. - Empty profiles are a pain, and, surely, they are not helpful at all to any outsourcer looking for a translator. However, when it comes to the encouraged information I really think it should be everybody's own decision to provide the information taht they consider appropriate. If it isn't, why is there a distinction between required and encouraged in the first place?

In my profile, I have filled in all fields except for one of the encouraged ones, which is WWA. - I don't even want to start to discuss why I prefer not to use this option since this feels like re-opening a can of worms. Let's just say that I for myself have chosen that I do not want to use this option for a couple of good reasons. Now, even though this was originally announced as an optional tool, there doesn't seem to be any way to opt out of this system any more (I think this was possible when it was first introduced but I might be mistaken).

I strongly suggest to either limit the filtering to the required fields or to offer the possiblity to opt out of each and every one of the encouraged fields (as is currently the case with the Resume option for example).

I pay for being listed on this web site and as a paying member I want to choose what information I provide to potential clients and what (possibly confidential) information I do not want to show to everyone who happens to enter my name into Google and come accross my profile on this web site. If I will be forced to enter certain information in order to use all the functions that this web site provides, that I want to use and that I pay for, I will most probably be forced to cancel my membership.

Best regards,
Claudia


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Quest4  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:00
English to Danish
I agree .... Dec 28, 2007

F. inst. I don't want to be pushed into filling in the portfolio/sample translations when I feel it is a waste of time. The portfolio is much better described in my CV/resume, which I try to update and upload frequently. The same goes for Project history and WWA entries. Perhaps one day when there is a really important project / customer I want to include, but right now I think the time would be better used making good translations and relationships.

Best regards,

Niels Quist

[Edited at 2007-12-28 11:27]


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:00
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Agree Dec 28, 2007

William [Bill] Gray wrote:

If we were EMPLOYED by ProZ.com it would be acceptable to be "filtered" according to how we have filled out our profiles, but not while we are freelancers who PAY for the privilege of posting our availability on ProZ.com. Remember guys that WE pay YOU for the service we get. I enjoy paying for this privilege, and have found it extremely profitable, but you cannot restrict my purchased right to advertise myself IN MY OWN WAY to EVERYONE who chooses to search for my skill on this site. They may select various fields within the profile to search on, but NOT on whether or not I have completed my profile according to how someone else would like it completed! Incidentally, I just happen to have completed all fields, though not all are visible to everyone, but I did that because I WANTED to, not because I was OBLIGED to if I wanted to be found by a certain group of people.

This unfortunately does smell very like control and manipulation. Big brother is back!! PLEASE reconsider this foolish, and completely unjustified, practice.

Vive le ProZ.com!

Bill



I second your opinion.

My profile is neither empty nor incomplete and we pay to be visible.


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Klaus Herrmann  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:00
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Yep. Dec 28, 2007

There is a reason why I choose not to complete certain encouraged fields. Some of them I wouldn't complete even if they were mandatory fields. In that case, I would have to review cost and benefits of my membership.

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ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thanks, Gerard Dec 28, 2007

For pointing this out (I better keep a closer eye on these "corporate" emails from Proz.com).

I fully agree with you and the rest who have commented on this. It sounds rather arbitrary to filter out profiles based on any "encouraged" fields.

On the contrary, I think it is high time Proz.com deletes empty profiles that do not have at least the required fields. It certainly does not feel fair that some of us have here so much professional and even personal information about ourselves while other profiles are just like empty "ghosts".

As to the "encouraged" fields, I have a suggestion: just as it has been done with the CV field, make all the encouraged fields truly optional, adding a similar text like the one being used now for the CV: "You have declined to upload your CV".

That way, all our "encouraged" fields would show in "green", which I suppose would also change the color of our profile in the eyes of outsourcers (right now mine shows "yellow"):








That way I suppose we would not be filtered out based on non-displayed "encouraged" fields.

Regards,

Ivette


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:00
Member (2004)
English to Italian
here we go again... Dec 28, 2007

required, ok, encouraged, no. The encouraged sections shouldn't be a discriminating criterium for searches.

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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Agree completely Dec 28, 2007

William [Bill] Gray wrote:

If we were EMPLOYED by ProZ.com it would be acceptable to be "filtered" according to how we have filled out our profiles, but not while we are freelancers who PAY for the privilege of posting our availability on ProZ.com. Remember guys that WE pay YOU for the service we get. I enjoy paying for this privilege, and have found it extremely profitable, but you cannot restrict my purchased right to advertise myself IN MY OWN WAY to EVERYONE who chooses to search for my skill on this site. They may select various fields within the profile to search on, but NOT on whether or not I have completed my profile according to how someone else would like it completed! Incidentally, I just happen to have completed all fields, though not all are visible to everyone, but I did that because I WANTED to, not because I was OBLIGED to if I wanted to be found by a certain group of people.

This unfortunately does smell very like control and manipulation. Big brother is back!! PLEASE reconsider this foolish, and completely unjustified, practice.

Vive le ProZ.com!

Bill



I'm beginning to wonder if it will still be worth being a paying member by the time my current membership expires. If people are going to be filtered out because of non-compliance with third-party ideas of what is 'supposed' to be in our profiles, then paying for this privilege makes no sense.
And indeed, what about all those empty profiles? And what about profiles 'completed' with half-truths or out and out lies. About qualifications, credentials, geographical location, past professions, studies, (f)actual native language, etc. etc. Still no sign of 'encouraging' truthful (verifiable) statements?


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Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:00
German to English
+ ...
hear, hear! Dec 28, 2007

I endorse all the comments so far. As several people have said, 'encouraged' becomes meaningless or misleading if completion of the fields concerned is used as a selection criterion, and it's hard to see how this would serve the interests of the (paying) users of the site.

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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 04:00
Dutch to English
+ ...
Precisely Dec 28, 2007

writeaway wrote:

And what about profiles 'completed' with half-truths or out and out lies. About qualifications, credentials, geographical location, past professions, studies, (f)actual native language, etc. etc. Still no sign of 'encouraging' truthful (verifiable) statements?


One that springs to mind is the so-called legal translator - allegedly a qualified lawyer in both the Netherlands and England - who didn't know something as simple as (what was it again?) "Commercial Court" or something just as inane.

The other is that uninhabited, barren island someone worked from for a while - although it was done to prove a valid point and was rather funny.

Come on guys, unless there is a way of verifying the information that we are now being effectively forced to provide, all you are doing is encouraging even more fraudulent and deceptive site content because newbies/wannabees and desperate types - who will allow themselves to be pushed around - will simply scramble to complete their profiles as soon as possible to stay in the running.

Leave it up to professional translators to market themselves how they see fit, within site rules.

There are valid reasons for not wanting to complete many of the encouraged fields - WWA being perhaps one of the most controversial.

Similarly, anyone can post a sample translation and claim it as their own. There are undoubtedly a number of those already posted and yet those are the individuals who will get called on first?

Either respect these decisions by the true professionals on the site - and stop trying to pigeon-hole everyone according to some nice little formula - or those are the people who may really start voting with their feet. As Bill has mentioned, we are FREElancers and, as is evident from the comments here, don't take kindly to being forced into situations.

Newbies and wannabees will do anything you want, but those of us who have an established client base and years of experience aren't going to jump through hoops because they are told to - and then still be expected to pay for the "privilege".



[Edited at 2007-12-28 14:12]


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Birgit Richter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:00
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
"Encouraged fields" Dec 28, 2007

"Starting in 2008, outsourcers will be able to restrict job posts and filter directory searches, both Connect! and classic, based on profile completion (profiles which have all required and encouraged fields completed"

If I was an outsourcer or client searching the database, of course I would make use of every opportunity to filter and elimiate as much as possible, but

as a translator (especially as a paying member) I don't want to be eliminated from directory searches, nor be excluded from bidding on job posts merely because I have not completed all of the "encouraged" fields, be it through choice or, for instance, because I never got a job through Proz.com (it's particularly unfair if the latter is the case).


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