Jumping the gun on Blue Board comments
Thread poster: Alex Farrell

Alex Farrell  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 12:03
Japanese to English
Aug 15, 2008

Hello everyone. In the past, I have been quick to give agencies good ratings on the Blue Board, partially in the hopes of encouraging them to give me a good WWA rating--which doesn't always work. I'm sure other people have done the same, and I'm wondering if this skews the reliability of Blue Board ratings? I haven't done a scientific sampling, but it seems that most ratings are either really great or atrocious, with few hovering in the space between. Maybe the scale should just be from 1 to 3?

- Alex


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:03
French to Spanish
+ ...
Quite a statement. Aug 15, 2008

You give a good BB rate in order to have more work.
Well...


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:03
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
It probably evens out. Or did I misunderstand? Aug 15, 2008

Alex, I am not sure what skew you are talking about.
Are you saying that (reasons set aside) you have been/are more likely to give good BB ratings than bad ones, in other words, if you have a good client, you put in a good BB rating for them, but if you have a bad one, you do nothing?

If that's the case, than you should know that there are many people that do the opposite. Some people would not put a good BB rating for their good clients, simply because they do not want to disclose the fact that they work for them. They are worried about client-pouching by other translators. They mark the bad ones, because they do not want to work for them anymore anyway.

So, in this case, it perhaps it evens out.

Or did I misunderstand you and you are saying that you give better ratings to the agencies than what they actually deserve?


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Alex Farrell  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 12:03
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Making Comments Too Early Aug 15, 2008

Thank you for your reply, Katalin. Actually, I'm talking about making comments on the Blue Board early in a working relationship with a client with the hopes of getting a WWA rating in return, but then later on the client you gave a good rating to turns out to not be as good as you thought.

- Alex


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:03
English to German
+ ...
Edit your entry Aug 15, 2008

Hi Alex,
Actually, I'm talking about making comments on the Blue Board early in a working relationship with a client with the hopes of getting a WWA rating in return,

Your BB entry reflects your likelihood of working again for that particular customer - at the end of the day, you're the only one to judge when you're ready to decide about that. If you post early, it is helpful to state that in your comment.

but then later on the client you gave a good rating to turns out to not be as good as you thought.

In which case you should edit your job, or post another entry (possible after twelve months, provided you worked again for the same outsourcer since you posted your last comment).

Posting a better-than-deserved LWA in the hope of getting a good response is not a particularly good strategy, methinks.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 06:03
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
It should be 0/1 Aug 15, 2008

Either you work again or not, you cannot work again for the outsourcer 50%. Originally this was proposed, but than they decided about this 1-5 scale, which is nonsence.

Only the negative marks are meaningful, either the outsourcer pays or not. The Blueboard is not about how nice the PM is, its about paying up in time.

Regards
Heinrich


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:03
English to German
+ ...
Not a payment practices list - at least not only Aug 15, 2008

Heinrich,

Only the negative marks are meaningful, either the outsourcer pays or not. The Blueboard is not about how nice the PM is, its about paying up in time.

An important factor, but not the only one.
To me (as an outsourcer), paying on time (and that means upon receipt of invoice) is essential - treating freelancers as business partners is just as important.

Best regards,
Ralf


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 04:03
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
More than the money Aug 15, 2008

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
Only the negative marks are meaningful, either the outsourcer pays or not. The Blueboard is not about how nice the PM is, its about paying up in time.


Good payment practices are important, of course, but information on the working relationship is too. If an outsourcer is lousy at getting answers to my queries from the end customer, I will give lower marks. I might still be willing to work with the company, but I would prefer to work with a team that is a help rather than a hindrance.


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
The scale is a good thing Aug 15, 2008

It should be 0/1
Either you work again or not


Some people see the world in black and white and some see the world in shades of gray. The scale accommodates both groups and is therefore a good thing.

I tend to be in the shades-of-gray category.

To be sure, there are companies I would never work for again, because they are dishonest or just plain mean.

But there are others (I'm thinking of one particular former client) who are good, honest people whose company is in financial trouble. For now, they cannot pay on time, but that could easily change. It would be silly for me to give them a "1." I *would* work for them if, a year or two from now, there were credible evidence that their financial crisis had passed. So it's useful to be able to give a 2 or 3. Similarly, there are companies I would probably work for again, even though there's some minor reason not to: hence a 4.

Fortunately, most of my clients are a pleasure to deal with and get 5's.

[Edited at 2008-08-15 15:41]


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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:03
English to Polish
+ ...
In support of the scale Aug 15, 2008

The scale is a good thing for sure, and the comments work great.
For instance, a *4* may mean *very good generally as long as you're ready to put up with..."
Those small 'but's may be insignificant to one person and repulsive to another. Our attitudes don't work on the 0/1 basis.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:03
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I tried to use the Blue Board grading scale accurately when the Blue Board was first started Aug 15, 2008

After careful evaluation of an agency that I was happy to work with (but for one or two reasons I could not truthfully say that they were "excellent" or "outstanding"), I gave them a "4". I intended the "4" as a good grade - like a B at school. However, over the course of time, I realised that anything less than a "5" was regarded as an insult of some kind, that reduced an agency's overall rating. Therefore I hardly ever grade an agency that I want to grade positively now if I find them to be a "4" (which often happens), but only if they really deserve a "5".

Astrid


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Jorge Blanco  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
It works nice as a tool to select who you work for (at least for me) Aug 15, 2008

I first started working for translation agencies online three years ago. Ever since, I have used the LWA tool to select agencies, and thus far it has worked for me. I have made a rule to work only for those companies having very good rates, i.e., 4.5-5 averages, particularly in the last 12 months, and I'm still waiting to see a client who won't pay me. I even check the BB when receiving job alerts from other sites, such as TranslatorsCafé, or unsolicited offers. My philosophy is that I'd rather do voluntary translations than not getting paid by a translator's shark. I have learned that, in general terms, I can trust in the judgment of colleagues.

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