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What do you think about a tearoom on proz?
Thread poster: Leena vom Hofe

Leena vom Hofe  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:43
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Jul 3, 2009

Dear all

after the quick poll "translation - a lonely world?" my husband and I had a great idea...(I don't know if this has already been proposed...)But:

How about a chat on proz (maybe even via headsets and real talk) used as a kind of tearoom we can visit in a short break? We "lonely" freelancers could prepare a cup of tea or coffee and have a bit of small talk there... It would be interesting to meet people from all over the world working in the same job for a break. A bit like in a real company between collegues.

Would this be possible? And what do you think of it?

Thanks for many answers and a nice day to everybody!

Leena


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:43
German to English
+ ...
I like it. Jul 3, 2009

It seems harmless enough and would be a nice place for instance to let off steam. I'd be in favor of it. We could even have occasional online meetings, say, every 3rd Friday at suchandsuch time we talk about specific topics like working in Germany, new translation software, etc. I've found that a certain protocol works well during chatroom meetings, but outside of that it could just be a free-for-all.

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Suyash Suprabh  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 04:13
English to Hindi
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Interesting Jul 3, 2009

It would be really interesting to share ideas with translators from all over the world.

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dzhusti
Albania
Local time: 23:43
Member (2009)
English to Albanian
+ ...
I think this is a great idea! Jul 3, 2009

I would love that. Maybe not necessarily with cameras and headphones, but at least a chat room, where you can talk to other colleagues sharing ideas, experiences and other matters concerning translation.)

I vote PRO


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Andrea Brumma
Spain
Local time: 23:43
English to German
+ ...
I like the idea Jul 3, 2009

If set up properly (and with a chat room netiquette), it will open up a lot of possibilities.

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Laureana Pavon  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 19:43
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Potential Jul 3, 2009

I think this idea has great potential!

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Against it Jul 3, 2009

Although I understand your motives, there are plenty of chat systems around you can invite people to, not only translators, but relatives, etc. You may also want to use Windows' Messenger, add the addresses of the fellow translators you enjoy talking to and who agree, and have a chat every now and then.

The reason I am against this tearoom is that many questions (technical, business, social, etc.) that could be of interest to the community in a wider discussion would be aired and dealt with within a small group of people and would disappear leaving no useful record to others in need of feedback or information.


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Leena vom Hofe  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:43
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Your right Jul 3, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

The reason I am against this tearoom is that many questions (technical, business, social, etc.) that could be of interest to the community in a wider discussion would be aired and dealt with within a small group of people and would disappear leaving no useful record to others in need of feedback or information.


You are right in this point Tomàs, I didn't think about this...

Nevertheless I don't think chatting with friends or chatting in other chatrooms would be the same.

As we are collegues and work alone, I miss the normal daily exchange between collegues...if you know what I mean.

But the problem with questions and information would have to be solved... I agree.

Leena


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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Absolutely! Jul 3, 2009

Leena vom Hofe wrote:
As we are collegues and work alone, I miss the normal daily exchange between collegues...if you know what I mean.

Oh of course. I understand quite well what you mean. I am lucky to have three other people in the office to be able to be human every now and then!

Maybe I was exaggerating, but I do feel that the chat would probably reduce the amount of useful slow-paced discussions we have in the fora. Also, I feel any chat place should be moderated as chat is intrinsically bad for peace, calm, and reasonable manners in conversations. Who would assume the duty of moderating the tearoom and taking action when things got heated?


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:43
English to Arabic
+ ...
Purely off-topic chatroom Jul 3, 2009

I like the idea. But I don't think it would be the best place to discuss translation-related issues, for the reason mentioned by Tomas. It should be a place for translators to hang around when they want to meet their colleagues to chat on trivial matters - just to increase our feelings of collegiality and offering a more suitable place for making friends than ordinary forums do.

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Leena vom Hofe  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:43
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
This is it! Jul 3, 2009

Nesrin wrote:

I like the idea. But I don't think it would be the best place to discuss translation-related issues, for the reason mentioned by Tomas. It should be a place for translators to hang around when they want to meet their colleagues to chat on trivial matters - just to increase our feelings of collegiality and offering a more suitable place for making friends than ordinary forums do.


This is exactly what I meant. Talking about the weather, the match last night or how busy we are...



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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 17:43
Member
Spanish
+ ...
I like it Jul 3, 2009

It reminds me of Twitter. As many, I was very reluctant to join, and in a short time it turned out to be a great business move. Even the non-technical, non-specif topics of conversation can lead to more important information, tips, insights and just fun.

About losing potentially important information, there's a website called Yammer, which offers a service like private Twitter, it's a paid-service for businesses (I heard about it in Twitter ). For those not familiar with Twitter, see it as an open MSN messenger; and all the posts, important or not, will be kept.

Yammer is a simple way for employees to connect and share by posting messages. As employee participation grows, Yammer becomes a corporate social network, discussion board, and knowledge base all rolled into one easy-to-use interface.

Video Tour - Watch a video demonstration of Yammer.


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Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:43
English to German
+ ...
What if I don't like tea? ;-) Jul 3, 2009

Hi Leena,

believe me, I understand too well what you mean but what you are suggesting is more or less already in place. There are the forums with different topics (what about a tea forum?), there is an off-topic section in the forums, there is the Kudoz platform. Combined, both KudoZ and the forums are the best virtual "tea-rooms" I can think of. Additionally, if someone wants a realtime chat, there is Skype, not to forget the telephone which doesn't cost the world nowadays.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Beer room? Jul 3, 2009

Leena, I'm affraid you might have to name this "tea/beer room" to make it more inviting to the male side of the translation world. I do like tea, but when I want to relax I think I would rather have a beer, a nice glass of reasonably good wine or --even better-- an amaretto on-the-rocks!

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Andrea Brumma
Spain
Local time: 23:43
English to German
+ ...
Advantages of a chat room over forum posts (often delayed ...) Jul 3, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Although I understand your motives, there are plenty of chat systems around you can invite people to, not only translators, but relatives, etc. You may also want to use Windows' Messenger, add the addresses of the fellow translators you enjoy talking to and who agree, and have a chat every now and then.

The reason I am against this tearoom is that many questions (technical, business, social, etc.) that could be of interest to the community in a wider discussion would be aired and dealt with within a small group of people and would disappear leaving no useful record to others in need of feedback or information.


Under “tearoom” I was imagining different chat rooms with different topic-related chats, chats for “special occasions”, an off-topic chat … Nothing comparable with a privately organized chat. Yes, it would be a lot of work (maybe too much to realize this project) and yes, a moderator might be needed. But: Why are you afraid of heated discussions? First of all, professionals should be able to lead a professional, polite discussion. Apart from that, even in politics there are heated debates sometimes … so what? People who care about their reputation will be careful about the way they lead discussions.

The advantage of a chat room would be that people needing urgent help or advice (e. g. technical problems while a deadline is looming) would get immediate help.

I also think that the fact that there will be “no trace” of the conversation could lead to more honest answers. I think that the forums are used by many people to “market” themselves (and of course, they all earn high rates, have never missed a deadline …)

Today I saw that a thread was criticized as another (useless) rant against low rates. At least an off-topic chat could be used to let some steam off in cases like that …

However, I think that a chat room would change proz.com. And this might not be in the interest of proz.com.

By the way, I unconsciously wrote “team room” instead of “tearoom” several times. Thinking of proz.com members not only as a community, but as a “team” might be idealistic, but more appealing than constant competition.


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