kudoz - let\'s all just get on with what we\'re here for - helping each other
Thread poster: Julia Gal

Julia Gal  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:32
French to English
+ ...
Oct 14, 2001

I think there are several issues needing to be addressed here:

1. Accusations.

It would be terrible to find you were accusing innocent people of this kind of behaviour, so in the absence of solid prove, I don\'t think it is wise to be reporting this kind of thing, especially not in public, and especially naming names of the (alleged) guilty parties, as Maya has been doing recently on the French - English postings. If these claims are proven to be unfounded, as I\'m sure will be the case this constitutes *libel*.

2. Peer grading

Peer grading is important, because if the asker has no knowledge of the target language, he/she needs to know he/she is making the right choice of answer.

We all make mistakes, and I think it is rather OTT to claim people are trying to destroy you, simply because they disagree with your answers.

2. KudoZ points

Just because someone\'s KudoZ score increases rapidly, does that automatically mean they are cheating? For most people, the points gained fluctuate greatly from one week to the next, depending on many external and internal factors - types of questions posted, workload, personal commitments, family life etc.

Take my own case, for example:

I joined ProZ in the spring of this year, whilst convalescing after a serious illness. I had a lot of spare time on my hands and answering KudoZ questions and helping with the site translation was a great way of exercising my brain and keeping me on my toes. Needless to say, my KudoZ score grew rapidly for several weeks. When I started work again in the summer, my participation slowed down. In August and early September, I was away on holiday for 6 weeks and hardly visited at all. Since I returned home, however, (and as a result of September 11th), work has been quite slow for me and many of my colleagues and I have been able to participate more than before.

I tend to pop in for five minutes several times a day (I ahve an ISDN connection), and often in the evening as a way of winding down, once I\'ve managed to get my daughter off to bed.

This does not mean I am cheating, simply because from time to time I am more active than others! I am surprised at Maya\'s assumption, as in just six weeks she has managed to achieve almost the same score I have taken six months to build up!

3. Cheating

One must seriously question the mentality of anyone who would cheat simply to obtain a higher KudoZ score! For me, and for most members of ProZ, I believe, the fun in answering questions is not to gain points - it is in

a) helping others with their work, knowing in exchange that the same resource will be there for me whenever I myself am stuck, and

b) keeping my own brain focussed, learning about topics I know too little about and increasing my own vocabulary at the same time.

None of the work I have received through ProZ in the past has ever been connected to KudoZ rankings - it is usually grateful askers of questions or other ProZ members who like my style and contact me to share projects.

4. Surveillance

Do we really need sleuth-like surveillance operations being carried on on the site? Until fairly recently, the site (certainly the communities I participate in) was a friendly place and plodded along quite happily, with no-one casting doubts on the professional abilities or morals of anybody else. Of course we all know of little cartels, where people work together on a document and ask each other questions, then award each other the points... It happens! (It happened to me yesterday, when an asker chose another answer, saying \"Julia\'s answer was the best, but I\'ll give you the points anyway, because I know you\"! It\'s frustrating at the time, but it happens and there\'s nothing you can do except shrug your shoulders and carry on helping.

In any case, as Henry said, it is easily spotted when you look at the breakdown of KudoZ scores on those peoples\' profile page! *The points are not worth anything - nobody is going to turn them into dollars!*

Quite frankly, I\'m sure that most professional translators are far too busy (and far too mature) to be worried about finding sneaky ways to increase their KudoZ scores.

Now let\'s stop this backbiting and jealousy and let\'s all just get on with what we\'re here for - helping each other out and upholding the good name of our profession by providing our customers with top-quality work...



Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:32
French to English
Hear, hear! Oct 16, 2001

Cheating always has happened, always will. No, I am not resigned to that fact. I still have a rather naïve sense of justice and believe that those who cheat come a cropper sooner or later. They often do in fact, although not always.

I sleep well, can face my reflection in the mirror every morning (and I\'ve been looking at it for 39 years now!) and am at ease with my conscience generally. Fortunately, I have been very lucky on all levels (family, friends and colleagues) and that helps. I keep the tough stuff off-stage, or for a restricted audience, (those concerned) as I consider that\'s my business. And I suppose I\'m just made that way! As I have made clear elsewhere, those for whom I have respect and esteem geenrally know about it. Those for whom I have little or none, I tend to keep quiet about. (Echos of my mother : \"If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all!\".) Wise advice, not always an easy maxim to live by. But I try...

Like Julia, I \"use\" Proz to limber up. It gets my brain in gear and I\'m ready to attack the work underway. Sometimes, in the middle of a major project, I log on so that I have a break from my work but keep the brain going. That way, I come back to my own text still in work mode, but having had a break. I have contributed to Proz quite a lot, and have amassed a fair number of points. I joined in August of 2000, if my memory serves me right. Sometimes I spend a fair bit of time on it, sometimes not at all. In fact my telephone bill here exceeded 3,000 FRF over a 2-month period through the time I spent on Proz! I cut down because of that. Never the less, economically speaking, it\'s still good to keep going. It\'s good exposure and has borne its fruit. And, odd though it may seem, I get a real kick out of helping.

Bise à tous,


[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-10-16 03:16 ]


Local time: 03:32
German to English
+ ...
Nothing has been solved Oct 16, 2001

I agree with a lot you have written, Julia, but to reduce this whole issue of KudoZ fraud to “jealousy” seems to be missing the point entirely.

It drags it onto the lowest common denominator, which only produces bad blood and back-biting in its wake. And I don’t believe this was Maya’s motive or intention when she set out to highlight the problem, however conveniently it might be interpreted as such. After all, she has more points than most of us together, which I think speaks for itself.

This whole issue is not about some silly KudoZ points, it is about the abuse of the system and the effect this might bear on any of us. It is about [...] on the one hand, and professionals with integrity on the other. And most of all at this moment in time it is about some possible solutions to narrow down further abuse in the future.

Now, Henry reassured us that KudoZ fraud entails less then 1% of the questions answered. Having thought about it, I doubt it - to me it sounds a tad too convenient and rather meant to defuse the current situation. May that as it be, the gist of all this is that nothing has been solved at all!

And it certainly won’t be getting closer to a solution by playing it down to a simple case of jealousy.

Peter Schmitt


Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:32
French to English
Proz - an open community Oct 17, 2001

If Proz is to remain true to one of its guiding principles, then anyone can pop up anywhere to ask a question. And why not?


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kudoz - let\'s all just get on with what we\'re here for - helping each other

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