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Proposal: Ban Browniz for membership discounts.
Thread poster: Stuart Allsop
Stuart Allsop  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 13:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jul 31, 2006

I would like to suggest that Browniz should NOT be usable as a means to get a discount on Proz.com membership.

Based on the discussion in a recent thread ( http://www.proz.com/topic/52108?start=0&float= ), it came to light that earning Browniz only requires a "monkey with a mouse".

My reasoning is that, since it is so very, very easy to earn Browniz without contributing anything at all to Proz.com, it should not be a valid method to earn discounts on membership.

Also, earning Browniz for the purpose of getting a discount, is an incentive to pollute the site by merely adding as many meaningless "agrees" as possible.

This incentive to fill the glossary with rubbish should be removed immediately. Browniz should NOT be retrievable for something as important as membership of Proz.com, especially since we are constantly reminded just how expensive it is to run this place.

EVERYONE should pay full price, no exceptions.


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 13:56
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Disagree Jul 31, 2006

Using browniz to get discounts is a way to retribute members for the time invested for the community, like Kudoz, articles to be published, participating in polls, attending or organizing Powwows, and so on.

No, I definitively disagree with this proposal.

Walter


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:56
Member
English to Turkish
Beg to disagree Jul 31, 2006

Hi Stuart,

I had followed the discussion you mention, and as far as I could see it did not "come to light" that earning browniz only required a monkey with a mouse. This was only a viewpoint presented.

Based on the discussion in a recent thread ( http://www.proz.com/topic/52108?start=0&float= ), it came to light that earning Browniz only requires a "monkey with a mouse"



Moreover, peer grading at Kudoz is not the only way to earn browniz:

-uploading glossaries
-posting glossary links to GlossPost
-publishing articles
-organizing powwows
-contributing to site localization

are other ways of collecting browniz (please refer to the "browniz section" of the site FAQ.), and I strongly believe that these are important contributions which should be recognized and rewarded in some way, not to mention the fact that it wouldn't be fair to consider each and every peer grade worthless.



Best regards,
Özden


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 10:56
German to English
Browniz abuse Jul 31, 2006

Stuart Allsop wrote:

Also, earning Browniz for the purpose of getting a discount, is an incentive to pollute the site by merely adding as many meaningless "agrees" as possible.



I agree with this observation. Sadly, we've often witnessed users working on a discount on membership by mindlessly agreeing with answers all over the place and thus confusing the asker and being positively harmful. We used to have a rule for that:

5.5 - Avoid entering peer comments in language pairs in which you are not capable, and in fields in which you are not knowledgeable.

But it's been removed.


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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
I'm not sure Jul 31, 2006

Hi, Stuart,
I have no idea whether it is good or bad - never thought about it... But keep in mind that you need to give more than 1000 peer comments to earn 4.000 Browniz that can be used for a price reduction of the membership.
And I think that no "monkey with a mouse" will be as persistent as that.

And then, you may earn Browniz also by making entries in glossaries, which is not that automatic, or by organizing or attending a Powwow.

Somehow, the contribution to ProZ is rewarded in this way.

Anyway, I found myself in no time with enough Browniz to get a discount on my first membership year - but I never have given "meaningless peer comments", though.


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texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:56
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
the prophecy Jul 31, 2006

Christel Zipfel wrote:

And I think that no "monkey with a mouse" will be as persistent as that.


Hi Christel,

I am afraid that this is already happening...


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Liliana Roman-Hamilton  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:56
English to Italian
I agree with Kim Jul 31, 2006

5.5 - Avoid entering peer comments in language pairs in which you are not capable, and in fields in which you are not knowledgeable.



Soooo true, Kim. Recently, sadly, we have seen terrible examples of that , as well as disgraceful language abuse....


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
BrowniZ promote activity Jul 31, 2006

Stuart Allsop wrote:
Also, earning Browniz for the purpose of getting a discount, is an incentive to pollute the site by merely adding as many meaningless "agrees" as possible.

To attenuate the obvious side effects on the KOG, it might be helpful if the agrees or disagrees would be accompanied by a confidence level by default.


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:56
At the most... Jul 31, 2006

...You could propose that no brownies be awarded for entering "agrees". This would probably solve the problem you describe as "monkey with a mouse".

However, I agree with Walter, Ozden, and other colleagues in that there are other ways in which people earn Brownies, and in that using them towards acquiring/renewing membership is a way to retribute users and members.

I also like the fact that we can donate our Brownies to other colleagues so that they can become members.

[Edited at 2006-07-31 21:25]


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Luis Arri Cibils  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:56
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A full agree, not for Browniz, to Rosa Jul 31, 2006

Rosa Maria Duenas Rios wrote:

...You could propose that no brownies be awarded for entering "agrees". This would probably solve the problem you describe as "monkey with a mouse".

However, I agree with Walter, Ozden, and other colleagues in that there are other ways in which people earn Brownies, and in that using them towards acquiring/renewing membership is a way to retribute users and members.

I also like the fact that we can donate our Brownies to other colleagues so that they can become members.

[Edited at 2006-07-31 21:25]


As Walter and others said, MEANINGFUL contributions to the site should be rewarded. Do you organize a pow-wow? Well, you probably deserve more than 200 BrowniZ (cash value about $1.00, 5% of the 4,000 BrowniZ needed to get the $20 membership discount I believe you get for BrowniZ). Do you write an article? Probably you should get a large chunk of the maximum discount available, particularly if a significant number of members (5, 10, whatever) rated it as worthwhile.

In short, I propose to increase the number of BrowniZ awarded for MEANINGFUL contributions and DO NOT award any to "monkeys with mouse" contributions.

If one professionally agrees or disagrees with a KudoZ answer, let him or her make his or her contribution "free of charge." This will avoid answers going to the glossary by the operation of a robot and "monkeys with a mouse." It might, to an extent, reduce the "pal effect" of some agrees.

Best,

Luis

[Edited at 2006-07-31 21:58]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:56
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Restrict BrowniZ for agrees to answers to closed questions Jul 31, 2006

If banning all BrowniZ for agrees is too drastic (and I think it is), maybe one could ban BrowniZ for "agrees" without comment to the successful answers to questions now closed.
There may well be reasons for posting comments on closed questions, but I don't see that adding "Agree" to the answer that has already won the points is achieving anything useful.


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Luis Arri Cibils  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:56
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Indeed!!!!! Jul 31, 2006

Jack Doughty wrote:

If banning all BrowniZ for agrees is too drastic (and I think it is), maybe one could ban BrowniZ for "agrees" without comment to the successful answers to questions now closed.
There may well be reasons for posting comments on closed questions, but I don't see that adding "Agree" to the answer that has already won the points is achieving anything useful.


I didn't even know that you could agree to closed questions and get BrowniZ points. At a minimum, this should be discontinued. I still insist that no BrowniZ should be awarded for agrees, particularly when the question is closed by operation of the robot.

[Edited at 2006-07-31 22:20]


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:56
Member
English to Turkish
Make comments required with agrees, too Jul 31, 2006

This would be my suggested solution to the problem: entering a "linguistically based" comment with the agrees should be made required, just as it is the case when entering a neutral or disagree. No more monkey business!



I am, on the other hand, personally against banning agrees to closed questions, as well as not awarding browniz to such agrees. We are forgetting that a Kudoz question page is not only an immediate challenge, but it's an archived resource, and someone might well have some valuable info to contribute as an addition to an answer suggested - at any point in time, even if long after the question is closed. Whenever I use the KOG or Proz.com Term Search, I find a lot of helpful info and suggestions not only in answers, but also in the peer comments entered. And so far never cared about at what point in time that comment was made.


Another point I will dare make: Kudoz is not a uniform experience. We often forget this, too. There are many language pairs, and the problems desribed for your A-B pair might not be the case at all in my Y-Z pair. So, why would my Kudoz experience have to be affected by new measures and restrictions all the time imposed because of the problems in the A-B?


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Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:56
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Even good proposals may be ignored Jul 31, 2006

Stuart Allsop wrote:
I would like to suggest that Browniz should NOT be usable as a means to get a discount on Proz.com membership.


I agree more with those who don't fully agree with you. However, it is entirely possible that your proposal will neither be commented on nor acted on by those who can actually make the decision for ProZ. I made a suggestion in January:
http://www.proz.com/post/296895
(to include MSc as a possible translation degree: some members have an MSc degree in translation) and 9 members agreed with me; none disagreed. Nothing visible has happened on the part of ProZ - neither agreement nor disagreement nor implementation.

Oliver


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