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Proz-bashing on FB and elsewhere
Thread poster: neilmac

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
Apr 24, 2015

Is anyone else irritated by the amount of proz bashing that goes on on other sites like the FB translators' groups? As I found this morning, any attempt at defending the worth or proz as an asset quickly garners disagreement and ad hominen attacks. As I'm not usually prepared to be talked down to by anyone outside of punching distance, I find this extremely annoying.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:33
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Stop facebooking Apr 24, 2015

My suggestion: stop facebooking. Facebook is a way of spying on you and tracking your habits so that you can be fed with advertising. That's the only reason for its existence: to make money for Mark Zuckerberg. Not to do something for you.

[Edited at 2015-04-24 09:23 GMT]


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:33
English to Dutch
+ ...
Agree Apr 24, 2015

neilmac wrote:

Is anyone else irritated by the amount of proz bashing that goes on on other sites like the FB translators' groups? As I found this morning, any attempt at defending the worth or proz as an asset quickly garners disagreement and ad hominen attacks. As I'm not usually prepared to be talked down to by anyone outside of punching distance, I find this extremely annoying.


It IS annoying.
The same way every question about any CAT always gets the answer "Switch to MemoQ".


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:33
English to Dutch
+ ...
Disagree Apr 24, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

My suggestion: stop facebooking. Facebook is a way of spying on you and tracking your habits so that you can be fed with advertising. That's the only reason for its existence: to make money for Mark Zuckerberg. Not to do something for you.

[Edited at 2015-04-24 09:22 GMT]


FB is actually a very valuable networking tool for our profession.

In fact, what you did there is exactly the same as what those ProZ bashers are doing.
Unless, of course, you meant this as satire, in which case a would have done wonders.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:33
Member (2008)
Italian to English
:) Apr 24, 2015

Jan Willem van Dormolen wrote:

a would have done wonders.




Glad to help. In fact, here's a couple more.





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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:33
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Neil... Apr 24, 2015

Now I know who you are... I do agree with you, though...

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:33
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I don't know what there is to do about it Apr 24, 2015

I don't have time for FB, but see the same thing on LinkedIn occasionally.

People who do not subscribe, and do not make the effort to see how they can contribute and interact with the site, are disappointed when good jobs don't fall into their laps, while the likes of me claim it is well worth the subscription, many good clients have found me here, etc.

Meanwhile everyone can find a supposed bottom-feeder agency with a lot of 5s on the BB... or a low-rate job offer posted, and write as if that was all the site has to offer.

It is also part of the widely accepted habit of bashing anything American (although Proz.com is more global than American these days...) and any way of making big money. Google, Microsoft, and all the others people love to hate have to accept it as a sign of success!

I doubt if anyone really spins gold on this site, and if they make an honest living, then hey, isn't that the idea? It's called return on investments, and I believe it was quite a leap of faith at the end of the last century when it all started.

I know site staff are highly responsive, even if they don't accommodate every harebrained idea and implement every 'improvement' that is suggested.

And yes, Proz-bashing annoys me intensely. However, Proz-bashers are not usually receptive to reasoned argument.

I point out specific things about the site where I think they may help others to see a more balanced picture, but otherwise I avoid getting into arguments which only spread and make the situation worse.


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DCM Linguistics  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:33
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Oh my, I never thought this day would ever come ;) Apr 24, 2015

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

Now I know who you are...


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:33
Member (2004)
English to Italian
lol... Apr 24, 2015



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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:33
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The blame game Apr 24, 2015

It's part of human nature to play the blame game.

The rules are very simple: As soon as you find anyone/anything to blame for any undesirable situation or event, you'll feel off the hook.

So if someone sets out to be a translator, however they can't eke a living with that, blaming Proz for it is the easiest solution.

They can easily self-justify some flawed rationale, by believing that Proz:

  • actively promotes bottom-feeders in the translation industry;
  • diverts high-paying jobs to paying members, so free users don't stand a chance there;
  • drives translation rates down, by publishing abusively low-pay jobs;
  • lets rogue agencies hide their intent behind an aura of "purchased" high Blue Board scores;
  • misleads translators into wrong solutions by letting bad answers be chosen on Kudoz;

    ... and other similar "charges".


The question on what Proz could possibly gain by doing any of the aforementioned things never crosses their mind.

While Proz is a commercial enterprise that merely publishes all that as-is, they don't intervene in the content, except by enforcing some ground rules.

However the unsuccessful translator who:

  • failed to prepare him/herself to deliver professional-level translation work;
  • has not invested in the necessary hard/software and services;
  • accepts any rates and terms offered to them, instead of thoughtfully setting their own;
  • thinks that some knowledge of two languages is all it takes to translate;
  • thinks that the only reason why machine translation hasn't yet taken over the entire market is because not everybody is familiar with it;
  • considers stated deadlines as "suggestions";
  • takes reliability lightly;
  • thinks that good customer service is privy to large corporations and retail stores;
  • stops evolving both personally and professionally;
  • treats every colleague as a vicious competitor;
  • treats every translation agency as an exploiter;
  • thinks that translation is a nice way for a bilingual person to make some dough now and then;

... will experience soothing relief as soon as they can blame Proz entirely for their failure.


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Anthony Mazzorana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:33
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I actually appreciate both Apr 24, 2015

I find Facebook a valuable tool for keeping in touch with friends and family overseas and even on my own continent. Very valuable in fact.

And without proz.com I don't know how else I ever would have gotten started as a translator. It's been huge for me in terms of networking. I've found some very loyal clients through this site and also translatorscafe. To be honest (here comes a dose of blasphemy) I have found proz to be a better investment than my ATA membership. Way better.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:33
French to English
No, no and no. Apr 24, 2015

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

It's part of human nature to play the blame game.

The rules are very simple: As soon as you find anyone/anything to blame for any undesirable situation or event, you'll feel off the hook.

(big ol' snip)

However the unsuccessful translator

(snippedy snip)

... will experience soothing relief as soon as they can blame Proz entirely for their failure.


Most of the people who are most critical of this site seems to be doing just fine, as far as I can tell.

I have seen people say stuff along the lines of "I've been on this site for ages and still can't get any work" but usually on here. Not elsewhere. The advice offered often contains statements to the effect proz isn't the be-all-and-end-all, and being elsewhere is good, too.

Tom in London wrote:
Facebooksnip) the only reason for its existence: to make money for Mark Zuckerberg. Not to do something for you

Change the names and many would say the same about this website too.

Not that it was always thus. There was a time when it had a proper professional community feel to it. But now it seems the priority is merely traffic and the money it brings. Which is a decision the owner is perfectly entitled to make. And possibly not the way he saw things heading when it started. But we all gotta eat, I suppose.

But to get to the main point, perhaps. One reason people criticise this website elsewhere is simply that it's pretty difficult to criticise proz on proz itself. Again, a decision site management is perfectly entitled to make. But I do know that some fairly draconian moderation decisions have driven many people away (sometimes to leave, sometimes just to keep their own counsel).

Again, this was not always the case - I recall brisk discussion about several site-related issues some years ago. Some of the criticism voiced elsewhere is generated by frustration about what this website could have been, and the direction is has taken in the last few years. But once again, if you place your online activities into someone else's hands, you have to take management decisions on the chin or go elsewhere.

And many have gone elsewhere. Many of the people I see making robust criticism of this website are either ex-members or silent members. This place could have been the only place any of us ever needed to be members of, because if those people were still here and active, it would meet the needs of most of us. But proz has chosen its route, so people have gone elsewhere, and proz won't allow robust criticism of that route on here (fair enough), so criticism has to be voiced elsewhere. QED as far as I'm concerned.


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Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:33
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Fair and true Apr 24, 2015

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Not that it was always thus. There was a time when it had a proper professional community feel to it. But now it seems the priority is merely traffic and the money it brings. Which is a decision the owner is perfectly entitled to make. And possibly not the way he saw things heading when it started. But we all gotta eat, I suppose.

But to get to the main point, perhaps. One reason people criticise this website elsewhere is simply that it's pretty difficult to criticise proz on proz itself. Again, a decision site management is perfectly entitled to make. But I do know that some fairly draconian moderation decisions have driven many people away (sometimes to leave, sometimes just to keep their own counsel).

Again, this was not always the case - I recall brisk discussion about several site-related issues some years ago. Some of the criticism voiced elsewhere is generated by frustration about what this website could have been, and the direction is has taken in the last few years. But once again, if you place your online activities into someone else's hands, you have to take management decisions on the chin or go elsewhere.

And many have gone elsewhere. Many of the people I see making robust criticism of this website are either ex-members or silent members. This place could have been the only place any of us ever needed to be members of, because if those people were still here and active, it would meet the needs of most of us. But proz has chosen its route, so people have gone elsewhere, and proz won't allow robust criticism of that route on here (fair enough), so criticism has to be voiced elsewhere. QED as far as I'm concerned.


That just about sums it up.


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:33
Member
Italian to English
Facebook Apr 24, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

Facebook is a way of spying on you and tracking your habits so that you can be fed with advertising. That's the only reason for its existence: to make money for Mark Zuckerberg. Not to do something for you.


Of course Facebook does nothing for anyone. That's probably why it has more than 1.3 billion users.
That was last June, and the number may well have gone up.

If you don't like Facebook, that's fine. Of course it's a data gathering activity. But that doesn't mean it can't be useful at the same time.

Christine Andersen wrote:
I don't have time for FB, but see the same thing on LinkedIn occasionally.

People who do not subscribe, and do not make the effort to see how they can contribute and interact with the site, are disappointed when good jobs don't fall into their laps


Agree completely. I believe that the "jobs" system is next to useless for those who expect to be paid a decent price, while other aspects of the site - forum posts, KudoZ - are a great way to show potential customers how you work and how you approach the profession.

Charlie Bavington wrote:
Again, this was not always the case - I recall brisk discussion about several site-related issues some years ago. Some of the criticism voiced elsewhere is generated by frustration about what this website could have been, and the direction is has taken in the last few years. But once again, if you place your online activities into someone else's hands, you have to take management decisions on the chin or go elsewhere.


I too find ProZ bashing extremely annoying, and I'm not quite sure what drives it, maybe the simple reason that Christine mentioned - anger that ProZ is not the "magic bullet" some hoped it would be in terms of generating work. Building a freelance career and client base is hard work, and perhaps some are simply frustrated that a paid ProZ membership does not equate to a magic wand.

I've been here since 2004, and have seen the various changes that have taken place. It is frustrating to see certain things take place - the draconian moderation, the change for (IMHO) in KudoZ. I even received an email from an ex-member who told me somewhat snarkily "You do know that red seal next to your name means nothing, right?"

But ProZ is not my child. It's not my creation. It's not up to me what direction it decides to take. What I am free to decide is whether to use the site or not. As Charlie pointed out, "if you place your online activities into someone else's hands, you have to take management decisions on the chin or go elsewhere".

To be quite honest, with everything that is involved in running a freelance business, I wonder where they find the time or energy. Swallow the bitter pill and move on! It's really not that difficult.

[Edited at 2015-04-24 13:43 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-04-24 13:44 GMT]


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:33
German to English
Yes, I remember those early days. Apr 24, 2015

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Not that it was always thus. There was a time when it had a proper professional community feel to it. But now it seems the priority is merely traffic and the money it brings....

But to get to the main point, perhaps. One reason people criticise this website elsewhere is simply that it's pretty difficult to criticise proz on proz itself. Again, a decision site management is perfectly entitled to make. But I do know that some fairly draconian moderation decisions have driven many people away (sometimes to leave, sometimes just to keep their own counsel).

Again, this was not always the case - I recall brisk discussion about several site-related issues some years ago. Some of the criticism voiced elsewhere is generated by frustration about what this website could have been, and the direction is has taken in the last few years....

And many have gone elsewhere. Many of the people I see making robust criticism of this website are either ex-members or silent members. This place could have been the only place any of us ever needed to be members of, because if those people were still here and active, it would meet the needs of most of us. But proz has chosen its route, so people have gone elsewhere, and proz won't allow robust criticism of that route on here (fair enough), so criticism has to be voiced elsewhere. QED as far as I'm concerned.


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