Plus features: APIs and TM-Town (category: External new client channels)
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 07:21
SITE FOUNDER
Dec 15, 2016

Hi folks,

Another item has been released in the ongoing Plus package rollout. This one is from the "External client channels" category: "APIs and TM-Town". A video has been released to explain the vision underlying the new ways to meet clients who are not necessarily at ProZ.com. (Ways released so far include "website widgets", a partnership to bring interpreting work to ProZ.com members, and TM-Town membership.) From the announcement:

A paradigm shift is underway. Whereas in the past ProZ.com members needed to come to ProZ.com to access site services, today, thanks to API's, ProZ.com services are being brought to users, when and where is most convenient to them: in CAT tools, mobile apps, TMS's, personal websites and more. In this release segment, a vision of a distributed ProZ.com is introduced. And then the next Plus benefit -- TM-Town membership, a $144 value -- is released.


To learn more, see the video accessible from the Plus rollout page.


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Piotr Bienkowski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:21
Member (2005)
English to Polish
+ ...
I prefer to read about new features Dec 16, 2016

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I prefer to read about new features than to watch a video about them.

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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:21
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Piotr, you're not old-fashioned Dec 16, 2016

Henry Dotterer wrote:

Hi folks,

Another item has been released in the ongoing Plus package rollout. This one is from the "External client channels" category: "APIs and TM-Town". A video has been released to explain the vision underlying the new ways to meet clients who are not necessarily at ProZ.com. (Ways released so far include "website widgets", a partnership to bring interpreting work to ProZ.com members, and TM-Town membership.) From the announcement:

A paradigm shift is underway. Whereas in the past ProZ.com members needed to come to ProZ.com to access site services, today, thanks to API's, ProZ.com services are being brought to users, when and where is most convenient to them: in CAT tools, mobile apps, TMS's, personal websites and more. In this release segment, a vision of a distributed ProZ.com is introduced. And then the next Plus benefit -- TM-Town membership, a $144 value -- is released.


To learn more, see the video accessible from the Plus rollout page.



Piotr, you're not old-fashioned. I became infuriated after reading the original message and I have started a thread in the Dutch forum since. I’m not against offering new subscription models to members. I’m afraid ProZ doesn’t know enough about marketing to do my marketing.

Cheers,
Gerard


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Artem Vakhitov  Identity Verified
Estonia
English to Russian
+ ...
Having to watch videos, especially long ones, is annoying Dec 16, 2016

Piotr Bienkowski wrote:

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I prefer to read about new features than to watch a video about them.


I'm always annoyed when I have to watch video instead of reading and often even get the impression that someone tries intentionally to make it difficult to find out exactly what it's all about. Come on, we are all translators, reading is part of our profession, we're trained to read very well and can get the gist of the matter much quicker that way.


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Sindy Cremer

Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
agree Dec 17, 2016

with all previous speakers.

Henry, would you consider putting things to virtual paper? You appear to have PPT presentations for -most of?- the new features. Why not add 'notes' and make them available to your paying members?


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 07:21
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Ouch! (OK, the rationale is...) Dec 17, 2016

Piotr Bienkowski wrote:
Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I prefer to read about new features than to watch a video about them.

Gerard de Noord wrote:
I’m afraid ProZ doesn’t know enough about marketing to do my marketing.

Artem Vakhitov wrote:
... even get the impression that someone tries intentionally to make it difficult to find out exactly what it's all about.

Ouch, tough crowd!

Seriously, though, thanks for the feedback. I do confess to making these videos while knowing that they would have very little marketing appeal, and that few of our members, being busy, would watch all the way through. It is not meant to be marketing, though; the target audience for the Plus rollout is the group of people who have already purchased the package. Furthermore, given practical considerations, I understood that only a subset of those who already purchased the Plus package would watch the videos.

So why do it this way?

Well, first off I should say that it was an experiment to do it this way, and I am not yet sure whether or not it has worked. But I'll explain my thinking.

The primary consideration in going with videos, sometimes lengthy, is that some of the new services and features involve intellectual leaps. Not huge ones, but leaps nonetheless. I say that because in discussing the various new items over the past year or so, both among staff members and with alpha testers, I found that several of the concepts can take a little time to thoroughly grasp. And grasping their implications takes more time still. There really is a paradigm shift happening, and I found it difficult to convey some of the new items concisely without opening the door to misconceptions that could create significant distraction.

So my objective here was to address those who have already bought, to those few "translation workplace enthusiasts" who are into this stuff enough to put in the eleven minutes, or the twenty-six minutes, necessary to sit through me explaining at length why we are doing what we are doing, and where we imagine it heading.

I've presented the rollout items one at a time as though they are separate items, but the truth is, once you have understood each, they sort of come together into one vision of the next generation of ProZ.com. In these videos, I am trying to share that vision with not only the (Plus subscriber) "world", but even with our internal (distributed) team (even if we have all already met in person to discuss this.) And I do plan to wrap things up with one final video that brings things together a little bit.

I reason that if one or two hundred members watch the videos and "get" the vision, that will be a sufficient number to (1) correct me where my thinking is errant, (2) improve upon the vision, and (3) indirectly help to make the vision a reality (by virtue of nothing other than their understanding where we are headed, while being part of the broader community.)

That was the strategy, anyway. As I say, I am not sure if it is working. (I do know that the videos are serving at least one purpose. It is very hard to spin a "conspiracy theory" when anyone who wants to investigate can watch me talk for twenty-six minutes, from the top of my head, about the real reasons we are doing something. But that was not the motivating factor, conveying the vision was.)

So if anyone has watched the series of videos and feels like they are starting to "get it", please send me a positive signal. Otherwise I will have to accept that I have accomplished nothing more than boring and annoying all of you. If it is only that, I apologize.

And by the way, I agree with you guys; I prefer things in text form. (I guess you can understand that from the last seventeen years of releases.)

Sindy Cremer wrote:
Henry, would you consider putting things to virtual paper? You appear to have PPT presentations for -most of?- the new features. Why not add 'notes' and make them available to your paying members?

Thanks for this request, Sindy. Yes, when we get past the "explanatory" phase and into the "promotional" phase, you can expect more concise, more text-based communication.

Thanks in the meantime for participating in the discussions. I feel very fortunate to have members interested enough to take time out of their professional work to engage with me on topics such as this.


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tastycomm  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 13:21
Member (2013)
French to Italian
+ ...
Loved the website widget and social networking video! Dec 18, 2016

I'm not (yet) a Plus subscriber (or at least I think I'm not), but I keep following your Proz Facebook page with the Plus updates and if I haven't been very interested in the Plus features yet (because I basically don't need them or don't use them), I found the website widget and the social networking feature the most interesting of all.
I also love and prefer videos, instead of pages of online text, it's really against my nature to spend more than 10 seconds on a webpage, sorry guys!

I've just launched my website, and even if I studied html at the University, it took me almost 4 days to set everything up and I also had to go for the cheapest options/widgets, because I didn't want to invest much in something I didn't know it was really cost-effective. I still haven't opened the 'blog-part' of the website, because I wanted just a static website and I had to face instantly the issue of "how do I get visibility if I don't have a blog and I can't put keywords in my website?"... I'm basically stuck at that and I was really hoping that linking my website to my Proz account would solve my problem, actually.
I still don't feel I have the time to update a blog regularly or open a Facebook page and spend time on it. An automated widget would probably make me change my mind.

[Edited at 2016-12-18 13:10 GMT]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 07:21
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, tastycomm Dec 23, 2016

tastycomm wrote:

I'm not (yet) a Plus subscriber (or at least I think I'm not), but I keep following your Proz Facebook page with the Plus updates and if I haven't been very interested in the Plus features yet (because I basically don't need them or don't use them), I found the website widget and the social networking feature the most interesting of all.
I also love and prefer videos, instead of pages of online text, it's really against my nature to spend more than 10 seconds on a webpage, sorry guys!

Hi tastycomm. Thanks for the feedback! It's good to know someone is watching.

I've just launched my website, and even if I studied html at the University, it took me almost 4 days to set everything up and I also had to go for the cheapest options/widgets, because I didn't want to invest much in something I didn't know it was really cost-effective. I still haven't opened the 'blog-part' of the website, because I wanted just a static website and I had to face instantly the issue of "how do I get visibility if I don't have a blog and I can't put keywords in my website?"... I'm basically stuck at that and I was really hoping that linking my website to my Proz account would solve my problem, actually.

It will help to some degree. You may want to emphasize your marketing work and video game experience a bit more in the "About me" section of your profile. Getting a few KudoZ points, maybe in marketing, would bring you more than halfway up the list in the directory, so a small investment of time in that way would really pay off in increased traffic to your profile, and to your website in turn. Another thing you might do to increase traffic is consider using your real name in your profile (even if you immediately pivot in the "About me" section to introduce your company, Tasty Communications.) In general, we do notice a preference among outsourcers for profiles with real names.

As for your website, it looks great! Nice job embedding the "What I am working on" widget. I think having a blog is one of the very effective things a freelance translator can do, because you want to present yourself as (and actually make yourself) the person to go to in a specific niche. I do understand that it requires an investment of time.

I still don't feel I have the time to update a blog regularly or open a Facebook page and spend time on it. An automated widget would probably make me change my mind.

Thanks for the feedback! Good luck in building your business further.


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Anne Louise
United States
Local time: 06:21
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Confidentiality issues Dec 26, 2016

I've watched all the videos, read, and taken notes. I'm starting to "get it". The one thing that still concerns me deeply is protection of confidentiality. How do I know I can trust TM-Town's "redaction" process?

Most of the work I do is highly confidential and on PDFs. I am very concerned about the steps documents go through in being converted into samples for TM-Town; every step is an opportunity for something to go wrong.

I've already signed NDA and confidentiality agreements with the outsourcers whose work I'm being asked to display. I may be misunderstanding something, but am I being asked to trust TM-Town and upload confidential samples anyway? Besides, I don't store completed translations on the cloud at all, and not on my hard drive for any length of time - also to protect confidentiality - and so I actually have very few samples of my work to show.

The idea of shared TMs also scares me for these same reasons of breach of confidentiality. In addition to that, I would not want to see the quality of my work diluted by using a TM with the pooled work of a great number of other translators of varying levels of experience and capability.

The idea of TM-Town is attractive on the surface, but I will not be using it for now. I won't make a final decision on whether to use it until I fully understand how these issues will be handled.

Anne Louise, CT


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Kevin Dias
Local time: 21:21
SITE STAFF
TM-Town Dec 26, 2016

Hi Anne Louise,

Anne Louise wrote:
I've watched all the videos, read, and taken notes. I'm starting to "get it". The one thing that still concerns me deeply is protection of confidentiality. How do I know I can trust TM-Town's "redaction" process?

Most of the work I do is highly confidential and on PDFs. I am very concerned about the steps documents go through in being converted into samples for TM-Town; every step is an opportunity for something to go wrong.

I've already signed NDA and confidentiality agreements with the outsourcers whose work I'm being asked to display. I may be misunderstanding something, but am I being asked to trust TM-Town and upload confidential samples anyway? Besides, I don't store completed translations on the cloud at all, and not on my hard drive for any length of time - also to protect confidentiality - and so I actually have very few samples of my work to show.


In the case where you do not have any work that you can upload TM-Town provides a library of sample source texts from which you could do a sample translation in your field of expertise. If you can't find a sample source text in your field of expertise you can email us and we will add one.

It is also perfectly acceptable to not upload anything to TM-Town. You will still have a profile and be included in TM-Town's traditional directory.


Anne Louise wrote:
The idea of shared TMs also scares me for these same reasons of breach of confidentiality. In addition to that, I would not want to see the quality of my work diluted by using a TM with the pooled work of a great number of other translators of varying levels of experience and capability.


There are no shared TMs on TM-Town. Any work you upload is private and can only be accessed by you. Other translators can't view your work, clients can't view your work - only you have access to what you upload.


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