I'm still a bit disappointed
Thread poster: Gerard de Noord

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:56
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Sep 30, 2010

I visited the Virtual conference today. I did the same last year and I wasn’t impressed, then. I still wasn’t impressed today. I entered the pavilion and listened to Henry’s welcome words. Then I clicked on several virtual spaces. Maybe the people in the virtual booths have sold some of their stuff, maybe some of my colleagues have enjoyed the chats: Hi, I’m from Mongolia; happy Translator’s Day; @Katy do you have Skype.

Personally, I could well have done without the interactive part and for me it would have been far more efficient if I had had a simple menu to listen to presentations that had been broadcast before. I understand that I will have that choice during the next three months, because I attended the Virtual conference, but I do hope I’ll be able to that on this website, without visiting that pavilion.

I visited one reunion were the concept more or less worked: Henry presided a group with two translation agency representatives, two seasoned translators and a lady in charge of translation at HP. I could see six people moving and talking and a constant stream of reactions next to them. From memory, the most memorable remarks from the agency representatives were: (purchasing) price comes fourth in our metrics; one can ask 1 dollar or 10 dollars a word when offering real subject expertise in a rare language pair; and TMs might be irrelevant in five years.

Of course there was also some discussion about becoming more efficient and productive through technology, but that part was a bit one-sided. The motto of one of the attending colleagues - charge more, work less - didn’t receive general acclaim.

But also that part of the conference could have been recorded and post-edited without losing any of its value. I understand the extra value of the buzz an online conference creates, but I was disappointed by the technology behind it.

Cheers,
Gerard


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 11:56
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Agree! Oct 1, 2010

Gerard de Noord wrote:

Of course there was also some discussion about becoming more efficient and productive through technology, but that part was a bit one-sided. The motto of one of the attending colleagues - charge more, work less - didn’t receive general acclaim.

But also that part of the conference could have been recorded and post-edited without losing any of its value. I understand the extra value of the buzz an online conference creates, but I was disappointed by the technology behind it.

Cheers,
Gerard


I also have a similar comment. Let's be done on the next event.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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Miguel Carmona  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:56
English to Spanish
Better with a simple menu, no interactive part, and no pavillion Oct 1, 2010

Gerard de Noord wrote:

Personally, I could well have done without the interactive part and for me it would have been far more efficient if I had had a simple menu to listen to presentations that had been broadcast before. I understand that I will have that choice during the next three months, because I attended the Virtual conference, but I do hope I’ll be able to that on this website, without visiting that pavilion.


I agree 100%.


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Andrej  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:56
Member (2005)
German to Russian
+ ...
I agree too Oct 1, 2010

I didn't like this difficult and confused system as well. Therefore I just clicked some menus, and then returned to my actual work again. What I would like is a simple page with simple instructions and menus. I don't need these nice pictures, chats and other wonderful things. What I need is the possibility to choose the presentation which is interesting for me.

[Edited at 2010-10-01 07:24 GMT]


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AnneMarieG  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:56
Member (2009)
German to French
+ ...
I tend to agree Oct 2, 2010

I found the rapidly moving chat column rather cumbersome, and I was not able attend any of the life conferences because a. I couldn't find "room 5" or b. there was some technical issue.

Besides I was asked when registering about my goals (i.e. find colleagues in other language pairs to work with, in my case) and I am still wondering how on earth I would have been able to attain this goal...

As Soonthon said, we'll next year!

Best regards,

Anne-Marie


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Claudio Porcellana  Identity Verified
Italy
Agreee ... Oct 2, 2010

but may be only due to my grizzly hair?


I don't love chats as they are too fast and chaotic, but that chats were a complete mess, to me

and even tragicomic sometimes, as in outsourcer boots, where an incessant rain of peers were asking for job, or proposing to send the CV, even when it was clear that no one boot officer was there to answer, or the only answer was a standard "yes send me your CV" ...

furthermore, software boots were clearly more devoted to newbies than to experienced users, making them veeeery boring

BTW, I found that demos of different tools were very very similar if not clones, did you noticed that?


to me anyway, the main drawback of this kind of conference is the absolute lack of interpreting services, as it would be in a "blood and flesh" meeting, as I understand very little the spoken English

Claudio


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:56
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
@ Claudio Oct 2, 2010

Claudio Porcellana wrote:

as I understand very little the spoken English

Claudio


LOL


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Claudio Porcellana  Identity Verified
Italy
LOL? Oct 2, 2010

dear Emma, I'm a translator NOT an interpreter, so why are you sarcastic?
suppose to attend to a meeting in which the language is german, are you sure Emma to take advantage of it?
this is one of the reasons why interpreters exists, isn't it?

Claudio

[Modificato alle 2010-10-02 19:36 GMT]


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:56
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
sorry Claudio Oct 2, 2010

I wasn't being sarcastic, and I certainly agree that offering interpreting at the conference would have been an excellent idea - definitely an issue that should be addressed for next year.

My mistake was thinking that you were speaking for other people who don't understand English. I didn't realise that you were including yourself in that group because you wrote a very good post in English ("software boots were clearly more devoted to newbies than to experienced users, making them veeeery boring"... this shows your good command of English). So I thought your last sentence was a jokey comment on behalf of non-English speakers. Please forgive me for my poor interpretation. It wasn't meant to be sarcastic in any way.


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Claudio Porcellana  Identity Verified
Italy
LOL? Oct 2, 2010

OK, understood your point Emma!

thanks anyway for your judgment on my written English, but some good sentence here and there is only a stroke of luck, in my case ...
LOL

Claudio


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:56
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Not disappointed at all - in fact, I am very enthusiastic Oct 3, 2010

I am not disappointed at all. I was last year, when in my opinion the technology was not yet up to the task. This year, the technology was much better. Quite a few of the presentations were excellent. Proz is really leading the way into a new are of conferencing here and this for me is definitely one of the positive experiences I have with ProZ.
Ok, I did not consider the chat feature really useful - way too much chatter. And yes, the info popups were annoying. And yes the staff of some exhibitors was sometimes not available.

Am I disappointed about this – not at all. This is the 2nd conference ever I attended with several thousand attendees. And I don't know of any other industry that is running online events of this size. Therefore it was to be expected that some features would not work as planned. In my opinion what ProZ, the service providers and even the companies running a virtual booth did, is ground breaking work, something I really do value very high.

In my judgment, the event was excellent, feed back is required to improve the next events, but I do not see any reason to be disappointed.


[Edited at 2010-10-03 11:14 GMT]


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Simone Linke  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:56
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Agreed Oct 3, 2010

Given that it's only the second conference, there's certainly still a learning curve here, so, I agree with Siegfried that the shortcomings should be improved, but otherwise, Proz is on the right track.

Also, I don't think that Proz seriously considered the possibility that this conference would be flooded by childish members of the gaga generation. Why would anybody 1) attend the conference, 2) join a specific presentation, and then 3) spam the chat window with crap like "hi, I'm mustafa, my skype name is xyz, uh, please add me, what's your skype ID? wanna chat blablabla"???

It didn't even stop when Henry Dotterer explicitly asked the chatters to refrain from this annoying chit-chat. It felt like a digital children's playground, and I fully understand that Proz didn't expect this and didn't have any measures in place.

Well, now we know better and Proz can improve in these areas. So, third time is the charm - cheers until next year.

[Edited at 2010-10-03 09:25 GMT]


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:56
French to English
+ ...
Tend to agree Oct 3, 2010

I'm afraid I tend to agree with the comments so far. I would really suggest:

- just have slick, decent-quality versions of the talks recorded and posted as they're available
- ditch the gimmicky "virtual auditorium" stuff, and just have a simple page with a list of the talks
- for each talk, have a page for on-line discussion posts similar to the forum, and encourage posters to restrict their comments to matters arising from the actual talk
- if people want to find out each other's skype or e-mail address, rather than having a discussion about it, they can just look at each other's profiles (similarly, if they want to wish each other Happy Crabfishing Day, they can do this via e-mail)

Or put another way -- I really see attending a physical conference centre and using on-line mdeia as two distinct processes. Some klunky on-screen graphics, poor audio quality and a window with messages scrolling past saying "Hi, what's your skype address" really don't trick my mind into thinking I'm at the Moscone Center...


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 06:56
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Inconsequential chatter Oct 3, 2010

Reassured to hear that even the powers-that-be were annoyed by the inane chat flooding the chatrooms, and that action was taken.

Noni


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