Mid-year report to members, 2009
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 22:06
SITE FOUNDER
May 20, 2009

Hi all,

A mid-year membership campaign is about to start, and in advance of that, I want to thank all of you who are members for investing in your business (and supporting the site at the same time). As members, you make everything here possible.

To report on advancements made so far this year:

* Support has been an area of focus. A support office was opened in Kharkiv, Ukraine, and two support staffers have been hired and trained there -- increasing the size of the support team to six people overall. With the Kharkiv office operation, ProZ.com now has support personnel on duty from a time before the working day starts in Europe, until well after it ends. Response times on support requests are down correspondingly, even as members are making use of the support service with increasing frequency. (Job postings are vetted much more quickly as well, and more of the forums are being read by staff members on an ongoing basis.)

* Behind the scenes, the channel between support and development has been given a more formal structure. Requests and bug reports included in support requests more readily lead to development now. As a result, hundreds of small member-led improvements have been made in KudoZ and throughout the site this year.

* Several new features were released, including a directory of interpreters, a web-based invoicing solution and a dictionary and reference board. ProZ.com members have invoiced over 4 million euros over the past several months using the new web-based system.

* Several existing site features were improved significantly, among them the KudoZ term search, GBK ("glossary building KudoZ") and the RSS feeds for the forums and jobs. Through GBK activities of the community, glossaries containing terms of interest with definitions and example sentences have been formed from English into 32 languages.

* Internal optimization has resulted in an improved design, a more streamlined menu and lighter pages overall. The average time ProZ.com servers take to create pages has been cut in half, to under half a second.

* Member traffic is up. Quick polls, for example, sometimes collect over 2000 responses in a single day. Also, more people ask, and more people answer, KudoZ questions.

* Visitor traffic, and traffic to profiles, are up. Worldwide, ProZ.com is now among the 3500 most visited sites overall.

* Trainings and conferences are being held in many more locations, and increasingly, online (including SDL TRADOS approved trainings
and certification exam). Opportunities for translators to train and be trained, and to have face-to-face contact with other professionals, are now much more accessible and affordable than they once were.

* The screening process for the Certified PRO network has been streamlined (thanks, Katalin!), and over 1700 professionals have now been accepted. Collaboration is happening among professionals in the program. Also, some have reported meeting new clients in connection with their participation in the program.

* Plans have been made for a celebration of ProZ.com's tenth anniversary in Ohrid in early July (thanks, Hristina!). Nearly 200 members have expressed interest and there is every indication that this will be one of ProZ.com's most memorable events. (Get there if you can!)

* New forms of specialized event have been introduced (thanks, Angela!). For example, a "Winespeak Weekend" was recently held in Italy's Abruzzo region. (Proceeds from the event are being donated for earthquake relief.) A big virtual event is also being planned for later this year.

* The Justin Chlebus Memorial Scholarship Fund is now fully funded for at least its first year (thanks to all those who have given!) A call for applications will soon go out.

All in all, I am proud of the progress that we have made as a company and community. Thank you, members, for your support.

To those who are not yet members but who are professional translators: The theme of the campaign that is now starting is "The best investment a professional translator can make". This is intended to focus attention on the strong return on investment that ProZ.com membership brings (a single client pays it off and more), and also to make the point that as a freelancer, it may be useful to think in terms of investing in your business (if you do not already think in those terms.) At any rate, several incentives are offered, making it an opportune time to join the world's leading translator community.

From the ProZ.com team (see our video introduction!), thank you again for your support and use of the site.

Henry
Founder



[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2010-06-16 13:22 GMT]


 

Niraja Nanjundan (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:36
German to English
Good work! May 21, 2009

Thanks to everyone who makes the running of this site possible.

So many new members keep joining all the time - I wonder, do you really still need the membership campaigns?

Just a thought.

All the best to everyone,
Niraja


 

Nigel Greenwood  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:06
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Gratitude May 21, 2009

Hi to all,
My membership expires next month, and I have dedicated many hours considering the pros and cons of continuing.
You see, almost all my work now comes from regular clients, so my first consideration was: why spend the money on continuing my membership, if I hardly ever quote. But then, I thought, all of these clients came through ProZ, so where is my gratitude?
Then all those colleagues that have answered the few questions I made in KudoZ; once again, where is my gratitude?
Taking advantage of the discounts in purchasing the 'famous' CAT tools; once again, where is my gratitude?
The on-line courses helping me to become a ‘professional’ user of these tools; once again, where is my gratitude?
I do not think it is necessary that I continue, let’s face it I ought to be very grateful to ProZ, and indeed I am, so the decision can only be one.
I don't want to be the one that is here only for the benefits, and now I have them, drop out, so-to-speak.
So, yes, I will continue, and always be grateful to ProZ.
Nigel.
icon_smile.gif


 

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:06
English to French
+ ...
Awesome! May 21, 2009

Henry D wrote:

* Support has been an area of focus. A support office was opened in Kharkiv, Ukraine, and two support staffers have been hired and trained there -- increasing the size of the support team to six people overall. With the Kharkiv office operation, ProZ.com now has support personnel on duty before the working day starts in Europe, until well after it ends. Response times on support requests are down correspondingly, even as members are making use of the support service with increasing frequency. (Job postings are vetted much more quickly as well, and more of the forums are being read by staff members on an ongoing basis.)

Thanks!


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 22:06
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Nigel May 21, 2009

Nigel Greenwood wrote:

Hi to all,
My membership expires next month, and I have dedicated many hours considering the pros and cons of continuing.
You see, almost all my work now comes from regular clients, so my first consideration was: why spend the money on continuing my membership, if I hardly ever quote. But then, I thought, all of these clients came through ProZ, so where is my gratitude?
Then all those colleagues that have answered the few questions I made in KudoZ; once again, where is my gratitude?
Taking advantage of the discounts in purchasing the 'famous' CAT tools; once again, where is my gratitude?
The on-line courses helping me to become a ‘professional’ user of these tools; once again, where is my gratitude?
I do not think it is necessary that I continue, let’s face it I ought to be very grateful to ProZ, and indeed I am, so the decision can only be one.
I don't want to be the one that is here only for the benefits, and now I have them, drop out, so-to-speak.
So, yes, I will continue, and always be grateful to ProZ.
Nigel.
icon_smile.gif

Thanks for posting, Nigel!

The intention is that people in your situation, who remain on as members even after having developed a full stable of clients, will continue to benefit commercially. Keeping a steady flow of potential clients is a way to raise rates, be more selective about the types of work you do, and can be an insurance policy against sudden changes in your client base. (Not that you need any of that, I make the point generally.)

Thanks again for your ongoing support!


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 22:06
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Niraja May 21, 2009

Niraja Nanjundan wrote:

Thanks to everyone who makes the running of this site possible.

Thank you, Niraja.
So many new members keep joining all the time - I wonder, do you really still need the membership campaigns?

Yes, they are important. In fact, I would ask current members to consider taking these periodic campaigns as occasions to invite into the community other professional translators whose work you know and respect (whether you invite them to join as paying members or as non-paying participants). Every service offered at ProZ.com is valuable only because of the participation of colleagues.


 

Venkatesh Sundaram  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 07:36
German to English
Another thought on 'do we need membership campaigns' May 21, 2009

Niraja Nanjundan wrote:

Thanks to everyone who makes the running of this site possible.

So many new members keep joining all the time - I wonder, do you really still need the membership campaigns?

Just a thought.

All the best to everyone,
Niraja


I second Niraja, thanks to everyone, especially the site staff, who makes the running of the site possible; thanks to all the helpful colleagues who post answers - both to the term search as well as in the 'topics' ..

It's true that Proz keeps getting new members each day. But I think the membership campaign may still have some value. Some of the posible reasons (not necessarily inorder of importance):
1) While Proz undoubtedly has a fairly large number of members, I am sure there are quite a few good colleagues out there who are not members yet - for instance I joined only after working in the field for a few years, because I had the (unfounded) notion that
its a rather exclusive forum into which I may not fit
2) Having more members would hopefully mean that more colleagues could participate in the discussions, and be influenced in their choice of professional practices


 

Tomas Mosler, DipTrans IoLET MCIL MITI  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 04:06
Member (2008)
English to Czech
PRO network May 25, 2009

Actually, I don't understand the PRO network advantages fully.

I mean, I joined months ago, there was quite a hype around it then, I "recommended" some other people and checked some translation, but that is about it. What next? There are no jobs listed and for teams formation, I could always use normal teams function.

Can anyone explain if there are actually any benefits, except for the red P? Thanks!


 

Kathryn Litherland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:06
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
new invoicing tool May 26, 2009

The new invoicing tool alone has been worth the cost of my membership.

 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 22:06
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
CPN is a "network" May 26, 2009

Tomas Mosler wrote:

Actually, I don't understand the PRO network advantages fully.

I mean, I joined months ago, there was quite a hype around it then, I "recommended" some other people and checked some translation, but that is about it. What next? There are no jobs listed and for teams formation, I could always use normal teams function.

Can anyone explain if there are actually any benefits, except for the red P? Thanks!

Hi Tomas,

Thanks for taking the time to explore the program and go through the application process. Congratulations on being admitted.

The P is one benefit of the Certified PRO network, as you note, but not the main one. The overview page says that the program is meant to provide participants with "the option of networking and collaborating in an environment consisting entirely of screened professionals." In other words, it is a network. (The term "certified" has gotten a bit of attention in discussions here in the forum, but the more important term in this program is "network.")

In a broad sense, all of ProZ.com is a network. The "network of certified professionals" can be viewed as a network within the network. As in the broader network, as a participant, you will be exposed to tools and opportunities. To a large extent, your experience will be what you make of it.

By the way, the invoicing tool that Kathryn mentions is one thing that has come out of the program.


 

Silvia Prendin  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 04:06
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
Thank you Jun 2, 2009

Thank you for the great service you provide. I would like to see some other improvements, for example:

WE HAVE TO MAKE CLEAR THAT TRANSLATORS FIX THEIR RATES

therefore, proZ should prevent agencies or companies to be able to post jobs with their rate!

This would make proZ look more serious and for real professionals.


 

Mariella Bonelli  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:06
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Thank you Henry Jun 2, 2009

Silvia P. wrote:

Thank you for the great service you provide. I would like to see some other improvements, for example:

WE HAVE TO MAKE CLEAR THAT TRANSLATORS FIX THEIR RATES

therefore, proZ should prevent agencies or companies to be able to post jobs with their rate!

This would make proZ look more serious and for real professionals.


Agencies and companies' rates can be simply interpreted as "I cannot/do not want to spend more than this". Not answering to job postings with rates below our standard is in my opinion more than enough to claim our professionalism. The fact that we keep seeing those low "offers" means that there are indeed translators who want to work at those prices and they are allowed to do so in a free market.


 

Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 23:06
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Disagree Jun 2, 2009

Silvia P. wrote:

WE HAVE TO MAKE CLEAR THAT TRANSLATORS FIX THEIR RATES

therefore, proZ should prevent agencies or companies to be able to post jobs with their rate!

This would make proZ look more serious and for real professionals.


This has nothing to do with Proz.

This is how the system works. Any agency, any outsourcer is free to offer a job at a given rate. We are also free to answer or disregard it.


 


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