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Poll: Do you think social networking sites can benefit a translator professionally?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:57
SITE STAFF
Nov 27, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you think social networking sites can benefit a translator professionally?"

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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 23:57
English to French
+ ...
Depends Nov 27, 2009

... on the site but also on what you post and what your "friends" post. As a matter of fact, they may even have a negative effect, professionally speaking.

[Modifié le 2009-11-27 08:45 GMT]


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Oleksandr Kupriyanchuk  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 00:57
Russian to English
+ ...
Rather NO Nov 27, 2009

Generally speaking, this is not what they are for.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 22:57
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
NO Nov 27, 2009

Benefit a translator professionally? Quite frankly I do not see how.

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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:57
Member (2008)
English to Italian
NO Nov 27, 2009

Interlangue wrote:

... on the site but also on what you post and what your "friends" post. As a matter of fact, they may even have a negative effect, professionally speaking.

[Modifié le 2009-11-27 08:45 GMT]


I agree, and there is one more thing:
The time you have to spend to use these websites properly could be used to contact directly clients or translate.

I know a photographer/tourist guide who gets all his work from facebook, but he spends all his time on it, If I spent my time on facebook, I would have no money!!!


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Jocelyne S  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:57
Member
French to English
+ ...
Other - I have no idea Nov 27, 2009

I honestly have no idea about the professional advantages of social networking sites.

Personally, I don't have time to be bothered with them and find that I already spend too much time in front of my computer.

I periodically receive Facebook invitations from friends, but I've never signed up and don't plan to do so in the near future.

Like Interlangue, I've also read a few horror stories about people who reveal a bit too much about themselves online.

Best,
Jocelyne


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Sanna van Leeuwen  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 00:57
Dutch to Finnish
+ ...
Is LinkedIn not a social networking site? Nov 27, 2009

I am not a very active LinkedIn user but nevertheless I have received messages from potential clients who had seen my profile on Linked In. So, my answer is yes.

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Maria Drangel  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 23:57
Member (2007)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Yes Nov 27, 2009

I have a rather large group of friends on Facebook and I have often checked who is online and asked questions about technical things e.g. "what is this type of screw called in Swedish" and received a quick chatt reply there.

On Skype I recieve business regularly from people who have found my profile, (although if I have a choice I prefer Proz due to the Blue Board) and I know friends who get good business from LinkedIn and Xing (but as I am not a paying member there I have not experienced that myself).

I used to have great help from the (mainly Swedish) social network Shortcut, but that network has been declining for a few years so I don´t use it so much myself anymore.

Although it takes time I think that I can decide how much I spend on it and I try to use it in my favour as much as possible, and I think that it is helping me quite a bit.


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Natasha Dupuy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:57
French to English
Depends on a host of things... Nov 27, 2009

... not just the site.
So the short answer is yes, if used properly and actively.
I refer specifically to LinkedIn and Viadeo, since I don't use Facebook for professional purposes and personally I would not find it appropriate to do so.


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 18:57
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
I said no, but... Nov 27, 2009

On second thought, isn't ProZ a social networking site for translators?

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ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Balanced use Nov 27, 2009

I tend to think that any online website, including social networking websites, can obviously have an effect on one's freelance career, whether direct or indirect.

For me it all depends on how you use them, like everything in the Internet.

Just like spending a few minutes here in the Proz.com forums can add visibility to your profile/valuable community interaction, and, thus, attract potential clients, using social networking websites can also contribute to your online professional visibility.

About the time you dedicate to this, I agree that it can be a bit of a distraction, but obviously you should have control over this, otherwise you risk a certain "addiction".

About social networking websites in particular, after being a bit reluctant about joining Twitter, I was introduced to it by a fellow/nice Prozian colleague, and I must say it has been fun and enriching from many points of view, not only professional. I think the fact that Twitter is based on words makes it more attractive to translators and language-related people in general, unlike sites like Facebook, more family-friend related, as its emphasis is on photos and the like.

Again, it all depends on how (and why) you use these sites.

Enjoy the weekend (Black Friday?),

Ivette


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 23:57
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
With Reed Nov 27, 2009

Yes, I think there is quite a strong social element to Proz (for those who wish to use it thus).

The Pow-Wows, the banter between translators...

But I imagine that this is not where the questioner was going.


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Céline Graciet
Local time: 22:57
English to French
Definitely Nov 27, 2009

I think the lines have become increasingly blurred between social and professional networking sites. I have made contact with several clients through my social/professional networking activities (my blog, other translators' blogs and Twitter mainly) and whenever I get a request for work that I can't take on, I always turn first to my social/professional network (see http://twitter.com/NTceline/status/5892609454 ).

Of course you have to be careful when you use them in a professional capacity and that's why I keep my Facebook account for my friends and family exclusively: potential clients don't need to know what I do at the weekend. However, I'm planning on setting up a different Facebook account, which I'll use to connect with as many people as possible. I think visibility is key for us freelancers: the wider we can cast our net, the better, and social networking sites are great for that.

Céline Graciet
www.nakedtranslations.com

[Edited at 2009-11-27 13:15 GMT]


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Bob Kerns  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:57
Member (2002)
German to English
Definitely YES Nov 27, 2009

Just about every "social networking" site can be used for professional purposes if you network with the right people.

I initially joined Twitter and Facebook out of curiosity, but soon found definite professional benefits, not just in "getting to know" other translators, but also in sharing information on a vast range of translation and language-related subjects.

And up to now, not a single discussion I have followed there has been closed/locked/blocked/hidden/deleted.


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:57
German to English
+ ...
Another definite yes Nov 27, 2009

Apart from the usual and much-discussed benefits of PowWows, I have found Twitter a very useful source for handy hints and links to excellent blogs by translators. It is easy to find who to 'follow' i.e.'xl8rs'

And up to now, not a single discussion I have followed there has been closed/locked/blocked/hidden/deleted.


And of course Bob is right

Chris


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