The crowdsourcing software allows NGOs to post a job and automatically broadcast an alert to any translator who has been approved for the combination of that language pair and a particular area of expertise — for example, English>French for emergency medical care in Haiti. Whoever takes the job can accept it online, have the files automatically transferred, and return the completed translation without any further human interaction. Thicke said more automation is in the works.
(The bold emphasis is mine.)
This announcement is of great interest to me and the Solidarités team of ProZ.com. It seems that the aims of the two organizations are quite similar – but the means and methods are rather different. Instead of automating various steps in the workflow (including HR management), we try to connect people, providing networking possibilities, and encourage a lot of communication – well beyond the necessary minimum. Networking around a real-life text provides a great environment for collaboration and learning – provided the workflow is adapted to this and sufficiently complex. Based on the team members' feedback, most participants seem to benefit from these projects in multiple ways. One, of course, is the satisfaction of contributing to a noble cause. But meeting colleagues and learning from each other are also very important components – which seem to justify the extra time invested.
I have long wanted to share our team's experience with others, and the virtual conference offered an excellent opportunity for this. The first part of the session "Pro bono work – dos and don'ts" deals with general aspects to consider when choosing a channel of pro bono work. The second part describes the framework we set up. Hope many of you will watch this on-demand video, and join the follow-up live webinar 4 weeks later, where questions and feedback will be discussed.