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ProZ.com Pools™: Subtitling just added. What niche next?
מפרסם התגובה: Henry Dotterer

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 12:51
מייסד אתר
Aug 9

Hi ProZ.com members.

Some of you have heard about ProZ.com Pools™, which are groups of pre-screened professionals of various sorts. There are certain advantages to clients in searching using this format.

Our first pool was interpreters. The second pool -- subtitlers -- has just been released. If you are an interpreter or a subtitler, you may want to apply for inclusion in one or both of these pools.

We are ready to add more Pools™. Please weigh in with Mike-at-ProZ.com with your preferences so that he can prioritize.

http://www.proz.com/pools


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Tom in London
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 17:51
חבר (2008)
מאיטלקית לאנגלית
Screening by whom? Aug 9

Henry Dotterer wrote:

Hi ProZ.com members.

Some of you have heard about ProZ.com Pools, which are groups of pre-screened professionals of various sorts. There are certain advantages to clients in searching using this format.

Our first pool was interpreters. The second pool -- subtitlers -- has just been released. If you are an interpreter or a subtitler, you may want to apply for inclusion in one or both of these pools.

We are ready to add more pools. Please weigh in with Mike-at-ProZ.com with your preferences so that he can prioritize.

http://www.proz.com/pools


Who does the screening and on what basis?


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 12:51
מייסד אתר
TOPIC STARTER
Screening is straightforward Aug 10

Tom in London wrote:
Who does the screening and on what basis?

ProZ.com staff screens for evidence of "commercial viability", that is, a check is made for evidence that someone has been offering the service commercially and getting repeat orders.

Philosophically, this approach is similar to that used in screening for the Certified PRO Network. In the case of Pools™, there is the additional factor of feedback: to participate in a Pool™, one must agree to accept both positive and negative feedback from clients.

The FAQ covers some of this but should be updated. We'll do that.


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Tom in London
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 17:51
חבר (2008)
מאיטלקית לאנגלית
Ah but Aug 10

Henry Dotterer wrote:

Tom in London wrote:
Who does the screening and on what basis?

ProZ.com staff screens for evidence of "commercial viability", that is, a check is made for evidence that someone has been offering the service commercially and getting repeat orders.

Philosophically, this approach is similar to that used in screening for the Certified PRO Network. In the case of Pools™, there is the additional factor of feedback: to participate in a Pool™, one must agree to accept both positive and negative feedback from clients.

The FAQ covers some of this but should be updated. We'll do that.


Proz should never forget that we members spend maybe 1% of our time on Proz and 99% of our time out there translating. I'm beginning to get nervous about Proz introducing major changes that I won't hear about unless I keep checking back and reading all the discussion threads. Most of us don't have time to do that. I'm only writing this because it's August and all my (Italian) clients are away for the summer.

Aside from maybe being able to see who contacted me via Proz (but I hope you can't!), Proz has no way of knowing what happens as a result of any contacts that come to me via Proz. Maybe an initial contact leads nowhere, or maybe it is the beginning of a longlasting business relationship with years and years of repeat orders. Proz would never know whether I get repeat orders or not and I'm not about to give you commercially sensitive information of that kind.

Many clients do not give feedback and I would never annoy them by asking them for it. So "client feedback" is not a reliable way for assembling pools of "successful translators".

In my specialist field and language pair, I would suppose myself to fall within a fairly small pool of Proz members who get lots of work in that field. But what evidence will Proz ever be able to find of the thousands of repeat orders I get, etc. unless I tell you?

If these screened pools are only going to be based on whatever information Proz is able to extract from its own databases, or by pestering me and/or my clients, then it is certain that the pool will consist of the wrong people. This is particularly misleading for clients, who will not be getting access to a truly representative pool of the best translators: all they will see is a list compiled by Proz based on heaven knows what information and criteria. I hope that the many agencies who visit these forums will also raise their voices about this.

Hot on the heels of the TM Town thing, I see this as yet another needlessly discriminatory move that is likely to give advantages to the wrong people (the people who pay for a more expensive form of membership?) and to disadvantage the right people (who are too busy translating to even know that these changes are being made, and certainly not to keep tracking them or reading through lists of FAQs about them).

These restricted lists of privileged members look like another potential nail in the coffin of my Proz membership.

I was recently asked by Proz if they could quote a recent favourable comment I made about "why I stay with Proz": now I'm beginning to feel sorry I gave my permission.

My request: please abandon this idea. If you could improve Kudoz, that would be a much better way of helping clients to find the best translators. And much easier for you to implement.

By the way: no personal email messages about this please. TIA. I would like all discussion about this to be public. And hopefully civil !

[Edited at 2017-08-10 09:27 GMT]


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Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
גרמניה
Local time: 18:51
חבר (2007)
מאנגלית לגרמנית
+ ...
Good points ... Aug 10

Tom in London wrote:
Many clients do not give feedback and I would never annoy them by asking them for it. So "client feedback" is not a reliable way for assembling pools of "successful translators".

In my specialist field and language pair, I would suppose myself to fall within a fairly small pool of Proz members who get lots of work in that field. But what evidence will Proz ever be able to find of the thousands of repeat orders I get, etc. unless I tell you?

If these screened pools are only going to be based on whatever information Proz is able to extract from its own databases, or by pestering me and/or my clients, then it is certain that the pool will consist of the wrong people. This is particularly misleading for clients, who will not be getting access to a truly representative pool of the best translators: all they will see is a list compiled by Proz based on heaven knows what information and criteria. I hope that the many agencies who visit these forums will also raise their voices about this.

Hot on the heels of the TM Town thing, I see this as yet another needlessly discriminatory move that is likely to give advantages to the wrong people (the people who pay for a more expensive form of membership?) and to disadvantage the right people (who are too busy translating to even know that these changes are being made, and certainly not to keep tracking them or reading through lists of FAQs about them)

Please abandon this idea. If you could improve Kudoz, that would be a much better way of helping clients to find the best translators. And much easier for you to implement.

I fully do agree. I already can imagine, who will get the "positive client feedback": colleagues at the beginning of their carreer, working for undercut rates, who are glad to be paid at all, even after 8 or 12 weeks, and who will honour this behaviour with 5 points in the BlueBoard section.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 12:51
מייסד אתר
TOPIC STARTER
Right, Pools are made up of people who opt in Aug 10

Tom in London wrote:
In my specialist field and language pair, I would suppose myself to fall within a fairly small pool of Proz members who get lots of work in that field. But what evidence will Proz ever be able to find of the thousands of repeat orders I get, etc. unless I tell you?

If these screened pools are only going to be based on whatever information Proz is able to extract from its own databases...

Right, we are not doing that, so if you want to be in a pool you have to apply.

This is particularly misleading for clients, who will not be getting access to a truly representative pool of the best translators: all they will see is a list compiled by Proz based on heaven knows what information and criteria.

Pools will only have in them the people who want to be in them. I don't think that is misleading. (Though the opposite might be.)

who are too busy translating to even know that these changes are being made, and certainly not to keep tracking them or reading through lists of FAQs about them).

We let people know in various ways. An email is also going out on this (some have already received it.)

My request: please abandon this idea. If you could improve Kudoz, that would be a much better way of helping clients to find the best translators.

Pools meets a different need than KudoZ. For example, Pools give us a new way to link up with those who have demand for certain services. Some of those participating in the interpreter pool are getting calls, for example, through LSPs that use the Boostlingo platform. Bringing together a group of professionals who are interested in making themselves available for such calls, and who are interested and able to provide evidence of experience in the field, is the straightforward way to do this.

As for positive and negative feedback, I think it is fair to say that it is a normal and expected part of online matching today. The fact that those participating in Pools have agreed to accept feedback, potentially both positive and negative, puts us in a better position to connect participants with potential new clients.

In my specialist field and language pair, I would suppose myself to fall within a fairly small pool of Proz members who get lots of work in that field.

In case you want to share, I would be interested to know how you define your niche. If it were a Pool, what would it be called?


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 17:51
חבר (2004)
מאנגלית לאיטלקית
Disagree on the following point... Aug 10

Henry Dotterer wrote:

As for positive and negative feedback, I think it is fair to say that it is a normal and expected part of online matching today.


I don't think it's "fair" to say that... it would be fair if clients and us providers were on an equal standing... we are not and we'll never be. A few negative comments on a translation agency is not going to ruin their business, a few negative comments on a single individual can... we don't have the resources to cope with criticism or negative comments, because we are single traders... there's one of us and if our reputation is damaged, it's very difficult to recover... and our line of work is very subjective, anyway...


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Anne Louise
ארצות הברית
Local time: 11:51
חבר (2005)
מספרדית לאנגלית
I completely agree with Tom and Mattias, though I will read more about the pools. Aug 10

I am one of those translators who is usually too busy to look into Proz. Each morning, I glance at the subject lines of the few threads I'm following and decide whether it's worth my time to read them. I subscribed to Proz Plus to give it a try for a year, and because I'm always interested in making use of developing technology.

I was intrigued by the premise of TM-Town; however, I will not compromise my clients' confidential information by posting samples of it or sharing what I'm working on. I have not received any offers of work from TM-Town, nor do I see evidence that clients have been using it to find translators.

It's been frustrating to invest time on other offerings that turned out to be buggy works in progress that either didn't live up to their announcement hype or demanded I disclose too much.

Regarding the pools, I'm willing to give them a try. There are areas of translation that fell by the wayside as I narrowed my field of specialization and I would like to keep my hand in on them. Nevertheless, time is money, and I expect a return on my investment, whether in time spent or the cash spent on a one-year investment in Proz Plus.


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Tom in London
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 17:51
חבר (2008)
מאיטלקית לאנגלית
Trouble keeping up Aug 10

Anne Louise wrote:

I am one of those translators who is usually too busy to look into Proz.


Me too. How about a weekly (better still, monthly) email update to all members, with weblinks, keeping us informed about everything that's new on the platform?


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 12:51
מייסד אתר
TOPIC STARTER
Which areas, Anne Louise? Aug 10

Anne Louise wrote:
Regarding the pools, I'm willing to give them a try. There are areas of translation that fell by the wayside as I narrowed my field of specialization and I would like to keep my hand in on them.

Which areas?
Nevertheless, time is money, and I expect a return on my investment...

Absolutely. It is still early, but the Pools concept seems to work; as I said, interpreters are getting calls. Based on what we have seen so far, I'm directing a little more of our resources into this area.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 12:51
מייסד אתר
TOPIC STARTER
On feedback Aug 10

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

Henry Dotterer wrote:
As for positive and negative feedback, I think it is fair to say that it is a normal and expected part of online matching today.

I don't think it's "fair" to say that...

We understand well the issue of imbalance (as you know well from eighteen years here with no possibility for negative feedback.) The expectation I am referring to is among potential partners, some of whom are not from the industry. The biggest freelancer websites in the world now have ratings, so that has painted people's understanding. As you can imagine, then, agreeing to open the door to ratings at ProZ.com on a permission basis -- that is, enabling those members who are ok with opening themselves up to feedback to do so -- makes it a lot easier to enter into partnerships.


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 17:51
חבר (2004)
מאנגלית לאיטלקית
I understand... Aug 10

Henry Dotterer wrote:

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

Henry Dotterer wrote:
As for positive and negative feedback, I think it is fair to say that it is a normal and expected part of online matching today.

I don't think it's "fair" to say that...

We understand well the issue of imbalance (as you know well from eighteen years here with no possibility for negative feedback.) The expectation I am referring to is among potential partners, some of whom are not from the industry. The biggest freelancer websites in the world now have ratings, so that has painted people's understanding. As you can imagine, then, agreeing to open the door to ratings at ProZ.com on a permission basis -- that is, enabling those members who are ok with opening themselves up to feedback to do so -- makes it a lot easier to enter into partnerships.


Thanks for the explanation, Henry... I'm aware of the fact you never allowed unilateral negative feedback in all these years... I was here too! - well for some of the time! I'm not being sarcastic, for once... Obviously, whoever participate in such a scheme will give their consensus, so that's fine by me. But I would never take part just because of this... I guess you see it as a necessary evil, I see it as unfair - since this is a requirement. But at least we can choose...


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
איטליה
Local time: 18:51
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Quality criteria? Aug 10

Henry Dotterer wrote:

ProZ.com staff screens for evidence of "commercial viability", that is, a check is made for evidence that someone has been offering the service commercially and getting repeat orders.



I don't know if you have read the thread I launched on the number of Kudoz queries permitted on the site (just in case you missed it - http://www.proz.com/forum/kudoz/317468-number_of_questions_permitted_per_day_clarification_requested.html). The site user whose profile triggered the thread seems to have been working for a major online retailer for a couple of months. So I suppose this would tick the "offering the service commercially" and "getting repeat orders" boxes.

The user in question, however, has posted dizzying numbers of questions on Kudoz asking for terminology help (46 on one particular day). By the definition you give above, this person could theoretically apply for Pools membership. Mine is an extreme example of course. But I'm sure you agree that "translation quality" and "getting repeat orders" are not the same thing.

To sum up - is selection done using some quality criteria? And if so how would that work?
Or is quality not part of the equation?

(For my part, I would be interested in a medical translation pool).


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 12:51
מייסד אתר
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Giovanni! Aug 10

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:
Thanks for the explanation, Henry... I'm aware of the fact you never allowed unilateral negative feedback in all these years... I was here too! - well for some of the time! I'm not being sarcastic, for once...

Hee hee! In my mind you have been here all 18 years. Not sure if that is accurate but I do regard you as one of the earliest and longest-term members of the community. Thank you very much for that!


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 12:51
מייסד אתר
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Fiona Aug 10

Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:
Henry Dotterer wrote:
ProZ.com staff screens for evidence of "commercial viability", that is, a check is made for evidence that someone has been offering the service commercially and getting repeat orders.

I don't know if you have read the thread I launched on the number of Kudoz queries permitted on the site (just in case you missed it - http://www.proz.com/forum/kudoz/317468-number_of_questions_permitted_per_day_clarification_requested.html). The site user whose profile triggered the thread seems to have been working for a major online retailer for a couple of months. So I suppose this would tick the "offering the service commercially" and "getting repeat orders" boxes.

The user in question, however, has posted dizzying numbers of questions on Kudoz asking for terminology help (46 on one particular day). By the definition you give above, this person could theoretically apply for Pools membership. Mine is an extreme example of course. But I'm sure you agree that "translation quality" and "getting repeat orders" are not the same thing.

This is certainly true.

To sum up - is selection done using some quality criteria? And if so how would that work?
Or is quality not part of the equation?

Initial vetting is just to "commercial viability" (just as in CPN.) We anticipate that feedback will play an important role beyond that.

(For my part, I would be interested in a medical translation pool).

OK. Mike (Donlin) is reading this thread and will no doubt take note of that. Thank you!


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