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What bothers you about the forums? (Poor spelling?)
Thread poster: Bernhard Sulzer

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:26
Member (2007)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Already exist Aug 16, 2015

Dan Lucas wrote:

Why don't we just start another forum? Free, transparent, not dependent on job postings, no intrusive moderation, modern forum software...

Alternatives already seem to exist, on Facebook and LinkedIn, being run or initiated by freelancers, but I doubt that they are more trustworthy, free, moderate in voice, transparent, profitable and independent from their moderators attitude than proz.com.
Any experiences to share here, please?


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:26
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Not much out there Aug 16, 2015

Matthias Brombach wrote:
Alternatives already seem to exist, on Facebook and LinkedIn, being run or initiated by freelancers, but I doubt that they are more trustworthy, free, moderate in voice, transparent, profitable and independent from their moderators attitude than proz.com.
Any experiences to share here, please?

Facebook and LinkedIn - Non starters, too much interference and other noise. Also too hard to sign up. Not everybody has an account with either.

Free - Ideally, yes. See below.

Moderate in voice - That would certainly depend on the person.

Transparency - Not easy. Clearly you, I and many others are prepared to use our real names, but not everybody wants to do that. I myself use pseudonyms on other forums related to my personal interests. Would insisting on real names result in a tiny forum membership or do we not want people who don't use their own names anyway?

Profitability - Not a major issue from my perspective. It should be run as a not-for-profit. Unless it's a wildly busy forum, hosting shouldn't cost that much. If it got that busy, you could charge a nominal fee like $1 a year to cover costs.

Independent - If you don't run it for profit some things become easier. Moderators don't have to worry about offending sponsors or paid members, because there aren't any. Also, with better software, moderation largely by the community becomes easier.

Regards
Dan


 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 10:56
English to Hindi
+ ...
Not in forum posts Aug 17, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

Balasubramaniam L. wrote:

....Grammar and elegance are secondary in this process, the main idea is communication,


Do you think good grammar, a good writing style, and correct spelling are just frivolous, optional add-ons that play no role in communication and have no importance? I think there's something fundamentally wrong with that.



No, they emphatically don't have any bearing to forum posts which are often written in distress or in a hurry or by people who have no or little command over the language in which they are writing. Many are like SOS calls. Would you expect people crying out for help to do so in impeccable grammar and spelling?


 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:26
Member (2007)
Dutch to German
+ ...
All in all good and honourable motivations ... Aug 17, 2015

Dan Lucas wrote:

Independent - If you don't run it for profit some things become easier. Moderators don't have to worry about offending sponsors or paid members, because there aren't any. Also, with better software, moderation largely by the community becomes easier.



... but I´m afraid with such a new forum you will be confronted with the same problems again every forum has and/or the people, who run the forum, won´t be independent at all as well. That´s what I would like to hear here the experience from people who already have access to fora within FB, LinkedIn etc.; not because I want to look for desertion too, but to confirm my assumption that the grass on the other side isn´t greener.
I´m relatively satisfied with proz and I don´t see any good development when freelancers begin to split and divide themselves in more and more fora.
If proz was really so bad and so prone to censorship as claimed, I wouldn´t have noticed any of the big negative topics coming up every time regarding our business and this forum since the beginning of my membership in 2007.
There will never be a perfect system, but this forum can be improved, of course.
One point to improve could be to motivate proz advertising on industrial fair trades to attract direct end clients from small and medium businesses, who don´t know the existence of a huge freelancer pool like proz beside their local translation agencies.

Best regards,

Matthias


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:26
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
That's a pretty pessimistic view Aug 17, 2015

Matthias Brombach wrote:
... but I´m afraid with such a new forum you will be confronted with the same problems again every forum has and/or the people, who run the forum, won´t be independent at all as well.

Of course every forum faces similar problems, but the essence of your argument seems to be that despite different business models, different moderators, different policies and different software the forums must all end up roughly the same. I don't find that convincing. I have been on good forums and bad forums - they are not all equal.

As for LinkedIn, I find their forum setup horrible to use and navigate. Facebook groups look similarly poor, but given my concerns about how they handle private data I have no intention of getting a personal Facebook account myself.

If proz was really so bad and so prone to censorship as claimed, I wouldn´t have noticed any of the big negative topics coming up every time regarding our business and this forum since the beginning of my membership in 2007.

Personally I find the moderation inconsistent and rather prim. As for ProZ's reaction to feedback in the forum, is there any sign that they listen to any of it? The same topics come up perennially, as you say, but what improvements are made?

This forum looks like something created a decade ago and never changed. Tweaks to the job posting system seem to have been made, but nothing major. And we shouldn't be surprised, because the site is driven by the job postings, not the forums.

Regards
Dan


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:26
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Prim is better than crude Aug 17, 2015

Dan Lucas wrote:
Personally I find the moderation inconsistent and rather prim.

Rather prim, yes, but that's better than allowing the horrible slanging matches you get on so many. I think the inconsistent moderation is kept to a minimum, but a certain amount of inconsistency has to be accepted when moderating such an enormous number of threads in so many languages. And that for me is the beauty of the ProZ.com forum - it just has so many contributors around the world. You can't get a daft knee-jerk reaction to stick with a readership that's so diverse.

As for ProZ's reaction to feedback in the forum, is there any sign that they listen to any of it? The same topics come up perennially, as you say, but what improvements are made?

This forum looks like something created a decade ago and never changed.

I totally agree. For me, ProZ.com's lack of reactivity and seeming reluctance to keep up with technology is its very worst feature. It's certainly what bothers me the most.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:26
Member (2008)
Italian to English
The whole site Aug 17, 2015

Dan Lucas wrote:

This forum looks like something created a decade ago and never changed.



Actually the whole site looks like that, beginning from the colour scheme. But it works (although it's very labyrinthine and probably contains features I have never seen).

[Edited at 2015-08-17 14:05 GMT]


 

JoshuaV-M
Mexico
Local time: 23:26
Spanish to English
One more question Aug 17, 2015

Where on the site can I make the $5 identity verification payment? I've looked and I can't seem to find it. Thanks!

[Edited at 2015-08-17 14:46 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-08-17 14:46 GMT]


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:26
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Fair enough Aug 17, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:
Rather prim, yes, but that's better than allowing the horrible slanging matches you get on so many.

Yes, non-stop flamefests would be unacceptable on (and ultimately the death of) a professional forum.

Dan


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:26
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Identity verification Aug 17, 2015

JoshuaV-M wrote:

Where on the site can I make the $5 identity verification payment? I've looked and I can't seem to find it. Thanks!

[Edited at 2015-08-17 14:46 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-08-17 14:46 GMT]


You can see FAQs here
http://www.proz.com/faq/2410#2410

http://www.proz.com/?sp=vid_application

I have to admit that I can't see quite how it works either.
Try submitting a support ticket if you do not get through on the VID application page!

http://www.proz.com/support/

I could identify you myself if we could meet, but that might cost you a lot more than $5...

Christine A


 

Maria Kopnitsky  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2011)
Bengali to Chamorro
+ ...
Link to identity verification application Aug 17, 2015

JoshuaV-M wrote:

Where on the site can I make the $5 identity verification payment? I've looked and I can't seem to find it. Thanks!

Hello JoshuaV-M,

As Christine points out (thank you, Christine!), you can apply for identity verification here: http://www.proz.com/?sp=vid_application&sp_mode=apply . Just tick the third option, "You can pay $5 USD using a credit card that matches the name in your profile", and click "Submit application".

Hope this helps.

Best regards,

Maria


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:26
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Let me weigh in Aug 17, 2015

Balasubramaniam L. wrote:

Tom in London wrote:

Balasubramaniam L. wrote:

....Grammar and elegance are secondary in this process, the main idea is communication,


Do you think good grammar, a good writing style, and correct spelling are just frivolous, optional add-ons that play no role in communication and have no importance? I think there's something fundamentally wrong with that.



No, they emphatically don't have any bearing to forum posts which are often written in distress or in a hurry or by people who have no or little command over the language in which they are writing. Many are like SOS calls. Would you expect people crying out for help to do so in impeccable grammar and spelling?


Is your contribution a cry for help? No. Do I have anything against those cries for help? No.

Still, to help someone in English, the question must at least be phrased in comprehensible form which it most often is. But since English is learned as a second language pretty much everywhere in the world (correct me if I am wrong), a basic command of English, especially when it comes to spelling words correctly, should be a given. More than anything else, I get annoyed at thread headlines that are obviously spelled wrong, and no one bothers to correct them ( - just get a moderator to do it), and cases where the easiest English words are misspelled over and over again. It's just annoying - never did I say that someone shouldn't post because they make mistakes.

Most people do have a fairly good command of English to bring their points across and if someone needs technical help, grammar and writing style are certainly secondary.

But if we are going to discuss a topic at length in English, and we're in no hurry and try to remain professional, then, with regard to how we write and what we write, I would expect participants to be a) translators and b) relatively good writers of English. That's a courtesy I expect. I am not having a conversation with someone who doesn't even care about blatant mistakes they make. Having said that, it's not that big an issue. Most participants in topics like these show a very good command of English and one can tell when they have put a little effort into writing correctly or if they just write without care, with gross mistakes and constant misspellings. Many colleagues who don't work out of or into English demonstrate excellent efforts and courtesy.

As far as I am concerned, English is one of my working languages and therefore I want to use it correctly. It also bothers me more when I see mistakes than when someone reads the texts who does not work with English. I am sure you understand. I would also expect anyone else who works out of or into English to care more about their correct use of the language. As I said somewhere in this thread, we should keep in mind that we are translators (we are in the word business) and that this is a public forum.


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:26
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No hidden agenda Aug 17, 2015

Balasubramaniam L. wrote:

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

A certain basic level of English (especially regarding spelling and basic sentence structure and tenses) seems quite reasonable to me.

[Edited at 2014-09-22 05:35 GMT]


I have been with proz.com for a decade now, and have been plaguing these English forums quite a bit. I haven't seen a single post so far that does not meet your above requirement. So what is your problem? Surely you have some other agenda behind starting this thread? Why not spell it out so that it is communicated more clearly and we could respond to your real intentions, rather than basing our responses on our guesses about it. While it is easy to guess what people want to say when they say it in imperfect language, it is near impossible when they couch it in seemingly innocent and grandiose statements which in fact are mischievous and mean something entirely different from their face value. That is a million times more repugnant than mere grammar and spelling errors.

[Edited at 2015-08-16 05:35 GMT]


Why accuse me of "making seemingly innocent and grandiose statements which in fact are mischievous and mean something entirely different from face value?"

I think you're way off here B. I don't have a hidden agenda, I don't hide any intentions.
I was simply annoyed by having to read many misspelled words and headlines - and maybe there will be less of that in the future. Or not. I just stated my opinion and asked colleagues what else they were bothered by in the forums.

But let me say this: I don't mind the occasional spelling mistake. But twisting words is a whole other practice that I surely don't like. But maybe you simply misunderstood me.


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:26
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Show them how it's done... Aug 17, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:
I totally agree. For me, ProZ.com's lack of reactivity and seeming reluctance to keep up with technology is its very worst feature. It's certainly what bothers me the most.

It can't be that difficult. They just don't want to spend the time and money. I'm tempted to throw a competing forum together just to show people that it could be done if ProZ owners and management were to do some work.

Regards
Dan


 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:26
Member (2007)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Technically surely no problem Aug 17, 2015

Dan Lucas wrote:

It can't be that difficult. They just don't want to spend the time and money. I'm tempted to throw a competing forum together just to show people that it could be done


From a technical point of view you surely may be right:
Independent of the so-called social media there are a lot of forum software providers on the market, like
https://xenforo.com/
which easily allow you to build a stand-alone hosted forum. But would it be useful for our freelancer business to always switch between 5, 6 or even more fora / social media to share / gain relevant information then? One forum for networking, one for seeking job offers, the other for looking for SDL related help, one more forum for translator questions etc.?


 
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