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I’ve got a rule for that: The ProZ song June 26, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Fun stuff, Random musings.
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This was a huge hit in the translation industry about a year ago. For those who haven’t heard it or would like to hear it again (it never gets old), I give you Rules, Rules, Rules by The Dangling Participles.

I have my own issues with ProZ, but certainly don’t look down on those who actually pay to be on ProZ. I have my resume posted there as well, but I certainly don’t pay for that “privilege.” I despise the idea of “bidding” for a job.

The KudoZ boards have helped me out numerous times when I was searching for a term in Google, and I’ve heard good things about the Blue Board. I also like the new availability calendar feature that full/paying members can post on their ProZ page. However…

My biggest complaint with ProZ is that they fail to patrol their members’ claims. Henry and I crossed swords several years ago when I alerted the ATA chapters that 35 people had erroneously (or perhaps purposely) declared themselves members of NOTA. Henry was not willing to work with us, and as a result MICATA asked to be removed from the list of organizations and the NOTA Executive Committee decided to opt out of their database. We are listed, but no one can select us as a Membership option. And don’t get me started on the million-words jobs for $0.01 a word I’ve been offered in the past…

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Comments»

1. Drew MacFadyen - June 30, 2008

Hi Jill. First I do like the song. Second for full disclosure – I am the Director of Marketing & Advertising for ProZ.com. Obviously we have in the past had some policies, site elements etc that have caused problems with the translator community. We know we are not perfect or a panacea for everyone, but we do try to improve and listen to our users for feedback on just how to improve various components and elements of the site. To that end the verification or vetting of various association memberships has been difficult. With 250,000 registered profiles, verification of those users association affiliations is difficult and extremely labor intensive. To that we are working on a solution that will permit associations like NOTA to actively monitor and “police” ProZ.com users that select NOTA affiliation. We will also be providing groups like NOTA with some functionality to communicate and disseminate information to its association members on ProZ.com.

I hope to have this platform complete in the next 60 days and will certainly make an announcement and provide you and the NOTA with information on how you can participate in a verification of their associations members on ProZ.com.

Thank you.

Drew MacFadyen
drew@proz.com
215-268-0864

2. janka - April 1, 2010

Proz does suck….

full disclosure… I am a ProZ member and former paying member who has on several occasions attempted to participate in some lively discussions regarding the site’s rules and practices, as well as the blue board and KudoZ.

much to my initial surprise, there’s not much you can say without being accused of being unprofessional or breaking other rules of etiquette. Now I see that the organization is totally focused on the political correctness of profit.
I was not allowed to mention the existence of the term “kudos whore” on Slashdot; this was deemed as offensive. My suggestion that the blue board manipulation was a much more serious issue was censored. My suggestion that the site include an open forum about the site itself was also censored and I was referred to submitting a service ticket

So, I abandoned looking at the forums because I thought they’re either extremely lame, outdated, or just plain frustrating.

3. Delia Fricke - December 30, 2011

Re: I’ve got a rule for that: The ProZ song

Today we tried to post on the ‘Money Matters’ Forum the following:

“We have received a request to be removed from our Linguist Blacklist.
We are posting this on proz as it may give others the chance to reclaim monies due.

TranslationStreet has notified registered members and creditors of the below named and the desire to be removed from our Linguist Blacklist Database.

Request:
Dear Sirs,

Could you please provide us with information on the potential debts we are still having to the persons that have blacklisted us. We had lost our database some time ago when we were relocating to another country and now do not know if and how much we can owe to somebody, if any. We are listed here as:
(names removed to prevent Search Engine Caching, see URL below)
As soon as we receive the information in question, we will proceed to pay potential creditors. Thank you.

TranslationStreet Reply:
Thank you for your enquiry re Blacklist.

Although we do not supply confidential information we can notify our
members of your e-mail on your behalf.

If you give us permission to do so we can inform the translation
community that you wish to put your outstanding debts or unpaid
invoices in order so that you can be removed from our blacklist. This
is known as a ‘Debt Resolution Notification’.

If you have any disputes with an individual freelancer, who may
contact you from our ‘Debt Resolution Notification’, relating to
invoices we should be informed so that any disputes may be resolved.

If you wish to give us permission to act, you may do so by replying to
this e-mail.

Kind Regards,
Admin

Request/Authorization:
Dear Admin,

Yes, please proceed. We would like to straighten things as soon as possible. We are certain that the overdue payments in question might have occurred through our negligence or unintentional omission during or following our reorganization.

Best regards

So as not to create further Search Engine Caching we are supplying this URL of the company details:
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The above URL may be viewed without registration.”

This was the Proz Response:

“Dear translationst,

This message is to inform you that your post “Debt Resolution Notification” has been removed because it was not in line with site rule http://www.proz.com/siterules/forum/1#1

Please note that ProZ.com is a “translation workplace”. Topics which are not directly related to translation or the translation industry, or to ProZ.com and the ProZ.com community, are not permitted.

As a moderator, I have pledged to enforce ProZ.com’s limited scope by removing, or not vetting, postings that are not appropriate for the translation workplace, without regard to my personal opinion on views expressed.

For more info, see:
ProZ.com scope: http://www.proz.com/scope
Forum rules: http://www.proz.com/forumrules
FAQ’s on no politics: http://www.proz.com/?sp=faq&#forum_no_politics

Thank you in advance for your understanding and future cooperation.

Regards,”

Our Response:

“Dear xxxxx,
In response to your e-mail re:
Debt Resolution Notification

I would have thought that under “Definition of ProZ.com’s Scope”
the post I made was indeed:

language services business issues
general business issues pertinent to site users

as this is a chance for your members to try and resolve any
outstanding invoices with the Company and Person who wishes to
resolve invoices with creditors.

As the TranslationStreet database contains many ProZ.com members,
we thought that in the interest of linguists that we would post a
notice for those that have a claim against the Company concerned.
We cannot see how that is not ‘general business issues pertinent
to site users’.

How else are your users to benefit from what can only be described
as a rare opportunity.

The post made certainly does not fall under the statement:
“Please note that ProZ.com is a “translation workplace”. Topics
which are not directly related to translation or the translation
industry, or to ProZ.com and the ProZ.com community, are not
permitted.”

As we have no connection with the debtor concerned there is also
no conflict of interest.

Kind Regards,”

However notice the:
“I’ve got a rule for that”

We received this:

Dear xxxxx,

If the outsourcer is willing to resolve any outstanding issues,
interested service providers will be notified via their Blue Board
record and not in the forums, and only provided they contact site
staff directly via the ProZ.com support center,
http://www.proz.com/support. As forum rule #11 states, forums should
not be used for issues that have dedicated areas in the site,
http://www.proz.com/siterules/forum/11#11.

Hope this explains.

Please let me know if you need anything else.

Kind regards,”

(What now, just add another rule?)
So it seems that Proz.com are not really as interested in helping their members as they should be.
After all is it not in everyones interest to help Linguists get their dues within the linguistic community.


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