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Incentives for staying with Proz.com?
Autor de la hebra: Bernhard Sulzer

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:43
Miembro 2006
inglés al alemán
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
On drawing lines Aug 4, 2017

Kay-Viktor Stegemann wrote:

Since we are in the "money matters" section and the original question was about whether the membership is worth the money, I think the calculation is quite simple here. I was a basic member for six years or so and last year I switched to full membership. The difference is remarkable. As others have pointed out, incoming offers via direct contact are the most interesting aspect here, and I can only confirm that. The contacts I got account for a significant part of my income today.


My experience is so completely different from yours that it's either due to a great niche you are working in or your price, no offense.


Kay-Viktor Stegemann wrote:
That being said, I have no objections against making this site better and more professional. Or even against making the "profession" more professional, if you prefer that. But I don't believe that "professionalism" means being more exclusive or elitist. Translation is a mass market with a low end and a high end. You cannot draw a line anywhere between the professional and the non-professional part of the market, and certainly it is not Proz's job to draw artificial lines here.


From my point of view, I can certainly draw a line between what constitutes professional prices in my language combination and what doesn't. Based on that, I can certainly say that offers and demands that come to me through Proz.com usually are unprofessional.

Kay-Viktor Stegemann wrote:
.... What Proz and the profession can and should do is point out best professional practices and the difference they make, and raising clients' awareness of these differences. Information and transparency, and worldwide competition, that's the way to go.


Yeah, sure, that goes without saying. But there is more I expect from this site and its name. The current bidding system is certainly not helping my case. I feel the opposite is true. I am happy for all the great offers you seem to be receiving, assuming they pay well. But I also know many colleagues who have quite a different experience.


 

Tom in London
Reino Unido
Local time: 09:43
Miembro 2008
italiano al inglés
Win or WHAT? Aug 4, 2017

Katalin Szilárd wrote:

You can win or loose.


Win or WHAT?


 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungría
Local time: 10:43
Miembro 2006
inglés al húngaro
+ ...
Lose :) Aug 4, 2017

Tom in London wrote:

Katalin Szilárd wrote:

You can win or loose.


Win or WHAT?


Mea culpa.
My excuse: Temperature in Hungary: 40°C/104 F.

[Edited at 2017-08-04 11:59 GMT]


 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Alemania
Local time: 10:43
Miembro 2016
inglés al alemán
Maybe the effect decreases over time Aug 4, 2017

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

Kay-Viktor Stegemann wrote:

Since we are in the "money matters" section and the original question was about whether the membership is worth the money, I think the calculation is quite simple here. I was a basic member for six years or so and last year I switched to full membership. The difference is remarkable. As others have pointed out, incoming offers via direct contact are the most interesting aspect here, and I can only confirm that. The contacts I got account for a significant part of my income today.


My experience is so completely different from yours that it's either due to a great niche you are working in or your price, no offense.



No offense taken. I assume that my prices are lower than yours, but they are not in the peanuts range and in fact I have been able to raise them continuously. The difference, and maybe even the reason why your experience is so different, might be that you are much longer in the business than I am. You might have already all you need in terms of clients, contacts, and workload (just guessing here). Therefore your "marginal utility" of a full Proz membership might indeed be much lower or even nonexistent. Just guessing again, but I suppose you might work at the "high end" of the market, which does not seem to be represented very well at Proz, while I am working at the "middle end" (if such a thing exists) of the market which is alive and kicking at Proz, along with the "low end" that is of course omnipresent.


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:43
Miembro 2003
español al inglés
+ ...
Belated correction and further observations Aug 4, 2017

Robert Forstag wrote:
***
For me, there certainly is more negative than positive, but given the strength of the negatives, it is an uneasy balance.

Perhaps this is what Bernhard was getting at in his original post.


I obviously meant to write "more positives than negatives."

The error itself is illustrative of "the uneasy balance" that I referred to.

While I am here, I can only say that I addressed Bernhard's point regarding contribution to harmful practices in the post in which I listed the pros and cons of the site, as I see them. Real life can be messy, and so we sometimes find ourselves in personal and business relationships with parties about whom we harbor important reservations.

In any event, and as I indicated in that previous post, a decision regarding whether or not to continue to pay for membership has to take into account the real alternatives for the translator making the decision.

Bernhard: What are your alternatives to continued membership on proz.com, and do you think that, on the balance, any of those alternatives would work better for you than continuing your paid membership?

This is really the fundamental question, and one that you can only answer for yourself.

[Edited at 2017-08-04 13:56 GMT]


 

Maija Cirule  Identity Verified
Letonia
Local time: 11:43
alemán al inglés
+ ...
We should remember Aug 4, 2017

that our profiles contain a link to our forum posts. If I was an outsourcer, I would steer clear of ranters and wailers trying to blame the whole world for their nonsuccesses. Just saying

 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italia
Local time: 10:43
Miembro
inglés al italiano
Definitely Aug 4, 2017

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

... that warm feeling of bonhomie, togetherness and comprehension.


Yes, indeed. Truly uplifting.


 

Carole Pinto
Francia
Local time: 10:43
Miembro 2011
inglés al francés
My own point of view Aug 4, 2017

I don't think the real problem comes from ProZ when it comes to how low the rates are. It's just the business in general (is the translation business or all businesses?). Some agencies are truly a joke but I just ignore them.
I wouldn't make a decent living without ProZ as I respond to lots of ads and got all my contacts on this site. I don't see where else to "schmooze" as someone said (learned a new word today, yay!) All agencies in France don't want to hear about new translators, are wa
... See more
I don't think the real problem comes from ProZ when it comes to how low the rates are. It's just the business in general (is the translation business or all businesses?). Some agencies are truly a joke but I just ignore them.
I wouldn't make a decent living without ProZ as I respond to lots of ads and got all my contacts on this site. I don't see where else to "schmooze" as someone said (learned a new word today, yay!) All agencies in France don't want to hear about new translators, are way too demanding, even if I guess their rates are a bit higher, and I didn't take a Master for nothing.
A website didn't help and I can't spend my days waiting for new clients to contact me or I would have been dead for a very long time.
I also find that international clients are usually more fun to work with (and polite). I'm sorry for my French fellows, but they tend to be a bit more rude than in other countries (it's not a generality luckily, but still...).
I have been a member for 6 years and I get a return on investment within a week so it's not bad at all.
I also find that Kudoz can be a lifesaver when working on very specific areas. It recently helped me a lot with a new client. Too bad the questions are limited (which I somewhat understand).

A good thing would be for translators to meet IRL and organize it through this site as I do tend to feel a bit lonely. It is the downside of this job.

I swear I didn't get paid by Proz to post this comment, I'm just really glad this site exists and has such good features.

All the best!

[Edited at 2017-08-04 14:00 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-08-04 14:01 GMT]
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Lianne van de Ven  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:43
Miembro 2008
inglés al neerlandés
+ ...
Optional Aug 4, 2017

Maija Cirule wrote:

that our profiles contain a link to our forum posts. If I was an outsourcer, I would steer clear of ranters and wailers trying to blame the whole world for their nonsuccesses. Just saying


I think this is optional. I have it enabled on my profile, but I don't see it on some other profiles (maybe esp. not on those of the ranters/wailers). Either way, you can always search for a name along with the site and posts for the past week, for example, and I agree that you should always be aware of where and who you rant to and of the longterm consequences.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 09:43
Miembro 2007
inglés
+ ...
Optional but easily searchable within the site Aug 4, 2017

Lianne van de Ven wrote:
Maija Cirule wrote:
our profiles contain a link to our forum posts. If I was an outsourcer, I would steer clear of ranters and wailers trying to blame the whole world for their nonsuccesses. Just saying
I think this is optional. I have it enabled on my profile, but I don't see it on some other profiles (maybe esp. not on those of the ranters/wailers). Either way, you can always search for a name along with the site and posts for the past week, for example, and I agree that you should always be aware of where and who you rant to and of the longterm consequences.


I've hidden it on my profile as it's gone past 5,000. I don't want potential clients to think I'm a full-time forumer . But you only have to go into the forum part of the site and search for posts associated with either the name of the number.


 

Lianne van de Ven  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:43
Miembro 2008
inglés al neerlandés
+ ...
FT Aug 4, 2017

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I don't want potential clients to think I'm a full-time forumer .


Ha ha, Sheila, but we all know


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:43
Miembro 2003
español al inglés
+ ...
Wailers and Ranters Aug 4, 2017

I agree with the points made here about being mindful of the image one conveys, but I also think that it strains credulity that typically harried project managers would take the time to search for and pore over scads of archived forum posts as part of their decision-making in assigning individual projects (or even that such searches would be carried out as a "rainy-day project," perhaps with the idea of keeping some hapless intern busy....

[Edited at 2017-08-04 15:46 GMT]


 

Maija Cirule  Identity Verified
Letonia
Local time: 11:43
alemán al inglés
+ ...
Well Aug 4, 2017

Robert Forstag wrote:

I agree with the points made here about being mindful of the image one conveys, but I also think that it strains credulity that typically harried project managers would take the time to search for and pore over scads of archived forum posts as part of their decision-making in assigning individual projects.


I know for a fact that some serious clients (not bottom feeders) are visiting these forums and i believe that this might well be one of the reasons for decrease in some ranter's income.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 09:43
Miembro 2007
inglés
+ ...
You think you know ;) Aug 4, 2017

Lianne van de Ven wrote:

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I don't want potential clients to think I'm a full-time forumer .


Ha ha, Sheila, but we all know


Ah, but you'll find out when you get older that you get far better at fitting everything in. It helps that you need less sleep as you get older. My clients will tell you that I've handled (not just delivered) 800 translated and 11,000 edited words today. I don't do anything full-time - that would be far too boring .


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:43
Miembro 2003
español al inglés
+ ...
@Carole: The reality is complicated Aug 4, 2017

I agree with your positive points about this site (although I'm not sure why you don't find 60 questions per week on Kudoz a sufficiently high limit!).

I also agree that proz.com is not ultimately responsible for the pervasive low rates offered by many translation agencies.

At the same time, this site, by virtue of how it operates (and for all its undeniable virtues) has provided thousands of persons who really are not in any reasonable sense of the definition "professi
... See more
I agree with your positive points about this site (although I'm not sure why you don't find 60 questions per week on Kudoz a sufficiently high limit!).

I also agree that proz.com is not ultimately responsible for the pervasive low rates offered by many translation agencies.

At the same time, this site, by virtue of how it operates (and for all its undeniable virtues) has provided thousands of persons who really are not in any reasonable sense of the definition "professionals," a platform to market their translation services, and this has greatly contributed to the lowering of rates offered by agencies - at least in the most common language pairs (i.e., like those you and I work in).

Yes, there are other forces that would have made such a development inevitable in the absence of this site, but the reality is that the latter has made its contribution to the current state of affairs. I do not see this as debatable.

[Edited at 2017-08-04 16:21 GMT]
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