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

Lianne van de Ven  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:22
Miembro 2008
inglés al neerlandés
+ ...
I don't think so Aug 4, 2017

Robert Forstag wrote:

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 15:56 GMT]


If it was not proz.com, some other site(s) would have done this. There are legio examples of this in every field. In fact, there are other sites to which I subscribed briefly, but various reasons were enough to request removal of my name from such site. Proz.com is considerably more professional to me and has more to offer by virtue of its current status and activity (including forums) and use by professionals, translators and agencies alike. I don't see how proz.com specifically contributed to the current lowering of rates, which reflects the global state of affairs (the world is flooded with people looking for employment in an increasingly overpopulated and digitized environment and discrepancy in income, wealth and living conditions) other than by being part of this, like we all are.

The most difficult thing to stomach might be that proz.com offers a platform to competitors, and this includes inexperienced people and scammers, but also highly professional and likely better translators than we are. This is a challenge for everyone everywhere and you have to carve out your own path. I don't think proz.com specifically has unlocked to key to cheap labor. I am sure that proz.com as it is, is minor in the big picture of global developments, regardless of whether you look at this as an optimist or a pessimist. I trust in the overall genuineness and legitimacy of this site and we can all help make improvements and remove the annoying parts. Of course, this discussion is one such attempt.


Kitty Brussaard
 

Lianne van de Ven  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:22
Miembro 2008
inglés al neerlandés
+ ...
Productive Aug 4, 2017

Sheila Wilson wrote:

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 .


You are very productive in many respects, Sheila! Very much appreciated too!


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 10:22
Miembro
español al inglés
+ ...
Thanks Sheila and Mirko! Aug 4, 2017

But, something that's been gnawing at me recently ... I don't know whether one of you or both of you were being ironic in solidarity (it's hard to tell), but in view of the post immediately previous to mine, apparently directed at me (why, I don't know), I certainly was being ironic. Having said that, I hasten to add that I do believe in the ProZ bonhomie thing too. You lose that, and it's apaga y vámonos.

 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
sueco al inglés
+ ...
I've got it Aug 4, 2017

It's Rosa Klebb!

 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:22
Miembro 2006
inglés al alemán
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Alternatives Aug 5, 2017

Robert Forstag wrote:

...
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]


Alternatives. Well, I would try to expand/improve my presence elsewhere where I am in full charge of the site content or feel represented well (own websites, other communities of professional colleagues, etc.) and where it is clear what my service entails and that it isn't cheap. The thing with just being an unpaid member here is that it certainly degrades my profile's strength - the P certification will be taken away and my Kudoz record will weigh much less, and I won't be listed at all in the group of paying members in the directory - which is equal to being completely hidden from people looking for services I offer. I once deleted my profile completely in the past. I came back, but this time around, I am seriously contemplating becoming and remaining a non-paying member. I know other professional colleagues who have taken this step. I just feel I am not well represented because I am essentially in a large pool of people that mainly compete on price only and that my membership contribution does nothing to change this. Again, this is my point of view.

[Edited at 2017-08-05 06:45 GMT]


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:22
Miembro 2006
inglés al alemán
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
A plus Aug 5, 2017

The Misha wrote:

...
So for me, this place has only two attractions:

1) KudoZ may be extremely entertaining (less so in the past few years, but still making my day on occasion) and give me a great excuse to beat around the bush rather than do something useful. Like, say, work.

2) The really important one: schmoozing. I mean, really, where else are you going to go? Those other places? They are cemeteries. Nothing ever happens there. Even though ProZ has definitely lost its old luster, there is still no viable alternative. To paraphrase that old bank robber joke, it's where everyone is.

Incidentally, like most other best things in life, the above are (still) free. ...


Yes, definitely two plus points.

[Edited at 2017-08-05 06:27 GMT]


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brasil
Local time: 05:22
inglés al portugués
+ ...
In Memoriam
Been there, done that 11 months ago Aug 5, 2017

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

Alternatives. Well, I would try to expand/improve my presence elsewhere where I am in full charge of the site content or feel represented well (own websites, other communities of professional colleagues, etc.) and where it is clear what my service entails and that it isn't cheap. The thing with just being an unpaid member here is that it certainly degrades my profile's strength - the P certification will be taken away and my Kudoz record will weigh much less, and I won't be listed at all in the group of paying members in the directory - which is equal to being completely hidden from people looking for services I offer. I once deleted my profile completely in the past. I came back, but this time around, I am seriously contemplating becoming and remaining a non-paying member. I know other professional colleagues who have taken this step. I just feel I am not well represented because I am essentially in a large pool of people that mainly compete on price only and that my membership contribution does nothing to change this. Again, this is my point of view.


I wouldn't describe in any other way my very own thoughts and actions taken exactly 11 months ago, when I chose not to renew my Proz subscription, and became a free user again.

Just to mention it, I was a free user for maybe five years until the demand on Proz for my language pair rose to a worthy and sustainable level. So I'm Proz-wise back to the original status... babies and elders often share being toothless, hairless, and having both their communication and locomotion impaired.

So, what changed after I became a free user again? Not much...

a) I still can't contact those prospects who demand having Trados as an absolute must, and translation skills, experience, and specialization as mere 'desirable features'... not even to tell them that NO CAT tool will be of any use in their project as described, when it is the case.

b) I can still gain access to the Blue Board by paying with an affordable quantity of Browniz (which I have plenty), or cash, if I ever run out of Browniz.

c) I can still bid for jobs - though some time later - using funds deposited to my Proz wallet, though most job posters will still choose the lowest rate, not necessarily mine. Interestingly enough, the long-standing clients who consider me as their very first option for specific types of jobs are the ones who asked me about my rates and T&C at the outset, not those who imposed theirs right away.

My pervasive cost/benefit analysis is what prompted me to become a Proz member so many years ago. It is the same process that led me to refrain from purchasing membership to any of the other translation portals where I am a free user.

Now Proz's cost/benefit no longer justifies membership for me. Apparently I'm not alone. I haven't seen a number of colleagues I first met here on the forums for quite a while. Now and then I see them alive and kicking elsewhere.

Considering these worthy members I've seen Proz losing, apparently the shift in subscription fees in exchange for new features was not deemed worthy for them. Over the long haul, the envisioned trend is ever increasing fees, so that less people render a heavier system viable (even more features).

It is a delicate balance, on a much larger scale similar to the one we - translators - must keep between our rates and demand. All I can do is to hope that Proz management will make the right decisions. As a business enterprise, it's their call, of course!


 

MK2010  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 10:22
Miembro 2017
francés al inglés
+ ...
For what it's worth Aug 5, 2017

I've landed some very good, steady clients from this site and another one like it without being a paying member. As a paying member now, I can respond to job postings before non-paying members, and so far, that's the only real advantage I've noticed-- but then again, there are many features of the site that I don't use.

 

Sorana_M.
Rumania
Local time: 11:22
inglés al rumano
Perhaps you forgot Aug 12, 2017

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

Gitte Hovedskov wrote:

If you were not a paying member, your opening comment here would have been vetted by a ProZ staff member before being posted. Not saying it would then have been deleted (but it might), but at least you have the privilege of having your comments posted instantly. Non-paying members don't. This can actually be frustrating at times if you want to participate in a forum discussion and your comment doesn't appear instantly, but ends up completely out of place in the order of submitted comments.


I wasn't aware of that.


I pointed that out several times in the past, including in at least one thread where you participated.

That has been my situation ever since I joined proz.com.


 

Sorana_M.
Rumania
Local time: 11:22
inglés al rumano
Me Aug 12, 2017

I am not a paying member and I have never been one. Actually, I am not even sure what kind of member I am. I have never managed to be chosen for a specific job though proz.com.

I am here (and have been for a while now) not so much for jobs, but for the forums. The forums are international and allow me to read about other people's skills and experiences. And to ask for an opinion or a piece of advice or for help. And to clarify this or that itchy matter. And to meet people like me.... See more
I am not a paying member and I have never been one. Actually, I am not even sure what kind of member I am. I have never managed to be chosen for a specific job though proz.com.

I am here (and have been for a while now) not so much for jobs, but for the forums. The forums are international and allow me to read about other people's skills and experiences. And to ask for an opinion or a piece of advice or for help. And to clarify this or that itchy matter. And to meet people like me.

I never cease to wonder how others manage to make thousands of dollars or euros per month and how amounts such as 1,000 dollars or euros are... negligible for some.
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Sorana_M.
Rumania
Local time: 11:22
inglés al rumano
For the record... Aug 14, 2017

I wrote the two posts above on August 12th (don't remember the exact time, though).

At the moment, it is 00:00 - August 14th - August 15th - and my posts have not yet been approved/rejected by a moderator.

This is...beyond any rule of moderating I have encountered so far.


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:22
Miembro 2006
inglés al alemán
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Link Aug 15, 2017

Sorana_M. wrote:

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

Gitte Hovedskov wrote:

If you were not a paying member, your opening comment here would have been vetted by a ProZ staff member before being posted. Not saying it would then have been deleted (but it might), but at least you have the privilege of having your comments posted instantly. Non-paying members don't. This can actually be frustrating at times if you want to participate in a forum discussion and your comment doesn't appear instantly, but ends up completely out of place in the order of submitted comments.


I wasn't aware of that.


I pointed that out several times in the past, including in at least one thread where you participated.

That has been my situation ever since I joined proz.com.


Hi Sorana,

Can you post a link to one of those threads? Thank you.

Bernhard


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:22
Miembro 2006
inglés al alemán
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Identity-verified members'comments should post immediately Aug 17, 2017

Sorana_M. wrote:

I wrote the two posts above on August 12th (don't remember the exact time, though).

At the moment, it is 00:00 - August 14th - August 15th - and my posts have not yet been approved/rejected by a moderator.

This is...beyond any rule of moderating I have encountered so far.


See: http://www.proz.com/faq/3064#3064

and:

http://www.proz.com/forum/site_forums/274501-what_bothers_you_about_the_forums-page8.html#2672173


 

Maija Cirule  Identity Verified
Letonia
Local time: 11:22
alemán al inglés
+ ...
My incentives to stay with ProZ Aug 18, 2017

I left the miserable Latvian translation market with its 0.025 EUR per word for translation and 0.001 per proofreading offers, greedy bosses and green-eyed colleagues three years ago. I had to build my future from scratch. I had no money, no clients and my future seemed bleak and hopeless. I borrowed some money and bought ProZ membership. After half a year, I had three regular clients and now their number is more than 10. All of them have found me through my profile in ProZ. Right now, I have a ... See more
I left the miserable Latvian translation market with its 0.025 EUR per word for translation and 0.001 per proofreading offers, greedy bosses and green-eyed colleagues three years ago. I had to build my future from scratch. I had no money, no clients and my future seemed bleak and hopeless. I borrowed some money and bought ProZ membership. After half a year, I had three regular clients and now their number is more than 10. All of them have found me through my profile in ProZ. Right now, I have a rather steady monthly income, have saved a "financial security pillow" for 4 months and am debt-free. Therefore my main incentive for staying with ProZ is my profile visibility. The second one is invoicing tool which fully meets my requirements. And the third incentive are technical forums with wonderful colleagues who always are ready to help. The fourth incentive is the possibility to see the original IP addresses of potential clients and do not waste my time communicating with clients from specific countries.
I do not use KudoZ, TM-Town and other ProZ features or tools but this is my choice only.
By the way, I have been a paying member of the other big portal and as of now am a paying member of a smaller one, but have not got any clients through these portals. I have not heard of my colleagues getting clients through 250+ USD ATA membership. For that reason, I am not sure that my esteemed colleague Bernard will find an alternative to ProZ but these are my 2 cents only and I wish him good luck.

[Edited at 2017-08-18 07:41 GMT]
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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia y Herzegovina
Local time: 10:22
alemán al serbio
+ ...
Interesting how we all seem to have different experiences. Aug 18, 2017

But I am bombed with €0.025 offers on ProZ, either via directory or on the job board, doesn't make a difference in my language pair. It's interesting to hear how someone found a shelter from €0.025 offers on ProZ, to me it sounds like SF.

It used to be different, but those times are gone. I am talking about what's current and what's happening now.

Just as an example, a while ago an SDL project manager told me that the top they would ever be able to pay me in my lang
... See more
But I am bombed with €0.025 offers on ProZ, either via directory or on the job board, doesn't make a difference in my language pair. It's interesting to hear how someone found a shelter from €0.025 offers on ProZ, to me it sounds like SF.

It used to be different, but those times are gone. I am talking about what's current and what's happening now.

Just as an example, a while ago an SDL project manager told me that the top they would ever be able to pay me in my language pair was €0.02 for translation. Is this why I paid €420 for SDL sofware?


[Edited at 2017-08-18 09:37 GMT]
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