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

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italia
Local time: 10:04
Miembro
inglés al italiano
Different experiences Aug 18, 2017

Lingua 5B wrote:

Interesting how we all seem to have different experiences.


Definitely. Sometimes it seems we're almost living on different planets, and I think we should do well to remember this when passing judgment on, arguing with or giving advice to others, as our experiences and situations might be very different and not really comparable.

Just as an example, a while ago an [major CAT tool developer which also operates as a translation agency] 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 [major CAT tool developer which also operates as a translation agency] sofware?


Wow... I never worked for them (directly), but for some reason I always thought they'd offer much more competitive rates (and I hope they do, at least in some other pairs/fields), also considering you're supposed to buy their software and possibly be certified by them (by paying them again) as a proficient user of their software...


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia y Herzegovina
Local time: 10:04
alemán al serbio
+ ...
This is exactly what they said. Aug 18, 2017

Mirko Mainardi wrote:
Wow... I never worked for them (directly), but for some reason I always thought they'd offer much more competitive rates (and I hope they do, at least in some other pairs/fields), also considering you're supposed to buy their software and possibly be certified by them (by paying them again) as a proficient user of their software...


I was shocked as well, yes this is their manager who offered a project directly from SDL, I was expecting they would be offering more than a translation agency working with their software. I even reported it to higher SDL management asking how come something like this is possible, and guess what - no reply. Several emails to several different managers who would have more responsibility over this and - no reply.

Another example, a few days ago, a project was posted on ProZ job board for my language pair and it said in the ad description, max. payment is €0.024 p/sw for translation. At the time I saw it there were 10 bids, but possibly (or surely) there were even more bids later on.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 09:04
Miembro 2007
inglés
+ ...
I don't think that post was about you, Mervyn Aug 18, 2017

Mervyn Henderson wrote:
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.

Sorry, I've only just seen this. I think that post was just quoting yours and referring back to its origin. In other words, backing up what you'd said .

And I meant what I said - I really value the chat here. If you're someone who doesn't have shed-loads of friends to socialise with, and you work alone (of course, the two are often linked), it's invaluable to have such a vast community to chat with, learn from, and hopefully help from time to time. I've just had it brought home to me how important it is to me to be in an international environment. I joined an editing association and posted some stuff on their forum. They're all native English speakers, most are North Americans, and I suspect that a massive proportion have never lived outside the country of their birth or speak a second language. Talk about insular! It's a different world there, and I prefer this one, by a long way.


 

Sorana_M.
Rumania
Local time: 11:04
inglés al rumano
Sure, but... Sep 13, 2017



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

4 methods, 3 against payment.


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:04
Miembro 2006
inglés al alemán
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Add-on Sep 15, 2017

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

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]



If I were to continue membership, I would prefer a partial membership similar to what I have now (it'll expire in a few days), which simply keeps my profile, my certified P status and my KudoZ record (thus attractive points for the directory). But that should cost much less than full membership. I simply do not want more and don't want to support the job board with full membership.

But then again, I might not need any of this; the low offers and cheap clients and service providers that are supported simply by the way this site works (bidding with very low offers) just isn't something I want to be associated with. It seems to get worse every year. If that system would be changed (i.e. getting rid of the job board or at least doing away with posters being able to post the price), I might feel differently about it. But there seems to be no change on the horizon in this regard. As far as contacts through the directory are concerned, yes, there are only a very few that I would consider and even those seem to want everything cheaper every year and some never tire of pointing out for how little money translations are usually provided by similar providers. And it's understandable. They see it every day on the job board.
So, there are my thoughts and again, I am just speaking for myself and wanted to share my experience.


[Edited at 2017-09-15 18:10 GMT]


 

writeaway  Identity Verified
neerlandés al inglés
+ ...
My partial membership expired a couple of weeks ago and this is exactly why I haven't renewed Sep 16, 2017

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

If I were to continue membership, I would prefer a partial membership similar to what I have now (it'll expire in a few days), which simply keeps my profile, my certified P status and my KudoZ record (thus attractive points for the directory). But that should cost much less than full membership. I simply do not want more and don't want to support the job board with full membership.

But then again, I might not need any of this; the low offers and cheap clients and service providers that are supported simply by the way this site works (bidding with very low offers) just isn't something I want to be associated with. It seems to get worse every year. If that system would be changed (i.e. getting rid of the job board or at least doing away with posters being able to post the price), I might feel differently about it. But there seems to be no change on the horizon in this regard. As far as contacts through the directory are concerned, yes, there are only a very few that I would consider and even those seem to want everything cheaper every year and some never tire of pointing out for how little money translations are usually provided by similar providers. And it's understandable. They see it every day on the job board.
So, there are my thoughts and again, I am just speaking for myself and wanted to share my experience
.


Partial memberships were removed the minute/second all the new (more expensive) membership options were announced. I wasn't sure what to do when mine expired. If we had been allowed time to renew the partial membership, I probably would have renewed last year. But the rug was pulled out from under us and that door was slammed shut. Even browniz discounts immediately became a thing of the past.
My partial membership expired at the end of August. I haven't renewed (yet) and the more I see of the type of jobs being listed and the incredible numbers of people rushing in to 'bid' on them, regardless of the low word counts (often 500 words or less) or the total lack of information as to their subject matter, the less likely I am to cough up 2x what I paid previously. I was a paying member since 2003, back when the site was basically aimed at pro translators only and when paying meant helping Henry keep Proz afloat.
Now, as a non-payer, I have discovered that I am not even actually regarded as a member of Proz. Jobs are posted "for Members only", not for Paying Members only. In 2002 when I first signed up, we were ALL members. Those who paid were called "Platinum members", if I remember correctly.
I don't believe in spending money just to have a ribbon next to my name. I might be willing to renew my membership if the policy changed and partials were restored. Otherwise, I'll put on my Missouri hat and ask to be shown why it's worth shelling out 120 euros as things now stand on Proz.com.
Ps: it seems I'm in good company: I've noticed that a lot of esteemed colleagues have also let their 'membership' lapse. In any case, some of the very best translators on Proz have never been paying members.

[Edited at 2017-09-16 14:29 GMT]


 

MacLeod Cushing
Canadá
Local time: 01:04
Miembro 2008
español al inglés
+ ...
How can it not be about the money? Sep 20, 2017

I have been with Proz as a paying member for 10 years because every year I make a considerable amount of money that I would not have made otherwise. Most recently, this would include a new client in Germany who has paid me $2,500+ in the past three months. Prior to that I would mention a client in Madrid who paid me around $80,000 over five years. The most memorable experience was being head-hunted on Proz for a $12,000 book translation that wound up on the New York Times Bestsellers list. If a ... See more
I have been with Proz as a paying member for 10 years because every year I make a considerable amount of money that I would not have made otherwise. Most recently, this would include a new client in Germany who has paid me $2,500+ in the past three months. Prior to that I would mention a client in Madrid who paid me around $80,000 over five years. The most memorable experience was being head-hunted on Proz for a $12,000 book translation that wound up on the New York Times Bestsellers list. If a year goes by where I don't make the membership fee back I might quit paying, but it hasn't happened yet.Collapse


Kitty Brussaard
 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:04
Miembro 2006
inglés al alemán
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
And so everything continues as before Sep 22, 2017

MacLeod Cushing wrote:

I have been with Proz as a paying member for 10 years because every year I make a considerable amount of money that I would not have made otherwise. Most recently, this would include a new client in Germany who has paid me $2,500+ in the past three months. Prior to that I would mention a client in Madrid who paid me around $80,000 over five years. The most memorable experience was being head-hunted on Proz for a $12,000 book translation that wound up on the New York Times Bestsellers list. If a year goes by where I don't make the membership fee back I might quit paying, but it hasn't happened yet.


Well, I wish everyone would have such a great experience with Proz.com
And it's not just about getting your membership money back. It's about the whole site and its role in the industry. Your money pays for that too.
As I said above, I had a partial membership and now I am forced to choose between two packages that are much more expensive and contain features I neither need nor want. Why?! I also don't agree with some of the new initiatives (such as native language verification, pools, etc.)


 

writeaway  Identity Verified
neerlandés al inglés
+ ...
Don't worry about native language verification Sep 24, 2017

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

I also don't agree with some of the new initiatives (such as native language verification, pools, etc.)


It has been discussed and requested for years. It will never happen imo. There are so many people listing native languages that aren't theirs who would be affected. And many of them are paying members/customers.


 

Tom in London
Reino Unido
Local time: 09:04
Miembro 2008
italiano al inglés
My main incentive for staying with Proz.com Sep 24, 2017

My main incentive for staying with Proz.com (although it isn't really an incentive):

None of the other competitor platforms come anywhere near it. Essentially, Proz.com is a monopoly.

As a monopoly, it is tending to spread its tentacles wider and wider, and has begun gobbling up other companies.

So much time and effort has gone into Proz.com that anyone seeking to compete would be looking at a very serious investment of money and human resources.

... See more
My main incentive for staying with Proz.com (although it isn't really an incentive):

None of the other competitor platforms come anywhere near it. Essentially, Proz.com is a monopoly.

As a monopoly, it is tending to spread its tentacles wider and wider, and has begun gobbling up other companies.

So much time and effort has gone into Proz.com that anyone seeking to compete would be looking at a very serious investment of money and human resources.

I am **NOT HAPPY ABOUT THAT** and I wish Proz.com did have at least 1 serious contender, but it doesn't.

That's why I stay.

If, for some reason, Proz were to suddenly go offline or disappear, I would probably be lost like a sailor marooned on the high sea in a small open boat, with no motor, no sails, and no oars. And that kind of monopoly isn't good.

[Edited at 2017-09-24 13:43 GMT]
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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:04
Miembro 2006
inglés al alemán
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
On principle May 21

Chris S wrote:

What I find interesting about this thread is the number of seasoned translators bigging up the job board and blue board for getting odd jobs from random agencies around the world.

But why do you need them?

I know customers come and go, but surely only on a very occasional basis?

Am I the exception in only ever working for a small handful of customers?

Isn't the idea that once you get work from a promising agency or end-client you do it well and then get regular work from them for ever more?

As for ProZ:
I find the forum discussions and KudoZ a good source of light entertainment (generally unintended) on a dull day. The rest holds no interest for me.



I thought I revive this thread since I am again at the point of deciding to pay or not to pay for membership here and this thread includes lots of good posts that might be interesting for prospective paying members. Certainly, I can participate in forum discussions as a non-paying member. However, as someone pointed out in this thread - page 1 I believe, anything you start or post as a non-paying member might/will be vetted by staff first and so that can be cumbersome for sure.

I agree with Chris's point above and also like to hear from new prospective clients but certainly work with a smaller group of clients that have been my bread and butter over many years. Good new clients are hard to come by anyway, and this is even difficult here ... I hardly get anything from here that's worth considering.

I am actually willing to pay for having this feature that allows people to find me through the directory and because of better ranking due to my membership and certified pro status.

My gripe for years has been that the paid membership options do not include one that cuts out access to applying for jobs through the job board. I am not happy without a deduction in my membership fee for not using the board.

There are actually two problems for me:
a) for many years, the jobs offered have never worked out for me.
b) through paying my membership, I am supporting all of Proz.com, including the job board.

I'd like a membership option that retains the directory feature, so interested clients can find me. But offer me a smaller fee for not using the job board.

I don't like the way the job board works and I don't want to pay for it. I'd like this to be considered for my fee.

It is the principle rather than the money I save but one also shouldn't have to pay for something one doesn't use.

So that's my current stance. I understand that many others might think differently but then again many might agree.

I also feel that during these precarious times of the Covid-19 crisis and the downturn in many colleagues’ business, a general reduction of the membership fee is warranted, maybe starting from March or April or at least for current renewals.

Last time I renewed I did it because Proz.com was running a special.

Opinions please. Thanks.

[Edited at 2020-05-21 17:37 GMT]


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:04
Miembro 2006
inglés al alemán
+ ...
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
Posts by non-paying members with verified ID's appear immediately and are not vetted May 21

Postings from all others are checked before being made visible. Most postings are approved within 12 hours.

Just looked it up:
https://www.proz.com/faq/3064#3064

So that's good to know.


 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungría
Local time: 10:04
Miembro 2006
inglés al húngaro
+ ...
This site was originally done for us, for human professional translators May 23

All non-human bots on this site should be banned. I'm talking about bots that are programmed to stirring up debates to navigate the mass into a world that is not good for human translators, but for those who are profiting from them and that are programmed to suppress the marketing possibilities of human professional translators, or programmed to navigate the mass to work for free. Real professional human translators with good faith should not be banned, or restricted technically in the directori... See more
All non-human bots on this site should be banned. I'm talking about bots that are programmed to stirring up debates to navigate the mass into a world that is not good for human translators, but for those who are profiting from them and that are programmed to suppress the marketing possibilities of human professional translators, or programmed to navigate the mass to work for free. Real professional human translators with good faith should not be banned, or restricted technically in the directories to be successful gaining whatever clients they want, nor in their profiles, and should not be restricted in telling their opinions in the forum even if those opinions are constructive ones. Human translators' profiles should not be restricted (with codes) technically to suppress their marketing possibilities.
1 profile/1 person was a really good idea, but this rule doesn't seem to apply for everybody...
And directories should show correct data. Proz Find is not working normally since last November.
Many times it did not show the correct ranking or data.


Proz should give human professional translators back their freedom for good.

Because this site was originally done for us, for human professional translators, as far as I know.
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Marina Monica Steinbach
Estados Unidos
Local time: 04:04
Miembro 2011
inglés al alemán
1 profile / 1 person May 23

Katalin Szilárd wrote:

1 profile/1 person was a really good idea, but this rule doesn't seem to apply for everybody...


Yes, it surprised me too that it is acceptable to create a ProZ.com profile to represent a group of people. I should have known that earlier. I have just paid an additional 120 $ for my husband’s profile…


 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungría
Local time: 10:04
Miembro 2006
inglés al húngaro
+ ...
1 profile (no aliases) for 1 person May 23

Marina Steinbach wrote:

Katalin Szilárd wrote:

1 profile/1 person was a really good idea, but this rule doesn't seem to apply for everybody...


Yes, it surprised me too that it is acceptable to create a ProZ.com profile to represent a group of people. I should have known that earlier. I have just paid an additional 120 $ for my husband’s profile…


I was talking about weird things with profiles and directory rankings.
Me and other translators had seen "carousel" type of profiles: different data was shown under the same name. So 1 person had about 3 different profiles for different business types.

Or another translator, who wrote about 1-2 years ago that he would never show his full real name on this site, and me and a proz member saw that this translator had a different profile under the same profile link with showing his real name and with different translation fields. We do not know whether he knows about this or not, whether he was the one who created the other profile or not or whether someone else is misusing his profile. Or a member's profile is sometimes shown in Proz Find, sometimes not. The weird thing is that according to her login data she was not even logged in for 21 or whatever hrs. Once I told a former member who was among the top translators in the directory but let his membership expire, that I saw him online. He said he was not online. I said he was. He checked whether he was logged in and he was not logged in. Or my directory ranking appearances were not working, or visitors' tab and directory appearances showed incorrect data since November, meanwhile I have seen that I was shown as 56th in medical field, but I'm nr. 1 in all medical fields.
Support tickets sent and then answered after months...

Some years ago me and a member realized that we had foreign ip addresses shown as logged on to our profiles: Amazonaws and other foreign country ip addresses. We didn't use VPN. I think these were bots with AI. When I began to ask about it on the forum and wrote a support ticket, whether someone else or something else (?) was also using our profiles, those data with all the foreign ip addresses were simply hidden (that part is cut) from our profiles.

About a week ago I systematically made printscreens of my directory rankings and of my profile and decided to add those as images to my profile to be sure that my profile and rankings are not manipulated. Guess what! The system did not allow me to add a printscreen of my own profile and directory rankings. No, it is not a technical glitch.

According to the experiences I wrote above I don't think I'm the only one who had such experiences.

At the same time translators are navigated as a mass to give up their profession because of MT .... meanwhile...

[Edited at 2020-05-23 15:44 GMT]


 
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