1 - What are the ProZ.com forums?
The ProZ.com forums are an open discussion area for ProZ.com users to discuss topics of mutual interest in a relatively unstructured format.
Using your forum dashboard:
You may also be interested in:
2 - What types of things can be posted?
The ProZ.com forums are provided for discussions related to the fields of translation and interpretation, to ProZ.com, or to the ProZ.com community. They are not provided for other purposes. A more complete definition of the scope of the forums is posted here.
Forum rule 11 states that the forums should not be used to post issues that have dedicated areas in the site. In particular:
3 - What are the rules of the forums?
The Forum Rules are linked to from the forums. Users must accept these Rules as a condition of posting.
4 - What should I do if I consider that site rules are being violated in a forum?
In this case you should refer the issue to the forum moderator or a member of site staff. At the bottom of each forum thread page you will see a little box with the name of the corresponding moderator(s) and a "Call to this topic" link:
When you click on this link, a small box will open to let you describe the rule(s) violation you perceived in the thread. This is a mandatory field. When you submit this information it will be included in a profile email to be submitted to the moderator.
You may contact site staff on the issue via support request, in the case of a forum which has no assigned moderator.
5 - Why should discussion of administrative actions be carried out through the support system and not in forums?
Moderating site forums is not an easy task. Sometimes, moderators may face a situation in a thread that they feel is not correct and that requires immediate action. Also, it may happen that, when deciding on the most appropriate actions to take in such threads, no other fellow moderator is around to check, leading the moderator to take honest and well-meant actions that they consider most appropriate.
These actions, however, may prove to be incorrect when evaluated later, without the pressure, and this is why contacting site staff to request the re-evaluation of administrative actions taken by moderators is encouraged. Experience has demonstrated that discussing moderators' actions in the forums basically produces more ill feelings without solving the issues at hand.
Reporting via the support system what may be considered improper actions by moderators allows site staff to look at the issue and provide a "second opinion" that tries to be calm and objective.
6 - Who can use the forums?
According to their accessibility there are four types of forums:
7 - Are forum postings vetted?
Forum postings from members and users with verified identities appear immediately.* Postings from all others are checked before being made visible. Most postings are approved within 12 hours.
* Access to networking features, which potentially affect other members, may be modified or revoked at the discretion of the ProZ.com team.
8 - How do I post in the forums?
To start a new thread in a forum you should visit its page and then click on the "Post new topic" link, on the upper left part of the screen. This will show you a posting window where you should write a good title in the "Topic subject:" field (instructions provided in the same page) and the body of your post in the "Topic body: " field.
If the planned thread will be on some of the tolerated off topic exceptions described in the Definition of ProZ.com's Scope you should click on the "This post is 'off-topic', ie. more play than work." box.
To answer to an already existing thread you should click on the “Reply / comment” button to create a new post or on he “Reply with quote” link inside a previous post to reply to this post in particular keeping it in a box inside your own reply.
9 - How do I select the forums I would like to see listed on the homepage?
Go to your forum dashboard and click on the "Homepage forums" tab. There you can select the forums you would like to appear on the homepage.
To see a brief introduction to the forum dashboard and its features, check out this video.
10 - I have a question I would like to post to the forums. What is the best way to make sure I get an answer?
Here are some tips to keep in mind when posting a question to the forums:
11 - How can I include smilies in my forum post?
Smilies are keyboard characters used to convey an emotion, such as a smile :) or a frown :( To see a list of smilies and how to make them, just visit the article Smilies & Other Basic Text Formats in Proz.com Forums: Quick Reference Guide.
12 - What is BBCode and how can I use it in the forums?
BBCode is a variation on the HTML tags you may already be familiar with. Basically, it allows you to add functionality or style to your message that would normally require HTML. You can use BBCode even if HTML is not enabled for the forum you are using. You may want to use BBCode as opposed to HTML, because there is less coding required and it is safer to use (incorrect coding syntax will not lead to as many problems).
You can create true hyperlinks using the [url] code. Just use the following format:
In the example above, the BBCode automatically generates a hyperlink to the URL that is encased. It will also ensure that the link is opened in a new window when the user clicks on it. Note that the "http://" part of the URL is completely optional. The URL will hyperlink the text to whatever URL you provide after the equal sign. Also note that you should NOT use quotation marks inside the URL tag.
Italics and bold face
You can make italicized text or make text bold by encasing the applicable sections of your text with either the [b] [/b] or [i] [/i] tags.
You can make bulleted lists or ordered lists (by number or letter).
Unordered, bulleted list:
[*] This is the first bulleted item.
[*] This is the second bulleted item.
13 - How can I receive notification of new forum postings (forum tracking)?
Notification of new forum postings is available to all registered members.
14 - Are forums indexed by search engines?
Yes. Most ProZ.com forums are public and can be indexed by search engines. In general, it is recommended that anyone using the Internet assume that anything they post online will be viewable by all people for the rest of time.
One exception are the ProZ.com private forums, which may be requested by members, and which can only be accessed by individuals who have been granted access expressly by the member(s) who own the forum. See http://www.proz.com/faq/3103#3103 for more information on how private forums can be created.
15 - How is it determined whether or not a forum thread will be featured on the home page?
The home page is important real estate to the ProZ.com community, insomuch as it commands a high degree of member attention and time. In the interest of providing the best possible workplace environment, ProZ.com's staff exercises editorial control over what appears on it (as is common in publishing).
The selection of featured items is managed in a semi-automated fashion. There is a featured status set automatically for most new threads (depending on the forum) that permits them to appear on the home page. However, when a staff member comes across a thread that, for example, is more of a personal support ticket than a topic for discussion, he or she may unset the featured status. Also, topics which are locked may cease to be featured.
16 - What is the RSS feed for forums?
RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication, a family of Web formats used to publish frequently updated content such as news headlines or blog entries in a standardized format and that allows users to subscribe to it.
A feed reader is client software or a Web application that is used to subscribe to and collect syndicated web content in a single location for easy viewing.
You can subscribe to your favorite ProZ.com public forums in your RSS feed reader by clicking the orange button in the forum page to get started.
You can subscribe using any news reader that you would like. If you encounter any encoding issues or have questions, comments or concerns, please contact site staff via a support request.
17 - Why did my subject line change?
ProZ.com moderators and staff may edit subject lines that are not sufficiently descriptive of the content of a post. (This is stated in the posting and reply forms, and also in the forum rules.)
Why is this done? For one, subject lines are shown on the ProZ.com front page. Misleading or incomplete subject lines keep people from efficiently finding topics of interest to them. Subject lines also become part of the summaries mailed out to those tracking topics, and they provide help in finding old threads. For these reasons, it is important that subject lines be formulated to convey, as much as possible, the content of a thread.
Examples of bad subject lines:
- KudoZ (problem: too general)
- For all translators to read (problem: not representative of content)
Examples of good subject lines:
- Indemnity insurance - do I need it? Where can I get it?
- New freelancer seeks tips on translation software
Writing good subject lines is not always easy, so be creative!
18 - Why is the editing option disabled after the first 24 hours since the original forum post?
This is aimed at preserving the original content of the discussion as much as possible and ensuring that the flow of the discussion works smoothly so that participants in the thread can reply to each other and quote posts whose content is unlikely to change in the future.
19 - I can't find my posting.
If you can not find a posting you made, it may be because you are not a site member and your ID was not verified, and therefore your postings need to be approved before they appear.*
It is also possible that your posting was moved from one category to another, more appropriate one. Check relevant categories to find the thread.
* Access to networking features, which potentially affect other members, may be modified or revoked at the discretion of the ProZ.com team.
20 - Can I make a posting about a bad outsourcer or translator?
Feedback on outsourcers and translators with whom you have worked should be provided in the form of LWA (Blue Board) or WWA entries respectively.
However, forums may be used to report on issues related to outsourcers (including warning about outsourcing scams) as long as names or any other sensitive information are not specified.
21 - Why can I not use the forums to warn others about a bad agency?
As you might guess, public criticims tend to be explosive, often generating dozens or even hundreds of emails, phone calls, even legal interactions.
Furthermore, with over many thousands of registered users, ProZ.com is much more volatile than existing payment practices lists, which have fewer than 1000 members. For this reason, a single critical posting at ProZ.com usually demands hours of careful attention on the part of administrators, moderators, and bystanders.
After dealing with a number of well-intentioned criticisms, ProZ.com's staff has come to the conclusion that we simply can not handle administration of an open public forum that allows criticisms, no matter how justified they may be. That is why we created the Blue Board--to meet the information need in a structured, and manageable, way.
Is the Blue Board useful? Yes. Is it everything one could hope for? No--nor does it claim to be. But we are constantly improving upon it, at a pace that is practical given the scale of our business.
22 - Can I use the forums to denounce a scam?
Yes, as long as your posts are in line with forum rule #8 . In other words, you can post the emails you received or describe the situation, but no names should be mentioned.
The purpose of avoiding naming names in a case like this is to prevent possible issues with libel, since the names used in these cases are not always made-up and can be the names of actual, innocent, persons. In general the messages themselves are sufficient to warn other translators.
23 - Can financial topics be discussed?
Yes, but only in the 'money matters' section of the forums.
24 - Why are political and controversial topics banned?
It is the hope of the site founder that no matter what were to happen in the "real" world, we would still have a virtual zone here at ProZ.com in which people of many cultures--and conflicting views--can work together on language, in peace.
Therefore, it has always been the site's policy to *immediately* remove any posting that is not related to language and *has any chance* of being controversial. Site and forum moderators have been asked to do the same.
You may expect this policy to be applied consistently to all controversial postings, without respect to the personal views of the moderators. (So when a topic is locked or removed, this is no indication of the personal viewpoint of the person locking it.) Please allow some consideration for the fact that moderators are not always on duty, and it may take hours or even days for a posting to be closed.
There are other, appropriate channels for politics--and those channels are much more effective than this site.
25 - How about natural disasters, or disasters that are in no way political--can they be discussed in the forums?
Yes. Although not linguistic, postings on natural disasters (ie. earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, heat waves, cold spells, tidal waves, volcanoes, avalanches, fires, mud slides and other natural phenomenon not caused by conflict) are considered appropriate for this collaborative community.
When disasters occur, members are encouraged to post information related to relief efforts being coordinated by recognized and trustworthy organizations in their areas. For example, if an earthquake has occurred somewhere in the world, a member in Spain may wish to post information related to methods of volunteering or donating, via reputable organizations, from within Spain.
Note the following:
- Postings related to natural disasters must be labeled "off topic".
- Postings made under the topic of a natural disaster that contain political commentary will be removed without regard to the opinion expressed.
- Postings that propose private coordination of relief efforts will be removed without regard to the author.
- Apart from natural disasters, no other form of humanitarian posting is allowed.
26 - If a forum thread has been locked, does that mean the topic cannot be discussed ever again?
When a forum thread has been locked, forum rule 6 helps to protect this action and allow a discussion to "cool down". Immediately posting with the intention of continuing the discussion in a locked thread is not allowed, but this does not mean that the topic itself cannot be discussed at a later point, provided it is in line with site rules.
27 - What about freedom of speech? There should not be censorship in the forums.
The forums are limited in scope and subject to rules. It is important to know that the site rules and scope have been in place for some time now, and they are there and enforced precisely in the interest of maintaining a positive, results-oriented workplace. The only way for this to happen is for those rules and the scope to be enforced consistently, and that is what moderators and site staff do.
This said, it should be noted that, within the framework of site rules and the aim of those rules, not everyone is going to be able to say whatever they want at ProZ.com. Keeping a positive, results-oriented translation workplace means that posters will not be able to swear, or to talk politics, or make offensive remarks in the forums, for example. There are other places to do that. Everyone has valid opinions, views and statements; but it should not be assumed that ProZ.com can be used to advertise these.
If you feel you have received rules enforcement action which was not rules-based, please report this to site staff through the support system, where the issue can be properly reviewed. The forums are not an appropriate channel for discussing individual rules enforcement issues.
28 - My posts did not require vetting and now they do. What happened?
When in doubt, submit a support request and site staff will be able to look into the issue.
In some instances, a forum vetting requirement may be placed by site staff or moderators. A vetting requirement can be in relation to a rules violation, but this is not necessarily always the case. Rather, the vetting requirement is a safeguard which is used by site staff and moderators to help protect the positive, results-oriented environment of the forums. When it is deemed that this environment is being endangered, the vetting requirement may be used.
29 - Can I request a private forum for discussion/work?
Paying members may request a private forum be created, and invite colleagues to participate. To do this, just submit a support request, stating the name you wish to give the forum and including the profile numbers of any initial participants you wish to include in the forum.
Once the forum is created, it will be assigned to the member(s) who requested it, who will act as the private forum owner(s). The forum owner(s) will be able to add other site users to and remove them from the forum. Only the users invited to the forum (and site staff) will be able to see it, and only the forum owners and members can participate in it. Private forums will not be made public.
Note that private forums are also subject to site forum rules, though in some cases these rules may be interpreted more loosely for the purpose of the private forum. Private forum owners act as moderators in their own private forums and it is their responsibility then to clarify this with all who are invited to participate in the forum.
30 - I have a survey I would like to publish. Can I post it in the forums?
If you have a survey you would like to publish, and it is within ProZ.com site scope, please contact staff via the support system with the specifics for help. Note that not all surveys can be published.
31 - I posted a topic in the wrong forum by mistake. What should I do?
Since posting the same topic twice is not in line with forum rules, please submit a support request if you posted a topic in an incorrect forum so that support staff can move the topic to the correct forum.