ProZ.com's guiding principles
The following are the principles upon which ProZ.com has been built. They underlie the ProZ.com culture.
1. ProZ.com is a "translation workplace". All services, activities and discussion on this site focus on the art and business of translation, as specified in the site's definition of scope. All areas of the site are structured in such a way as to facilitate results-oriented collaboration for mutual benefit, and to that end, there are clear rules which moderators and staff strive to enforce in a transparent, uniform and respectful manner.
2. A collaborative spirit is at the heart of ProZ.com and everything in it. KudoZ, the Blue Board, powwows, the forums, articles, quick polls, Wikiwords, group buying, Glosspost, the exchange, our unique conferences... all of the great things available here can only exist because of our worldwide community of professionals who choose to cooperate for mutual benefit.
3. The ProZ.com team has a clear mission. The ProZ.com team works to "provide tools and opportunities that translators, translation companies, and others in the language industry use to (1) network, (2) expand their businesses, (3) improve their work, and (4) have more fun."
5. ProZ.com provides 'tools and opportunities'. This workplace is a venue, with tools for you to use (or not use) in the way that best suits you and your business. Opportunities are provided, onsite and in face-to-face powwows and conferences to network, exchange tips and socialize.
6. The person with the need sets the parameters. Whether it be KudoZ, the forums or the jobs system, the person who has the need is given options for setting parameters and directing the flow of an exchange. For example, KudoZ askers are given the option of making a question for-points or not, of directing the question to people who meet certain criteria, etc. The feeling is that this approach, which may be the one most likely to ensure that needs are met, is appropriate for our collaborative community and service industry.
7. The site has been made highly customizable to permit focused participation. The site is structured in such a way as to allow you to get what you need quickly. You can customize settings in jobs, KudoZ, etc., that result in your seeing only the information that concerns you. This means you can participate as much or as little as you like.
8. Translators are at the core of ProZ.com. ProZ.com serves the entire translation industry by serving translators first. Recognizing that the players in the translation industry--translators, translation companies and end clients--are complementary, the site provides a fair and open workplace in which all parties can meet and work transparently and efficiently.
9. Member discretion is given precedence over administrator discretion. The site is designed so that administrators are not in a position to decide what is right for you in your business. For example, the system lets you as a member set your rates as you choose. You also decide which jobs or questions to filter, and which to focus on. If you don't want to see off-topic forum posts, you can turn them off, etc. In short, the system provides the tools you need to run your business the way you feel is appropriate.
10. ProZ.com is an open and welcoming community. The workplace has been structured in such a way as to invite and welcome the participation of language professionals or those with language needs, including those who are only occasional visitors or just passers-by. In collaborative areas, everyone - and all contributions - are welcome.
11. Site staff members focus their efforts on serving members first and foremost. While welcoming use of the site by non-paying users, the site team maintains a keen focus on providing great value to the site's paying members, whose fees make this endeavor possible. New features are developed according to member need and feedback.
12. Choice is paramount, but compromise is crucial. Each site user is given the maximum degree of control over his/her workplace experience. However, recognizing that we share a workplace in which one person's actions may affect another, site users cooperate and compromise as necessary.
13. The site is a "meritocracy". The platform is designed to reward those who are good at what they do and prove it in practice. For example, among members, directory position is sorted by KudoZ points in pair and field; you move up according to the degree to which you are able to help others.
14. The ProZ.com community believes in reuse. Forum posts, KudoZ questions, etc., are archived, and site users are encouraged to check for previous solutions before going to the community for assistance. Forum titles and KudoZ classifications are edited actively to make the archive convenient to use.
15. All of us in the ProZ.com community are working it out. When people with common objectives come together and share their work, something very nice and very human happens; there is a special camaraderie that comes out of working together. The warmth that pervades the ProZ.com community starts with our focus on shared objectives.
16. We have only just begun. Having invented services such as KudoZ, the Blue Board, powwows and much more, the ProZ.com community has already redefined what it means to be a translator--the profession is more collaborative, more efficient and more fun than it was before this site existed. But we believe there is much more we can do together in the future.
The above principles have helped to make ProZ.com the most popular portal in the translation industy, and home to the world's leading community of language professionals.