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It works like this: a ProZ.com user (a "service provider") can enter a number from 1 to 5 corresponding to his or her "likelihood of working again" with a given outsourcer (an "LWA", for short). By way of explanation, a line of text (a "comment") may be entered along with the number. An outsourcer may enter one line of text (a "reply") in response to entries.
Over time, a number of entries and replies may be collected for an outsourcer; together these are referred to as a "record". Blue board records are accessible via URLs of this form: http://www.proz.com/blueboard/#. Within each record, in addition to entries and replies, contact information for the outsourcer and the average LWA is also shown.
The Blue Board is the complete, searchable database of these records.
We'll explain in a roundabout way. First of all, any ProZ.com user can enter a number from 1 to 5 corresponding to his or her likelihood of working again (LWA) with a given outsourcer (ie. client or translation company/agency). By way of explanation, the user can also enter a line of text along with the number. In response, the outsourcer may enter a line of text of his/her/its own.
The Blue Board is the complete, searchable database of the records containing these entries and replies, along with outsourcer coordinates.
1.2 - Glossary of Blue Board terms...
Outsourcer: An umbrella term that includes agencies, companies, clients and any other entity or person that buys translation services. The Blue Board is a database of outsourcers accompanied by service provider entries.
Entry: A service provider makes an "entry" to the Blue Board expressing his or her likelihood of working again with a given outsourcer. (Terms like "rating", "review", etc., are misleading and should be avoided.)
LWA: LWA is short for a service provider's self-expressed "likelihood of working again" with a given outsourcer. It is a number from 1 (very unlikely to work again) to 5 (very likely to work again).
Comment: An entry consists of an LWA (required) and a comment (optional). Comments should be limited in scope to explanation/grounds for the LWA; they may not include general statements concerning an outsourcer.
Reply: When an entry is made, the corresponding outsourcer is given an opportunity to make a one-line "reply."
Like comments by service providers, replies from outsourcers must be restricted to the independent experience. Personal remarks in comments or replies are not acceptable and will be removed by the site staff upon request.
Poster: A service provider or outsourcer who makes an entry or reply.
Average entry level: Aggregate figure representing the average LWA expressed for a single outsourcer by service providers
Record: A page of entries/LWA's made concerning a single outsourcer. Records are accessible using URLs of this format: http://www.proz.com/bb/#
1.3 - What are the conditions for making an entry concerning your likelihood of working again with an outsourcer?
In order to ensure the goal of the Blue Board, a set of Blue Board rules has been created. Use of the Blue Board that may violate any of these rules as well as ProZ.com general rules is not allowed.
You may only make entries for clients with whom you have worked on a project and to whom you have delivered work on time and without complaints related to quality. You may not make entries solely on the basis of negotiations, test translations, or other preliminary interactions.
If you have worked on a project with a client but were late or otherwise negligent in delivering work, you may not make an entry for that client. The Blue Board may not be used to threaten outsourcers.
LWA entries and comments accompanying entries are checked by site staff before they are made visible to make sure they are strictly focused on Likelihood of Working Again. This is clearly described in Blue Board rule #7.
'Self-entries' by outsourcers (or by users representing an outsourcer) are not permitted.
Avoid comments that:
- contain offensive language
- include generalizations about the outsourcer
- explicitly discourage others from working with the outsourcer
- contain advertising
Comments requesting that other users contact you for further details about your experience with a particular company are also generally not permitted.
You may make one entry per outsourcer per year--provided that you have worked for the outsourcer again before adding an additional entry.
LWA entries which are made and prove to be in violation of Blue Board rule 2 or Blue Board rule 6 will be removed by site staff. Users who make repeated LWA entries which violate these rules may at site staff's discretion find their use of the LWA system temporarily or permanently blocked.
3.1 - Why is a comment simply saying "contact me privately for further details" not allowed?
This comment does not provide any helpful information to other translators and undermines the point of the Blue Board. Translators are busy, if they went to a Blue Board record and every comment merely said "Contact me privately for further details." there would be no point in having the comment section at all.
Site members can contact the translator who gave an entry for more details by clicking the "Email translator" icon on the entry itself.
The entries posted here are not confirmed in any way, and represent the opinions only of those making entries. Things to consider when evaluating entries: activity levels, identity verification status, membership levels, registration numbers and other characteristics of posters.
Do not rely solely on entries posted. You are encouraged to form your own opinions concerning outsourcers from your experiences in working with, or negotiating with, outsourcers personally.
1.5 - Where can I manage LWA feedback?
You can see information on LWA entries received, requested and given, and request new LWA entries from service providers on the LWA Feedback management page.
You can also view LWA statistics of outsourcers ranked by average LWA and the number of entries received, compiled from information on the Blue Board considering entries over the last 12 months and from all time.
1.6 - What is the ProZ.com termination policy?
The staff of ProZ.com, the company providing the technology for this site, has established a policy for the termination of offending outsourcers to enhance the site is used as a place for language companies and language service providers to meet and engage in good-faith transactions.
1.7 - What does the message This outsourcer has been banned from posting jobs at ProZ.com mean?
As per ProZ.com termination policy, if a total of two non-payment complaints regarding a single outsourcer have been received from unrelated sources, the issue will be brought to ProZ.com staff for review. At its sole discretion, ProZ.com staff may then choose to suspend or revoke the outsourcer's right to use ProZ.com. This note refers to that suspension.
1.8 - What does the " ... " mean in the comment area for some LWA entries on the Blue Board?
A " ... " in the comment section indicates that no comment has been entered by the poster of the entry. Note that if this is the case you will only see " ... " in the comment section, as opposed to, for example, "Great terms, professional ... would work with them again", which would have been entered by the service provider.
If you are not a member of ProZ.com, you will see only basic details on each Blue Board record. The name of the feedback provider, the corresponding comment, as well as any outsourcer contact details will be hidden to you.
2.3 - I am not a (paying) member of ProZ.com... can I still make Blue Board entries?
Yes. Non-paying site users can submit LWA entries for outsourcers with whom they have worked. To do so, just click on “Make an entry” to the right of the Blue Board record page. Clicking on this option will open a page where you will be able to compose your LWA entry.
2.4 - How can I make an LWA entry for a Blue Board outsourcer?
To make an LWA entry for Blue Board outsourcer, first locate the outsourcer's Blue Board record here. Once you have located and accessed the outsourcer's Blue Board record, click on “Make an entry” to the right of the Blue Board record page. Clicking on this option will open a page where you will be able to compose your LWA entry. Please bear in mind that Blue Board entries require vetting and that they will not appear immediately. This is usually done within 12 hours of the entry being posted.
2.5 - How to open a non-payment report for certain outsourcer?
During the submission of your LWA entry as per FAQ, after sending the LWA entry for vetting, in case if the rating of the LWA entry is very low (1 or 2) you will be given the option to report any non-payment issue involved with the outsourcer and you will see a message "You entered a low LWA for this outsourcer. If you have not received payment, report a non-payment for this outsourcer". Please press on the button “report a non-payment for this outsourcer”. You will be redirected to another page where the possibility to enter data regarding your non-payment issue will be provided. After filling in all the necessary information please press on “Preview non-payment report” button, check carefully your non-payment report again and press on “Submit non-payment report” button to open a non-payment issue for your LWA entry.
If the LWA entry is already submitted and approved by PoZ.com Staff, however, you have not opened a non-payment report please contact site Staff , to request to open a non-payment report for your LWA entry. Please make sure that your non-payment report is in line with Blue Board rules .
The non-payment report is visible only to ProZ.com Staff and to the outsourcer. Service providers who report non-payment issues are required to update their LWA entries on time to make it clear if the payment has been made. If it is not possible to edit the LWA entry (whether because the reply has been already submitted by the outsourcer and as per Blue Board rule #3 , the LWA entry is not editable, or the LWA entry is too old) service providers should let site staff know if and when the non-payment issue is resolved (by submitting a support request, to inform they have been paid in full).
Note: In the case of outsourcers, if they have resolved an open non-payment issue, they are invited to contact site staff , and ask them to confirm this with the service provider. Only when the service provider confirms payment has been received in full, the LWA entry will be removed from the Blue Board record, allowing the service provider to make a new LWA entry reflecting the current situation. Note that this new entry may contain the same 1-5 rating as the entry that contained the non-payment report.
As of April 2016, in the case of non-payment reports for corporate members of ProZ.com, please note that outsourcers are notified of these reports before they are made visible in order to give the outsourcer the opportunity to confirm if the entry is in line with the conditions for making non-payment reports as described in http://www.proz.com/faq/2995#2995. You should have received an email from site staff notifying you of this policy upon making your entry. Your non-payment report will be made visible shortly if it is line with the rules for making Blue Board entries.
2.6 - I would like to ask others to make entries concerning a particular outsourcer. How do I do that?
If the outsourcer is already listed, click "Call for entries" from the outsourcer's record page. This will cause a request for entries to be published on the ProZ.com home page. In addition, an email will be sent to all those who have subscribed to such requests.
If the outsourcer you are interested in is not yet listed, adding it will cause the notification to be sent automatically. You may add an outsourcer whether or not you are a member. Note that only one "call for entries" is allowed per outsourcer, per month.
Please note that there is a limit to how many calls for entries can be made per day. Only 5 calls for entries can be made per day.
2.7 - I have made a call for entries for an outsourcer but I have changed my mind. Is it possible to undo it?
No. It is not possible to reverse the call for entries as the email to all those who have subscribed to receiving request for entries are automatically sent immediately after the call for entries is submitted.
2.8 - Can I be notified of new LWA entries submitted for a particular outsourcer?
Yes. To receive notifications for new LWA entries posted in a Blue Board record of any particular outsourcer, just click on "Track outsourcer" in the box to the right of their Blue Board record.
You can turn tracking off by clicking on "Stop tracking" in the same box to the right of the Blue Board record.
2.10 - Why I am getting email notifications about new LWA entries in Blue Board record and how to deactivate it?
During the submission of your LWA entry you have the possibility to subscribe to alerts when new entries are made for outsourcer by selecting the option “Receive alerts when new entries are made for this outsourcer?”.
Once this option is activated, you will receive email alerts regarding new LWA entries in the Blue Board record of the outsourcer you have submitted your LWA entry.
To stop tracking the outsourcer you need to press the link in the bottom of the notification email you have received: “Click here to stop receiving alerts for this outsourcer”.
2.11 - How can I make an entry for an outsourcer that is not listed on the Blue Board?
If you would like to make an entry for an outsourcer that is not yet listed on the Blue Board, you may add the details yourself from the "Add Outsourcer" tab". Make sure to add comprehensive details, to avoid confusion.
2.12 - I added an outsourcer to the Blue Board database and the record is not visible. Why?
Blue Board records, as Blue Board entries, require vetting by site staff or moderators and checking all contact information may take time, usually no more than 24 hours.
If the record you added has not appeared after a 24-hour period, please contact site staff via a support request.
2.13 - Can I make an entry for an outsourcer if my only experience with them is with a test translation?
No. You may have come to some conclusions about an outsourcer based on a test translation, negotiations or other preliminary interactions. However, based on our experiences, we decided that the Blue Board would be provided only for expressing one's likelihood of working *again* for specific outsourcers. In other words, you have to have at least begun a "real world" project for any outsourcer for whom you make an entry.
2.14 - Can I make more than one entry per outsourcer?
Yes, you may make one entry per outsourcer per year (once 365 days have passed from your previous entry) provided that you have worked for the outsourcer again before adding an additional entry. You may not make multiple entries on the basis of a single experience (see Blue Board rule #5).
2.15 - Where can I see a complete list of LWA feedback I provided?
You can see a list of the LWA / Blue Board entries you submitted for different outsourcers in the LWA feedback management page. Or else, check the "Blue Board entries made by this user" section of your profile.
2.16 - I made an entry and it hasn't appeared yet.
Blue Board entries require vetting. This is usually done within 12 hours of the entry being posted. You may also want to check the spelling. Sometimes Blue Board entries are rejected from the database because of the characters used: double quotes in your comment are not allowed. You may need to remove the double quotes and use single quotes for the entry to go visible. If your comment hasn't appeared after a 24-hour period, please contact site staff via a support request. If your entry is a non-payment report for a corporate member of the site, please see http://www.proz.com/faq/176096#176096.
2.17 - How may I edit my LWA entry?
You may edit your entry by clicking on the edit link on the right side of your entry, however, this will only be available before an outsourcer has replied and if your entry is less than a year old. However, any changes are subject to approval by site staff or moderators.
Once a reply has been entered by an outsourcer, you many not edit your entry (see Blue Board rule #3).
2.18 - How do I remove an LWA entry on a Blue Board record?
You may request removal of an LWA entry you have made at any time. If the entry has been replied by the outsourcer, both parties must be in agreement for removal to take place. Once both parties have established this agreement on their own, they must each submit a support request for removal.
Note: If you have submitted a valid LWA entry (you delivered commissioned work on time, and without quality complaints), and the reply you receive alleges that this is not the case, you should contest the reply. Submit a support request with the link to the Blue Board record in question and any relevant details. Note that both you and the outsourcer may be asked to substantiate the situation. If the reply is found to be invalid, it will be removed.
Outsourcers may also contest LWA entries which do not meet the conditions for valid LWA entries in a similar fashion.
If there is any evidence that an entry or reply by an outsourcer or service provider has broken a site rule or has been determined to be unlawful, the entry/response may be hidden or deleted by staff.
2.19 - Where can I see Outsourcers with excellent Blue Board feedback?
The Blue Board statistics page shows the top Blue Board outsourcers, ranked by their average LWA feedback rating. Outsourcers with open non-payment issues or with an average LWA feedback below 4.50 are excluded.
Results are shown by both all time and last 12 months. Each set of results is divided in two, based on the number of entries received.
Within each table, outsourcers are ranked by their average LWA and then by amount of entries. If two outsourcers are tied on both numbers, the most recently created Blue Board page will be shown first.
2.20 - Where can I see outsourcers past contact information in Blue Board records?
ProZ.com members can see past contact information for outsourcers by clicking on "view contact data history" at the bottom of the contact information section of the outsourcer's Blue Board record.
2.21 - Where can I see information on the jobs posted by a Blue Board outsourcer?
You can see a list of Classic and Connect jobs posted by any Blue Board outsourcer just by clicking on More info » in the "Past job postings" box below the Blue Board record information. Only ProZ.com members have access to the information on the jobs posted by an outsourcer.
Open jobs will show in yellow while jobs that have already been closed will be shown in light green.
2.22 - I submitted an LWA entry for an outsourcer and it is no longer visible. Why?
If you submitted an entry for an outsourcer that was visible for some time and that is no longer visible it is possible that your entry was contested by the outsourcer. Note that in cases in which an entry is contested, the entry is made invisible by staff until the issue has been clarified.
If you are sure your entry is in line with Blue Board rules, and it is being contested by the outsourcer, please submit a support request with all relevant evidence (email correspondence, PO, etc.).
Also note that entries may disappear from public view when a 'request for edit' has been made. If you requested your entry to be edited, it will remain hidden until moderators or staff re-approve such entry.
2.23 - Can an outsourcer leave feedback for me?
Outsourcers may rate their willingness to work again (WWA) with service providers.
3.1 - How do I get my business listed on the Blue Board?
The outsourcers listed in the Blue Board get there because a ProZ.com user posted them. Any registered user can do it; if you outsource translation work, you are welcome to post your own business for service providers to make entries on. (Users who subscribe to the Blue Board will be invited to make entries with regard to their likelihood of working again with your business.)
Outsourcers who post jobs on ProZ.com also agree to the creation of a Blue Board which represents them; in some cases these records will be created by site staff.
3.2 - How can I change the contact data listed for my business in the Blue Board?
Changes to outsourcer contact data shown on the Blue Board can be made by site staff only. To request corrections to the data, submit a support request.
3.3 - How can I edit the information on my Blue Board record?
If the contact information for you or your company's Blue Board record has changed, you can have this edited by contacting site staff via support request. Be sure to provide the complete information you wish to update, along with the page url to your Blue Board record.
3.4 - Can I add information about my company to my Blue Board record?
Yes. Outsourcers with a high LWA average can post public notes to provide Blue Board record visitors with useful and/or important information regarding their business.
To add a note to your record, visit the Applications section and click on "Outsourcers Control Center" in the box to the left. This will lead you to the "Application management" form and will allow you to enter additional information about your agency/company that will be later displayed on your Blue Board record.
3.5 - I would like certain contact information removed from the Blue Board.
ProZ.com respects your privacy. If you prefer that certain contact information be removed from public view, please submit a support request explaining what you would like removed, and why. We will consider your request.
Note that certain minimum contact details are required to post jobs via ProZ.com, and these requirements will not be waived. (See Jobs FAQ.)
3.6 - How can I completely hide the "past job postings" on the Blue Board record?
Please note that you do not need to hide your past job postings, because the details of the jobs are available for only 30 days and only to those meeting the criteria. Please note that non-members do not see your job postings when they see your Blue Board record. Complete access to the Blue Board record of outsourcers is a member-only feature and the details of past jobs that are older than 30 days are not shown.
3.7 - Can I remove my Blue Board record?
As Blue Board rules state, Blue Board records remain in place for at least six months following any form of outsourcing activity. Requests from outsourcers to have certain contact details removed from the Blue Board will be considered when specific reasons are given. However, in most cases, such requests will not be considered until at least six months have passed after the date of last known outsourcing activity. Requests for complete removal of a Blue Board record may also be considered, but will generally not be granted.
3.8 - How can I request an LWA entry from service provider who has been working with me?
First off all, please remember that only translators that are registered on ProZ.com can make LWA entries in your Blue Board record. Therefore before requesting an LWA entry from a service provider who has worked for you or your company, please first make sure that this service provider is registered on ProZ.com. Otherwise s/he should create a profile on ProZ.com here .
To request an LWA entry, please go to your Blue Board record and:
1)click “Manage LWA feedback” from the menu on the right. You will be redirected to the Feedback management page.
2) Select Request Blue Board Entries (outsourcers only) from the menu on the left.
3) On the next step please start typing the username or the real name of the service provider you are looking for in the “Search” section and click on the name in the list which appears below the search box. If the data displayed in the box on the right corresponds to the desired service provider, click on "Add to list".
4) Make sure that the check box near the name of service provider is checked and click “Proceed to step 2 of 3”.
5) Check the message which will be sent to service provider. A template text to request the Blue Board entry can be personalized, so you may also enter your own text for this message. Once the text is ready, please press on “Proceed to step 3 of 3 (preview and send emails)”.
6) Check the message you are going to send and click the “Send” button or on “Back edit (message) button”, if you would like to edit the message you are going to send.
3.9 - Will I be notified of new LWA entries posted in my Blue Board record?
Yes. A notification will be sent to the email address specified as the contact email address in the Blue Board record every time an entry is posted.
In the same way, if a non-payment report is made together with an entry submitted, a notification informing about this complaint and the procedure to follow will also be sent to the email address associated with the Blue Board record.
3.10 - A service provider has commented on his/her likelihood of working again with my business. Can I respond?
Yes. You can post a reply to a service provider's LWA comment directly from your Blue Board record. Note that replies to LWA entries, just as LWA entries, are subject to staff or moderator approval.
Please submit a support request if you believe the conditions for making an entry have not been met (for example, if a person who has not worked for you has made an entry.)
If there seems to have been a misunderstanding, outsourcers are encouraged to communicate directly with those making entries. However, making threats or exerting pressure on a ProZ.com user to cause him or her to change his or her "likelihood of working again" with your business is prohibited, and may result in your right to use ProZ.com being restricted.
Like service provider comments, your responses must be restricted to the work relationship and likelihood of working again. Personal remarks from service providers and outsourcers are not acceptable and will be removed by the site staff upon request.
3.11 - My company has a great Blue Board page. How can I display this in my profile?
Profile owners who have "Likelihood of working again" (LWA) feedback in their Blue Board pages can show the corresponding statistics in the top-right area of the profile.
The Blue Board is a tool of benefit to both service providers and outsourcers. Outsourcers who are listed and have received positive entries report a higher degree of trust and shortened project launch cycles among those service providers who reference the Blue Board.
Members and other users (like the one displayed below) having both Blue Board page (feedback from service providers) and WWA entries (feedback from outsourcers) can display both in their profiles, with WWA on the left and LWA on the right.
There are three options for the visibility of the LWA information:
a) Invisible to all, including the profile owner:
This is the default condition. The profile owners will see only a "Show LWA options" button that will allow them to move into the next visibility condition.
The owner will see:
b) Visible only to profile owner:
After clicking on the "Show LWA options" button, the LWA statistics will become visible to the profile owner, who will be able to return to the former (invisible) status or to make this feature visible also to visitors.
The owner will see:
In these two cases, visitors to the profile will see no LWA-related information:
c) Visible to all:
When the owner clicks on the "Show to all" button, the LWA statistics will be shown to all visitors.
In this case the profile owner will see:
And a visitor to the profile will see:
The link indicating the amount of entries will take visitors to the corresponding Blue Board page, while the "Make a LWA entry" link will give them direct access to the form where they will be able to leave an entry for that particular outsourcer.
3.12 - How can I affiliate a profile to a Blue Board record?
To affiliate a profile to certain Blue Board record, please submit a support request to ProZ.com Staff to ask for the affiliation to be made. Please provide the link of the Blue Board record and the profile you would like to affiliate.
3.13 - I have been affiliated to an outsourcer I am not related with. What should I do?
If your profile has been affiliated with an outsourcer you are not related to, please submit a support request to ask for the removal of such affiliation.
Have in mind that profiles are affiliated with Blue Board records on the basis of jobs posted by the profile in the name of a given outsourcer, among other activity.
3.14 - A service provider has posted a non-payment complaint in my Blue Board record. What should I do?
If a service provider has posted a non-payment complaint in your Blue Board record and this issue has already been resolved, instruct the service provider to contact staff via support request to confirm payment has been made so that the issue can be marked as resolved.
If the issue has not been resolved, please do so. Remember that Job posting rules state that payment commitments must be upheld. Once the issue has been resolved, ask the service provider to contact staff to confirm the situation.
Finally, if non-payment derives from quality issues with the job delivered by the service provider or with a late delivery of the project, please contact site staff via support request and provide the email correspondence in which the service provider has been notified of the issue.
3.15 - Is it possible to contest a non-payment report before it is made public?
As of April 2016, if you are a corporate member of ProZ.com and receive a non-payment report on your company’s Blue Board record, then you will be notified by site staff via email before that entry is made publicly visible. If the entry is not in line with the rules for leaving Blue Board feedback as described in http://www.proz.com/faq/2995#2995, or if the non-payment report is no longer valid, then you will be given the opportunity to provide the relevant correspondence to prove this.
The Blue Board Applications system allows outsourcers to review and accept applications from ProZ.com members who meet the required qualifications.
4.2 - For Service providers:
2.1 - Where can I see a list of outsourcers looking for applications from translators and/or interpreters?
You will find a list of outsourcers that are looking for applications from translators and/or interpreters in the Applications page.
Note that only the outsourcers you qualify to apply will be shown.
To submit your application, just click on Apply now and complete the application form.
2.2 - Where can I see a record of applications I submitted?
For the time being, applications submitted are not recorded. However, if you have already submitted an application for a Blue Board outsourcer, the date in which your application was submitted should show in the "Action" column of the applications page.
2.3 - How many applications can I send?
Site members are able to send an unlimited number of applications per month. However, you must wait 90 days before submitting another application to the same outsourcer.
If your application has not been acknowledged by the outsourcer, you will not be able to submit another application for that particular outsourcer until they have done so.
2.4 - Why I am not allowed to send my application?
The Blue Board Applications system is provided as a service to ProZ.com members only. Full professional and corporate members may submit their applications as part of this system.
Outsourcers may also choose to restrict who can apply by language pair(s), native language(s), working/specialty discipline(s), and country of residence.
2.5 - If I send my application and it is not accepted, will I be informed?
Outsourcers have the ability to accept or reject applications, and optionally send an e-mail to the applicant.
2.6 - Can I use the information available in my profile when submitting an application?
Site members may automatically submit information from their ProZ.com profiles from fields such as KudoZ points, ProZ.com Project History, phone number, etc.
3.1 - Where I can adjust my application preferences?
Outsourcers that have a Blue Board record affiliated with their account may start to accept applications by setting their preferences in the "Application Preferences" tab of the Outsourcer Control Center .
3.2 - Why am I not able to adjust my "Application Preferences"?
ProZ.com staff reserve the right to limit the use of Blue Board Applications system. Companies with low average Blue Board entries will not be able to set up their "Application Preferences". Access is also unavailable to outsourcers whose records contain open reports of non-payment.
3.3 - Where I can see applications sent to me?
Outsourcers can view applications sent to them by clicking the "Applications Received" tab in the Outsourcer Control Center .