In this article, written by Alan Pringle from Scriptorium, he discusses the profligation of the term “like” all over the internet. Every where we turn, we see “like” buttons. We can +1 or click “like” to show our pleasure at just about anything that is sold online.

How does this relate to the field of techical writing? Alan describes a real-time voice translation company, Babelverse, that uses a rating system for its translators. When a customer finishes a conversation, that customer needs to rate the translator. Then, the ratings stay with the translator and the next customer can pick based on rating. Think of it like Yelp for translators.

I think this is an interesting idea and I gave it a bit of thought. At Content Rules, I have seen situations where the consultant creates amazing content, but does not get along well with the customer. Brusque consultants doing stellar work doth not necessarily make the customer happy.

On the flip side, I have had occasions where the consultant really wasn’t delivering the best goods, but got along famously with the customer. And the customer was happy – even though I wanted to switch out the consultant. “Quality work” was part experiential and part the work itself.   Perhaps the difference is rating the quality of the content versus rating the experience of working with the person who wrote/translated it. Those two things are not necessarily the same. So if we ask for ratings, we need to be very specific. It’s not that we can’t ask for both – we should – but we need to make sure we keep those things separate.


Val Swisher
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