** Sorry if you saw this post twice, I accidentally hit the publish button earlier**
Hi - I'm Adam, one of the three amigos trying to get this site off the ground and glowing because InMyLingo.com has started to come alive (w00t!). Clearly we have lots of work to still do to make this the best possible tool for the community (please keep the feedback coming,we LOVE it) but thought I would jump on the blog and give Andrew a break.
It really hit me that we are now live when I was chatting with Andrew (the founder) and his brother (Jeff) last night about what a journey it has been so far for the three of us to even bring the site to this point to which we could not have done without our families and close friends, mentors from schools,agencies and VRS companies, interpreters and with countless others.
One note, just to avoid confusion: We self funded 100% of all costs to develop and design the site with $0 dollars from anyone but the three of us.
Back to the point, it is easy to forget that the real work starts once everyone can use what you built and that's when you really learn what the idea is made of. We had a great splash of cold water yesterday that I wanted to share with everyone about the idea and how we need to better communicate. First, huge thank you to Steel City Interpreters (http://www.steelcityinterpreters.com or their IML profile :-) for giving some candid feedback. Here are the tweets and the posts directly with links:
Here are the links to the first and second posts I saw on TMI.me from the twitter stream: Post 1 and Post 2 for background.
I read the above and thought, we really screwed something up. This is supposed to be a platform to help people, grow businesses and anything else that the community decides to make of it. But then I realized (like many instances in my life) I probably did not communicate clearly, give enough ways for people to help me improve or didn't share my thinking openly enough so I'll try to do that now. First, lets do a little mythbusting that all reviews are bad:
That's more links than you probably wanted but it leads me to my point about how we try and make this great for both parties:
- Anyone can search and look for interpreters for free but you can't contact (request to hire or general get to know each other note) someone (protecting the terp) or leave a review (protecting the terp) without registering or logging in with facebook connect. We allow anyone who is logged in to leave "anonymous" feedback - just to be clear, that means feedback where your review appears but it doesn't show publicly to the terp or community who you are. We'll know who you are to make sure you are not being abusive and the review is in line with normal standards of appropriate language (can't swear, etc).
- We allow anyone to flag a review. That means if you see a review that you think is not appropriate then let us know.
- We are working hard on an interpreter response mechanism but still figuring out the best way to do that - feedback as always welcome.
What else could we do? How could we make this better?
On to the next piece of great feedback:
I am sorry to be the one to call this out but the interwebs and the precedent for rating and reviewing services happened well before us (although I wish I would have invented it :-)
I won't go further on the above message but would love to see comments and reactions with people stating whether or not they are an interpreter or someone who would use/hire an interpreter like this. Is Devin on to something, how can we improve the site? Do people want to slam good interpreters? Does it make sense to share experiences of how someone rocked in a classroom but wasn't right for a doctor's appointment? Maybe an interpreter who has a degree in Biology shouldn't be going to a courtroom but that is for the community to decide.
Looking forward to seeing the conversation happen.