After I published my recent note on online proZtitution and the race to the bottom on commercial translation portals, I received a polite e-mail from someone who is working to build a better "jobs board" for translation projects. I've received quite a few messages like this in the past four years since I started this blog.
But I fail to see a compelling case for yet another intermediary site for job auctions or anything of that sort.
There is certainly good sense in professional associations with a vetted membership upgrading their directory sites and making them easier for potential clients to find and use, and for some time now I have felt that the leaders of major organizations like the ATA, ITI, IoL, SFT, BDÜ, etc. ought to link their directories and allow better international searches as a counterweight to the less than optimal listings one finds on PrAdZ and other sites.
There's even more sense in individual language service providers improving their online presence in ways that helps prospects find them and recognize a good fit.
The largest commercial portal for translation job auctions has become increasingly irrelevant to all but the low-end commodity market that is probably better off with Gargled Translate given its expectations. The predominance of Indian, Chinese and Eastern European language sausage purveyors (LSPs) on ProZ has driven many serious brokers and service providers elsewhere; a decade ago, even five years ago, a number of interesting inquiries came through that channel, but today they inevitably find me via the BDÜ directory or other channels I more or less control.
So I wish all the aspiring intermediates success with their planned sites and hope they can in fact make a difference in some useful way, but for the most part, translators should look to "home remedies" for curing what may ail their businesses.