One Site to rule them all, One Site to find them,
One Site to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
On the Portal of PrADs where the Shadows lie.
Still, there is economically redeeming value for some at The Translation Workhouse, even if the moderator purges and overzealous hypermoderation in the past year have diminished the socially redeeming value somewhat. Community is where you find it, and these days, the community of translators which developed over a decade at ProZ is mostly found elsewhere. The site retains considerable entertainment value if you are fond of historical philosophy and economics as I am (particularly Hobbes and Malthus and their relevance to the "translation industry"), and I still get contacted by the occasional really cool client via my profile. Now that the troublemakers have moved on to other pastures, I am comforted by the predictable litany of complaints about low rates, trouble with SDL Trados Studio 2009, difficulties understanding PDF and even greater difficulties understanding basic business issues like how to write an invoice. Which you can do, of course, with the handy-dandy invoicing tool on the site ("Trust in me, just in me...."). There are some who don't have an issue with waking up in a snake's belly some day. I'll stick to Translation Office 3000 or other solutions, thank you.
Today I got a call from a friend in another country who has relied on PrADs up to now for nearly all her marketing, and she is one of the crowd who have long bought into the KudoZ game to position themselves in the search engine rankings. Her language pair is now beginning to experience the same politics and discord that I have heard of with Chinese and other languages, she's being virtually "stalked" by some nutcase who compulsively disagrees with her answers, she has been reprimanded for being "aggressive" by answering with a smiley, etc. Like many others, she was worried about how to work within that system, "fix" it, make it more "fair" and so on. Ain't gonna happen. Life's unfair, and you're even more unfair to yourself if you rely on a single platform for your livelihood. That's just as stupid, really, as relying on a single client. Spread your risk!
My advice was to move beyond Mordor, let the orcs squabble among themselves and create your own platform for expression and advertising. If you are a Latvian legal translator, for example, frustrated with idiotic KudoZ answers that are chosen over your correct ones, don't eat yourself up with frustration. Rejoice at the opportunity. Start a blog about legal terminology in Latvian, and highlight correct solutions, warn of possible mistranslations, publish brief reviews of special vocabulary for various legal sub-areas, etc. Show that you are an expert in a public forum that is well indexed by search engines, and a better class of clients will find you. Your bank manager will love you for it even if your psychiatrist will miss those weekly sessions. Other translators will love you. One guy did something like this for Swiss legal German and its English equivalents, and although I'm not gay, I'm tempted to kiss him. Swiss German can be a real challenge at times, and there are few good references. Can you say the same about specialties of yours in your language pairs? Yes? Then be the standard for reference!