The internet is going the way of the cloud, and in principle cloud technology presents the opportunity for the ProZ.com team to take steps to promote the services of ProZ.com members beyond the confines of ProZ.com. Imagine an LSP or client using, say, a mobile app to access you directly for translation or interpreting services, without ever needing to go to ProZ.com. Cloud technology makes that possible, and we have been taking steps in that direction.
How far along is the effort to establish that sort of "new client channel"?
Efforts are in the early stages, and in any event, it takes time for habits to change. But we believe this is the future. What we have seen so far is that client activity at TM-Town is increasing, and separately, there are a few agencies already using ProZ.com cloud services to discover the services of ProZ.com members from within their own management systems. (Some of you reading this have been contacted.) We are also in discussions to establish partnerships to promote the translation and interpreting services of ProZ.com members.
What external channel-related features have been released so far?
These are all detailed on the Plus service package landing page. From there you can read about each release, view introductory videos, and provide your feedback.
The value of the "external client connections" included in the Plus package is shown as $144+. Where does that figure come from?
The value of the "external client connections" is difficult to quantify at this time. But we can say that membership in one of the "external channels" alone, TM-Town, costs $144 and is included in the Plus package.
I already have a paid TM-Town membership. What happens when I buy the Plus package?
Your current TM-Town membership will be synced/extended to match the renewal date of your ProZ.com membership. If you are on a paid monthly plan, your payments will be stopped. If you are on a paid annual plan, you will be refunded the pro rata amount of the remainder of your membership period.
I am not interested in TM-Town, and the concept of "external channels" seems too vague to me right now.
In that case, to be on the safe side, you might want to assume a value of zero for "external channels".