I’ve read up on it, but I’m not quite sure what to do next. I’m a native English speaker looking to do some general editing or something along those lines. The information I’ve found so far only really says to go to a Channel Manager and let them know I’m interested in becoming a General Editor, but I’m not entirely sure if that’s all I have to do or if I need to do something else…?
It would be useful to browse Discussions. We have answered such queries innumerable times, including one today, with plenty of links with info.
There are 1,348,000,000 native English speakers. Surely they cannot all be qualified to edit.
Yes, I’m sorry that I’ve asked such a redundant question. I’ve looked even more into this myself, I just believed that it was necessary to ask first to make sure I don’t accidentally insult or irritate someone.
I’m not sure how this relates to my original question? I just want to try and contribute to the Viki community.
Here is the English Editors thread . . .
Viki is a large community of folks from a lot of different cultural backgrounds. The folks who are the most knowledgeable are also the busiest.
I have been watching Asian “stuff” on Crunchyroll, Dramafever, and Viki since about 2009, and though each group of people with a particular skill or interest loves talking shop–and does so with passion and clarity . . .
If you consider that everything about putting dramas up on Viki is time-sensitive and technical . . . and done by people from all over the globe who do not physically interact with each other . . . and if you consider that what was once a simple, peer to peer, volunteer, just for the joy of it collaboration has morphed into a high, powered, strictly for profit enterprise that places a lot of responsibility on volunteers who are rarely adequately compensated for sitting and working sixteen hours at a clip . . . then you can see why there is some crankiness in parts of Subville.
I have been feeling my way through what makes Viki tick for probably six years, have been wondering about various aspects of English usage; and the subbers who do X-to-English or who do weird-English to better-English subbing are just the coolest group, but it will probably be another six years before I can get my head around handling the process of subbing itself; it scares the daylights out of me!
Thanks for the help!
One thing I should say is that I think the work that Viki subbers is the finest and best example of devotion to excellence in any field, and I stand in awe of the intellectual ability that exists within the subbing community. But I am cynical about Viki’s official “support” of that community.
Why? You like stories? Here’s a Viki story that is complex, full of scenes of historical mystery, corporate intrigue, wu xia flashiness, student poverty, talent agency rising star abuse, and neighborhood residents who should be pelting political candidates with eggs but who aren’t doing it because “aren’t we family?”
When I first started watching Viki, the coding for creating webpages was simple, the quality of videos and subs was simple, the requirements for becoming a subber were simple. At least it seemed to me.
You are probably aware that ten years ago, it was easier to create a website and its content in terms of HTML code, but it was harder to put up a sophisticated website because of the amount of redundant code that needed to be included to allow users to navigate.
Websites used up a LOT of bandwidth, so website creators kept things minimalist, very Zen. Nothing was flashy or blingy or what I call “tapdancing porcupine”–nothing was showy or complicated. There was no throwing up stuff praying it would go viral overnight and get clicks and likes and pay for somebody’s new Range Rover, Thrive Market deliveries, $1200 iPhone, eyebrow tatoos, or cosplay contact lenses.
I have seen, on a couple of occasions, discussions about the expenses NOT necessary for Viki because subs are done by volunteers.
Why aren’t subbers paid?
What kind of incentive is it to say: join our exciting community and learn new skills and earn badges, and then when you’ve earned enough badges . . . win badges for earning enough badges?
The reality is that the powers that be at Viki.com cannot ever adequately compensate the incredibly educated, hardworking, dedicated, picky, demanding, perfectionist volunteers who work on an amazing array of videos that stream daily in various Asian languages with an amazing array of subs.
Case in point is me. I have a certain love of my native language and its literature because my parents and grandparents and great grandparents were teachers, tutors, doctors, engineers, even postmasters and technical writers. I was expected to go to school and earn a degree so I could teach in a college. So I went, honed my love of language well, and failed to complete my degree because I disagreed often with several male, mysoginistic professors who laughed at me for believing in beauty.
At the time, the economy was bad, and so I found a civil service job and spent 26 years “working for the man.” I never had an academic career but I kept my skills up.
I created web content for the department I worked for when the web was new. I wriote poetry in a workshop and submitted it to little magazines, both hard copy and online. I drew cartoons for my own amusement and still do. I started a blog as an outlet for my cranky views on life.
I put together my church newsletter. I taiught ESL. I was the speech-writer, publicist, and brochure creator for a Nepali-American friend who ran for City Council and lost (now he runs a non-profit, and I am his assistant doing research on issues related to AAPI violence and getting paid in iced coffee).
I found a way to deepen my love of English and sharpen my skills in using it despite never becoming an academic type. I can’t wave a big, fat professional resume under anyone’s nose, but the reality is I have at least thirty-seven years of experience under my belt which has a value (depending on which part of the world I look at) of $300,000 to $600,000 USD.
And anyone who partipates in this forum and discussses and argues and wonders and wrangles and begs and pleads and debates the beauties of English relative to the many dramas put up on Viki . . . and ALSO puts that love to use actually subbing . . . wow. Their work is worth even more.
For the sake of argument, let’s say there are 1,000 volunteer subbers world-wide who each know English and one other language. They know and love it well enough to have gotten hired by the world’s largest TV network, essentially what Viki is, and they have all been allowed to carry out their pet projects for ten years (Viki was founded in 2010 and eventually bought out DramaFever).
So there are 1,000 subbers knowledgeable enough and skilled enough to do their jobs in their sleep, some working essentially full-time on their passion, some working only part-time.
Let’s take $400,000 USD as the annual value of each person’s work. Multiplied by 1,000 is $400,000,000 USD.
Multiplied by ten years is $4,000,000,000.
Can that be right? Get out the calculators, folks and check it out.
Below is why subbers will never get paid for basically carrying Viki on their intensely educated, careful, precise, yet passionate shoulders . . .
According to https://blog.viki.com/looking-ahead-into-2019-with-our-new-ceo-sam-wu-34337297aa34, Sam Wu became the CEO of Viki, Inc. in 2019. “Wu joined Viki in 2012 and has over a decade of experience in building and leading high growth media and technology businesses.”
I have not been able to find his salary, but according to https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/5/2/18522927/ceo-pay-ratio-tech-employee-salary-2018, for American Internet CEOS, getting paid to rule Virtual Land is a sweet deal.
“Overall, tech CEO salary rose 15 percent last year on average to $6.6 million, according to preliminary proxy statement data from executive compensation company Equilar, which looks at the 3,000 largest companies in the US by market cap. The average median pay for all their workers actually declined 2 percent to $82,500, for a CEO to employee pay ratio of 129 to 1.”
Mr. Wu probably enjoys a similar type of salary, with his employees (his actual paid employees–350 or so of them) earning a similar type of salary as well.
Obvioulsy Mr. Wu is gettig paid to do a lot more than run Viki, Inc., but according to https://www.owler.com/company/viki, Viki, Inc. generates a measly $55,000,000 USD in annual revenue . . . as a subsidiary of Rakuten, Inc. which pulls in a bit more with all its subsidiaries.
“Makoto Yasuda, chief operating officer at Rakuten Viki, said the service has 24 million registered members – the company doesn’t share subscriber totals – and is growing 40% year over year. Rakuten Viki is a hybrid ad-supported/subscription service.”
Any subbers feeling slightly used yet?
The article does describe the early days of Viki when it was truly a labor of love and actually kept afloat solely by volunteers. That is when I first encountered it and was both awe-struck by its offerings and baffled by the early-internet process of getting onto the Viki website.
“Yasuda said that before Rakuten acquired Viki in 2013 (for a reported $200 million), the service started out as a student project for translating YouTube content into other languages. Now it’s grown into a large content library with community elements including comments – that Yasuda said provides a ‘sort of co-viewing experience.’ There’s also private messaging, rating of the shows and opportunities to subtitle. The subtitling is done by volunteers who Yasuda said do it to help spread the content and because it makes them feel like they are a part of the content.”
But wait, there’s more.
According to https://www.forbes.com/profile/hiroshi-mikitani/?sh=7a4704d02ff5, the owner of Rakuten Viki, Mikitani Hiroshi, is worth “$7.7B as of 3/29/21.” Oh, and hey, “In 2019, Rakuten posted a loss of $301 million, its first since 2011.”
Don’t be under any illusion that the Viki chaebols are grateful for subbers or care about their 20-hour days getting shows subbed and up on the website. Don’t be under any illusion that they care about the quality of the subs OR the shows beyond what it takes to convince Viki “freeloaders” that they “need” a subscription.
Lovers of Viki and the English language might be able to parlay their obsession into writing a script for one of the Viki original English-only shows, but I can think of only TWO that I have seen in the past five years.
The point is that subbers have a level of skill and committment that puts them on a financial par with their . . . bosses? Collaborators? Overseers?
But will never be paid or treated with that level of courtesy and respect.
Just today, I got a Viki badge that make me laugh.
“Okay, enough of me talking about me. Now you talk about me.” Seriously?
It’s a classic K-drama arranged and abusive marriage.
But the reality is that, without Viki, we who admire the creators of universal, timeless, stories of human struggle, hope, and love (and food !) would never be able to enjoy or share them as they deserve.
The Forbes article also mention that, "Rakuten spent $900 million in 2014 to buy messaging service Viber, which competes with Facebook’s WhatsApp. "
I would consider it fair subber compensation if Rakuten Viki spent money to regularly upgrade the tech that lets subs be created and added to all the shows that go up (day after day, month after month, year after year).
How much could it cost?
According to https://global.rakuten.com/corp/investors/assets/doc/documents/ar_2019_all.pdf, they can afford it.
But I’m not holding my breath. I don’t want to die of asphyxiation.
I want to live and enjoy Viki and the amazing folks who care about Asian dramas and give their highest and best every day out of pure love.
I read your note? I applaud your in-depth evaluation. ♀ ♀
I love the amount of effort you put into this and totally agree with you on this:
I’m really thankful for all the volunteers here. They’re not just volunteering alone, a lot of them take the time and effort to teach newbies and help them along! I’ll never get tired of saying THANK YOU!!