The Rise of THE OTHER WEB.
Badly educated people from poor countries speaking bad English visit all the sites you visit, diligently fill out online forms, register on websites, and even provide feedback with numerous grammatical errors. However, these people never convert into anything valuable no matter how you look at it: neither eCommerce-wise, nor active users. These people like an asteroid junk belt hoovering somewhere in the dark corners of the web. They are abundant, they are powerful in their numbers, but individually, they are meaningless and pointless. These people make your start-up look pompous: “Look, we got users registering!” But if you look deeper, you’ll be facing a lonely disappointment.
So, what is the solution?
1. Don’t listen to marketing consultants who will advise to spend tons of money on paid website translation and localization. You will write a fat check, the website will be converted into foreign languages, visitors will presumably come, but… they won’t do anything. The problem is that visitors in developing countries are really poor. They are so poor that their online banking infrastructure is years behind the US. Even if it exists, it is so cumbersome and fraud susceptible, that no one will really use it. Thus, the advise #1 – DO NOT SPEND ANY MONEY ON TRANSLATION.
2. Don’t use translation widgets either. Google, Bing, and other derivative machine translators that offer free translation buttons that will convert your website into any other language on a fly. The problem with this approach is that it is bad, slow, lonely and non-crawlable. Here is the breakdown:
- a. Bad – the quality will be the worst. Visitors will laugh at this translation and will not take it seriously.
- b. Slow – machine translators experience outages from time to time. If the service is overloaded, your visitors won’t get the translation.
- c. Lonely – each has to click and get a unique translated version.
As you can see, we are facing a quandary: you can’t paid for website translation, and you can’t use free machine translation either. What you are left to do?
Crowdsourcing is a cool thing. Just look at the example of Facebook or Twitter. They never paid for their website translation, nor they used machine widgets. They simply used their community to leverage translation efforts and bring their websites to as many languages as 90! Crowdsourcing allowed them to use the smarts of their registered users to translate and vote for best translations all without paying a dime for it!
Well, many of you don’t have the community to crowdsource your website the way Facebook or Twitter did. That’s the problem. And people from Ackuna.com have addressed it. Ackuna.com – is a FREE language crowdsourcing platform that can be used to translate any piece of content to any language with the help of a language community. It works similarly to wikipedia. Anyone can register and contribute his/her own translation. The best translation, or the translation with the most amount of votes will be deemed acceptable. It is web developer friendly and users can upload files in up to 10 different formats:
1. Microsoft Excel (.xls)
2. Microsoft Office Open XML (.xlsx)
3. Android XML (.xml)
4. Ruby YAML (.yml)
5. Blackberry Resource (.rrc)
6. iOS Strings (.strings)
7. Java configuration (.properties)
8. Gnu Gettext Protable Object (.po)
9. XML Localisation Interchange File Format (.xlf)
10. .NET Framework Resources (.resx)
Many developers know how to re-format their website content strings and supply them for translation in any of Ackuna’s 10 supported formats. This opens doors for millions of small businesses to have their websites translated and localized in as many as 25 languages at virtually no cost!
The language community at Ackuna.com is learning language. People will contribue their time and expretise for the sake of gaining reputation and honing their language skills. Thus it is a win-win situation for both clients and vendors.
Ackuna.com is still in beta mode, but steadily gaining ground. Come, take a look, register and contribute your project or translation!
If you are scared of the changing web, you need to place your bets early!