On April 7, I had the privilege of being a panelist on the Women in Localization Crowdsourcing event at Acclaro. Hosted by COMSYS‘s Linda Roslund and André Pellet, the evening consisted of a wine and cheese meet-and-greet, followed by our panel presentations, a Q & A session, and networking over coffee, and topped off with exotic chocolates.
Our hosts created an interesting and unique agenda for discussion. My localization colleague, Regina Bustamante, from Guidewire, and I, were tasked with selling our community translation approach to a room full of CEO’s and/or CIO’s. How delightful to see a room full of thirty-plus women industry leaders (even if only pretend)!
Adobe’s approach is to build strong ties with its communities: strong engagement; high commitment; community empowerment. Many and varied communities already exist: Adobe User Groups, Adobe Learning Communities, Adobe Forums, Adobe Community Professionals, and Adobe Prerelease programs, to name just a few. We know our customers use our products to produce, create, design and develop content in one or multiple languages. They continually contribute to the enhancement and quality improvement of our products, whether that be through patch submissions, bug filings, feedback at Beta, comments on Help docs, or translations. Our job is to make the process easy, as well as the programs supportive and responsive.
If your company does not have a community translation program, it’s not so hard to get started! Begin the conversation with your communities; they may already have been discussing such an initiative. Listen to what their needs and requirements are. More times than not, they are the ones to launch such programs because they need content and products in languages that your company may not be able to support at this time.
What do you already have in place for such a program and where might you need to invest?
- Staff: Roles are constantly changing. Leverage your team’s skills and ask that everyone spend some percentage of time on community engagement. Everyone benefits: your employees learn to understand customer requirements, and your community knows you listen. Your communities may wish to act as moderators, or you might have to hire for those roles.
- Infrastructure: Determine if you can adapt or extend your current globalization content management platform and other translation technology tools to the community. You may need to purchase, lease or build additional pieces.
- Quality controls: Ask, or even expect, the community to “police” themselves if the community is big enough or has strong leadership. Otherwise, utilize your current Language Service Providers in this new role.
- Contributions: All you need is a passionate community! Don’t forget about recognition and rewards. Community love your products, but they also need to know that you value and appreciate the extra time and efforts they donate.
One excellent example of a successful and growing community translation project is Adobe TV. Adobe has partnered with dotSub to extend the reach of Adobe TV content by enabling volunteer translators worldwide to translate videos into any language. At last viewing, there were 32 languages available, 246 published translations with 136 in progress, and 427 translators with another 101 being registered and qualified.
In the near future, I’ll showcase some other community translation projects.