Online content is leaning towards a model that generates a much more engaged experience with the user. This is not only affecting the way companies communicate with their community, but also how they are engaging their users in other areas of the development process, such as the localisation of their content.
The fact that customers can now be used to translate content is proving very beneficial for developers:
Although this approach may look ideal – this model does present some challenges that are worth considering when evaluating a community-driven localisation model:
Users within a community cannot be pushed for deadlines. It is all about planning and having a comprehensive workflow that allows for assurances that time to market deadlines will be met.
Allowing users in our community to access part of source content early in the process needs to be carefully managed. Setting up translation environments that are protected from transferring data will be essential.
It isn’t all just about obtaining a free translation, but it is also about generating engagement with the international user community. The localisation process has to then become part of the marketing, user engagement and PR process too.
Volunteers will generally not be specialised translators and each local community could have different levels of quality, engagement or commitment to the translation process. It is important to assess and recognise different levels of involvement and address any inconsistencies within a long term plan.
It is really exciting to see companies looking towards their users for interaction at such early stages of their globalisation process. As long as the challenges are mitigated and the benefits realised, language service providers will continue to add value to their customers
Ultimately, it is down to the industry players to drive these models and apply the knowledge and tools available to facilitate and manage this engagement with the community.