International Search Summit London – Regina Bustamante, Plaxo

Community Translation in Social Networking

Plaxo is moving beyond the US market and beyond the English language as well – taking advantage of the social networking nature – harnessing the power of the crowd to expand beyond initial markets by localizing the site into different languages.

Traditional Globalization model: localization process after development of global product

Plaxo has released 7 languages with this traditional model (German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese)

The social nature of sites allows the adoption of a web 2.0 localization model

  • collective intelligence
  • playfullness
  • social affiliation
  • user generated content
  • collaborative conversations

Member sourcing is different:

  • non traditional forms of recruiting
  • different quality model
  • non financial compensation
  • flexibility around release dates

Benefits of the model:

  • accelerates the global expansion (FaceBook took 24 hours to be translated into French)
  • cost effective scalability

Plaxo has grown significantly in Italy with a strong base of volunteers that have significantly progressed the translation for the Italian market.

Idiosyncrasies of the model:

  • The crowd shifts (user crowd varies considerably)
  • The crowd is restless (low attention span busy, impatient, not interested anymore, not enough time …)
  • The crowd is opinionated (feel at ease to provide feedback on just about everything especially the user experience on the portal , feedback on other peoples translations … direct feedback from many people)

The rewards from this approach

  • Meaningful connections with people
  • help promote and is promoted as their work via blogs and twitter

Leave a Reply

Yandex.Metrica