Translation of Languages in Social Media: The Buzz at LocWorld

I recently attended Localization World, the premiere Translation/Localization Industry conference. I’ve been on the advisory committee for many years and I was impressed with the caliber of the presenters and the quality of the content.

There was a tremendous turnout with almost one-third from the client side, including industry leaders from Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Cisco, CA, Harley Davidson, and iStockphoto to name a few. Adam Wooten has done an excellent job of writing up some of the key sessions at the conference on his T&I Business blog.

I was asked to lead the discussion on Social Media at the Localization Business Roundtable. This medium-sized group was comprised of 90% from the LSP vendor side, and 10% from the client side. Also interesting to note is that 40% of the group was from outside of the U.S. It’s clear that there is keen interest in Social Media, and we’re all experimenting and finding our way.

I started out by sharing this video “Social Media Importance Explained.” My goal in presenting to this group was two-fold:

1.To educate, share and have a conversation around Social Media and the translation industry

2.Gain buy-in for the importance of raising the translation industry’s profile and how it should be thought of as an integral part of the strategic planning process for companies going global

Most global companies now derive over 50% of their revenue from outside of the U.S., yet for so many of these companies translation/localization is still an “afterthought” to quote Mary Laplante of Gilbane. It’s simply not given the attention or importance that it deserves. I look at Social Media as a way for the industry to get the attention of the C-level executives, educate and raise the awareness of its importance in the process of going global.

Of the popular Social Media platforms, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter were the focus. Twitter was the hottest topic since it was fairly new to most of those at the roundtable – everyone had heard of it, but few were signed up and actively tweeting. It has yet to gain real popularity outside of the U.S., though it is growing. (Some participants questioned whether it was the next “pet rock.” The next day Twitter made the announcement that they had reached agreement with both Microsoft and Google to integrate Twitter into their searches. I’m betting it’s not.)

I promised that I would provide the attendees with some helpful links to get started on Twitter. Here are just a few, there are hundreds out there:

If you haven’t been to Localization World, I hope to see you in Barcelona next June. I’m sure it will be another great program!

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