The Global Discussion

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Several weeks ago I sat down with Nathan Lipson, a journalist from Israel, and talked to him about the market meltdown, venture capital, and what is going on in the US economy. I blogged about it the next day and that started a great discussion that currently numbers a great discussion.

Nathan posted his article sometime in the past day or two and it’s available here. Unfortunately I can’t read Hebrew and so I’ve asked a few friends of mine who do to let me know how the article came out.

There are many web page translation services on the web and I tried out a few that claimed to do hebrew to english but gave up after a few failures. I am sure that there’s a tool that would work, but I didn’t find it and like many things on the web, I gave up after a few tries.

But this experience brings up a broader issue. The readers of this blog are global. In the past month, this blog’s web pages have been visited by almost 120,000 people from 165 countries. The top six countries are all english speaking (US, UK, Canada, India, Australia, Ireland) but the rest of the top ten are France, Germany, Netherlands, and Singapore. The top fifty countries all registered 100 visitors or more and include places like Vietnam, Estonia, and Pakistan.

The posts and comments and discussion on this blog are entirely in english, which makes sense, but it does limit the discussion. It would be great if there was a "translate" button on the front page of the blog and in the comment system and people could participate in this "social media" regardless of language.

And because of the architecture of the web, those translations don’t have to be provided by Six Apart and/or Disqus.

I am wondering if there is an api version of the translation web services that I visited this morning seeking a hebrew to english translation? There should be. And it could be peer produced and open sourced like wikipedia is. We could collectively translate the web for each other. Maybe someone is doing this. If so, I’d like to learn about it. If not, let’s make it happen.

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