2,355 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
Editor's Note: In this guest post, Lingotek CEO Rob Vandenberg explains how localized content management systems can attract and retain a crowd of community members.
Companies seeking growth in today's unsettled economy are turning to customers who live outside of the United States out of necessity. In the constellation of viable options that allow companies to reach and build lasting relationships with new customers, few shine brighter than the use of a content management system. Using CMS in the course of building a customer community offers businesses a one-two punch: it’s an overt way to communicate that the long-term viability of the community is important to them, as well as a more subtle, revenue-related way to strengthen the business relationship.
With the vast majority of future potential community members living in countries where languages other than English are spoken, beginning to think about how to service these international customers is an important change in mindset. According to a November 2008 report from the Common Sense Advisory, 70% of current internet users around the world visit sites in their native language. These potential community members have clear preferences about using their native language when interacting online, which is why companies like Microsoft, Oracle, Drupal, and Jive have taken steps to localize their content management system.
Companies with localized content management systems have found that customers are more likely to be successful in using the system when the interface is in the native language. Perhaps more importantly, they have found that expending the resources necessary to localize their CMS has the added benefit of signaling to customers that their business is valuable. This in turn makes customers more likely to stick around longer and contribute more to the community, an undeniable advantage when trying to build a robust user community.
A second potent way that companies are using CMS to grow their online communities is by offering translation solutions through the CMS itself. Companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, Drupal and Jive are finding that using their CMS to offer translation solutions for the content presents their customers with a range of possibilities that has not been available in the past. In fact, offering crowdsourcing options to handle the translation of material in their CMS has Novell and Drupal Client poised to have an important competitive advantage in the CMS market in the years to come. Their customers have the flexibility to choose more expensive professional translation for important documents, while relying on crowdsourcing to translate the less mission-critical documents.
CMS which does not offer translation options represents a vital missed opportunity, and companies who choose to use such systems will soon find themselves without access to the largest growth opportunities in the market. Some offer no support for translation at all, while others offer support, but only through the use of professional translators. This lack of flexibility will lead to entire market segments being lost by companies using CMS without tightly integrated translation support. Companies without a translation-friendly CMS are also missing out on the community building power that having a localized interface and a chance to help with the translation of the content in the system can provide.
- Rob Vandenberg is the President CEO of Lingotek, a crowdsource-based language translation company. Prior to being named CEO, Vandenberg served as the company's VP of sales and marketing. Prior to Lingotek, Rob was one of the first 20 U.S. employees at INTERSHOP Communications where he helped build its worldwide business & helped make the INTERSHOP IPO one of the most successful enterprise software company IPOs in US history - ($10B market cap). Later, Rob co-founded and served as the CEO of LocalVoice, which was acquired by HarrisConnect in 2005. Rob received a bachelor's degree in political economics from UC Berkeley.