BlogTalk 2008 Proposal — Being Multilingual: Blogging in More Than One Language [en]

Here’s the proposal I just sent for [BlogTalk 2008](http://2008.blogtalk.net/) (Cork, Ireland, March 3-4):

> The strongest borders online are linguistic. In that respect, people who are comfortable in two languages have a key “bridge” role to play. Blogging is one of the mediums through which this can be done.

> Most attempts at bilingual (or multilingual) blogging fall in three patterns:

> – separate and independent blogs, one per language
> – one blog with proper translation of all content, post by post
> – one blog with posts sometimes in one language, sometimes in another

> These different strategies and other attempts (like community-driven translation) to use blogging as a means to bridge language barriers are worth examining in closer detail.

> Considering that most people do have knowledge (at least passive, even if incomplete) of more than one language, multilingual blogging could be much more common than it is now. The tools we use, however, assume that blogs and web pages are in a single language. Many plugins, however, offer solutions to adapt existing tools like WordPress to the needs of multilingual bloggers. Could we go even further in building tools which encourage multilingualism rather than hindering it?

> —-
> Extra material:

> I’ve gathered pointers to previous talks and writings on the topic here: [http://climbtothestars.org/focus/multilingual](http://climbtothestars.org/focus/multilingual) — most of them are about multilingualism on the internet in general, but this proposal is for a talk much more focused on blogging. Here is a video of the first talk I gave in this series (by far not the best, I’m afraid!) [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2096847420084039011](http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2096847420084039011) and which was about multilingual blogging — it can give you an idea of what this talk could look like, though I’ve refined my thinking since then and have now fallen in the grips of presentation slides. I also intend to base my talk on real-world examples of what bloggers are doing in the field.

> Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like more details for evaluating this proposal.

We had a long discussion on IRC about the fact that the submission process required a 2-page paper for a talk (in all honesty, for me, almost the same amount of sweat and tears as preparing the talk itself — I’ll let you figure that one out yourself). BlogTalk is a conference which aims to bridge the space between academics and practitioners, and a 2-page paper, I understood, was actually a kind of compromise compared to the usual 10-15 page papers academics send in when they want to speak at conferences.

The form was changed, following this discussion, to make the inclusion of the paper optional. Of course, this might reflect badly on proposals like mine or [Stowe’s](http://www.stoweboyd.com/message/2007/11/proposal-for-bl.html) which do not include a paper. We’ll see!

I’ll also be speaking on [structured portable social networks](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/08/16/we-need-structured-portable-social-networks-spsn/) during the workshop on [social network portability](http://webcamp.org/SocialNetworkPortability), the day before the conference.

Similar Posts:

Two Panel Submissions for SXSW Interactive (Language Issues) [en]

[fr] Il y a deux propositions portant mon nom pour SXSW -- merci de voter pour elles! Sinon, dates et description de mes prochaines conférences.

Je cherche aussi un "speaking agent" -- faites-moi signe si vous en connaissez un qui travaille avec des personnes basées en Europe. Merci d'avance!

Oh. My. God.

I just realised, [reading Brian’s post](http://www.brianoberkirch.com/2007/09/13/gum-flapping-youve-been-warned/), that I haven’t blogged about the two panel proposals I’m on for [SXSW Interactive next March in Austin, Texas](http://2008.sxsw.com/interactive/):

* [Opening the Web to Linguistic Realities](http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/544) (co-presenting with [Stephanie Troeth](http://www.webstandards.org/about/members/steph/))
** A basic assumption on the Internet is that everybody speaks and understands one language at a time. Globalism and immigration has created an even more prominent trend of multilingualism amongst the world’s inhabitants. How can the WWW and its core technologies keep up? How can we shift our biased perspectives?
* [Lost in Translation? Top Website Internationalization Lessons](http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/349) (panel I’m moderating)
** How do you publish software or content for a global audience? Our expert panel discusses lessons learned translating and localizing. Leaders from Flickr, Google, iStockphoto and the Worldwide Lexicon will tackle various marketing issues; how to translate the ‘feel’ of a Web site, and; best practices for software and content translation.

As you can see, both proposals revolve around the use of languages on the internet — and as you know, it’s one of the topics [I care about](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/06/22/what-do-you-care-about/) nowadays. I’ve spoken on this topic a few times now ([BlogCamp ZH](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/03/25/blogcamp-multilingual-blogging-session/), [Reboot9](http://www.reboot.dk/artefact-773-en.html), [Google Tech Talks](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/07/10/talk-languages-on-the-internet-at-google-tomorrow/)) and I’m looking forward to taking things further with these new chances to toss these problems around in public.

80 or so of the [700+ panel submissions to SXSW Interactive](http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/) will be selected by public voting and actually take place. That’s not a lot (roughly 10%). So **please** go and vote for these two panels (“Amazing” will do) so that they make it into the selection. I really want to go to Austin! (Can you hear me begging? OK, over. But please vote.)

Other than that, I have a few more talks planned in the coming months:

– a [talk on corporate blogging](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/08/11/corporate-blogging-talk-draft/) in Zürich ([MScom alumni Jour Fixe](http://www.mscomalumni.ch/news/events_full.html?events_id=47), private event) [Sept. 24]
– future jobs of the web (evolution of the “webmaster”) at [BlogCamp Lausanne](http://barcamp.ch/BarCampLausanne#Proposed_Sessions), and probably a second session either on languages or [teenagers online](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/09/09/informations-et-prevention-adolescents-et-internet/) [Sept. 29]
– a talk on being a blogging/social media consultant in Europe for [BlogOpen](http://blogopen.eu/) in Novi Sad, Serbia [Oct. Nov. 10]
– [Multilinguisme web et problèmes associés](http://2007.paris-web.fr/Vendredi-16-novembre#booth) in Paris for Paris Web [Nov. 16]

My [proposal for Web 2.0 Expo](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/08/09/another-multilingual-talk-proposal-web-20-expo-berlin/) didn’t make it, it seems, but I’ll probably submit something for [Web2Open](http://web2open.eu/).

And, as [you might have heard](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/273739252), **I’m looking for a speaking agent**. If you can recommend any good speaking agents who work with European-based speakers, please drop me a line or a comment.

Similar Posts:

Back to Being a Low-Tech Audience [en]

[fr] Dans une conférence où beaucoup de blogueurs sont présents, on a besoin de pauses-blogging 😉 -- et peut-être aussi de présentations qui tiennent bien dans un billet? Suivent quelques suggestions pour les personnes qui font des conférences -- sachant que je ne fais certainement pas tout ce que je dis.

Running a bit late for [Emmanuelle](http://emmanuelle.net)’s talk on anonymity online, I decided to go in without my laptop, which was in the other room. Decision also fueled by [my earlier cogitations about my decreasing attention span](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/02/02/attention-span-and-partial-attention/).

Well, there we are: I was more attentive and took [notes on paper](http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=94920455&size=o “On Flickr, large image file, be warned!”).

I was telling Robert that conferences like this lacked blogging breaks. The audience is in the real-time information business if you have lots of bloggers in the room, so if you don’t want them to spend half the talk time uploading photos, chatting, and writing up blog posts. So, how about give us blogging breaks, and plan post-sized talks? Wouldn’t that be neat?

For many people, the most interesting moments of a gathering like this is around and outside the talks. Try to change the balance a bit? I know there are organisational imperatives, but I’m sure a solution could be found.

Other than that, some ideas for speakers (and I’m aware I don’t do what I preach when I’m giving a talk):

– Give me an outline of the talk, paper would be best (I’ll get lost somewhere else by trying to find it online). If I tune out of your talk for a minute (and I’m bound to) I need a chance to tune back in. An outline will help with that.
– Be theatrical, keep me listening, or make me participate. Effective use of slides is good, but I don’t know how to do it so I won’t give you any advice on the topic.
– Don’t talk to fast, particularly when the audio in the venue isn’t too good. Articulate. (Yeah. Sorry.)

Update: I took hand-written notes of Robert’s talk too. Lesson learnt.

My Notes of Robert Scoble's Talk

Now let’s see if you can decypher my handwriting!

Similar Posts: