New York Internet businesses got a quick primer on localization and
internationalization issues on September 6, courtesy of the NYNMA
International SIG and some of Silicon Alley's leading companies.
About 100 executives of New York's top international and web
businesses were in the audience at the Canadian Consulate.
Karen Delfau of DoubleClick and John Reynolds of Screaming Media
described their efforts to fully internationalize and localize
their companies' web sites. Ted Rogers and Jonathan Rothman of
Register.com described the importance of protecting one's brand
globally and how to use domain registration and other services to
do so. Joel Saferstein of eTranslate described the services that
one can expect from a localization services firm.
The presentations were packed full of useful knowledge gained from
the experience of these companies and their clients. The panelists
made it clear that localization is much more than translation. And
once you get started, there are implications for your entire site
structure, technology and business organization. Children, do not
try this at home!
The extensive Q&A focused on how granular we can all get in our attempts
at localization. For example, should a site use "international
Spanish" on a single site or create multiple sites for Spain,
Mexico and Latin America. If there was an overriding lesson from
this session, it was to localize your content and navigation as much
as your budget will permit. But do it with the help of a professional
and the knowledge that a localized site is just one of the tools -- and
expenses -- necessary to establish your company in a new market.
This was the kick-off meeting for the new season of the
International SIG, which has been meeting since 1998. The SIG is
produced by Bill Fisher, of Open World Interactive (www.open-world.com),
and Barney Lehrer, of International Internet Strategies
(www.intlecom.com). Events are posted on the NYNMA web site
(www.nynma.org), on Courtney Pulitzer' Calendar of Events and announced
to SIG members through an email list IntrntlSIG@aol.com).