Monthly Archives: February 2011

Twitter begins crowd-sourced translations

Recently I became aware of Twitter’s new translation initiative that enlists the help of its user base. I think it’s a unique and possibly worthwhile gamble. After all, the translations are free, and twitter pays it users by giving them a …. “special badge on their public Twitter page displaying their status as an official Twitter translator.”

The idea is simple enough. An invited twitterer/translator logs into their site. Having been identified as a translator, the user sees additional buttons on their twitter web UI…buttons that allow you to translate the page labels and text. Cool.

Twitter wants to translate into all the world’s language eventually. For now, however, they’ll settle on these in the short term:

  • French
  • German
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Spanish

Hey, great idea, Twitter. I wonder if the “special badge” of honor will be enough to enlist talented, real help?


Take care in speaking and writing your customer’s name

No matter how many times it happens, I still feel somewhat surprised that companies still don’t know how to gather form data, move it through their database and use it without destroying something as simple as a name. My most recent surprise came just today, this time from Ford Motor Company.

Apparently I had filled out an online form and included my name. Unfortunately, Ford didn’t quite know what to do with the apostrophe in my family name. They turned it into a form similar to an html character entity reference but they seem to have scrubbed out the semi-colon from the “'” reference. Here’s the US postal address they used to reach me recently.


Aah, when will they learn?