Which langauges to translate in?

When you think about which locales to choose, and which languages to translate in, I always recommend to think of locales as markets, not as languages. That way you focus on the right things when choosing locales. But still, I’m trying to improve my understanding of how to select locales. What are the things you consider when choosing which languages to translate your website in? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

I keep hearing about companies doing a browser based desktop, and I keep thinking “what a bad idea”. It’s just seems like a real misunderstanding of the opportunities and the gaps of the new canvas (the browser).

If browsers were to support OPML as well as RSS, I could click an OPML file, and the way my browser asks me which reader I want to use for an RSS feed, it would do the same for the list of RSS feeds found in the OPML. In other words, we could easily share RSS subscriptions lists. I hope that will happen one day soon. Then I could subscribe to all the Google blogs by clicking 1 link instead of visiting each one and finding the RSS.

If I have memorized a number in English, I can only recall it in English. The same with Dutch. Weird.

What to do with Yahoo? Some smart stuff again from Dave Winer.

“Some analyst told them they needed to gain economy and synergy from
their acquisitions by centralizing and eliminating duplication, but
this makes no sense. Their goal isn’t to economize, the goal is to grow.” Exactly.

“The problem with Yahoo is too many people for too few opportunities.” – nail on the head!

I actually have a different analysis of Yahoo, from an information architecture point of view. The failed 360 experiment they did kid of moved them away from social networking, but they shouldn’t. 360 was too geeky, and missed lots of social network opportunities. It’s time to do it right.

http://paste2.org let’s you copy and paste some code (PHP, HTML, …) and then gives you a short URL to give to people to watch that code. It’s simple and very useful. Posts are retained for up to 30 days since they were last viewed. “Paste2 was created because these days pastebin.com is never working.”

If in Mysql, you get “#1062 – Duplicate entry” error when trying to make a column with lots of data auto-increment, check if there’s a row where that column = 0. If you remove that, it might work again. Not sure why.

Hackday brought people together by letting them do what they enjoy. Similarly, I remember the first two Vloggercons, which, however great they were, were trying to be too much of a tech conference. For videobloggers. Somehow. Pixelodeon on the other hand is a video event for videobloggers, where they can make and watch videos. Makes much more sense.

What did I learn today? When you organize events, don’t try to be like conference X or Y, just let people do what they like to do, but together.

But weirdly for me, if you were looking for the heart of the event. If
you were looking for the absolutely best time that made it all
worthwhile for me, it was overnight. It was the period between nine and
two am where everyone was doing precisely what they wanted to do. Where
the lighting was atmospheric, where the coding was focused and everyone
seemed to flow, where the room was gently buzzing with key-strokes. And
the experience of all of those people turning around to the stage and
running like kids to watch Doctor Who on a huge screen with a hundred
of their peers and friends for one of the most extraordinary
cliff-hanging episodes of the series was just amazing. It was more like
being at home than being at home is.

Now that’s radical: “Store as much data as possible on Amazon Simple Storage System (S3),
NOT in your database and just store the S3 key to the data in your
database. Consider putting any blob or large text fields in S3.”

Would you dare that?

Back home. Hackday was cool. We got struck by lightning. English sandwiches are still soggy though.

If you say “my photos are on my Flickr, there’s plenty of space there” in Flemish (as I did recently), people may laugh out loud.

http://omg.yahoo.com/ OMG! Cool name, but they messed it up with the yahoo part. But seriously: bad branding decision. It’s like Cherry Coke. I learnt that much about branding, I continue to be surprised that a company like Yahoo gets these basic branding things wrong (overextending the brand). Yahoo doesn’t stand for celebrity news, so why make that part of the brand. They should have gotten OMG.com and created a new brand – now that has potential.

Children as young as seven years old were ‘forcibly disappeared’ by the
CIA, according to report published today jointly by six human rights
groups naming 39 people who are believed to have been held in secret US
custody and whose current whereabouts remain unknown. More

That’s one big submarine:

  • Her nuclear-powered engine will propel her through the water at more
    than 20 knots, yet the UK’s first stealth sub makes less noise than a
    baby dolphin
    , making her as good as undetectable by enemy ships.
  • Astute’s
    sonar is so advanced that if she was lying in the English Channel she
    would be able to detect ships leaving New York
    harbour 3,000 nautical
    miles away (although the details of how she can do this are
  • The nuclear reactor will never need refuelling,
    and with an ability to make oxygen and drinking water out of sea water,
    the sub could stay underwater for its entire 25-year lifespan were it
    not for the needs of the crew.

2 lessons from building (& then selling) my startup

  1. It’s a marathon, not a sprint
  2. Enjoy the trip

That’s easy. And because some blogposts are better as embedded slideshows (I heart slideshare):

To recap:

  • In 2004, I built the first version of Mefeedia in a weekend based on an idea by Kenyatta. It was the first video aggregator.
  • Then I spent LOADS of weekends on it, and over the years also took a few months off (twice!) to work on it fulltime. So the first lesson is: it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It’s easy to get started.
  • I also put in about 15-ish000 $ for outside coders and hosting.
  • In the end, I decided to sell it on eBay, but before could do that, I got an offer and accepted. It was a hard decision but also an easy one.

So with my new ventures, I’m very careful about the marathon I choose to run. And I still do it for the voyage, not for the possible reward at the end.

Donald Norman has grown “sick and tired of hearing people praise
its clean, elegant look.â€? He’s angry that Google gets credit for being
so simple when all they’re doing is providing a single feature from
their homepage: “Anybody can make a simple-looking interface if the
system only does one thing.�

That’s ridiculous. It is incredibly HARD to make a simple-looking interface, and Google does NOT do 1 thing. Incredibly hard.

And here’s another one: “Rome had trouble maintaining a distinction between public and private
responsibilities—and between public and private resources. The line
between these is never fixed, anywhere. But when it becomes too hazy,
or fades altogether, central government becomes impossible to steer. It
took a long time to happen, but the fraying connection between imperial
will and concrete action is a big part of What Went Wrong in ancient
Rome. America has in recent years embarked on a privatization binge
like no other in its history, putting into private hands all manner of
activities that once were thought to be public tasks—overseeing the
nation’s highways, patrolling its neighborhoods, inspecting its food,
protecting its borders.”

And lets not forget, privatized prisons.

More proof that the US has definitely lost its “moral leadership” role in the world (which it took on after WW2 and has been abusing ever since). How can they recover from this? I don’t think they can.