The adventures of an analog engineer and digital storyteller who studies emerging networks and their impact on the great game of business.

International Companies are constantly battling with the language barrier — the fact that most company information is written in its county-of-origin language (probably English), yet all customers don’t speak that language. The company is then forced to translate its content into multiple languages, thus increasing its content-management-complexity geometrically.

I just learned about a new service that addresses this problem — at least from a video perspective. I’ll introduce it as a riddle:

What do you get when you cross YouTube with a Wiki?

Dotsub combines Wikinomics ideas to add subtitles to a video. Here’s how it works.

  • You upload a video to the dotSub site.
  • You add subtitles that are timed to align with the video.
  • Then, based on the permissions that you set, others can add their own translations to the video.

Depending on how many languages that you translate your subtitles into, your viewers may choose what works best for them — watching your video with subtitles in their native language.

So, imagine this. You create a 3 minute corporate video of your CEO talking about an interesting topic. You upload it to the dotSub server, but restrict access to a select few — specifically, hand-picked people in your major international offices. You send an email asking these folks to add a translation for their native language. At a specific deadline, you open up the permissions, so that anyone can view it — complete with many options to see the subtitles in their own language.

Are you feeling New Media Evangelical? Open up permissions for ANYONE to add new translations to cover languages that your company can’t.

Feeling Traditional? Just screw-up your courage and go for it anyways! 🙂


Filed under: Content Development


[…] – An interesting Web 2.0 approach to the challenge of translations, this is a video sharing site which allows you to basically “open source” the creation of your international subtitles. (Thanks, RonAmok) […]

Overman’s Blog » OverByte #4
December 8, 2007

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