Entrepreneur Brian McConnell and I have been trading mail for the last couple of months about his latest project — the WorldWide Lexicon. It’s a social network for translating web pages. Prettty simple idea, but perhaps also very compelling.
The way it works is as follows:
- You register your site with WWL (Saunderslog is already done)
- You encourage your readers to help translate your site into whatever languages they speak; direct them to demo.worldwidelexicon.org. (direct friendly URLs such as saunders.worldwidelexicon.org are coming this week)
- Bilingual readers contribute and edit translations; monolingual readers can view translations in any language that someone has posted translations for (when you go to demo.worldwidelexicon.org you’ll see a grid of two letter language codes beneath each site, all you need to do is click on the code for the language you speak and read the translations or add your own
- Translations are published on WWL as HTML, and also output as RSS loopback feeds, so you can loop them right back into your blog. Brian plans to be doing a lot to make republishing easy for publishers and for readers.
Many large sites are obviously candidates for full translations, and even selected elements of smaller sites make sense.