Insomnia (insomnia) wrote in lj_biz,

Kickstarting international communities

Awhile back, there was a person on a maillist that I belong to that was interested in finding Brazilian webloggers. Well, I pointed out the brasil community, but at the time it was really, really dead, despite LJ having a relatively large Brazilian contingent. In comparison, the number of Russian users on LiveJournal was only slightly larger at the time, yet it had a very active Russian community. I was getting contacted by Russian computer magazines, even, and all the attention was making the number of Russian users grow significantly faster than LiveJournal's rate of growth in other countries.

As a result, even though I didn't know I word of Portuguese, I consulted babelfish and an online dictionary, then posted to the brasil community in late November... it took awhile before someone noticed my post, but then a small group of Brazilians dedicated to creating community came out of the woodwork. Thanks to them, membership for Brasil went up about fourfold in just the past two weeks, and we're seeing signs of real community!

This gives me the warm fuzzies. Things like this are what I work for. It's what LiveJournal should be working towards worldwide.

With the upcoming internationalization support we have planned (which will support a world of different characters on LiveJournal), having strong worldwide communities in place now would be a great way to kickoff the internationalization of the site later.

As you might have noticed by now, LiveJournal is dynamic. There is no reason that LiveJournal can't be displayed in dozens of different languages, but in order to do that, having strong international communities and potential translators in place will be really important!

According to the World Factbook, there are around 200 countries out there</a>. As I've found out, you don't need to know the language to either create or help promote international communities. If you use tools like Babelfish for translation or sites like Google to locate and contact people who might be interested in help you in the creation, translation, or promotion of a LJ community for their nation, then you're well on your way.

For larger countries, there is no reason why we can't have several volunteers promoting national sites. Still, some of the most fun and potentially challenging communities to create might be for places you don't know anything about. Want to take a stab at bringing LiveJournal to Burkina Faso? It's certainly possible, and I think it would be fascinating...

If you are interested in promoting or creating an international community with LiveJournal, please reply to this post. I will do what I can to work with you so that we create more international communities and ideally make those international communities that are already out there more successful.

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