More than 6,000 languages are spoken in the world today. It has become increasingly important to communicate across global divides, and digital technologies offer many ways to reach out globally and locally. However, this is clearly a complex process—but GALA is there to help.
The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) is an association for the translation, internationalization, localization, and globalization industry. GALA was formed in 2002 by 15 localization companies from 12 countries. Today it is composed of 290 member companies, with 50 new members this year alone. In almost every industry around the world, companies are paying for localization services.
Acting as a sort of portal client company for the industry, this nonprofit association provides the resources companies require to fit their service needs. The GALA website acts as a search tool enabling users to search a listing of companies by product industry. Users can then notify GALA members and get more comprehensive advice concerning their localization needs. GALA members use their industry expertise to contact the appropriate localization companies and connect them with clients. With a team of volunteer board members from a variety of companies, GALA aims to promote the localization industry and unite clients and service providers. As board member Michael Sank, VP of TransPerfect Translations International, Inc., explains, there are a "great extent of content professionals who need localization and are not as familiar [with the market] at this point [as] GALA." As one of the most representative organizations (it is present on four different continents), the goal of GALA is to give those professionals a venue where they can find the answers they need to succeed.
GALA was founded on the belief that real industry progress will come from working together to share information. To accomplish this goal, it gives members the means to bridge the global gap through a central forum to discuss issues, gain business relationships, and create unique solutions within the industry. GALA can help you reach across global lines and find your way to success in every corner of the world.
James Bond may not need to play well with others, but in the real world, government agents and agencies do. With the rapid growth of Web 2.0 features in the business world, it is no surprise even the government has caught collaboration fever. Intellipedia, an online system for collaborative data sharing used by the United States intelligence community (IC), was founded in April 2006, and has quickly become a central hub for top-secret information discovery. Intellipedia comprises wikis at the Top Secret, Secret, and Unclassified levels. The Secret wiki is used primarily by the foreign affairs and defense communities, while the Unclassified version is available for collaboration by all government officials and invited participants.
Intellipedia is the result of a collaborative effort between the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA. As a wiki, Intellipedia allows all authorized users to share information by creating, editing, and discussing articles across government agencies. All authenticated users with access to Intelink, the IC's intranet, have the opportunity to access the site and are able to share new intelligence-related information, update current knowledge, and connect with other officials. Intellipedia uses the same software as Wikipedia, MediaWiki, to create a free content encyclopedia solution. Before Intellipedia, information sharing among government agencies was limited to a quick phone conversation or email thread. Now, Intellipedia users have the ability to access important, topic relevant information through the Intellipedia wiki system. Recently celebrating its 2-year anniversary, Intellipedia has increased acceptance and use. In March 2008, Intellipedia was expected to pass 1.6 million edits. With the growth of Intellipedia, many agencies are developing training programs to help employees learn how to take advantage of Intellipedia and other collaborative technologies. Intellipedia may not stack up to all those fancy gadgets we see in spy movies, but it is a perfect representation of a Web 2.0 approach used to achieve intelligent results.
For better or for worse, creating and sharing presentations is an integral part of how people do business. Professionals and academics alike need the ability to share their work with colleagues down the hall and across the world. SlideShare is an online community that allows users to share the slideshows or presentations they produce as well as discover relevant presentations created by others.
With SlideShare, sharing presentations and slideshows is a two-step process. SlideShare allows users to upload PowerPoint, OpenOffice, or PDF files with a maximum file size of 100MB. The file is then converted to an embedded Flash format and a transcript of that user’s presentation is indexed by internet search engines, providing endless promotion. Adding audio to a presentation can increase its impact, so SlideShare supports synching audio with slides through its multimedia format, Slidecasting. Users aren’t locked into one viewing location either, as SlideShare allows them to share their work through the SlideShare website as well as on a company’s intranet. Other benefits include the ability to tag presentations and also to embed them in a blog or website. A presentation pack widget is available for users to display a collection of their presentations or slideshows.
With SlideShare, users can take advantage of a variety of sharing capabilities, such as searching for presentations with the SlideShare search tool and downloading specific files depending on the creator’s privacy setting. SlideShare functions as a social networking site, providing users the opportunity to develop personal and business relationships by sending direct messages to one another or adding other users to their contact lists. They can also join groups to connect with SlideShare members who share similar interests. Not only does SlideShare facilitate collaboration through the various features they provide, the service is completely free. SlideShare is an ideal venue for business professionals—regardless of their design prowess—to share their ideas, present their work, and maybe even flex their creative muscles.