Breaking news in Global Voices are often appreciated by some English media. Our serial posts on South Ossetia is the latest example. Some people in GV Lingua do translate those breaking news into their languages quickly; others don’t. I do that seldomly. Breaking news translations sometimes bring sudden hikes to Lingua sites, such as the Akihabara post from Japan. This particular post increases traffic of Chinese site almost fourfold on the day.
Most members never think we can compete with mainstream media, and I don’t think we should. Actually, we don’t intend to do that. It’s not our mission, in my humble opinion. GV Lingua has a role to enrich the online contents in each language. Our Lingua Bangla editor Rezwan said in GV Budapest summit that in certain subjects, there is virtually nothing in Bangla online. By translation, people will find GV content useful one day when they need to find some information online. GV provides contexts to them, in their own languages.
I share his view. If you want to look for news more than a week olds online in Taiwan, you have to pay to access media archives. Once GV Chinese contents are online, they are always there (unless we take them down). It’s free to use and read.
Our Rising Voices Director David says he was a bit disappointed when “no one seems to care” even if he is “begging you to read what they write”. No one leaves encouraging comments to these new bloggers. Rising Voices is really a meaningful project. It helps people in developing countries learn to use blogging and other online media tools. They has many inspiring projects, including Prison Diaries, FOKO Madagascar, Voces Bolivianas, and many more. They all worth a visit. Rising Voices is trying to close the digital divide, and David has been doing a wonderful job.
Although we offer great contents regularly in many different languages, we receive only a few, if any, comments or feedbacks. The traffic stays the same no matter we publish three posts a day or one post every three days. Some editors say we need to think about our readers when we choose and translater posts, but it is very difficult to imagine them when I have no idea about their preference at all. We don’t know what our readers want.
Some people have questioned me: “Who cares about those news in Georgia, Chile, Pakistan, or other places afar? Who will read them?”
This question is somewhat solved one day when I was reading Google Analytics July statistics of Lingua Arabic. The top three posts, if we link back to English sites, are this, this and this. If you take a closer look, these posts were published in late June, last November and last October. Interesting, uh?
The same phenomenon appears in other Lingua sites as well. The second most popular post in July on Lingua Japanese site, for example, is about Tata Nano car, published in January. The most read post in July on Lingua Spanish site is the one appeared in early May.
This emphasizes my belief. Content is still the most important matter. Readers are always there. They may not be reading our posts today, but someday they will. Whenever they want to do some researches, or want to know something not on local media, GV and Lingua will always come in handy, even if it’s about a country afar.
Someday they will.