I am currently in Las Vegas, which to me is like a second home. I lived here for five years of my life, which is the longest time I've ever stayed put during my adult life. Las Vegas has been through tough times in the recent years, with the economic recession hitting here especially bad. Despite all that, this is a city that always bounces back - nothing screams like business than Las Vegas and CES.
It is therefore quite fitting that I am here announcing a major new business venture, a completely new direction for my start-up, Xiha. The venture is called PremiumFanPage
, and we're launching at CES with a sneak peek of the official Angry Birds
fan page! But more about that later - let's first review what we're doing and why!
Sneak peek of the official Angry Birds fan page
Over the past couple of years Xiha has received a lot of positive attention in the industry media. While great for the company reputation, this has done little to help us grow the community - the readers of TechCrunch
simply are not the type of people who the Xiha community is targeted at. We already command such a large user base that a even a favorable article in the Wired magazine
didn't as much as register in the statistics.
However, these articles have always had one major effect - a flood of requests from other companies wanting to incorporate Xiha's multilingual technology to their websites!
The Xiha technology is indeed really powerful, and provides a lot more than you can imagine just by looking at the Xiha community website. The more I think about what we can do for other companies, the more excited I get about this new direction. Just imagine what you could do if you were suddenly able to communicate in all the world's languages?
Lobby of the brand new Cosmopolitan resort in Las Vegas
We have done some major improvements recently, but the most important of all is the incorporation of professional human translators in the mix. Machine translations work OK most of the time, but when it comes to branding your product, you don't want to be making silly mistakes with the messaging. This, I feel, is the holy grail. We can now provide human translations in 40 languages in near real time, and real time machine translations using Google Translate in 58 languages.
You, as the customer, choose when to use machine translation and when to use real humans. The user interface gets professionally translated to a dozen languages by default and you can add any additional languages based on your needs. If your target market is in Asia, you probably want to have your blog professionally translated to Japanese, Korean and Chinese so that when you have something important to tell, the message gets through loud and clear.
When customers leave comments and ask questions, you can use the machine translation option as the primary method and fall back to human translation if there is something that is not quite clear. We have used machine translation for the Xiha customer support for two years now, and there has never been a case where it failed to establish a communication with the customer. The results of machine translation are sometimes a little funny, but believe me when I say that most people are very happy that they are able to communicate with someone in their own language! Just ask yourself what you would do today if you got a request from a customer written in Thai?
I am using this as an opportunity to kick off a new blog themed around multilingual business. Stay tuned for more updates soon. In the meanwhile, go and check out PremiumFanPage at www.premiumfanpage.com
. The reception from press and customers has been phenomenal, so expect to hear from us in a big splash soon!