In the past few years, there has come up a wave of internet sites and applications that in many occasions has been sum up as the so-called Web 2.0.
1. Social networks
You never heard of social networks? I don't believe so, as even ProZ.com is such a network and keeps integrating more and more features (e.g. WWA) that allow users to communicate easily and to evaluate and find partners in this difficult business. But there are even others, some of them only with few relations to translation business, of course none of them is so specialized and focussed on translation and interpreting as ProZ.com. It is worth to build up a profile at business sites such as e.g. Xing.com
, and in any case it can boost traffic to your ProZ profile and to your homepage.
2. Social bookmarks
How often in your professional life did you lose internet bookmarks? Social bookmarks can offer an intelligent solution to this problem, and they may boost your self management in a surprising manner.
Surely you are collecting links to pages that may serve as a terminology base, aren't you? So how do you store them? How do you organize them?
With social bookmarking, you are able to store, backup and retrieve your links. If you are willing to do so, you can share them, and they may even show up as a list on your homepage. There are dozens of services out there, most popular are del.icio.us
or, at least in Germany, Mister Wong
All social bookmarking engines allow to save 'tags' or keywords with your links. With your tags you can easily organize your bookmarks, and you will be sure to find them again. At most services, any link can be saved as private, so you do not have to worry about other people seeing what they do not have to see.
When somebody asks you where to find determined terminology, the only thing you have to do is to point him to your social bookmarking account and tell him the right tags.
If you own an agency, you might wonder how to realize a really good knowledge management among your office staff and your freelancers. Why don't you establish a group for your agency that allows you to communicate important terminology-related sites?
The only thing any participant needs is a RSS reader (all modern browsers have it, but there are also web-based services, e.g. Bloglines
) and an account at such a service. If you do not trust others' web services, you may set up an own social bookmarking engine at your webspace with the open source application named Scuttle
You will know Wikipedia
, a bunch of knowledge for free. But with few means you are able to build up your own knowledge base. Or, if you own an agency, how do you set up your freelancers' database? Ever tried a wiki?
Wikis allow you to share knowledge and to collect quickly a large amount of datas, always able to find everything again.
Most wiki engines allow to attach documents to a page. This means that you can attach TMs or glossaries to a clients' page or a CV to the pages of your freelancers' base. The only important point is build it up yourself or to make others (colleagues, staff etc.) collaborate in your or in your company's wiki, in most cases by showing that they also can profitate by your wiki.
Until now, most Web 2.0 applications are for free, or at least they have free versions with a bunch of features. Social bookmarking engines and wikis can be realized on your own webspace. The only things you will need is PHP, in several cases a mySQL data base is required. And there are wiki hosting services. Simply give it a try!