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The Crowdsourcing model in SharePoint 2013
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Crowdsourcing solutions are one of the emerging business models adopted by the translation industry that changes the way how translations in websites and its contents are done. The term “crowdsourcing” was first used in 2006 by Jeff Howe in his article titled “The Rise of Crowdsourcing” published in Wired magazine; a portmanteau of “crowd” and “sourcing”. Because everything now is interconnected through the internet, borders and barriers are dissolving, practically making people across the world belong in a global community where knowledge and information can be easily shared and consumed.

What is crowdsourcing?

According to the European Commission, crowdsourcing makes “amateurism” fashionable. In crowdsourcing, non-profesionals form a community to help in problem solving and production. The premise “the many is smarter than the few” is the logic that pushes crowdsourcing enough for it to be an accepted paradigm injected into modern business models. Perhaps, a few of the most successful businesses and endeavors patterned in this mode is Wikipedia, where people can contribute information regardless of disposition to create the largest free and open encyclopedia. There’s also open source software development, initiated by Richard Stallment in the early 80s where programmers can use frameworks and softwares to create applications for free.

Crowdsourcing Translation Solutions

Translating a website from its native language to a local language (like Chinese or Spanish) is one of the trends adopted by multinational companies as part of its internationalization strategy. Learn more about it here.

When companies build satellite offices or offer products and solutions to a different country to expand its market reach, it is beneficial for their respective websites to be capable of switching to that country’s local language. However, translation services are very expensive; not to mention time consuming. Crowdsourcing language solutions such as the feature inherent in SharePoint 2013, enables users to have SharePoint automatically translate documents.

Crowdsourcing in SharePoint 2013

Possible through the Machine Translation Service in SharePoint Server 2013, it enables document translations using Central Administration or Windows Powershell. Machine Translation Service of SharePoint 2013 basically functions by enabling the solution to push contents to Microsoft for translation using content user contributions. Note though that unlike typical open-source translation services that rely primarily on pure crowdsourcing models. SharePoint 2013 uses crowdsourcing as a component of its overall translation module. Content users can contribute to the existing language database of Microsoft as a means to improve its translation accuracy and vocabulary. This is very important to note as this lessens the disadvantages and risks of using a pure language crowdsourcing solution.

Learn more about different SharePoint 2013 translation capabilities such as Variations and XLIFF interchange file format here.

Using crowdsourcing as part of a business’ global strategy is a major component for success. There are many out of the box solutions out in the market today, but only a custom and specific crowdsourcing translation solution through SharePoint is enterprise grade and offers a few risks. Learn more how you can maximize crowdsourcing in your business by contacting Portal Integrators.

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