A few weeks back I added an interesting piece of technology to my blog. Since developerWorks has a world wide reach, I wanted a means to provide translation services to followers of my blog. I explored various Firefox tranlation plug-ins and the Google toolbar, but each of these solutions required a reader to install an add-on to use the translation service.
Then I was introduced to n.Fluent, an IBM research offering that could be incorporated as a widget within my blog. This looked very promising! In just a few minutes, I wrapped the widget in a native Lotus Connections <div>... and presto, I had an embedded translation widget that looked and acted as if it came from the factory that way! BTW, this is one of the cool features of Lotus Connections blogs... the template engine, that allows you to snap in and customize widgets so they appear native to your blog.
Back to n.Fluent... this technology met all of my requirements. First, it is a service, and offers a nice widget snap-in model, so my readers would not need to download and install a browser add-on. Second, it was simple to wrapper the n.Fluent widget with a Connections look&feel, which was important to me, as I like my blog widgets to appear native to my blog. The last neat n.Fluent feature, was something I wasn't really looking for at first.. but I think is one of the cooler features of n.Fluent: the ability for users to improve the machine translation, via crowdsourcing! This means that n.Fluent actually "learns" to do better translations with your help!
I have had some positive comments since I deployed the widget... and a number of inquires asking if developerWorks plans a wider adoption of this technology. I'm pleased to say that we are currently planning a pilot deployment of n.Fluent, with the hopes of extending this widget to other areas of our website.
If you are a blogger here on developerWorks, and would be interested in participating in an early adoption pilot, please leave a comment on this blog entry. If there is enough interest... I will look into including your blog as part of an early n.Fluent blog pilot!
Update! We have started the pilot for bloggers. Please join the developerWorks n.Fluent Real-Time Translation Solution Group if you're interested in adding the n.Fluent transwidget to your blog.. or if you're just interested in Real-Time Translation technology!