If you've been following my blog updates and my tweets, I'm sure you'll agree that my self-proclaimed title of "uncoolest dude on the smarter planet" is a well deserved mantle. Despite all my efforts to work smarter, live greener and be just a little bit cooler, I continue to amaze myself with new found ways to blunder in this crazy world of social networking. My 13 year old daughter Leah is teaching me how to use Facebook, although I think she's about to declare that I am a hopeless case. Let me also confess that I have been stopped now multiple times by the twitter "police" for being an aggressive follower. Given that I hardly know what I'm doing on twitter, I was truly shocked to be repeatedly (although only temporarily I found out later) viewed by twitter as a stalker. I finally took the time to read a few of the twitter guidelines for social networking etiquette and have slowly managed to get myself back on the path of socially acceptable behavior. Feel free to offer your advice.
However this past Friday, I clearly managed to reach a new level of uncoolness. I briefly thought I had a brilliant idea to make new friends on My developerWorks and twitter and other social networks by translating my most popular blog update "IBM predicts 9 Smart Work Trends for 2009" into Portuguese and other languages. Well, I think largely due to my 50+ years on the smarter planet and an overuse of "IBM manager multitasking", I somehow managed to accidentally translate my blog into Spanish (instead of Portuguese) and then to make matters work I tweeted about my blog being in Portuguese and then I got my friends here at developerWorks to retweet my big announcement.
Needless to say, the twitter community quickly stepped in and rectified my blunder. First, let me set the record straight on a couple things. I do know that my friends in Brasil speak Brasilian Portuguese. I've in fact had the pleasure of traveling to Sao Paulo, Brasil where I helped run an IBM's e-buiness customer briefing in Spring of 2000. I should also point out that when my wife worked at IBM she ran the Internationalization and National Language Support program for several IBM software products and worked closely with translation teams from around the world on testing and integrating product translations. I also have the pleasure of managing the developerWorks local site teams that are responsible for our great sites in Brasil, China, Japan, Korea, Russia and Viet Nam. All of this background somehow makes my translation faus paux even more ridiculous or maybe truly serendipitous.
In order to ensure, I don't ever make this translation mistake again, I've decided to enlist all of you, the developerWorks community, to join me in an effort to translate our most popular English community content. I have started a My developerWorks activity titled "My developerWorks Community Translation and Center". I plan to use this activity to find members of the community who are willing to translate community content. I would also ask community members to help spread the word on this translated content through their social networking with their colleagues around the world.
Please let me know what you think. Please join in the fun at the My developerWorks Community Translation Center.. You can add entries for content that you would like to have translated or you can update existing entries and a attach your recommended translation.
As my friend Leah pointed out on our 64 mile bike ride on Sunday, being a uni-lingual blogger on this incredible multilingual smarter planet is just SO UNCOOL, so please spread some coolness by reaching out to our My developerWorks community in your language of choice.
One final thought, I should point out that I spent 4 years in high school learning Latin which unfortunately isn't serving me too well these days, but who knows maybe someday there will be a Latin surge on the smarter planet.