(Intended for [Matthias])
This contract is a sort of Mission:Baltic times four. We seed and animate online conversation – aimed at some sort of foresight exercise – in four countries. We also have a global layer where we bring these conversations together for perspective. Countries might be something like: Georgia, Bangladesh, South Africa, Ukraine – at any rate, no Western European country where everybody speaks English. The time frame is also brutal: finish the work by end of March.
So we have opposite constraints. On the one hand, the need for interoperable conversation, compounded by the time issue. These press for a tech solution of hosting everything on the existing ER platform and using English as the connecting language. On the other hand, we have countries in which English literacy might be low, and languages are a big political deal with the UN.
The solution might be the original ER1: some briefing and explanatory material translated in several languages. Conversation in English. Google Translate integration allowing anyone not comfortable with English to write in whatever language. I ran this through Millie and it seems an acceptable compromise. This is also good for us, as we might be able to pull into the core ER community some of the participants to this exercise
Can you, Matt, think of an implementation that fits into our information architecture? There are choices to make that could be very important. For example, is the whole exercise one group on Edgeryders? Is each country a separate group? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each solution? These are never just (or even mainly) technical choices, but it is important to get a feel for tech constraints. Also, I would like to get an idea of the experience of the Internet in those countries. Are people used to looking at menus in English, for example?