Bloglines Welcomes the World

With the increasing use of RSS on blogs and other sites,
feed aggregators are gaining in popularity. That’s why Bloglines has
gone international, it announced Wednesday.

The Redwood City, Calif., company now includes language-specific versions of
its Web site in order to accommodate the millions of bloggers and readers
around the world who use RSS feeds or search online for the
latest news and opinions in the blogosphere.

Six languages are currently hosted on Bloglines.com — traditional Chinese,
French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish. Founder and CEO Mark
Fletcher said Italian and several other languages will soon make an
appearance.

According to the Computer Industry Almanac, there are nearly 935 million
Internet users. The predominantly English-speaking counties make up little more than one-quarter
of the total Internet user population. For the rest of the world, countries
like China (10.68 percent), Japan (8.35 percent) and Germany (4.48 percent),
English isn’t the native tongue.

Fletcher believes that user number breakdown translates to blog readers and
publishers, as well, and in order to expand the blogosphere’s reach,
internationalization is necessary.

“One thing we’ve seen is that blogging is very popular in Japan and South
Korea, for example, and the use of aggregators like Bloglines is really
picking up in those countries,” he said. “We felt it was really important
for us to address this; any service on the Internet really has to embrace
multiple languages these days to remain a viable service.”

Language support, for the time being, is limited to site navigation and any
blogs that already appear in that language. Fletcher said
non-English-speaking readers can click on a link that brings users to the
Google translation service.

“It’s really basic right now, but we’ll definitely be looking into enhancing
that in the future,” Fletcher said.

Outsourced translators, which, according to Fletcher, are a necessity for a six-person company and relatively
easy these days, are responsible for Bloglines’ internationalization.

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