Mothers in the Time of COVID-19

Rosario, Argentina

Clara and Elina are two members of the Dotsub family from the production and finance teams respectively. They are both new mothers. Born only a month apart, Elina’s Emma is 11 months old and Clara’s Alejo is 10 months. They live in Rosario, Argentina and work from their homes along with their spouses.

Argentina is under one of the strictest lock-down orders in the world with people facing fines and house arrest for violations. People need permission to go to doctor appointments and to get groceries and supplies. (There’s an app for that). You can take your pets for a walk but not your baby out in a stroller.

The lock down is stressful on all involved as there is no outside support. Relatives who would love to entertain the little ones cannot help now. Both households employ nannies that make it possible for both parents to work. Without them, there has to be considerable logistical juggling.  A positive thing is that there hasn’t been a disruption in baby supplies – there is plenty of disinfectant and the diaper service continues.

One sadness is that the babies are in their first year and all of their many milestones cannot be shared with family in person.  Clara says, “They are turning one over Zoom! It is definitely not the same.” Neither baby seems interested in the people on the screen anyway. “My brother came by to deliver something, and we met him in the lobby,” Elina relates, “He had his mask on and stayed a safe distance away. I could tell Emma didn’t recognize him. It is sad.”

The other side of that same coin is that both sets of parents are around to witness baby’s first steps and joyfully relish baby’s first words. Of course, Emma and Alejo are blissfully unaware that things are not normal. They continue to learn to walk and talk and to delight their parents every day.

Stranded

Florence, Tuscany

Amelia is a member of Dotsub’s recruitment team. She is a traveler, although, technically, she is a citizen of Argentina. She along with her partner can spend months at a time on the road renting flats and occasionally staying in hostels. As Amelia works at Dotsub full time, the requirements are a quiet place to work and a robust internet connection.

Leaving Argentina in mid-November 2019, the plan was to be away indefinitely. Visas in place: first Spain for 2 ½ months, then France for three weeks. Italy would follow with 3 weeks in Florence, on to Rome and then a visit with relatives in Northern Italy. From there, they would go to Croatia.

As February turned into March, Amelia was settling into an Airbnb in Florence, Italy. Because their travel had been by land, they had not experienced any of the chaos of air travel at the time.

Within a week, things had turned for the worse. Most harrowing was an evening stroll in lovely Florence that abruptly ended with police cars patrolling the streets with loud speakers blasting messages in Italian that our travelers didn’t understand. Although they could get information from the web and from their relatives, not understanding the local messages was very unsettling. Italy shut down on March 9th. Suddenly, all the careful planning was off the table.

Living out of a suitcase for years at a time is a deep commitment. Amelia states, “We’ve made the choice to experience the journey knowing that we are sacrificing the comforts of home.” At this writing, she is still stranded thousands of miles from Argentina. In spite of the recent pandemic, I don’t think that her travel adventures are over.

Isolation at Home

Northern Italy
Veneto Region

One member of our development team lives in Northern Italy, which for a time was the alarming epicenter of the outbreak. The initial reaction among family and friends was skepticism. How could this be happening here?  

For Francesco, his wife Giulia, and their 18-month old son, Davide, life is still far from normal. Francesco has been working from home as he often does. Of special concern is that Giulia is a health care professional working in a COVID-19 designated hospital. At first, the personal protective equipment (PPE) was running low, but now things are better. Once fully suited she resembles an astronaut.

Very early on, they decided that they were not going to go to extreme efforts to isolate from each other. It just wasn’t practical to try to keep Davide away from his mother! In fact, if they were going to get into trouble it would be together. There was a very strict crack down on being outside. Giulia and Davide were walking together in a nearby vineyard when they were stopped by police! Luckily, they could point to the house and were not fined. Imagine!

Francesco reports that the disruption that is the hardest to bear is not being able to see family – especially when you have a toddler. But the more mundane tasks like going to the market or pharmacy are more difficult. You need a pass to go out on errands. Then when you get to the market they don’t have what you need, like flour. [Ed note: Francesco was the first to warn me about flour shortages – it hadn’t happened in the U.S. yet] “Of course we need flour,” says Francesco, “We are Italian!”

Dave Bryant Promoted to President and Appointed to Board of Directors

Dotsub’s Dave Bryant Promoted to President and Appointed to Board of Directors

Dotsub has promoted Dave Bryant to president and has appointed him to the Board of Directors. In his expanded role, Dave will provide leadership and guidance in corporate strategy as Dotsub continues its path of growth in the language services industry as well as continuing to run the day to day business.

Dave has been with Dotsub for six years and has served as its COO for the past three. He will retain his COO title and responsibilities.  Dave helped build the growing team at Dotsub and was responsible for the conceptualization and development of Dotsub’s next generation Video Translation Management platform. He will also directly oversee Dotsub’s finance and product management functions.

Dave earned a degree in Computer Science from the University of Easy Anglia in the UK. He later moved to Plymouth University, where he ran the University Computer Center while receiving a graduate qualification in Business Administration.

Subsequently, he moved to the USA, taking a position at a Fortune 500 computer manufacturer. After that, he worked at early stage software companies, one of which he built from zero revenue to over $40M. Along the way he had the pleasure of being involved in two IPOs and a corporate buyout.

All of these positions required spending a significant amount of time flying around the world presenting information in many different countries. Dave learned how hard it was to communicate only in English and became passionate about the role of both video and language and their ability to enable knowledge to be shared throughout the world, both for commercial and socially impactful purposes.

Dave lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and close to his daughter and her family, where he attends music concerts, plays golf and is an attentive member of the NYC food scene when he is not working.

Contact:
Sharon Cunningham
Dotsub
[email protected]
+1 (212)-991-8685 x807

Return to the Belly of the Dragon

Peter Sherman Crosby, Dotsub’s former Chief Revenue Officer returns to China

Twenty-five years ago, in 1994, Peter Sherman Crosby embarked on a life changing journey. After many years of reporting about China as a photojournalist, Peter found himself in love with the rich history, beautiful country, and the warmth of the people, especially in the countryside. He wanted to explore rural China and share it with the world, especially Americans, who were already beginning to fear the People’s Republic. It was the adventure of a lifetime!

Peter rode his bicycle from Beijing to Hong Kong, about 2000 miles, for National Geographic TV and Monitor Radio. See the National Geographic video here.

It was in 2015 that Peter went back to a much-changed China. Not only the stunning urban areas – modernity is reaching average citizens in the more central, rural, and rugged areas as well. This visit is documented here in episode 1 . Will Peter find the Lui family after so many years?? See episode 2 to find out.

So, after more than eight years with Dotsub, Peter is leaving to pursue another dream – to embark on a journey to rediscover today’s China and to reconnect with the warm and generous people he met there. Peter’s project is to bicycle the whole route again, all 2,000 miles, to find old friends and document the many positive changes. An adventure of a lifetime – again!

You can find out more about Peter’s Belly Of The Dragon project here. All of the videos are gathered here. All modern videos are captioned by Dotsub, of course!

You can also sign up for regular updates here.

Please join the Dotsub family in wishing Peter a wonderful journey! We are very proud of Peter pursuing such a challenge – and at his age! We will be following him as he rolls through China!

Bon Voyage Peter!

Dotsub and Gather Voices Announce Partnership

Dotsub is proud to announce an exclusive partnership with Gather Voices, a technology company that makes it easy for companies and nonprofits to collect, manage and share user-generated video content. This partnership is evidenced by the integration of Dotsub into the GV-One product. Users of the GV-One platform will be able to order multilingual captions directly from Dotsub without leaving their administration screen.

The proliferation of video online continues with social media being dominated by video content and internet users seeking video more than any other content type — even on small screens. Concurrently, we’ve seen a dramatic decrease in the trust people have in business, government, nonprofits and media. This distrust crisis has given rise to more and more user-generated video content made by trusted peers talking about products and issues they care about.

“At Dotsub we intend to make these voices of regular people accessible everywhere — from any language to any language,” said Michael Smolens, the Chairman of Dotsub. “Dotsub is ready to be a substantial player in user-generated video. Our partnership with Gather Voices is a big step in this direction.” Smolens continues, “With a seamless integration of our platforms, we have put the power of language into users’ hands.”

The GV-One platform from Gather Voices enables companies to push a question out to their customers or constituents. The system then walks the user through making a video, including holding their phone the right way, giving the user talking points and a time limit and having them sign a release — right on their phone. The finished video is sent back to the sponsor and can be published to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or a website with a single click.

“Gather Voices was founded to make it easier for the voices of regular people to be part of the conversation,” said Michael Hoffman, Founder and CEO of Gather Voices. “Whether that is with nonprofits, politics or businesses, consumers are skeptical of slick marketing. They’d much rather hear from, and are more likely to be influenced by, regular people like themselves.”

About Dotsub

Dotsub is a language product and services company making your online video available to all via translations and captions.  By increasing the global reach of your video, its value increases dramatically with added accessibility and audience engagement.  By offering translations in over 500 languages, Dotsub extends the influence of your video world-wide.

About Gather Voices

Because​ people no longer trust brands or organizations, marketers ​urgently need a constant stream of owned, original video content that provides social proof through the voices of real people. Marketers need new tools to gather, manage and publish these videos. GV-One from ​Gather Voices​ is the first VRM (video relationship management) system, new technology that directly connects organizations and causes to their constituents through video.

Contacts:

Dave Bryant
COO, Dotsub
[email protected]
phone: +1.617.671.8847 (mobile)
phone: +1.718.384.4349 (office)
skype: dave_bryant

Michael Hoffman
CEO, Gather Voices
[email protected]
+1-847-668-1722

Cardiff City Football Club Partners with Dotsub

Bluebirds partner with Dotsub to benefit local and global fanbase.

Cardiff – 16 April 2018

As part of the Club’s award-winning fan engagement and international development programmes, Cardiff City FC has partnered with the video captioning platform, Dotsub.

In addition to social media engagement and accessibility benefits, the Club uses subtitles to localise video content in Mandarin for the emerging Chinese football market and UK-based Mandarin-speaking supporters.

Cardiff City FC Executive Director & CEO, Ken Choo, says of the partnership with Dotsub: “Adapting and catering to our fans’ needs will always be at the heart of what we do at Cardiff City, “Not only does our partnership with Dotsub allow us multi-lingual communication with our supporters, but it also improves the accessibility of our video content for the deaf and hard of hearing.

“This is another fine example of our ever-developing fan engagement and international development strategies here at Cardiff City FC.”

Ben Dobson, Dotsub’s Head of Sports Partnerships, said: “The ways in which football fans, particularly millennials, engage with their team is increasingly driven by video across social media.

“The majority of these fans will consume video content on-the-go, with the volume muted, on their mobile device. So, by adding subtitles, the club have taken a timely step to boost their global fan engagement.

“Everyone at Dotsub is delighted to partner with Cardiff City FC. We’re fortunate to count the likes of the NFL and NHL amongst our clients so it’s great to see Cardiff City join this elite group of sporting brands and entities that are leading the way with their fan engagement.”

Editorial notes:

  • Cardiff City FC has recently been nominated for Best Matchday Experience at the 2018 Sport Business Awards in London. This is the club’s second consecutive SBA nomination and comes on the back of another three national and European fan engagement or matchday experience awards in the past two years.
  • Founded in New York, Dotsub is a video captioning platform that allows subtitles to published in any language to boost video engagement and improve accessibility. For more information, visit dotsub.com

Dotsub Upload and Order Changes

The Dotsub platform is transitioning to a more flexible method for uploading and ordering captioning and translations for your videos.

As a part of this change, we are retiring the current “Upload & Order” option, that was available for Enterprise clients on the left-hand side panel.

Old menu:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving forward, all uploads can be done by clicking the “Post a New Video” option instead.

New menu:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should you need to add an order for captioning, translation or burn-in services, you can do so from the convenience of your Project Area, by clicking the “Orders” tab and then the plus sign at the upper right-hand corner, to create a new order.

More information on placing orders can be found at the following link: https://help.dotsub.com/customer/en/portal/articles/2679800-placing-orders

This new approach to uploading videos and ordering services increases the flexibility of our platform, giving you access to a wider range of languages that we currently support, while reducing conversion times for your video files.

Michael Smolens to Give Keynote at iEARN July 17

Keynote Address to iEARN Annual Conference, Marrakesh Morocco – July 17, 2017

YES, IT’S POSSIBLE!

iEARN has 50,000 teachers in 140 countries – with over 1,000 languages and dialects spoken amongst all its countries.

Nelson Mandela said, “When you speak to a man in a language he understands, you speak to his head.  When you speak to him in his native language, you speak to his heart.”

There is an explosion in the creation of all types of knowledge for all purposes – education, training, spirituality, entertainment, religion, marketing, corporate communications, news, etc., a very high percentage of which is in English, or just a few other major languages – most of it is not available in the native languages of over 6 billion people.

There is, at the same time, an exponential increase in the amount of this knowledge being made available in video, which is becoming the dominant way to communicate, tell stories and inspire.

Dotsub, my 9th startup 10 years ago, has a mission to enable all knowledge, of any type, in video format, to be available to all 7.3 billion people in the world in their native language, in all formats necessary including all digital devices including smartphones AND feature phones.

This talk will give three examples of global programs in which Dotsub is involved, which iEARN teachers and students, if they wish, can participate in to help expand global knowledge in music, mathematics and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their native languages. They will be learning new ideas and participating in a global movement, which can in its own way, help increase cross cultural communication and understanding, and a little bit at a time – change the world for the better with the global spread of knowledge.

YES, IT’S POSSIBLE!

  1. Dotsub was asked to partner with a company in the music industry them to do a pilot with the lyrics of 50,000 songs, from primarily English, into a minimum of 15 languages, all done by a global network of volunteer translators – on Dotsub’s platform managed by Dotsub.  This pilot will involve over 2,000,000 Audio Language Minutes (ALMs) which will require about 250 man years to complete by volunteers.

Nothing of this magnitude has ever before been done, as until now, almost all of the billions of lyrics and lyric translations available on the web are illegal, with no rights obtained and no revenue being generated for the music publishers, songwriters or artists.

Since music and songs are a basic global method of storytelling, sharing emotions, and building deep connections between fans of the same artist/song and hundreds of millions of people in all countries of the world sing songs in English, but DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT THE WORDS MEAN.  We have already begun to create a network in India who will be finally, after years of singing lyrics they do not understand with music they love, be able to understand what they are singing.

This is an opportunity for iEARN, to create a program that works for the teachers, to allow those students in any country, speaking any language, to become very early participants in this program.  How the students will be recognized, rewarded, involved is totally up to iEARN, as I have obtained early approval of this exciting project for all its students.

YES, IT’S POSSIBLE!

  1. Global Math Week – 10/10/17https://www.theglobalmathproject.org/ – join one million students, teachers, math leaders and adults from around the globe in an astounding mathematical experience. “See mathematics like you’ve never seen it before.”

We are working with James Tanton, founder of the Global Math Project, to enable the entire iEARN community, again if it wishes, on its own terms, to integrate the years of work and thinking of The Global Math Project into individual school/teacher curriculums, while at the same time creating the opportunity to do something on a much bigger global scale with iEARN to become a partner – https://www.theglobalmathproject.org/partners

The Project is focused on the base 10 system of current mathematics – as most   arithmetic and mathematics works on the base 10 system of numbers.  That is why the Global Math Week is on October 10th – the calendar date 10/10/17. Again, this is a totally global opportunity to have iEARN teachers, on their own or in groups, work with a cutting edge global effort, across languages and cultures, to help make math learning fun and collaborative. Teachers or country leaders can become ambassadors – all is possible.

Since Global Math Week is less than 3 months from the iEARN Annual Meeting, time is of the essence to get started with this project for this year, but it will be an annual event.

YES, IT’S POSSIBLE!

  1. SDGs Without Borders – creating a comprehensive global language platform to enable all media, studies, comments, news, or anything else, about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be translated into all the world’s languages using Dotsub platform and volunteer translators. iEARN has been actively involved in studying and including into parts of local curriculums and classes – all determined either at the country or teacher level – with different classes, thoughts, etc.

Dotsub has registered the URL – https://www.SDGsWithoutBorders.com – and is in the very early stages of lining up partners, media companies, NGOs, senior management, funding, etc. to enable the exploding amount of knowledge, comments, media, videos, TV/radio/etc created in any language to be able to be consumed in hopefully hundreds of languages. This will enable all 7.3 billion people in the world, who in total speak 6,800 languages – 85% of which are oral only, to understand what is said and written about each of the SDGs.  The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon created the 17 SDGs starting Jan 1, 2016 –  Dec 31, 2030, following the 15-year program created by the previous UN leader Kofi Annan called MDGs, Millennium Development Goals.

Since iEARN has already embraced the SDGs as a part of their global curriculum, and iEARN countries speak over 1,000 languages and dialects,  active involvement in the program to help SDG related knowledge be available  for all 7.3B people could be a major, long term program for iEARN to embrace,  again in any way it feels, fits into its existing and future agenda.

The above summarizes my thinking into making available to all iEARN teachers and students 3 different global programs – in music/songs, Math, and the SDGs, which will involve cutting edge technology, language, translation, volunteering, learning and huge potential global impact.  That is why I have titled my talk YES – IT’S POSSIBLE.

Trends in Video Marketing

Trends in Video Marketing

Every once in a while, we like to bring up trends which influence the usage and growth of video. Several recent studies have quantified the growth in video marketing to consumers.  There is however almost no available research on the role that languages play in video marketing.  Smartling did an informal poll of marketers to find out.

  • Smartphones continue to grow as a screen of choice for video, rivaling desktop viewership consistently year-over-year. On average, 57% of consumers globally watch videos on a mobile phone every day. (AOL)
  • In first half of 2016, video ad spend for mobile devices had soared by 178% year-over-year. (IAB/PricewaterhouseCoopers).
  • 47% of advertisers expect to increase mobile ad spend by at least 25% in 2017. Advertisers are funding this increase in video by shifting more and more money away from TV budgets. (AOL)

What About the Role of Languages?

The above facts are about video marketing to consumers. One fundamental thing that is not addressed in this research is language. Many multinational enterprises do some of their video ads in native languages. Today, even small and medium businesses can be multinational if they have a web presence. The folks over at Smartling did their own informal poll of 150 marketers. Please note that this poll was about marketing in general and did not address video separately. As video ad spend is a growing portion of their budgets, the results are still relevant.

  • 48% say they have no budget at all for translation outside of the U.S.
  • 59% of respondents do not have any money allocated to reach multilingual audiences within the U.S.
  • Nearly 53% are either not translating at all or are only translating into one language.
  • 86% of marketers admit that they generate U.S.-centric content and then translate it for a particular market.
  • Only 14% create original content, and employ local or native marketers in the countries where they are seeking to expand their business. This despite the fact that 13 languages together cover 90% of today’s online spending power.
  • For those that are translating, a few still rely on machine translation (8.6%); many rely on human translators (42.1%); 14.5% use both; and others are beginning to use translation management software (4.6%).

Find the full survey details in an infographic here.