« Het Site-Huishouden (1): Hoe een dummy ermee omgaat. [NL] | Main | 2006.07.06 Work Places Gallery by Flickr and Visitors' Statistics by NeoCounter[EFDN] »

Housekeeping (1): How to Succeed as a Dummy [EN]

New content has become rare, recently, at e-urban. Your site administrator A lot of work.is very busy on the technical level. That is not at all the fault of our host, Squarespace.com. Anthony Casalena, its Director, wrote on September 26 in his blog:

Anyone interested in hosting a serious website not only needs, but requires the infrastructure we’ve built out over the past 3 years of business. Think about it: If a traditional web host is partitioning you a slice of a machine with 100 other users on it — how can that possibly compare to hosting using a fully clustered, redundant, and distributed system like Squarespace can provide you with?

And nothing is nearer to the thruth! The hardware- and software infrastructure of Squarespace are robust and practically free of "downtimes". The hardware location in New York is the best you may get. The software is well protected: A dummy like me, cannot easily turn it AWOL. But it is not stupid either: Unlike many other blogging services, it provides tools for RSS, allows subtle categorization (and use it as a source for RSS rendering to specific groups of visitors), etc., etc.

So far, for a spontaneous recommendation of Squarespace. For any American person, institution or business, it is near to perfect.

However, for us, Old Europeans, suffering under a multitude of languages we have to use, in order to communicate on equal footing (=equally with the dominant native English speakers), there are some hurdles to take. Squarespace offers an infrastructure in different languages. The basis of e-urban is French. It could have been Spanish or German as well as English. But the necessary translations (or translated resumes) of our pages and posts into one or more of the e-urban four official languages cannot be made easily accessible through categories (like we do by categories like [EN], [FR], [DE] or [NL]). We try, but this tends to densely populate our pages with postings that are often irrelevant to our readers.
An example is the Can't write anything.Agenda (Upcoming Events), where it announces the November 22 ASC conference in Leeds. The announcement appears in three languages (EN, FR and DE) to everybody. It takes a switch to the categories to filter the announcements into one language only.

For the Sidebar, it is worse. It is impossible to provide links in the language, chosen by the visitor of the site. I believe, that would need an "SQL" database, where those terms are stocked in four rows. I hope, that Squarespace will make that possible in the near future.

Meanwhile, we are "rowing with the ears we have". This post is the first one on e-urban, where I provide a translation into all three other languages, via links to a "hidden" new blog ("Translations").

Another way I considered to do this, were links to translations in PDF-files. Those files would have to be uploaded to the e-urban site storage, and would appear like, for instance, the PDF-file by Alexander Wagner on the "The Hague Learning Points" posting in the REGENERA UrbLog, when you click on the link that is provided there.  - Click here for this example.

As you'll see, this takes time, for the document has to be downloaded first, and then your Adobe Acrobat Reader has to be launched and opened. An advantage of this method is, that the document appears as an independent window over your e-urban screen. If you resize it to middle size, you stay in contact with the original posting. Illustrations, maps, etc. do not have to be reproduced in the translated texts. Another advantage over switching between e-urban blogs, is, that it is not necessary to rebuild every time the sidebar.

For the moment, however, I have decided for the "Translations" blog solution. Producing PDF files, uploading them to the storage, and, most of all, eventually updating them, will take much time, that is better spent otherwise.

So, from now on, if you see a post marked "[EN+All]" like this one, you'll find links to translations within the posting itself. In this case, to [FR], [DE] and [NL]. The same, casu quo, for posts with "[FR+All]", etc.

I'll spare you the details about recategorialization of former postings, the problems with back links to the original post, etc.

Next time, in "Site Management" on this Blog, we'll tackle the development of home pages, resuming the mission, and latest news from the different blogs and departments, as an entry into this site.

I am curious to hear from you, what you think about this. Comments, please, here, under the original posting and not at one of the translations. (Where comments are not allowed, anyhow). You may comment in your own language. C.U!

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.