Mar 132010
 

Several social network sites for translators have sprung up recently. Clearly they meet a perceived need that the classical forum sites don’t. For busy professionals it can be difficult to meet all one’s social needs in person. These sorts of sites can be very useful and fun to snatch a little human(ish) contact in spare moments.

The main problem is that, for busy professionals it can be both good and bad. Good because it gives “human” contact, bad because it provides another reason to stay at the computer instead of getting up and moving about, giving our eyes a rest. It’s all too easy to get hooked in.

A new site http://www.langmates.com/ by the guys behind AIT software was launched on 3rd March 2010. By 12th March they had 1000 members.

It’s very similar to Facebook in look and feel and functionality. I think it’s a brilliant idea and wish them every success.

Another one I took an instant like to, and was made instantly very welcome at is Andrew Bell’s http://watercoolernetwork.com/, which is a network for established freelance translators only. Membership is not a “free for all” and all members need to be approved. It started a few months ago and there are now 827 members.

Even more selective is stridonium which applies three selection filters before you can be a member. You have to…

  1. be a member of a professional translators association or have a minimum of three years translation experience
  2. be nominated by two existing members
  3. pay an annual subscription of €50 plus VAT

This is going to be a fairly exclusive private club, and that’s obviously the intention. I am not a member so can’t evaluate it. But here is what they say on the site…

The aim of Stridonium is to provide a platform for professional translators to interact in a collegial spirit of give and take. As the site was not set up for commercial purposes, there is no formal area on the site for outsourcing work and no attempts are made to sell products or services to members. Furthermore, as befits a community of adult professionals, regulations are kept to a bare minimum.

If you are a professional translator and are interested in joining the Stridonium community, please see the conditions for membership.

So that’s three for now, but there’s probably more I don’t yet know about.

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