Guangzhou-based blogger and Global Voices language editor John Kennedy is leading an exciting new initiative which Roland Soong has dubbed the Open Source Translation Blogging project.. and which "Letters from China" calls the Great Hall of the Bloggers.
John's idea, which started in a comments thread on LfC's blog, is similar to a dream Roland has had for a couple of years: To build a cooperative of bilingual bloggers who coordinate translation of important conversations taking place on the Chinese Internet - particularly stuff that we think will help the English-speaking world to understand China better.
Roland has become one of the most famous Chinese-English "bridge bloggers," bringing articles, blog posts, conversations, and debates from the Chinese-language Internet to the attention of the English-speaking world. But there are many other people doing this on their own blogs. They include John, LfC, the good folks at Danwei, Interlocals, the China Media Project, the team at China Digital Times and many many more bilingual bloggers scattered around Greater China and across the globe.
The problem, as John points out, is that so far there has been little co-ordination about who is working on what, and people are often worried about duplication (i.e., whether Roland will beat them to the punch after they spend hours working on something).
While informal coordination has been happening all along, a lot more material could be translated a lot faster and more efficiently if the coordination were made more systematic.
Anybody can sign up to join the project on this wiki - but please only do so if you read both Chinese and English and are serious about being involved. You can participate in a couple of ways:
1. Sign up as a translator blogger
2. Suggest articles for translation
Roland is already using the wiki actively to list what he's working on. I've posted something in the suggestion list. Etc. The ball is rolling.
I am thinking maybe we may also want to designate a special OSTB tag in Technorati, del.icio.us, and for people to use as a category on their blogs, etc. so that anybody who translates anything as part of the OSTB project, and publishes it on their blog, can then automatically feed their OSTB blog posts into a special OSTB web feed.