Starting tomorrow, I’m planning to post a series of screencasts to demonstrate how I use various web 2.0 and social media tools. They’ll be no more than 5 minutes each, aimed at fellow language professionals, and pretty rough and ready in format (suffice it to say you won’t find it hard to believe I’m a translator, instead of a movie producer). My aim is simply to share things that I find interesting, or that have worked for me as I’ve built up my freelance practice over the past 5 years or more.
I’ll be capturing the screencasts using Jing. I’ve forked out a few bucks for the Pro version because I prefer to work with the MPEG4 format, but I’ve also used the free version of Jing with good results before, for anyone who is interested.
I’ll upload the screencasts to Jing’s free hosting space, then embed them here in my blog. Jing limit their recordings to 5 minutes each, which is good news for me and for you.
It’s a very simple, straight-forward process and there’s no reason why anybody else couldn’t do the same, were they so inclined 😉
Why am I really doing this?
OK, I accept that simply liking projects and having fun aren’t in themselves good enough reasons to go to all this trouble. The truth is I’ve found myself on a bit of a mission.
There’s just so much that we do well as language professionals, and the way that we work is a huge draw for many people. But frankly, we’re not very good at letting the wider world know why we’re so great, and we somehow manage to scare away more newcomers than we attract.
Sometimes it can feel like petty whinging and negative, dismissive comments are the defining features of many translation communities, online and off. In my own small way I’ve always tried to offer a positive, empowering but still realistic view of the profession to try to counterbalance this. In fact, this was a large part of what motivated me to publish my very first work-related blog post almost three and a half years ago. It’s still a large part of why I blog today, although thankfully there are increasing numbers of positive translator-voices online.
With this particular project, I’m hoping (rather grandly) that even more translators will be encouraged to strengthen their online presence, either by sharing screencasts of their own with fellow colleagues, or by picking up enough tips here and there to enhance their online presence in other ways.
If we all chip in, maybe we can better communicate to clients, newly established translators and the community at large the positive message that we’re a vibrant, talented and confident community of professionals.
Now for the disclaimer
If you’re a regular here, you’ll probably already know that I’m not a marketer or a social media expert, and despite rumours to the contrary, I’m definitely not a millionaire. I’m a full-time freelance translator, one who makes mistakes and still has a LOT to learn about translation.
I also feel I should point out that I don’t believe for one second that social media and new technologies hold the answer to everything that is challenging about our work, or that there is only one right way of doing things. But new technologies have played a huge role in building my business, and I’m aware that not everyone finds them as easy to navigate as I do. So I figured, why not share what I do know?
So stay tuned, let me know what you think and feel free to leave me a comment with suggestions, questions, or ideas of things you’d like to see covered in future screencasts.
* probably not really secrets