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Summit Gives Insight into Plaxo ‘Member sourcing’ Concept

Plaxo International Social Media SummitFollowing the launch earlier this month of the first language to be released totally out of the portal via user input, Plaxo will be giving online marketers an insight into its innovative ‘member sourcing’ concept which is part of its strategy for establishing a global presence.

Speaking at WebCertain’s International Social Media Summit in London on 14 May, Regina Bustamante*, director of globalisation for Plaxo, will discuss ‘Community Translation in Social Networking’ explaining some of the techniques being used by the social network to increase its international profile.

“Social networking is one of the hottest areas of innovation and competition in the internet space today. Socially enabled web applications are taking off in different ways around the world and many which originated in the US are now trying to translate their domestic success into the international success which is crucial to a vibrant global business,” explained Regina. “With the US currently accounting for less than 20% of global internet usage and the English language only used by about 32% of the total internet population, it is vital that socially enabled applications developed in the US are able to achieve a significant community share both domestically and abroad.

“My experience suggests that ‘crowd sourcing’ may be one of the solutions. It worked for Facebook and it seems to be working for Plaxo. For social networking services, crowd sourcing follows naturally from the social identity of the site, and might be better called ‘member sourcing’. It is based on the principle that the users themselves are in the best position to render a social application into another language.

International Search Summit

“Some networks such as Plaxo have developed a translation portal in the same framework as the site itself, enabling users to not only share content (translations), but also to comment or vote on other people’s contributions. In the end the best voted translations win and get pushed to the site.

“Executives often view crowd sourcing as a budgetary advantage which is not strictly true. In the US, people in the area of globalisation are constantly being asked by their executives about the possibility of using crowd sourcing, even when their product does not render itself to it. There is a lot of wishful thinking about this solution; and my presentation aims to help online marketers to understand when the technique is appropriate.”

Regina will be explaining what led Plaxo to take this road, the rewards of ‘member sourcing’ and some of the technical and process challenges it had to overcome.

WebCertain’s summit will focus on the importance of social media for international marketers and will feature some of the leading authorities on the subject from around the world. Nicole Vanderbilt, VP International at Bebo, will be looking at the international marketing opportunity for social networks. Topics include the growth of Twitter and its marketing applications; as well as blogger Martin Belam of looking at how major publishers are using social media to drive traffic; and Tom Smith of Trendstream discussing global social media trends. To see the full programme and book your place, visit

The International Social Media Summit is the fourth summit held by leading UK multilingual search agency, WebCertain. The summits focus on international and multilingual search marketing. Their purpose is to address the complex issues that face online marketers when dealing with content that crosses multiple countries, cultures and languages.

WebCertain is a dedicated multilingual search marketing agency offering the full range of search services in all the major web languages, including pay-per-click campaigns, organic SEO, online PR and web development.

  1. ENDS –

All media enquiries:
Susan Reid or (01423) 56 99 99
Editor’s Notes
*Regina Bustamante – Biog details
Regina’s background is in formal and computational linguistics. She has a master’s degree from U.C. Berkeley and, upon completion of her PHD coursework, traded academia for the high tech industry. 
Software internationalisation and localisation came as a natural progression, bringing together Regina’s linguistics training and lifelong interest in different cultures and languages.
After heading international software development, release and distribution in a number of companies, Regina has been leading the globalisation effort at Plaxo for the past couple of years. The inherently social nature of the Plaxo service has allowed for a number of new process experiments which include "crowdsourcing" the translation of the user interface into different languages — the challenges and positive results have been anything but boring.
In the organic search, pay-per-click and PR teams WebCertain employs specialists in all the major web languages who are also experts in local search engine behaviour.
WebCertain’s “world language hub” consists of a team of search specialists of many languages all working together on search engine optimisation and pay per click campaigns under one roof. WebCertain also has local partners for that extra local edge.
Visit WebCertain at to find out more about the multilingual search marketing services.

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