Using analytics to grow market presence

4 January, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’ve been having a lot of fun with my new extension for Google Chrome. After our initial release of the extension, Matt and I started looking at the viewing statistics for our first tutorial video on YouTube.

Matt made a good our most popular origin of visitors was Russia, actually ahead of the United States. We promptly changed our feature priorities and began internationalization efforts. We followed the steps in the Internationalization (i18n) pages of the documentation, and pushed out an updated version of the extension featuring Russian and English within the same day.

Now neither of us speak Russian, so this can be quite a daunting task. The first thing we tried was to use Google Translate. We translated “full screen” and “exit full screen” to Russian, but we weren’t sure if we could trust the translation. With such little context, it could be very easy for the translation to mean something completed unintended.

To confirm our translation, we launched Google Chrome in the Russian locale by running ‘chrome.exe --lang=ru‘. We then headed over to YouTube and compared our Google Translate results with YouTube’s tooltip text of their video player. The comparison showed that the translation was perfect.

The next step was to translate our listing on the Chrome Web Store. This was a little tougher since we were unable to compare it with an accepted translation. We also don’t think that we can simply trust trying to translate it back in to English because of the multiplication of noise. For example, if there was one translation error when going from English -> Russian, then translating back from Russian -> English can introduce many more translation errors all based off of that one previous error.

What we were now left with was to simply scan the listing text for our previously accepted translation. We saw the text in the listing translation and were pleased.

Our listing is now live in Russian as well as English. We have seen more uptake in Russian viewership of our videos and we hope that transfers into more Russian installs.

What do you think about our strategy? What could we have done better?

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§ One Response to Using analytics to grow market presence

  • A.J. Orians says:

    That is pretty cool how you basically “listened” to your users. You realized that more users were from Russia so you re-prioritized such that you valued localization at a higher priority. I haven’t translated my programs to another language; but if I were too I would probably use free online tools to do the translating! So I think your strategy was great! I don’t think there isn’t much you can do better without having a budget. I do too hope this results in more Russian install!

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