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Think insights - what's in it for me?

15th May 2012
Categories: google

Google has released a new website called "Think Insights" (www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights) which aims to keep the rest of us informed about trends in the digital world.

When you get there, you may be tempted to stare at it blankly and perhaps look a bit forlorn, just as early internet users did with search engines.

In fact it is a bit sparsely populated at the moment - but whatever your market, there is interesting and relevant stuff to be found.

Imagine we sell products online.  Click "research library", then "drive online conversion".  You get a series of whitepapers describing how different businesses used the internet and other media to achieve this.

Going mobile?  Click "planning tools" and "getMoMeter" to see how your site looks on a mobile device.

This site is not going to revolutionise your business overnight, but it's definitely one for bookmarking.

Duolingo

9th May 2012
Categories: learning, translation

I've just got to level 6 in Spanish.  And I'm starting French, in preparation for the summer holiday. It's very easy, and fun, but you need to practice, practice, practice to improve.  

I'm talking about duolingo.com, the new website from the creators of re-captcha.  Captcha is the annoyingly obscure set of words you have to re-type in order to prove you're not a robot, and the "re-captcha" version makes you transpose old printed books as you go.  Duolingo works in a similar way, in that part of the learning process is translating texts from languages you're learning into your native language.

Duolingo's strength is in numbers, and it requires lots of users to translate the same sentences in order to reach a conclusion about how good the translation is.

What I've noticed is that many translators don't seem to be native English speakers (you can see and rate other people's translations) but presumably that gets ironed out in time.

The overwhelming impression I get is that duolingo is fun.. it's easy to practice and learn; you do it in short bursts and you can see your progress displayed as a nice graphic.

So if you're going on a French, Spanish or German holiday in the near future (other languages will be added), give it a go!

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