Providing localized support has always been one of the core purposes of SUMO and we’re very proud to be able to reach 85% of our users in their native or preferred language! We are constantly trying to improve the experience for our localizers and users and by assessing data from last year we came to the conclusion that we could do a couple of changes to provide a much better experience for our SUMO users.
We think that focusing the efforts of the community in the languages that are being translated and have an active community is the best way to help users. This means that we want to encourage inactive communities to take a different approach for helping users.
Although we would love to provide support even in Klingon, the reality is that if we don’t have an active community who can help translate all content into Klingon, users end up in a page they don’t understand and most importantly: a page that doesn’t help. So we’re actually not providing a good experience. We want everyone that comes to SUMO actually finding help. And a page that is only partially translated or has outdated content is more frustrating than saying upfront that we don’t translate to their language.
Also asking community members to translate long and difficult articles that might not be read by anyone is a waste of their time and efforts, so we rather have you doing fun and rewarding activities.
The way we want to approach this is to suspend the SUMO locales that have little traffic AND aren’t active. This means that almost no users will be impacted, since the locales have already little traffic and are anyway almost empty. We hope that this will help our contributors to focus better on more impactful activities at Mozilla and SUMO.
Wait, what happens to the locales that go away? Project F+F!
We want to support every locale that has an active community willing to help users. So don’t worry, we’re not closing down SUMO for anyone. We just want to work with you on a tailored solution for the needs and capacities of the locale.
The idea is to offer an FAQ and/or a Forum, depending on what works best for your locale. And we will work with you to find that out. This means that if you want to support your locale and are alone or have little time, there are only a handful of articles to translate. You can also decide to open up a forum and help users as they need. So for example if you’re alone in your locale you could just maintain an FAQ. If you have a small team of helpers you can maintain the FAQ and open a forum too.
The specifics of this will be worked out later this year, but we will certainly not let any users or any community down.
Some of the locales that we will remove will be redirected to another language (e.g.Catalan to Spanish) and for others like Hebrew the English version should be fine. Indian languages have little visits, but if they become much more popular we can definitely rethink the strategy. Which goes to any of the other locales in case anyone makes a good case and is motivated to help. So if you want to have the full version of SUMO and you have a committed team, we are waiting for you with our arms open!
Based on the data from last year here’s the list of locales that we would like to remove from SUMO because they have little traffic and had almost no activity from the community last year:
||Serbian – Latin
||Rhaeto – Romance
||Gaelic – Ireland
||Bable – Asturiano
What else could be replaced by a F+F solution?
These locales have either little visits or aren’t very active (For example Tamil and Nepali have lovely localizers but not too many visits and Portugese could be put together with Brazilian Portuguese). So we should have a conversation with the communities and figure out which solution makes more sense:
We would like to transition the locales in the first list by the end of March. For the locales in the second list we’ll start a conversation to figure out how to proceed. So please let us know until March 15th if there’s anything in this plan that doesn’t seem like a good idea. And please let us know how to improve it too! We’ll be reaching out to the active contributors in the locales that we want to transition to find a good solution.
Let us know how this sounds and give us all your ideas!