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Allow your marketing department to produce translated versions of your website with Dubzer

Do in half an hour what would normally take weeks!

dubzer-logoNormally, making a website available in multiple languages is the last thing on the minds of a web developer. It costs time and money, is boring work, is error prone, and in the mind of a developer, it does not add any new features, or sexiness to the website. So, the developer drags his or her feet over this.

Of course, marketing does not see things the same way. Large chunks of the market are excluded when a website talks just in English. And trying to get engineering to produce the other language versions is a struggle.

Like they say, the best person to do something is the person who is most passionate about it. Which means that it would be great if the marketing department could translate the website without having to involve the developers.

That is the promise of Dubzer, which launched at Demo Fall 09′s Alpha Pitch today, and become the latest Pune startup to hit the world stage (after onion.tv that debuted at TechCrunch50′s demopit) from Santosh Dawara and Anjali Gupta, who previously brought us Lipikaar (the software for typing in Indian languages, which my mom loves), and Bookeazy (the much loved, but now dead, movie ticket booking service).

Dubzer will allow non-technical people to create translated versions of a website, or parts of a website, without requiring any significant changes to the backend of the website. It appears that this will be a hosted service, where you provide Dubzer with the URL of your website, they crawl it and then provide you with an online platform where you can start translating and publishing portions of your website (start with the most popular, or most important pages first). There are a whole bunch of features indicating that enterprise users are also being targeted – specifically, ability to translate intranets, fine-grained access control (i.e. who has permission to translate which portions of the site). Another interesting feature is that they allow you to implement different mechanisms of translation – i.e. free & paid translation methods, such as machine based (e.g. google translate), volunteer driven (e.g. what facebook is doing), crowd-sourced (as in wikipedia), or professional translation (sometimes, you get what you pay for).

Unlike Bookeazy and Lipikaar, Dubzer is actually incubated by Persistent Systems, which means that the team sits in Persistent Systems’ premises (except Anjali who has left Pune, traitorously defected to Bangalore). Their board of advisors includes Anand Deshpande, Founder and MD of Persistent, Abhijit Athavale, President of Markonix, and creator of PuneChips, and Jugal Gupta, CEO of Databyte.

One interesting point to note: Last year the Lipikaar founders ran into the problem of translating their website into all the various Indian languages (they are after all trying to sell software for writing in 18 different languages, so they better have their own website in those languages). When they did not find a decent solution, they decided to build it themselves and Dubzer was born. Similarly, Arun Prabhudesai was looking for a way to monetize his blog, trak.in with in-text ads, and did not find any appropriate solution. So, he decided to build it himself and hover.in was born.

There-in lies a lesson for us all…

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Comments

7 responses to Allow your marketing department to produce translated versions of your website with Dubzer

  1. sahil khan says:

    as it is said “necessity is the mother of all inventions”…

    last time i spoke to santosh he said bookeazy is on a pause due to things not working out with the multiplexes…wasnt expecting the url to redirect to dubzer already!

    • navin says:

      @sahil, while necessity is the mother of all inventions, I think too many people, when faced with necessity, just complain and give up, or make do with inferior existing alternatives, or otherwise move on. It would be great if more people looked at problems as an opportunity.

      As for bookeazy, it is unfortunately, and officially dead. That happened, I think, a couple of months ago. Picture abhi baaki nahiN hai, mere dost :-(. The irritation that bookmyshow is, will always ensure that I remember bookeazy fondly.

  2. Yogesh Pathak says:

    Way to go! Best luck.

  3. Santosh says:

    Hi Navin,

    Thank you for a wonderful story on Dubzer’s launch. Dubzer is public now and can work with you on a story for DEMO’s importance and impact for startups.

    On another note, Anjali’s move to Bangalore is fortuitous for us as she will be closer to prospective customers and partners from there. Nothing against Pune, we will be keeping our Tech right here.

    Lastly, I wanted to comment on the good work that PuneTech has been doing for startups. We recently received a call from a Silicon Valley based prospective customer who read about Dubzer on PuneTech first.

    That experience has put PuneTech in a very different light for me. I hope you will continue to grow PuneTech.

    Best Regards,
    Santosh Dawara

  4. navin says:

    @Santosh, thanks.

    1. Great. It would be great to do a @dubzer + @oniontv story on the whole DEMO/TC50 experience; from why it’s important, to how to go about it, and things you wish you’d done better.

    2. Re: your prospective customer, my first instinct was to point out that, we believe this happens rather regularly. Companies we feature get contacted by customers from various parts of India (e.g. Chennai), or the world. And guest authors get contacted in their professional capacity.

    But, I think the real truth is that when you put out a good product with such a clearly articulated value proposition, customers will find you, and the fact that this one happened via PuneTech is just incidental. When the message is so strong, the messenger doesn’t matter.

    Good luck with Dubzer.

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