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I think we have two separate problems here. One is content and link integration. The other is language translation. Some random thoughts:
1. The person writing a diary does not have to be the person translating the diary. We already have people who translate outside content because they think it's interesting enough to share. Translating internal content is the same problem.
So all it takes to spread good content around is some volunteers willing to translate - say - a French posting into German if they find it interesting enough.
2. Network integration bvy degrees is probably not a a problem that can be solved.
I'm tempted to axe the idea of differentiating local and and remote blogs altogether. How about amalgamating incoming streams into a user-selected ÜberBlog, with language, source and locality selected as a tag/search attribute/whatever?
If you're sharing logins, sharing Wikis, and sharing content, you might as well go the whole hog and just merge everything. Use one distributed interface for access, and make it customisable with a bit of localisation for different reader groups.
This gives you instant syndication. Authors can decide which tags and labels they release diaries with. Readers can decide which streams they want to read, based on those tags and labels - which could include a blog name, a language, an author, any of the above, or something else entirely.
The 'blogs' are now search criteria entered via login portals. But in theory any diary can be shared across the network instantly.
And the ET hive mind sits in the middle, amalgamating and distributing everything. (Or rather, organising the amalgamation.)
It's round about here that someone is going to say 'But Scoop doesn't do that.'
Indeed, it doesn't. But if we're going to start networking things, is Scoop still the right platform for that? If we start building something ambitious with it now, will there be problems building the network later?
If you give readers the choice to decide which tags they want to read, it's much more useful to them than giving them a choice about which blogs they want to read. It also minimises duplication, because the diary can be in one place instead of copied between many.
And I don't necessarily want to have to log into a different blog to read and comment on an interesting diary. (Etc.)
I can see some problems with this approach - will it delete the community feel? - but I think it's at least worth considering as an option.
The same with feed of news... a default set-up.. and if in the future we can change the code and make it personal... it will be ok.
I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact.
ET is international(ish) by definition because the content is either explicitly European or has a Euro angle.
Not every blog needs to have a scope that's quite this wide. You can easily split content into International, Euro-wide, national, local and subject-specific issues, and let people pick and choose which they want to read. If someone on the Euro side finds some local content interesting, they'll very likely translate enough of it to make it worth discussing.
2. You don't need to confuse the user. You can have a themed log-in portal that picks out one stream - e.g. energy news - by default. Then once they're in they can read a note that says 'By the way, did you know there's more...?' and they're off and running.
Metaphors I have used when thinking/talking about this are that ET should be the crossroads, the meeting-place, the agora. How to automatise individual choice while still respecting that ethos?
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