Monday, September 24, 2007

On Google Docs, Commoncraft and dotSUB

Although I do very little collaborative work I can see the value of Google Docs.
There can be no doubt that those involved in group activities would find the ability to share and work on documents on line useful.

Lecturers might want to bring Google Docs to the attention of their students, and possibly explore the application themselves to facilitate the preparation of papers for departmental, university and wider audiences.

The commoncraft team have produced an excellent video, describing clearly and simply how Google Docs works.
Watch it.

Regular readers would not be surprised to read that I would be careful about the sort of documents that I might place in Google's care. It might not be the place for highly sensitive, controversial or valuable documents. On the other hand documents placed in Google's care might be more secure than those left on lost and stolen laptops or on the hard drives of second hand computers.

As a result of reading the commoncroft blog I have been introduced to dotSUB, a Web 2.0 application that provides an easy way for videos to be translated into a wide range of languages by the use of subtitles.

Its very clever, simple to use and should be noted by those who work in bilingual and multilingual countries.


  1. dotSUB looks interesting, but does it have to be subtitled in the first place?

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  3. Interesting question rhys.

    To be honest, I'm not sure, but I doubt it. I thought that the subtitling took place at dotSUB. There are demo films there with no subtitles (yet).

    I've been back to have a look at the site and from the registration page I have the impression that registered users, (once approved by dotSUB) can submit a film that could then be subtitled.

    It looks really neat. It's not really my area of interest but I can see so many possibilities for it's use in language work.

    Having said that, fitting subtitles to film is quite difficult if there is too much speech, the result could be confusing with the viewer having little or no time to read subtitles before the next subtitle appears, resulting in a sort of subtitle lag; a bit like watching the news in Welsh with 888 subtitles up.