Savvy Sweden.cn mastermind Stefan Geens presenting the site in Beijing, China.
Two days ago Stefan Geens did a brief walk-through and introduced Sweden.cn to an excited audience. He has done this kind of presenting before. Some of you might remember the Swedish institute in Second Life? Here’s a presentation from the Second House of Sweden blog three years ago. So the Sweden.cn event was a success all together and the venue — D lounge in Beijing, China — had some 300 people crammed inside to watch.
So why is this so special you might ask. Web sites in China need local servers and web pages that works the way people there want them to. If you compare the sites you can identify a few differences. Language of course, but also navigation and pictues. Try Sweden.cn. Slow? Sweden.se works exactly the other way around from China, so local servers were really important.
The staff here in Stockholm has also been involved. Frida has been occupied with a bunch of administative and strategic matters, and Oliver with delivering the content to make the site really rich. And last but not least, Stefan Geens the project manager in Shanghai, China. He has had a key role in this project for sure.
Per and Stefan at the cafe “Book worms” in Beijing, preparing for tomorrow’s launch event .
So finally we finally got there! After approx one year, the project of producing a Chinese version of Sweden.se comes to an end with the official launch party for Sweden.cn. The event is being organised by the Swedish Embassy in Beijing tomorrow night, Saturday. It’s been a unique project as the site is not just a translation into Chinese but has been adopted to the Chinese target audience – in terms of design, images, editorial material, structure and navigation. Having said that, it’s of course the same ‘Sweden’ we communicate all over the world. We have just learnt that sometimes it’s necessary to ‘localize’ communications to be effective. We even have a server in China!
So what do I feel? A mixture of feelings: pride, excitement but also a slight pang of emptiness…it has been such an exciting project, lots of challenges (to say the least, I have been pulling my hair out at times) but also lots of new knowledge and insight into intercultural digital communications. The Chinese Internet community is unique and consists of almost 400 million users. Imagine the potential! China as a country is also extremely interesting. Now, we’ll focus on managing the website on an ongoing basis. Hopefully we’ll succeed in what is our assignment – to communicate Sweden in the Chinese digital environment.
Attending from the Sweden.se-staff is also Per who will be DJ:ing at the event (Cannot wait to see that:)). And Stefan Geens, the Project Manager for the whole shabang is flying in from Shanghai where he has been based for the last year. Let the celebration begin!…