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                             FreePint
         "Helping 62,000 people use the Web for their work"
                     http://www.freepint.com/

ISSN 1460-7239                                21st August 2003 No.143
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           ALTERNATIVE NEWSLETTER FORMATS AVAILABLE AT:
            <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210803.htm>

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                           IN THIS ISSUE
                           -------------

                             EDITORIAL

                       MY FAVOURITE TIPPLES
                           By Jela Webb

                           FREEPINT BAR
                    In Association with Factiva
                   a Dow Jones & Reuters Company

                               JOBS
                Senior Corporate Finance Researcher
                        Reference Librarian
                       Information Assistant
                        Information Auditor
                    Information Centre Officer

                           TIPS ARTICLE
      "Leadership Styles and the Life-cycles of Collectives"
                           By Sam Vaknin

                             BOOKSHELF
             "Implementing Digital Reference Services"
                     Reviewed by Alison Turner

                          FEATURE ARTICLE
           "Language Net - The Lasa Multikulti Website"
                       By Njomeza Kartallozi

               EVENTS, GOLD AND FORTHCOMING ARTICLES

                        CONTACT INFORMATION

             ONLINE VERSION WITH ACTIVATED HYPERLINKS
            <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210803.htm>

                      FULLY FORMATTED VERSION
            <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210803.pdf>


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       YOU'VE INVESTED IN CONTENT AND BUSINESS APPLICATIONS,
                BUT ARE THEY WORKING HARD ENOUGH? 
Factiva provides the tools and capabilities to build custom information
solutions for integration into your business applications. With
easy access to the right information in the right place you can make
informed business decisions, increasing organisational productivity and
reducing risk. Visit <http://www.factiva.com/redirects/workflow/freepint>
for relevant white papers and case studies.

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                     >>>  ABOUT FREEPINT  <<<

FreePint is an online network of information searchers. Members
receive this free newsletter twice a month: it is packed with tips
on finding quality and reliable business information on the Internet.

Joining is free at <http://www.freepint.com/> and provides access to
a substantial archive of articles, reviews, jobs & events, with
answers to research questions and networking at the FreePint Bar.

Please circulate this newsletter which is best read when printed out.
To receive a fully formatted version as an attachment or a brief
notification when it's online, visit <http://www.freepint.com/member>.

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                             EDITORIAL

I've been reminding you recently that we're increasingly adding more
content directly to the FreePint Web site as we've pretty much run out
of room here in the FreePint Newsletter.

For instance, we've just posted the next in our series of interviews
from New York on the FreePint Web site. Sylvia James is an independent
researcher in the business services sector and gives us her views on
the information profession and where it's going. It makes for very
interesting reading and ties in nicely with what I've been saying in
my recent editorials about the shift in the traditional boundaries of
the information profession as people move to alternative careers:

"It's the hidden community of innovative information jobs. Jobs where
the core information and knowledge management skills are used in the
widest and most innovative ways and on the fringes of the profession".

You can read the full interview online now at:

         <http://www.freepint.com/portal/events/sla-2003/>

Sylvia talks about 'corporate information governance' and how leaders
of multinationals have a responsibility to behave properly. We pick up
on this theme of leadership styles in today's Tips article, with a
look at a range of resources about different leadership styles.
Sylvia's comments about the necessity for globalisation by
professional associations have implications for Webmasters of multi-
language Web sites, the theme of today's Feature article.

The interview also covered education and the skill-sets of those
graduating with information qualifications. A common problem for
trainers and educators dealing with the Web is how to communicate long
URLs. This has been addressed by DigBig.com, a new service to shorten
long URLs. It's free to use at <http://www.digbig.com>.

We hope you enjoy today's mix of tips, articles, reviews and of course
a round-up of the latest from the FreePint Bar and Jobs services. Do
remember to visit the Web site too -- an average of five thousand
people visit every day and looked at over a million pages last month:

                          <http://www.freepint.com>

All the best
William

William Hann BSc(Hons) MCLIP
Founder and Managing Editor, FreePint
Email: <william.hann@freepint.com>   Tel: +44 (0)1784 420044

Free Pint is a Registered Trademark of Free Pint Limited (R) 1997-2003

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       >>>  Copyright & the Internet: Myth and Reality  <<<
                        ISBN 1-904769-00-4

This report explores issues relating to copyright and the internet,
and dispels some of the myths that have built up about how copyright
applies to the internet.

"Yes, the report is informative and value for money, with a nice clear
style and should be helpful when I try to draw up a copyright
statement for our website."

       <http://www.freepint.com/shop/report/copyrightmyths>


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                       MY FAVOURITE TIPPLES
                           By Jela Webb

* <http://www.trainingzone.co.uk> - A site for all training and HRD
  professionals - a wealth of information for anyone involved in
  training and you can also sign up for a free weekly newswire.

* <http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4> - Radio 4 was voted Radio Station of
  the Year in the Sony Academy awards 2003 - if you are busy working
  during the day and miss a programme just hit the 'listen again'
  button to hear it via the Internet - brilliant!

* <http://www.bwy.org.uk> - I started Yoga last September and love it
  - its so relaxing, certainly gets rids of the day-to-day stresses
  - this is the site for the British Wheel of Yoga which contains loads
  of useful information as well as yoga teachers in your area.

* <http://www.presentationbiz.co.uk> - Ever had to give a presentation
  and been really apprehensive about speaking in front of an audience?
  Worry no more - go here for useful tips and advice as well as
  presentation skills training.

* <http://www.anythingleft-handed.co.uk> - Although I'm not
  left-handed I have family and friends who are - this site is for
  left-handed people and left-handed products - a great place to buy
  presents for left-handers. 
  
Jela Webb is a freelance Information and Knowledge Management (IKM)
Consultant, Trainer and Lecturer. Last year she gained an MSc in IKM,
currently only one of twenty people in the UK to hold this
qualification, thereby supplementing her very broad practical
experience of implementing KM in large organisations. She is
particularly interested in how to manage and motivate knowledge
workers in the new economy.

Submit your top five favourite Web sites. See the guidelines at
<http://www.freepint.com/author.htm>.

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                 >>ONLINE INFORMATION CONFERENCE<<
              2-4 December 2003, Olympia, London, UK
   Book your place NOW to benefit from Super Early Bird Discounts!
  <http://www.online-information.co.uk/conferenceregistration.html>
International speakers include Ian Angell, London School of Economics;
Danny Sullivan, SearchEngineWatch, UK; Chris Sherman, Searchwise, USA;
Bob Boiko, University of Washington; Richard McDermott, McDermott
Consulting, USA. <http://www.online-information.co.uk/ol03/conference.html>

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                            FREEPINT BAR
                    In Association with Factiva
                   a Dow Jones & Reuters Company

Lots of requests for company-related information over the last couple
of weeks. How can you find out an Irish company's VAT number
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b25243>? Is there a way to break down
company staff costs <http://www.freepint.com/go/b25225>? Is there a
free alternative to Hoovers for finding out the top managers in a
company <http://www.freepint.com/go/b25093>?

Could you help someone looking for "information relating to the
overall size of the UK market for information, software, fee
protection insurance and seminars within the finance, tax and
accountancy professions" <http://www.freepint.com/go/b25237>? Is there
a definitive list of successful e-tailers and their estimated revenues
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b25160>? What about five-year figures
relating to IT funding from the UK to Africa
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b25087>? Do you know where to get access
to the PIMS (Profit of Market Strategy) database from the Strategic
Planning Institute and is it any good
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b25078>?

If you're doing any kind of legal information research then make sure
you read the valuable tips and warnings from an experienced pro
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b24801>.

Moving away from company information requests to Internet Webmaster
and searching questions, could you suggest what software to use to
index the whole of selected Websites on a weekly basis
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b25230>? Can you give pointers to
automatic content classification tools and concept extraction tools
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b25157>? Is there any work on creating an
API/RFC to access the 'deep web' <http://www.freepint.com/go/b25194>?

Talking of useful Web sites, is anyone else having problems using the
Wayback Machine at Archive.org <http://www.freepint.com/go/b25176>?
Peter Scott has updated his list of RSS Readers
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b25214> and the latest edition
of the Internet Resources Newsletter is available online
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b25083>.

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The FreePint Bar is where you can get help with your tricky research
questions, for free! <http://www.freepint.com/bar>

Help with study for information-related courses is available at the
FreePint Student Bar <http://www.freepint.com/student>.

Twice-weekly email digests of the latest postings can be requested
at <http://www.freepint.com/member>.

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                           KeepingLegal

Weblog covering legal issues affecting the information
profession such as copyright, data protection, and freedom
of information. The blog is accompanied by a regular
newsletter that people can register on the site to receive.

                   <http://www.keepinglegal.com>

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                           FREEPINT JOBS
                   <http://www.freepint.com/jobs>

FreePint Jobs -- the best place for information vacancies.

*  VACANCY SEARCHING -- Free search and set up a weekly alert profile.
*  VACANCY RECRUITING -- Complete the form and advertise a vacancy 
   for just GBP195 <http://www.freepint.com/jobs/submit/overview.php3>.

This week's selected listings are below. All new jobs are posted to
the Bar and Bar Digest (circulation 11,000+) and matched against the
1000+ live job seeker profiles. Last week's Bar 'new jobs' listing is
at <http://www.freepint.com/go/b25159>.

Here are some of the latest featured jobs:

Senior Corporate Finance Researcher
  Senior Corporate Finance Researcher who is proactive and lateral
  thinking for analytical research role.
  Recruiter: Glen Recruitment  
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/j2618>

Reference Librarian
  INSEAD, the world's leading international business school based in
  France, is seeking a Reference Librarian.
  Recruiter: INSEAD
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/j2619>

Information Assistant
  To be part of a friendly team of five from mid Oct 2003 for 6-9
  months for 3 days a week [M-W].
  Recruiter: Law Firm
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/j2620>

Information Auditor
  3-6 mth role to scope project, conduct info audit and produce report
  & recommendations. Use your RM knowledge and consultancy skills.
  Recruiter: Sue Hill Recruitment
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/j2627>

Information Centre Officer
  Research Institute requires Information Science/Librarianship
  graduate to transform our library into an Information Centre.
  Recruiter: Overseas Development Institute
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/j2630>
  
[The above jobs are paid listings]

       Find out more today at <http://www.freepint.com/jobs>

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           >>>  MODULES FOR RUNNING COMMUNITY SITES  <<<

    Are you running an online network or community of members?
     Would you like to 'plug in' features such as newsletters,
      forums, banner advertising or password-protected pages?

  Willco provides FreePint's technology and could provide yours:

                     <http://www.willco.com>

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                            TIPS ARTICLE
         <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210803.htm#tips>
      "Leadership Styles and the Life-cycles of Collectives"
                           By Sam Vaknin


The Alleged Importance of Leadership
------------------------------------

Do leaders determine the fate and nature of the collectives they lead
- or are they determined by them? Is history - corporate, national,
and international - the cumulative outcome of the decisions and acts
of leaders and executives? Or does the course of history determine
these decisions and acts almost fatalistically? A little bit of both,
probably.


What is Leadership?
-------------------

Leadership is an elusive quality. There seem to be as many answers as
there are articles. Big Dog's Leadership Page
<http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leader.html> provides a fair
and comprehensive introduction. BPubs.com offers a selection of
articles about leadership
<http://www.bpubs.com/Management_Science/Leadership/>. My own modest
contribution <http://samvak.tripod.com/leader.html> deals with the
way leaders emerge. The Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership
<http://www.greenleaf.org/> and the Leadership Directories
<http://www.leadershipdirectories.com/> demonstrate how diverse and
subtle the phenomenon of leadership is - many of the leaders listed in
the latter lead by serving as propounded by the former.


Academic Institutions and Professional Associations
---------------------------------------------------

Leadership is a hot - and, therefore, lucrative - topic. Institutions
such as the University of Maryland's Academy of Leadership
<http://www.academy.umd.edu/> are hybrids: they combine the academic
excellence and prowess of a think tank with the down to earth approach
of a consultancy. So does the Center for Creative Leadership
<http://www.ccl.org/>. The International Leadership Association
<http://www.academy.umd.edu/ila/> is a "global network for all those
who practice, study, and teach leadership."


Can Leadership be Taught?
-------------------------

It sure can, insist thousands of outfits, both big and tiny. Academy
Leadership <http://www.academyleadership.com/index.asp> was founded by
Annapolis and West Point graduates and provides in-house programs,
speakers, workshops, executive coaching, and leadership evaluation.
Baldoni Consulting <http://www.lc21.com/index2.html> affords both
resources and services as do Lead Well <http://www.leadwell.com/>.
LeaderValues <http://www.leader-values.com/> teaches leadership based
on the 4 Es: Envision, Enable, Empower, Energize. Even political
parties strive to inculcate leadership in their rank and file - says
the Leadership Institute <http://www.leadershipinstitute.org/>.

Leadership seems to be needed even outdoors, insists the National
Outdoors Leadership School <http://www.nols.edu/>. The Community
Leadership Association <http://www.communityleadership.org/>
"(nurtures) leadership in communities throughout the United States and
internationally." Women - faced with a "glass ceiling" - would do
particularly well to develop leadership skills, claim Rutgers
University's Center for Women's Global Leadership
<http://www.cwgl.rutgers.edu/> and the Institute for Women's Leadership
<http://www.womensleadership.com/>.

Every self-respecting business school and university offer a
leadership curriculum, syllabus, or at the very least topic: Wharton 
<http://leadership.wharton.upenn.edu/welcome/index.shtml>, Yale 
<http://www.ceoleadership.com/>, Harvard <http://www.clg.harvard.edu/>,
INSEAD <http://www.insead.edu/emba/index.cfm?cont_id=24>, the
University of Georgia <http://www.fanning.uga.edu/>, and Birmingham
University <http://cls.binghamton.edu/> - to present a totally
arbitrary sample. Even governments - such as Canada's - joined the
fray <http://leadership.gc.ca/menu_e.asp>.


Leadership Forums
-----------------

Leaders like to compare notes. The International Senior Executive
Community <http://www.chiefofficer.com/> is only one of many. The
Executive Leadership Exchange <http://www.excellceo.com/> is another.
Yahoo!Groups <http://groups.yahoo.com/search?query=leadership> list
more than 4000 groups under "leadership". The Kellogg Business
Leadership Club 
<http://www.kellogg.nwu.edu/student/club/lead/index.htm> bestows the
Kellogg Award for Distinguished Leadership and organizes leadership
conferences.


Pathological Leaders
--------------------

My field of study is psychopathological leadership
<http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/15.html>. Erich Fromm suggested
that both Hitler and Stalin were psychopaths. Lately, Milosevic and
Saddam have been cast as "malignant narcissists". Political leaders
are often castigated as mentally disturbed. But such pathologies are
not the preserve of bloodthirsty tyrants. They are common in corporate
settings as well <http://samvak.tripod.com/corporatenarcissism.html>
and <http://www.nypress.com/16/7/news&columns/feature.cfm>.

Some scholars, such as Michael Maccoby <http://www.maccoby.com/> and
Roy Baumeister <http://baumeister.socialpsychology.org/>, postulate
that effective leadership - the vision thing and all - is actually
enhanced by the milder forms of pathologies such as narcissism.
Dattner Consulting has an excellent overview of the issue here:
<http://www.dattnerconsulting.com/presentations/narcissism/index.html>


Literature
----------

Leadership and Change Books <http://www.leadershipandchangebooks.com/>
provides summaries and excerpts regarding leadership from numerous
management books. The current issue of Leadership Magazine Online
<http://www.leadership.co.za/> requires subscription but the
substantial archive is free. Leadership Guide Magazine
<http://www.leadershipdevelopment.com/> is entirely free, subject to
online registration. The Academic Leadership Journal
<http://www.academicleadership.org/> is a scholarly quarterly which
covers leadership-related research papers, essays, and bibliographic
information. Leadership Now has an archive of relevant articles
<http://www.leadershipnow.com/>. The Master Facilitator Journal
<http://www.masterfacilitatorjournal.com/> is an e-zine for leaders,
coaches, and facilitators. Leading Today
<http://www.leadingtoday.org/> make available online both their WeLead
Magazine and the e-Journal of Organizational Learning and Leadership.

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Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited
and the Webmaster of <http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com> and 
<http://www.healthyplace.com/communities/personality_disorders/narcissism/>

He is also the editor of <http://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/npd> and
the moderator of the Narcissistic Abuse List
<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/narcissisticabuse/> and other mailing
lists (c. 4000 members).

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Related FreePint links:

* 'Business Services' articles and resources in the FreePint Portal
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/p167>
* Post a message to the author, Sam Vaknin, or suggest further
  resources at the FreePint Bar <http://www.freepint.com/bar>
* Read this article online, with activated hyperlinks
  <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210803.htm#feature>
* Access the entire archive of FreePint content
  <http://www.freepint.com/portal/content/>

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            >>>  LONG URLS MADE SHORT :: DigBig.com <<<

      Want to make long and unwieldy URLs short and memorable?
                   Use the free DigBig service:

                      <http://www.digbig.com>

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>>>  Reach the Largest Network of Information Purchasers Anywhere  <<<

      Advertise with FreePint to reach a professional audience
           of information users, providers and purchases.

                <http://www.freepint.com/advert.htm>

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                         FREEPINT BOOKSHELF
                <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf>
             "Implementing Digital Reference Services"
          Edited by Lankes, McClure, Gross and Pomerantz.
                     Reviewed by Alison Turner

My first thought on reading the title of this book was "At last, a
book offering practical help and advice" and I have to say the book
does deliver. It's full of information, models and tips valuable to
anyone new to or working in the field of digital reference.

Digital reference is a hot topic in the UK and although this book is
focused on services in American library and information centres, it is
relevant to an international audience. The issues addressed will be
similar and there are lessons to be learned from the successes and
hurdles experienced by the various authors. There are sections which
deal with legal issues, such as privacy and copyright, so the level of
detail there may not be as relevant. The book is based on papers
delivered at the Third Annual Virtual Reference Desk Digital Reference
Conference held in 2001; papers have been compiled and updated.

The book is organised into six parts:

1. Identifying the need for digital reference services -- which
   outlines the issues involved in designing services by focusing on
   two very different examples

2. Managing key digital reference issues -- concentrates on the broad
   themes of copyright, privacy and the use of artificial intelligence

3. Implementing a real-time reference service -- looks at the
   different options for delivering live reference, from the basic
   email to more complex chat systems

4. Conceiving and implementing collaborative reference services --
   details the pros and cons of working collaboratively and considers
   issues such as user needs and standards

5. Using key findings from research in digital reference -- attempts
   to "bridge the gap" between theory and practical by describing how
   current research can help to inform future development and
   discussing key research results

6. Evaluating digital reference service quality -- considers the
   various approaches to evaluation and presents a literature review
   and results from a national project

The book itself is presented well - A4-ish size and a decent typeface.
This makes it easy to read for lazy readers like me - so many
library-related books have tiny text which makes my eyes water!
Probably more of a desktop reference book than a take-on-the-train book
just because of its size; but one that you can dip into now and again.

Some of the highlights for me were:

* A comparison between ask-a-librarian and ask-an-expert services,
  interesting given the reaction to Google Answers when it was
  launched (librarians come out on top, reassuringly!)

* A set of recommended policies and procedures for delivering live
  services

* The focus on real services, giving an insight into how projects and
  services were delivered, with detail such as timescales,
  specifications and lessons learned

The book offers a practical insight into issues around planning,
delivering and evaluating, with reference to the research base. It
addressed and answered a lot of the questions I had and I found the
range of services described interesting. My overall impression is a
book well worth reading if digital reference interests you at all.

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Alison Turner is Library Partnerships Co-ordinator with the National
electronic Library for Health <http://www.nelh.nhs.uk>, a service
based in the National Health Service in England, with the aim of
promoting evidence-based decision-making. Alison has worked in health
libraries for 9 years, and previously worked in the academic and
research sectors.

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Related FreePint links:

* Find out more about this book online at the FreePint Bookshelf
  <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf/digref.htm>
* Read customer comments and buy this book at Amazon.co.uk
  <http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1856044629/freepint0c>
  or Amazon.com
  <http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1555704506/freepint00>
* "Implementing Digital Reference Services" ISBN 1856044629, published
  by Facet Publishing, Edited by Lankes, McClure, Gross and Pomerantz.
* Search for and purchase any book from Amazon via the FreePint
  Bookshelf at <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf>
* Read about other Internet Strategy books on the FreePint Bookshelf
  <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf/strategy.htm>

To propose an information-related book for review, send details
to <bookshelf@freepint.com>.

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            >>>  UK COMPANY AND DIRECTOR RESEARCH  <<<

FreePint Financials is a comprehensive database of UK companies
and the people who operate them. It is free to search and you
can purchase details reports as required without subscription.

                   <http://www.freepint.com/icc>

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                           FEATURE ARTICLE
         <http://www.freepint.com/issues/210803.htm#feature>
           "Language Net - The Lasa Multikulti Website"
                       By Njomeza Kartallozi
                  <http://www.multikulti.org.uk>


Advice and Information in Community Languages
---------------------------------------------

Multikulti started about four years ago after a discussion between Dan
McQuillan, a senior IT consultant at the London Advice Services
Alliance (Lasa, an expert resource for advisers), and a Citizens
Advice Bureau (CAB) manager. The Manager's CAB found it almost
impossible to provide up-to-date information on benefit law in
community languages. Leaflets quickly became out-of-date and were
expensive to reprint and distribute. Dan thought the web would be an
ideal tool for updating multilingual information quickly and cheaply.

However a quick examination of the net showed just how few UK sites
provided good independent information in community languages. The web
may have transformed access to information for millions of people
worldwide, but many still remain excluded because they don't speak the
right language. A group of us got ambitious and decided to make an
attempt at closing that gap in the net. The idea was to create one
site that provided good, regularly updated advice on matters important
to the main non-English speaking communities in the UK - bread-and-
butter matters like debt, employment, housing, health, immigration
issues and welfare benefits.

The pilot project tested out the idea amongst community groups in
Haringey, London. They were frustrated with the quality of translated
material available. Often it was inaccurate, out of date, or written
in a way that clients couldn't understand. For us the difficulties of
dealing with so many languages and so many language communities
quickly became apparent. We started with 14 languages and were
translating about six information leaflets in each language (the
leaflets covered topics like eligibility for welfare benefits, how to
register with a GP, asylum status etc). These translations went
through various drafts, which had to be proofread, corrected, sent
back to the translator or on to our Editorial Board. Keeping track of
this circulation of part-finished documents was a major job in itself.

However, our problems weren't limited to workflow issues. The Internet
has gone through several phases, but all the way through it's been an
English-based medium. Ideally, we wanted to make the technology work
with people's cultures rather than the culture with the technology.
This commitment forced us to confront some 'challenging' technical
issues, particularly around multilingual scripts (and the languages
we'd chosen included Bengali, Gujerati, Arabic, Farsi, Chinese - all
of them non-Roman scripts). The Internet remains a mainly European-
language technology. Every letter displayed on a website is sent to a
computer as a number. The highest number allowed in HTML was
originally 255, which means there aren't enough spare numbers for the
different characters that make up non-European languages. One way
round this is for each language to have its own "character set."
However, we found that character sets weren't available for many of
the languages we wanted, and they can only ever display European
letters along with one other script - they aren't multilingual
character sets.

We tried another approach - "Unicode". This is a different way of
linking numbers to characters so that more than 255 numbers are
available. But, disappointingly, Unicode wasn't a satisfactory
technological solution at the start of the project, partly because the
standard was incomplete and partly because browsers implemented it
poorly. Since Multikulti was dealing with many languages we needed a
simple solution, which could also produce high quality printouts. We
decided on the Adobe PDF format as an alternative. The multilingual
content - our translated information leaflets - were converted into
PDF files and made accessible through the language categories on the
website.

This worked reasonably well, but PDFs have limitations. They take
multilingual content and wrap it in a kind of software cellophane.
Furthermore, you need an extra piece of software (Acrobat Reader) to
read it, which for site users complicates the process of accessing
documents. For us, the Multikulti site in its original form wasn't
ideal. It remained a basically English site with multilingual content
hanging off it.

Unicode technology, however, moved on. We wanted the information on
the site to be available as real text in all the languages, instead of
being zipped inside a PDF package. So we began the development of a
new site using Unicode (with funds provided by the New Opportunities
Fund). A Unicode site would enable Multikulti to comply not only with
our own commitment to a culturally appropriate technology but also
with accessibility standards like the Web Accessibility Initiative
from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) <http://www.w3.org/WAI/>. The
Unicode content should be searchable, making Multikulti's resources
easier to find via Internet search engines (see the 'Dublin Core
Metadata standards' <http://dublincore.org/> particularly the
'Resource Description Framework' <http://www.w3.org/RDF/>. Also, as
the text is directly editable within Multikulti's Content Management
System it should make the job of keeping the content up to date
easier.

To comply with these standards and to make the site truly multilingual
we opted for the Unicode UTF-8 standard <http://www.unicode.org/>,
which had already been adopted as the standard for HTML 4.
Theoretically, all user agents and browsers should now be able to
understand Unicode UTF-8 (though we've been waiting some time for
Browsers and Operating Systems to catch up).

We divided the conversion to Unicode into three distinct technical
areas:

1. Generating text
2. Storing and delivering text
3. Rendering and displaying text

First of all, we made a technical partnership with a team of
developers who addressed the second area. They had already tackled the
challenge of creating a database and content management system managed
by UTF-8. We shouldered the burden of the first area - generating
Unicode content in all languages - ourselves. For some languages this
was relatively easy as Windows Operating System binaries have been
based on Unicode since Windows 98/Office 97. But successfully
generating complex scripts, such as Indic languages, is difficult
(put another way - it's at the cutting-edge of technological
development in this field. Software for Bengali and Gujerati is, even
now, being re-written on a weekly basis by the developers).

Our task was to ensure that people could actually read the text.
Initially we regarded this as a font issue, but soon discovered it was
about much more than fonts. Some character sets require complex
character re-ordering and combining
<http://people.w3.org/rishida/scripts/tutorial/script-intro-2.pdf>.
What you see on screen is very different to what streams in as a coded
web page. Browsers can only build the right glyphs with the help of
the operating system (the engineering required to create the correct
script comes from the underlying operating system, working at the
level of 'raw character streams'). Fortunately, font standards have
advanced to accommodate this. The True Type font standard has now
blossomed into the Open Type font standard
<http://www.agfamonotype.com/presentations/iuc-18-jh/Script-specificFontFeatures.pdf>,
which includes all the rules required to make letters. However, an
engine inside the operating system is still required to do the work.
Our attempted solution was twofold:

1. Identify and make accessible the free and compliant font resources
   across all site languages.

2. Determine by experiment the baseline levels of operating system and
   browser software needed to view the different languages.

Our experiments revealed that to view certain scripts (especially
Bengali and Gujerati) users need to be running Windows XP Pro on a
powerful PC. However, experience of working with local community
groups has shown us that you can't just say 'get a new PC with Windows
XP Pro' and leave it at that. Time, money and training resources are
usually stretched, and there are always other more pressing
priorities. As a safety net we decided to continue to make PDF's
available for computers that cannot render the correct script.

So we still have some problems with a fully Unicode-enabled site. We
need to make suitable Unicode fonts available to users for all
languages, and only recent browser versions will properly display
right-to-left and complex scripts. Most people are using old operating
systems that have never heard of Open Type fonts. Also the current
compliant fonts for these languages are proprietary, and cannot be
given away. Our hope for an open and accessible font solution lies in
projects like 'Freebanglafont'
<http://mail.nongnu.org/archive/html/freebangfont-devel/>. But we're
making some progress. We are extending our system to include remote
workflow for translators and proofreaders, and we are developing a
glossary system for the translation of key jargon terms (like "Home
Office" or "Maternity Leave"). The full Unicode version of the site
should be with us this year.

Currently the Multikulti site contains translations of leaflets in ten
community languages, covering six key areas:

1. Immigration and asylum
2. Welfare benefits
3. Employment
4. Housing
5. Health
6. Debt

The languages we chose were Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi,
French, Gujerati, Somali, Spanish and Turkish. We selected languages
according to whether they represented a newly settled community in the
UK; or if the longer-established communities had low levels of spoken
English and few translated materials available. Our funding is
provided by the New Opportunities Fund (though this will end in
September 2004).

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Njomeza Kartallozi is the Website Development Worker of Multikulti 
<http://www.multikulti.org.uk>, an information and advice website in 10
community languages. The Multikulti project is managed by Lasa (London
Advice Services Alliance) <http://www.lasa.org.uk>, a development and
resource agency for advice and information providers. Further
information on the project is available from Njomeza Kartallozi at
<nkartallozi@lasa.org.uk> or alternatively <info@lasa.org.uk>.

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