FANDOM is a multi-lingual company and we're hosting wikis in more than 100 languages. Although most of our users are from the US and other English-speaking countries, people probably don't realize that there are a large number of users who love to experience FANDOM communities in a form dear to their hearts and homelands. According to Google Analytics, about 40% of unique visitors to wikis on FANDOM in 2017 are English users, and the rest come from other languages, including 14% in Spanish, 8% in Russian, 7% in Portuguese, 5% in French, 4% in German, 3% in Chinese. Is that surprising to you? To help and support such a large number of international users, FANDOM has a large group of International staff and volunteers who serve our communities on a daily basis.
As many of you know, our Community department is primarily organized into two large teams: Community Development (ComDev) and Community Support & Engagement (ComSup). Today I will explain you more about how the teams are organized, the functionality of each team, and how they support the International communities on FANDOM.
Developing International Communities
Similar to the English Community Development team, the international ComDev teams are focused on creating their own popular game and entertainment communities, increasing the community engagement, helping out marketing and programming teams on specific projects, developing social media channels to promote FANDOM's content, and helping to promote wikis across FANDOM's online tools, such as Spotlights and the ‘explore’ page for each of our top languages. For example, the German FANDOM ‘explore’ page and the Chinese FANDOM ‘explore’ page promote content from various communities in those languages, according to what is popular in gaming and entertainment in those regions of the world.
You may think all international users like the same “trending” topics as English users do. Well, not always! The most popular community in Spanish on FANDOM is the Drama Wiki, but it's not about Spanish drama shows; instead, many Spanish-speaking users come here and talk about their favorite Korean drama shows. One of the top wikis in Chinese, HKBus is not about any pop culture topic at all; it's all about Hong Kong bus lines! The community has over 13 thousand pages, and over 700,000 people visit this site every week. If you have a chance to visit Hong Kong and want to take their local buses, this community has all resources you need! Even including bus pictures taken by the users! We also have a Russian Anime Character Fight Wiki where users can create a unique tournament between characters from different anime universes, and have them battle out who is the strongest! You can read information about tons of characters on this wiki and create your own tournaments! Isn’t that cool? If you would like to explore more popular wikis in a specific language, you can visit our WAM page and find more interesting communities there!
Our ComDev team also gets a lot of help from our International Volunteer Team. These individuals provide help and advice to users in their language, and in many cases also play a role in localizing FANDOM’s user interface for their language’s users. They also help to translate blogs about product releases, and test new features in their specific language. For some languages that don’t have a member of the community team assigned, such as Italian, Korean, and Polish, the IVT is an even more crucial part of helping their communities grow and stay healthy.
Support and Engage with International Users
International staff and volunteers provide community and technical supports as well. At the top and bottom of Community Central's main page, you’ll see interlanguage links to 13 different Community Centrals in other languages. Six of them are managed and directly supported by FANDOM staff -- German, French, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese. The other seven are overseen by members of the IVT and kept up to date due through their dedicated volunteer work. These Community Centrals provide all helpful resources to our users in their specific languages including FANDOM University, FANDOM Office Hours, Weekly Technical Updates, Help pages, and support Forums, etc. In addition to the IVT, most international Community Centrals also have their own volunteer admins to manage things from day to day.
FANDOM also gets daily help in multiple languages from groups like the VSTF, and the global Discussions moderators. Together with English volunteers, they help communities clean up spam and vandalism on different wikis, and assist with growth and stability in Discussions. In 2017, we added more volunteers to the IVT - ranging from Italian-speaking helpers over Russian-speaking helpers to 4 Portuguese-Brazilian-speaking helpers. We also began to expand our team to work with Indonesian communities for the first time in FANDOM's history, by starting with interface localization. At the end of 2017 we had a total of 32 helpers across 12 languages. At the beginning of this year, we also added 4 new VSTF members and gained additional language coverage Spanish, Polish and Chinese. And due to a wonderfully multilingual user, we now have coverage in Kannada and Hindi for the first time! We will recruit more members from different language communities for these teams as needed in the future.
If you know someone who is a native speaker of a language besides English and is also a great FANDOM contributor who is willing to help, always feel free to recommend them to us. Because of their engagement and contributions, we can be who we are today -- a global fan site for anyone! Also Comment below if you have more questions about our international force, and I will be happy to tell you more!
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