lördag 27 juli 2013

Scandal of the Century - by Terry Lambert


Guest entry by Terry Lambert

With all the recent media interest surrounding the NSA scandal, and the sheer volume of new information materialising on an almost hourly basis, it is very difficult to even imagine where this will end.  Naturally there are comparisons being drawn, in terms of the impact of this scandal, to the “Richard Nixon” Watergate scandal of the early 70s, which ultimately lead to the unprecedented resignation of the President of the United States.  The subsequent “gate” scandals which followed in the wake of Watergate are so vast that there is even a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to them.

Over the years Watergate became known as the “Scandal of the Century” and a search in 1995 of the World Cat database, which at the time had over 28 million records in 17,000 worldwide libraries, revealed that there were over 2,897 articles on Nixon OR Watergate. I found this statistic quite staggering so after reading it I did a similar search myself and found 79,246 (25,248 of which were books alone) in 1 second on the Worldcat online search.
This is an enormous amount of material on a single subject matter and when I looked into it further I found that 55,844 out of the 79,246 were in English.  The breakdown of languages that followed started with
“Undetermined”= 5,368
French = 728
German = 606
Spanish = 486

Not content with this I then narrowed the search down and used Nixon AND Watergate and found 3,219 results of which 1,202 were books and again the lion share is reported to be in English (2,722)
Being a person with sales blood running his veins I looked at all these figures and thought about the amount of opportunities which can arise from historic events such as this from within the localization industry.  Not just the immediate social media and news items but the long term revenue which could be generated from becoming a subject matter expert.

If the predictions are correct, about the current NSA scandal exceeding the “Scandal of the Century” status of Watergate, then our industry could be on the verge of a worldwide explosion.  But wait a minute!!!! Do I really want to be associated with the world’s largest scandal?  This is a question probably better answered by you, but before you do you might want to listen to the Reith Lectures from 2009 with Michael Sandel.

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