03 October 2009

URLs, Wine, Globalization

I found an article in the Wall St. Journal (yes, I admit I read that conservative, Republican-propaganda rag) and came upon an article about summer wine festivals. One entry caught my eye, as it’s in Paris (wine in Paris?) in Montmartre – my absolute favorite part of the city (as it is for many people).

What was intriguing, and frustrating, was typing in the website URL. I tried three or four times, but always seemed to have a misspelling. I finally Googled “harvest festival montmartre paris” and got to the website.

OK, so you try typing (don’t cut and paste!) this URL correctly the first time. fetedesvendangesdemontmartre.com

Yes, I know that the “longest URL” is... hold your breath...


...but that’s a gimmick. The Montmartre Harvest Festival is trying to advertise a real, interesting, authentic event. An event I’d like to attend someday.

But the site is all in French (of which I speak not much more than my hundred words of restaurant French), and every web translation service I tried (Google, Yahoo, InterTran, Transparent, Applied Language, and the translate buttons on the site itself) either hangs or renders such gibberish English that it’s worse than laughable.

The harvest festival sure needs a web marketing consultant. (FdVdM.com – Fete des Vendanges de Montmartre – is available; as is MontmartreWineFestival.com, for the English-speaking crowd. Jump on that last URL – put up a cheapo website and slam some Google ads in there to make your fortune.)

We sure have a lot of work to do to create the global village.