You’ll notice that since launching the French and Spanish versions of Scubbly, we’ve been pleased to see some non-English language products offered for sale.
It makes sense to segregate products based on language. If you are a Spanish-speaking person you would probably want to browse products offered in your own language, like e-books, audio books, documentary films, videos etc. I acknowledge that if you’re only interested in books in French, it can be tiresome to flip through pages of books looking for ones that are in French mixed in with all the English stuff, when the only indication of a product’s language is its title or description.
However I don’t like the idea of segregating products into separate sites. We’ve gone to great lengths to assure that showing all products via all versions of the site, regardless of their language, is done according to the strictest standards of the W3C and Search Engines, so that they are properly presented and all visitors can see all products, regardless of their language. Who’s to say I wouldn’t like to listen to an audio book of Voltaire in the original French? If it’s only shown at fr.scubbly.com, I may never see that it’s available.
Instead of segregating, we are working on ways of adding filters to your browsing experience, so you can choose criteria that you care about and only see products that meet them.
In each category, there are properties that all those products will likely have in common. For example: e-books have properties like language, number of pages, copyright status. A video will have properties like file format, length, codec, quality. Software will have properties like what operating systems it will run on.
One of the features we’re working on to release in early 2011 is the ability to filter a search using these properties. Not all categories will have them, but those that do need them will get them.
This does mean that sellers will have to offer more information about their products. In particular, sellers will be strongly encouraged to enhance their product data with the language for books and audio, and operating systems for software.
The property filtering feature is still in the planning stages, and may take several months before it’s launchable. If you have opinions & ideas about what properties you’d like to see, contact us or just leave a comment here on the blog and we’ll see it.