Post Editing: Saved by the cloud

It’s been cold here in Sandpoint; clear and dry and windy, with sunshine that can’t possibly counteract the -30°F windchill factor. Today a low-pressure system moved in, and the effect is that everything now feels about 50 degrees warmer. We’ve been saved by a cloud. Not only that, but the cloud is also producing gentle flurries of ice crystals, which in Sandpoint means one thing: the conditions for skiing in our backyard resort will be good tomorrow.
As the year turns and we head into 2014, those of us in the more sporty corners of the Northern hemisphere celebrate. We like being saved by the cloud. Those of us around the globe in the localization industry look to a different kind of cloud for some of the same benefits — protection, gentle conditions and even fun.
Protection because — as Oliver Carreira notes in Perspectives — saving data on the cloud can mean you have off-site back-up data. Gentle conditions, as many of the writers in our focus allude to, because cloud interfaces and interaction tend to be user-friendly and straightforward. Think, for example, of a group of ten people plotting out a large meal in one document. They could do it online in Google Docs, where they can see updates in real time and their changes are saved automatically. Or they could do it by sending a Word document as an e-mail attachment across different generations of computers and e-mail clients, then send it back out after adding to the document. Unless they have really spotty internet or some sort of trouble with logins, Google Docs is going to be easier for this group scenario.
So working in the cloud can be great. But as Daniel Goldschmidt notes in his Takeaway, the cloud isn’t perfect yet — there are new challenges and possibilities that come with localizing in and for the cloud. So happy 2014, and let it snow!