Signing Off From Bird’s Nest: Ai Weiwei in English

Some two years ago, in the spring of 2010, Jennifer Ng and I founded Bird’s Nest: Ai Weiwei in English, with a great deal of help from a number of volunteer designers and translators (including our brilliant anonymous designer Fat Sun who set up the two-column format).  What started as an experiment in collaborative translation has since grown tremendously, with nearly a dozen contributors at all levels, from editorial to translation to news posts and copy editing, who’ve collectively kept the site humming with nearly 4000 posts since we started.  The site and corresponding Twitter feed following have since grown to nearly 14,000 followers, and our translators have been cited in publications like the New York Times, CNN and the Wall St. Journal.

It’s time to say goodbye to what’s been an incredible working experience in online collaboration for me, as I formally hand off the reins to André Holthe.  As I mentioned in my post announcing André as lead editor, he’s incredibly qualified for the role, as a dedicated translator, editor and polyglot.  (He also holds the distinction of having translated Weiwei’s first tweet since he returned from his illegal detention.)  We’ve all appreciated André’s incredible dedication to the site over the years.  He’ll be overseeing the next stages of the site, as he onboards new translators and sets up a Creative Commons License for translations, to ensure clarity about rights to their usage.  To help him, I’ve developed a back-end translation tool (pictured above) to streamline the translation process for our translators.

I’m sad to formally leave the site as an administrator but will be staying onboard as a translator and developer/designer to assist as helpful.  It’s been a great run, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the site grows and develops in the coming years.  As Weiwei’s tax case moves forward and he continues to push out new art works and to engage with his 150,000+ followers online, be sure to follow Bird’s Nest on Tumblr and Twitter – I certainly will be.

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