The IDM Free Online Platform for Dictionary Publishers

By November 17, 2016,
Page 389-401
Author Vincent Lannoy
Title The IDM Free Online Platform for Dictionary Publishers
Abstract Printed dictionaries have built a genuine identity over the years. Lexicographers work for renowned publishers according to specific rules and processes; distribution channels are well-organized and efficient at delivering to educational or public markets. The emergence of new actors, exclusively focused on the Web, is a major upheaval as they deliver large corpora to a worldwide audience. Those Pure Players are now dominating the online dictionary market not only in terms of audience but also by establishing their own brands, independent of existing print brands.
These new actors bring their own vision of what an online dictionary should be. This presents a great opportunity for the industry to rethink the way dictionaries are written and published, inspired by the distinctive strengths of the Internet as a medium which call for clarity of the information, easiness of the service, and above all, intrinsic value of linguistic, i.e. lexicographic data.
Our experience, built through day-to-day management of several major free online dictionary websites, demonstrates the strong draw of dictionary content. Since dictionary websites encompass a very broad spectrum of the language and make it available for free on the Internet, users discover online dictionaries by very diverse means. Their distinct paths to a dictionary reflect their different interests in the content, and also their different expectations for the content delivered.
Making dictionary data amenable to favourable placement in search engines, for searches made in many languages, requires close involvement of lexicographers. These lexicographers must adapt to a process of creating entries for dynamic display on screen in addition to static display in print; understanding the impact of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on entry structure; integrating a rich network of hyperlinks and making use of non-textual media to enrich their lexical content. Lexicographers are in the spotlight of the digital paradigm!
Quality of the content and publishers’ care over data play a key role in building user loyalty and depth of visit on the Website. On average, in a language learning context, we observe that visits last between 5 and 7 pages, providing the publisher with the opportunity to be in contact with its users for several pages. The question is to do what? For the moment, most of the dictionary websites are dead ends: a user enters for one or several definitions and leaves though his needs or interests can be much deeper. He may require course books, vocabulary lists, exercises for learners, novels, reference content, etc. Affiliation models help propose not only the publisher’s own content but complementary contents, products or services coming from partners. We are currently successfully experiencing with a partner the efficiency of an up-sales model based on dictionary free entries. Dictionary content is not only an efficient attraction point but plays also the role of a user qualification filter for targeted up-sales. Dictionary is an intermediary between a query and a targeted product.
Let’s detail the opportunities offered by the online dictionary market in three areas:
· Search Engine Optimization (SEO): why dictionary content is a marvellous resource to answer a wide range of queries in search tools such as Google, Bing, Yandex or Baidu,
· Reaching local markets worldwide with bilingual content,
· User Generated Content: an unmissable resource.
Session Computational Lexicography and Lexicology
author = {Vincent Lannoy},
title = {The IDM Free Online Platform for Dictionary Publishers},
pages = {389-401},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 14th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2010},
month = {jul},
date = {6-10},
address = {Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, The Netherlands},
editor = {Anne Dykstra and Tanneke Schoonheim},
publisher = {Fryske Akademy},
isbn = {978-90-6273-850-3},