Berzin Archives e.V.

Berzin Archives e.V., as a free information provider, is dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of academic teaching and reference material, in written, audio and video formats, produced by Dr. Alexander Berzin to preserve the cultural and religious traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
Mar 21, 2017

Berzin Archives Report: January through March 2017

During the past three months, we have been working steadily on the process of migrating the rest of the Berzin Archives website material from the old format to the new Study Buddhism format. During this period, we have:

  • Completed the shortening of the titles of the 1,150 English articles to meet Google search requirements, including giving unique titles for each of the parts of all the multipart transcripts of seminars
  • Sent the list of required shortened titles for translation for our 20 non-English language sections
  • Continued the process of migrating, re-editing, reformatted and published in the new format the remaining English articles from the old format of the archive section and, for search engine purposes, redirected the old urls to the new urls
  • Edited and published 17 English transcripts from audio files from the archive section
  • Compiled, re-edited, reformatted and published 17 Russian monolingual documents separated from the bilingual transcripts of seminars
  • Redesigned 30 maps and 10 charts to fit the new format
  • Redesigned and moved to the top banner the navigation for the switch languages function and glossary features
  • Re-edited the 22 beginners’ articles in the “What Is” and “How to” sections of the Buddhism in Daily Life section.
  • Completed having these 22 articles translated into 17 of our 21 languages
  • Added a Universal Values subsection to the Buddhism in Daily Life section for newcomers, including many transcripts of the Dalai Lama’s talks on the topic
  • Added our video subsection also to the Buddhism in Daily Life section, linking it with our YouTube channel
  • Published on “Tricycle,” the popular Buddhist online magazine, our 4-part pilot education video course, “Introduction to Buddhism”
  • Prepared the subtitles for the previously filmed interviews and had them translated into our various languages
  • Conducted and filmed interviews with 5 further Buddhist masters
  • Started the process of adding video content to our documents to make them media rich
  • Upgraded our server to meet the SSL security requirements
  • Upgraded our internal search engine.

In addition, we have sent Dr. Berzin to India to represent Berzin Archives at the international conference entitled “Buddhism in the 21st Century,” convened at Nava Nalanda Vihara University with the Dalai Lama and the spiritual leaders of the various Buddhist traditions of South and Southeast Asia. Nalanda University was the largest center of learning in the Buddhist world from the 5th to the early 13th century. Nava Nalanda Vihara University was founded in 1951 as the revival of this great institution. 

At the conference, Dr. Berzin delivered the keynote address, “Studying Buddhism in the Digital Age,” presenting the Study Buddhism project to the distinguished audience. He also delivered a paper at the workshop on Conflict Resolution, entitled “Education: The Key to Buddhist-Muslim Harmony,” and chaired the workshop on Development and Diversity of Buddhist Traditions. At this conference, attended by 1300 delegates from 30 countries, Dr. Berzin networked with Buddhist leaders from all over the world and made arrangement for further video interviews. The valedictory speech at the conference was delivered by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee.

Further, we have sent our Video Producer, Matt Linden, to India and Nepal, where he has conducted and filmed interviews with four Buddhist masters. While there, he has also photographed the Buddhist pilgrimage sites to enrich our articles with visuals.

As you can see, we’ve been hard at work. With your help, we will be able to continue our steady progress like this in making the ageless wisdom of Tibet available to all. 

Links:


Attachments:
Dec 21, 2016

Berzin Archives Report: October through December 2016

Team meeting with Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpoche II
Team meeting with Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpoche II

During the last three months, we have made further progress in migrating the rest of the Berzin Archives material from where it had been initially moved – the archive section of studybuddhism.com in the old format – to the main sections of the website in the new format. This means moving, reformatting and redirecting approximately 4,000 more articles in 21 languages. We had already completed this process with the 1,660 most popular articles in English, Russian, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Indonesian. To oversee the redirection process in accord with all Google requirements, we have added to our staff a Search Engine Optimization Director, and to help with the migration process, we have added an Executive Assistant. During this period, we have:

  • Expanded the information architecture to accommodate the full archive material
  • Fit into the expanded structure the additional 600 English articles that need to be moved
  • Determined which of the total 1,150 English articles have already been translated into each of our 20 foreign languages and will need to be moved and processed
  • In all languages, reformatted verse portions of articles into prose, to show properly on cell phones
  • Separated bilingual transcripts into monolingual documents
  • Translated in our 15 languages not yet moved: the extensive interface material and newly added descriptions, abstracts and summaries
  • Moved into our content management system the first of two batches of the remaining English articles and, for half of them, shortened their titles to meet Google search requirements, reformatted and published them online and, for search engine purposes, redirected the old urls to the new urls.

In addition, we have:

  • Prepared an active homepage that enables unique homepages for each language to indicate new material of interest
  • Prepared and published 55 new translations of articles in 5 languages
  • Finished editing and published online our first animated video, “How to Gain Peace of Mind”
  • Prepared and filmed our first 4-part educational course, “Introduction to Buddhism”
  • Edited and uploaded on our YouTube Channel 30 interview videos
  • Published on the Russian website, savetibet.ru, the new Russian article “Studybuddhism.com: How to Study Buddha’s Teachings Online” and on the Brazilian website, budavirtual.com.br, the new Portuguese article “Mind According to Buddhism”
  • Started our monthly online newsletter, with 2200 subscribers
  • Reached 3000 subscribers on our Facebook page
  • Conducted a search engine optimization audit
  • Set up our redirect mechanics in Google Webmaster Tools and fixed over 800,000 url redirect links
  • Prepared and implemented the first stage of the switch languages feature
  • Fixed a few major backend bugs in our code
  • Moved the glossary from its previous server to the main server of the website.

As you can see, we’ve been hard at work. With your help, we will be able to continue our steady progress like this in making the ageless wisdom of Tibet available to all. 

Links:

Sep 26, 2016

Berzin Archives Report: June through September 2016

Consulting with the Dalai Lama
Consulting with the Dalai Lama

In the few months since the new, updated version of our website, studybuddhism.com, has been online, we have already seen signs of success. The average number of articles read by our users and length of time of their sessions have both increased. Usage of the site through mobile devices has increased now to over 50%, with significant growth in third-world countries. Having expanded the information architecture of the site with additional sections, we are currently in the process of migrating the rest of the English material from the archive section to the main section, to be followed by the same procedure for the current five foreign language sections.

In addition, we have:

  • prepared a new active homepage in order to keep users’ interest and increase retention
  • produced 28 question and answer videos with various Buddhist teachers in order to start our media campaign
  • prepared six interviews with these Buddhist teachers in order to attract new audiences
  • established connections with external websites in Brazil and Russia in order to increase the website’s search visibility
  • began the process of adding our next four language sections: French, Italian, Turkish and Vietnamese
  • started to design our first online educational course
  • specified further features for development, such as the glossary.

On September 16, during an informal meeting with the Dalai Lama in Strasbourg, France, I informed him of the progress of the project. The Dalai Lama replied that we are making a great contribution and offered further advice concerning future development.

With your continuing support, we will be able to implement his suggestions and thus make the ageless wisdom of Tibet available to all.

Links:

 
   

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