I wrote this announcement in response to Donald:
I'd like a clearer statement about who owns the site and what the motives and goals are. This is fundamental to "growing" real participation. If I knew of this better, I'd share the URL with more people. I think you actually do have a potential audience of professional writers and editors out there who would participate in the startup of something like this. Though, the purpose and trustworthiness of the site is very important to be known. What passions and principles are at stake, or is it just throwing Jello at the wall to see what sticks? I'm old-school USENET, but practical too. – Donald Remero
I genuinely appreciate that kind of constructive feedback and understand your concerns. (On a side note, thumbs up for your noteworthy participation and all the elaborate answers you have given so far). I believe in transparency and believe it is essential in growing a strong community. So here it goes:
I started this site for myself in the first place. I am a software engineering student, albeit entrepreneur at heart, from Montreal, Canada. My mother tongue is French and, the software industry being English dominated in addition to Montreal being a bilingual city, mastering English is critical to me. In a nutshell, I created this site with the intention of improving my English. Of course, there are already plenty of language communities on the web, but I strongly believe in the engaging format proposed by iRosetta.
Although the reasons behind this site sound quite selfish so far - and I won't hide the fact that I believe in the "be your own best customer" mantra - I genuinely thought my learning process could benefit others as well.
First and foremost, I can help people with their French: I don't fit "tech guys can't write" stereotype and perfectly master my native language.
Secondly, I constantly learn new things about English, be it through reading blogs or looking up for idioms in search engines. Whenever I learn something new or come up with a language related question, I post it here. If I find an answer on my own, I make it a duty to share it so that others won't have to go through the same time consuming process.
In the long term, I would like to see this site grow into a vibrant community of language professionals (writers, translators, proof-readers, etc.) as well as novices like me who enjoy learning. Eventually, this site will have to become financially viable and, when the time comes, I will consider building a marketplace, job board or whatever feels right around the community. I'll try to keep the site ads free as long as I can.
If you share my vision of iRosetta, go ahead and spread the word! On a side note, I have sketched out a marketing strategy and expect to execute it within the next few days.
I hope I made every point clear and otherwise, don't hesitate to ask. I also welcome any suggestions, feedback, thoughts, etc.
PS: I made this a community wiki so that anyone can proofread me ;)