Elsewhere on the 'Net - Internationalisation

Internationalisation elsewhere on the 'Net.

17 August 2007

An international web

Paul Boag gets hit by some subtle internationalisation issues. If the difference between Brits and Americans is already that large, what about the difference between either of them and the rest of the world?

The problem is that Paul made some mild jokes about Americans, which apparently didn't sit well with part of his US audience. According to him part of the problem is that Americans take their national identity more seriously than Europeans. The old-fashioned name for this problem is nationalism; and I agree that this is one major difference between the US and (Western) Europe.

Here in Europe, nationalism has lead to a string of gigantic wars, of which WW II was the latest and greatest, but far from the only one. Since 1945, some Western European countries (notably Germany and Holland) have become more subdued in their nationalism, since they know what it can lead to.

I regularly poke fun at the "national characteristics" of the Brits when I'm in England, and they sometimes return the favour; and I do the same when I'm in Greece. Both the English and Greek understand that this is all meant in good spirits, and nobody is particularly offended.

As far as I'm concerned we can make fun of each other in an EU context, as long as we can take it as well as dish it out. To me, that's one of the advantages of the EU.

Unfortunately the Americans don't (yet) fit into this fun-poking system (neither do the Arabs, BTW, not even those who live in Europe). I don't know the solution to this problem (I'm not even 100% sure it is a problem), but it's something to keep in mind when making jokes, I suppose.

Internationalisation | Permalink

16 January 2007

It's in the Details: Seven Secrets of a Successful International Website

Useful overview of where Americans can go wrong in designing sites for an international audience. Most of the guidelines apply to Europeans as well.

Internationalisation | Permalink

This is the linklog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer. You can also visit his QuirksBlog, or you can follow him on Twitter.

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