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A European View On Web 2.0



My presentation at the Web2open during the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, April 07. It is meant to give some ideas how you can think global and prepare for internationalisation and why you should do ...

My presentation at the Web2open during the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, April 07. It is meant to give some ideas how you can think global and prepare for internationalisation and why you should do that.



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  • Hi Nicole,

    I have just checked out the first couple of slides and am looking forward to the rest. Being Australian, I am interested in education, espcially in Europe since I am a languages teacher -French, German and Italian. Web 2.0 tools are a great opportunity for bringing like minds together to learn.
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A European View On Web 2.0 A European View On Web 2.0 Presentation Transcript

  • A EUROPEAN VIEW ON WEB 2.0 BY NICOLE SIMON AT THE WEB2OPEN, APRIL 07 or: make it easy for me to play with you
  • What is this about a glimpse into the world from outside of the US  give you an idea about what happens in Europe and  some of the difficulties why working against decades of training is hard  why you should care and what you can do without  too much effort and why the subtitle could have been „rejected,  frustrated – I want revenge!“
  • Why should you care? at first I said because you should be nice  but you are not interested. then: we have money too  but most of you are not interested. now: we have blogs and podcast too. And  pagerank. and will voice our opinions for everybody to read. In English. are you interested now? View slide
  • It is about being ready Including other views / regions does not mean you  have to go local in every bit. There are steps in between. We are easy to satisfy. Really.  Start with showing us you actually care.  Remember: you might not think it worth your efforts  but what if your competitors start doing so? View slide
  • Warnings and Assumptions Yes this is going to be over the top. Due to time it is very generalizing and simplifying!
  • Simplifying: „You“ For this we will assume that „you“ are  U.S. citizen  have some kind of application or product currently only speak one language  can‘t point to where most countries in Europe are 
  • Simplifying: „ME“ My examples are based on personal experience but  I have talked to many people about this it does reference a lot of German examples, but  most things can be applied to other countries I „only“ speak one other language besides German  can‘t point to most countries neither 
  • Simplifying Web 2.0 interesting things / sites / producs happen  I have access. I am connected.  I want to use it. Make biz with it. Buy it.  I want to do what you promise me I can do with it -  But you will show me over and over again that I am not welcome here.
  • Some quick questions
  • How many of you are from the U.S.?  do you have customers / users outside of the US?  that you know of? 
  • How many of you Language:  have learned at least a foreign language in school?  How many of you are able to speak that today?
  • Some Information on Europe
  • A lot of countries
  • We do have money “The EU has the world's largest economy with an  estimated nominal GDP of 14.2 trillion USD (2006) accounting for 35% of world GDP.” “Population by 1. July 2002: nearly 710 million“  (source for text and graphics: Wikipedia article on  Europe)
  • We do speak the language native spoken 18% German 1. 12% French 2. 13% English 3. 13% Italian 4. 9% Spanish 5. 9% Polish 6. 5% Dutch 7.
  • We do speak the language native spoken including foreign language skills 51% English 18% German 1. 1. 32% German 12% French 2. 2. 26% French 3. 13% English 3. 16% Italian 4. 13% Italian 4. 15% Spanish 5. 9% Spanish 10% Polish 5. 6. 9% Polish 7% Russian 6. 7. 6% Dutch 5% Dutch 8. 7.
  • This means: 355 million possible users / customers which can  communicate in ENGLISH. Studies say, that for the future foreign language  skills will increase because they are considered necessary But: English ist not „American Choice“ but common  ground in working together
  • fyi: interesting report European Commission, Many tongues, one family.  Languages in the European Union Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2004. ISBN 92-894-7759-8. Retrieved on February 3, 2007. http://europa.eu.int/comm/publications/booklets/m ove/45/en.pdf
  • It is a different world though
  • Different culture – and a lot of them Different countries mean   different ways things work and biz is conducted  different market requirements  how products are used  etc.
  • Different Skill sets and interests early adopters fluent in english integrated in web 2.0 normal people holiday english what is the web?
  • Main problem: Language silos The big countries do have dubbed television and  foreign languages are not embraced in daily life == people are used to their own language Results:   Many publications / books are not available  reports on your tv / print are not on the radar  blogs / podcast / gossip are not recognized  reinventing the wheel
  • Consequences when you try to adapt you often fail miserable  References f.e. to competitors are not understood  What is hype here is unknown over in Europe in  many cases – which is why big companies and names win With focus on just the States and what is happening  over here suddenly „local european alternatives“ are much more attractive
  • Some examples of annoyances What I stumble on in everyday life
  • No, it is not. Opening up an office in the UK / London does not  mean coming to Europe. It means coming to the UK. Having translations is just one step.  But not necessary the first or only one.
  • Promises, Promises … „We covers all your needs!“  „Free shipping!“  sweepstakes, bonus options, special offerings  „only available for eligable persons“ = you are not worth it I do not care about legal. I want what she‘s having.
  • I would like to buy that … many many options you are used to are not  available to me! usually no availabilty of international shipping,  mostly not even if I ask for it credit cards are not used as in the US  good exception Amazon:  you can replace .com by .de and just buy
  • Date, time, numbers today is 17.04.07 and it should be around 16:10  this is the second day of the week   my country only has one timezone. most countries around mine have the same I do not speak „central or mountain time“  your downtime at night is in the middle of the day for me! 1,000 is one for me.  Good exception: Google Calendar and Calc 
  • I am not alone: Joi Ito about going UTC http://joi.ito.com/archives/2007/04/15/going_utc.html “ I'm so sick of time zones and daylight savings and my blog posts being all funky because of it.[...] It actually makes it much easier if you convert to UTC for me. There are too many moving parts otherwise.[...] “
  • My hometown is Lübeck, Germany ning.com: „Sorry, but for security reasons your  location can only contain letters, numbers, and some punctuation characters.” (ü is ASCII 252) Salesforce, last year: „you can plan everything with  Google Maps“ – sorry, we did not have them back then … I am used to having Europe as the center of all  views on maps and alike – not the US.
  • I am not alone: Rick Sigal, VC, about TrypSync http://ricksegal.typepad.com/pmv/2007/04/tripsync_more_l.html “ The most annoying part was allowing you to select things like Canada as your home country with the rest of the address fields still being US centric. […] Which, of course, brings me to the punch line: Why contact me, I'm in Canada.”
  • Yes I run a German Windows … Example of refused installation  Tablet Experience Pack is only possible with patching by HEX because of the German XP Example of stupid programmers:  there are variables for folders like „C:Programme“
  • I do not care about Yahoo or MSN Google Search is nearly the only enginge which  allows me to search and get relevant results – because they do include much more „linguistic stuff“ into it than competitors. The key is not UI, but relevance  Google has a market share of over  90 percent in Germany, in my opinion due to making it work linguistic wise.
  • common knowledge Explain fast in simple words to me:   whatdoes 411 mean?  401K? IRS?  What are Tater Tods and what is school house rock? Your „Pop culture knowledge“ is not mine!  I am advanced in this but I am  working against over 3 decades of training
  • To sum it up: These are just some annoyances. There are many more. And it goes deeper than that. Result? I am going to take my business elsewhere. But in the meantime I will talk about you.
  • They are just copy cats Do not mistake the effect local language has on an  application. Those so called copy cats are VERY successful. This will not change when the „original“ starts, if they  do not understand the market. Examples:   StudiVZ vs. Facebook  Xing (openbc) vs. LinkedIn  Yahoo vs. Google
  • Some Suggestions
  • Engage your audience Encourage others to voice / write about their  problems and experiences. But be prepared that they WILL talk to you and it  will not necessary be pretty … It may sound small and unimportant to you.  It is not to us.
  • Ways to get in contact The European scene does have events which are english only due to the huge amount of different people. Visit them. Talk to people. There are two European groups available in upcoming.org for events in English: European New Media Conferences  http://upcoming.org/group/1927/  European New Media Meetups http://upcoming.org/group/1928/
  • We know … Going international and localization is not easy.  It is very costly. It has to be refinanced in some way.  But you could at least try.  you
  • There are steps in between you
  • It is about being ready If you cannot „go international“ due to the way you  have set up your product / database / menues, you will soon have problems. Thinking about adjustments for example for going  local can show you other downfalls with your product / project. Integrating other requests will bring you forward. 
  • Think outside of the box allow some adaptions like for example the date  issues – it will make a huge difference let us help you (bsp language translations)  my theory: Firefox got spread so wide due to the  cute icon – and the localized version take notice and try to pay attention 
  • Thanks for your attention! Questions? Nicole Simon European Social Media Specialist Technology Implementation Analyst consulting / seminars / feedback blogs, podcasts, communties and virtual worlds for professional and private endeavours contact: http://crueltobekind.org/contact.php https://www.xing.com/profile/Nicole_Simon/