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.
A EUROPEAN / lE/ V
ON / V EB 20
BY NICOLE SIMON
AT THE WEB2OPEN, APRIL 07
or: make it easy for me to play with you
What is this about
5’ a glimpse into the world from outside of the US
'3 give you an idea about what happens in Europe and
some of the difficulties
U why working against decades of training is hard
'3' why you should care and what you can do without
too much effort
5’ and why the subtitle could have been , ,reiected,
frustrated — I want revenge! “
Why should you care?
C‘ at first I said because you should be nice
but you are not interested.
'3 then: we have money too
but most of you are not interested.
'3' now: we have blogs and podcast too. And
pagerank. and will voice our opinions for everybody
to read. In English.
are you interested now?
It is about being ready
U Including other views / regions does not mean you
have to go local in every bit.
There are steps in between.
D We are easy to satisfy. Really.
'3 Start with showing us you actually care.
5’ Remember: you might not think it worth your efforts
but what if your competitors start doing so?
- 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 , .,/ ‘~. "E“
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
5' interesting things / sites / producs happen
'3 I have access. I am connected.
'3 I want to use it. Make biz with it. Buy it.
'3 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.
We do have money
5' “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. "
5' “Population by 1. July 2002: nearly 710 million“
5' (source for text and graphics: Wikipedia article on
We do speak the language
I. l 8% German
2. 12% French
3. 13% English
4. l 3% Italian
5. 9% Spanish
6. 9% Polish
7. 5% Dutch
/ /e do speak the language
I 8% German
I 2% French
I 3% English
I 3% Italian
9°/ o Spanish
9°/ o Polish
I0°/ o Polish
'3 355 million possible users / customers which can
communicate in ENGLISH.
'3 Studies say, that for the future foreign language
skills will increase because they are considered
'3 But: English ist not , ,American Choice“ but common
ground in working together
fyi: interesting report
'3 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: / / eu ropa. eu. int / comm / publications / booklets / m
Different culture - and a lot of them
'3 Different countries mean
'3 different ways things work and biz is conducted
'3 different market requirements
5' how products are used
Different Skill sets and interests
fluent in english
integrated in web 2.0
what is the web?
Main problem: Language silos
5' The big countries do have dubbed television and
foreign languages are not embraced in daily life
= = people are used to their own language
5' Many publications / books are not available
'3 reports on your tv / print are not on the radar
5' blogs / podcast / gossip are not recognized
'3 reinventing the wheel
5' when you try to adapt you often fail miserable
5' References f. e. to competitors are not understood
'3 What is hype here is unknown over in Europe in
many cases — which is why big companies and names
'3 With focus on iust the States and what is happening
over here suddenly , ,|oca| 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 . . .
5' , ,We covers all your needs! “
'3 , ,Free shipping! “
5' 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
5' today is 17.04.07 and it should be around I6:I 0
'3 this is the second day of the week
5' my country only has one timezone.
most countries around mine have the same
I do not speak , ,central or mountain time“
'3 your downtime at night is in the middle
of the day for me!
'3 I,000 is one for me.
'3 Good exception: Google Calendar and Calc
I am not alone;
Joi Ito about going UTC
http: / / ioi. ito. com / a rchives / 2007/ 04 / I 5 / going_utc. htm|
“ 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 Lijbeck, Germany
ning. com: ,, Sorry, but for security reasons your
location can only contain letters, numbers, and some
punctuation characters. ” (ii is ASCII 252)
Salesforce, last year: ,, you can plan everything with
Google Maps“ - sorry, we did not have them back
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: / / ricksegaI. typepad. com/ pmv/ 2007/ O4 / 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
5' Example of refused installation
Tablet Experience Pack is only possible with patching
by HEX because of the German XP
'3 Example of stupid programmers:
there are variables for folders like , ,C: Programme“
I do not care about Yahoo or MSN
5' Google Search is nearly the only enginge which
allows me to search and get relevant results —
because they do include much more , ,|inguistic stuff“
into it than competitors.
5' The key is not UI, but relevance
5' Google has a market share of over
90 percent in Germany, in my opinion due to making
it work linguistic wise.
5' Explain fast in simple words to me:
5' what does 41 I mean?
5' 401 K? IRS?
5' What are Tater Tods and what is school house rock?
5' Your , ,Pop culture knowledge“ is not mine!
'3 I am advanced in this but I am
working against over 3 decades of training
To sum it up:
These are iust some annoyances.
There are many more.
And it goes deeper than that.
I am going to take my business elsewhere.
But in the meantime I will talk about you.
They are iust copy cats
'3 Do not mistake the effect local language has on an
application. Those so called copy cats are VERY
'3 This will not change when the , ,original“ starts, it they
do not understand the market.
'3 StudiVZ vs. Facebook
'3 Xing (openbc) vs. Linkedln
5' Yahoo vs. Google
Engage your audience
5' Encourage others to voice / write about their
problems and experiences.
5' But be prepared that they WILL talk to you and it
will not necessary be pretty
'3 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:
5' European New Media Conferences
http: //upcoming. org/ g roup/ I 927/
'3 European New Media Meetups
http: //upcoming. org/ group/ I 928/
'3 Going international and localization is not easy.
5' It is very costly. It has to be refinanced in some way.
'3 But you could at least try.
It is about being ready
5' If you cannot , ,go international“ due to the way you
have set up your product / database / menues, you
will soon have problems.
5' Thinking about adjustments for example for going
local can show you other downfalls with your product
'3 Integrating other requests will bring you forward.
Think outside of the box
'3 allow some adaptions like for example the date
issues — it will make a huge difference
5' let us help you (bsp language translations)
5' my theory: Firefox got spread so wide due to the
cute icon — and the localized version
5' take notice and try to pay attention
Thanks for your attention! Questions?
Nicole Simon y ,3,‘
European Social Media Specialist
Technology Implementation Analyst I’ I
consulting / seminars / feedback
blogs, podcasts, communties and virtual worlds
for professional and private endeavours
http: //crue| tobekind. org/ contact. php
https: / / www. xing. com / profile / Nico| e_Simon /