I'm continually surprised how insular people can be, even those of us who think we're globally connected because we use the Internet. Recently I’ve written on various social networking subjects and a few weeks ago I spoke on the subject at VON, so I’ve been getting feedback and having discussions with people all over the world.
If I'm talking to another American, it's a safe bet they've heard of MySpace and, if they follow social networking applications, Facebook, Friendster or LinkedIn. But few if any have heard of CyWorld, the largest social network in Korea, where over 30% of all Koreans (90% of teenagers) have a “mini-hompy” or homepage.
When the discussion turns to instant messaging, Americans and Europeans have heard of AOL Instant Messenger, MSN, Yahoo and Skype. But few have heard of QQ from Tencent. QQ is the largest instant messenger in China and, with nearly 500 million registered users appears to be the largest instant messaging community on the planet.
The Internet is global, it’s wonderful and it has vastly increased the flow of information, but we’re far from overcoming our islands of language and culture.