When Science Fiction Takes Over the Headlines

This story reads like beginning of a science fiction novel: Asking a Judge to Save the World, and Maybe a Whole Lot More – New York Times.

I offer this to those of you who heard me speak about my experience getting stranded outside of the scientific facility where the Web was invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Apparently, the world may end there as well. The possibilities include destruction by black hole or big dragons, take your pick.

Underestimate the work of CERN at your own peril.

(This is not an April Fools story by the way, if highly unlikely.)

Going Global by Going Small?

Data from the end of 2007 show that about 20% of the world’s population have access to the Internet while around 50% have cell phones.

What does this imply for how potential customers will be viewing your site, especially in the developing part of the world where cellular networks leapfrog land lines? Checked your site in a cell phone browser lately?

Relatedly, below are the slides from the presentation on global web strategy I gave last week at ASAE’s International Conference. Thanks to the 100+ people in the session. Great audience with very good questions. Also, my thanks to the SHRM contingent for playing along in a surprise case study of their efforts!

Feel free to contact me if you have questions about addressing international audiences with your web presence.

Your Global Web Site

Ever since a Brit invented it in Switzerland as part of a European scientific organization, the Web has been intended as a global medium.

Once your site is live, you immediately have access to a global audience that is only going to grow and diversify further in the future. I remember being amazed by the immediate flow of e-mail from around the globe that I started receiving once my name and address were listed as a resource on a new site that launched in 1995.

Yet, most organizations completely ignore the potential for addressing global audiences and their unique needs. The web is an often efficient way to grow your customer base around the world but it will only work effectively in that role if you develop a strategy for why those audiences will receive value from you.

I am speaking on this very issue Thursday at ASAE & the Center’s International Conference in Washington, DC. You can see the program agenda on their site and I have posted my session description below.

If you have any questions you would like addressed during the event, be sure to post them here or send me an e-mail at david@highcontext.com.

(As an aside, with all of its global initiatives, why does ASAE give the International Conference short shrift with an anemic web presence? Seems rather short sighted to me.)

Making your Web Go World Wide: Global Web Site Strategy

The Web is a powerful vehicle for establishing and enhancing your global presence. Maximizing the contribution of your web site to your international strategy takes much more than translating a few pages of content. This session will zero in on these key issues:

  • Defining global strategy in terms of the Web
  • Common strategies and design patterns for global web sites
  • A decision framework for evaluating which approach best supports your goals

Leave this session with a clear understanding of how the Web can support your association’s international goals and how to make it happen.

The Only Interesting Use of Twitter I Have Seen

Adrian Bye went to Cuba and twittered from within the revolution. He is back home now but it was fascinating to read his miniature travelogue while he explored the island. Adrian couldn’t receive calls or texts while he was in Cuba, so he had no idea how many people might be reading his twitter posts.

Adrian is now posting several long entries in his blog about his experience in Cuba. Definitely worth checking out to hear his first hand account of what life in Cuba is like today.

Blowback

The CEO at View from a Corner Office has some disturbing news from a meeting of her association’s international federation organization:

It’s hard to discuss the international dimension of our work as association executives without delving at least to some degree into the effect of the present administration’s foreign relations policy on how those outside the United States perceive us. In this particular federation the animus toward the United States is so pronounced that for the first time in the federation’s history, all U.S. delegates for office toppled in defeat. If it’s possible to be stunned but not surprised, that was our reaction. At the same time the federation issued a ballot asking member nations to support a dues overhaul that would increase the U.S. share by 8,000%. That is not a typo.

It has been a while since I’ve worked the international side of the business but I can’t say that that reaction surprises me. Unilateralism is completely antithetical to the mission and nature of associations. It’s going to take many years to rebuild trust around the world.