Friday, October 12, 2007

Thursday's Reading: I'm not purposefully a gatekeeper.

But it is inevitable that as a new member of the new media, that I will act as one. Why? Because I have to decide what I trust, what interests me, and what I think will be useful to this topic. It is impractical to expect me to speak about every Web site, book, resource I stumble upon that is relevant to the topic of intercultural and international business and communication.

Some people who love Polka music may be very upset that there aren't any Polka radio stations in most markets. But is this really because the media wants to keep Polka music from the public, or because they realise only a small segment of the population will want to hear this type of music?

The same thing happens with the Internet. While most topics can be discovered, some have a wealth of information and other topics have very little coverage. This is because more people are interested in certain topics than others. And those people, usually without even realising, are gatekeepers to the knowledge that can readily be found in cyberspace.

Although not everything can be found on this site, and it is highly supporting sales of the series of books known as "Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands", is a great resource that serves as a starting point to very specific differences of hand gestures, and simple things that we do without realising that may be offensive elsewhere. The book has been a best seller and is trusted by many, many people who conduct business in other cultures. It has served me well, so I think this site is a wonderful resource for my topic of choice. Even if only some of the information is available here, only some of the information is available anywhere.

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