Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 274 - US-centric Internet

I'm not going to downplay how influential American culture is on Australia. We watch a lot of the same TV, we eat a lot of the same foods. We have some similar problems.

But I don't understand why so many places on the Internets, especially those places with Amazon affiliations, seem to have such a strong and unbreakable US-centric focus. The US dollar isn't what it used to be. Internet access and usage is strong in many other parts of the world. And people who don't live in the United States of America are getting increasingly annoyed at sites acting like the rest of the world is just "those people over there".

Yet places like Kickstarter still won't catch up with the times. Three years ago I discovered Kickstarter, a site where people post art projects in need of funding and people online donate to make it happen. Eager to share it with my friends, I looked up whether Australians were able to use it.  Three years now, and they have had the same question and response up on their FAQ. Are you going to be going international? Yes, any day now. Thank you for your patience.

I'm glad I wasn't holding my breath.

And there's no reason for it. It's a donation site which allows random people to share money with aspiring artists to help them achieve their dreams. It's a beautiful idea, and one which in the beginning I was happy to contribute to. After all, people are people anywhere and I loved the idea of helping people with their dreams.

Recently I started to ask myself - why, when I am able to sponsor US artists, can't my friends put up projects? Why is Australian money okay, but not Australian art? Or Scandinavian art? Or Peruvian art?

This isn't about America, or Americans, at all really. It's about businesses and other groups who don't realise that the Internet is a global phenomenon - and that they're losing out all round by excluding approximately 95.5% of the world population.

Word count - 3,547

(Oh hey! And I broke 200,000 words today! Go me!)

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