Bridging Cultures

That’s one aspect of what Montreal is all about. So not surprisingly, the UPA (Usability Professionals Association) has taken that as its theme for its Conference taking place here in Montreal from June 27 to July 1, 2005. However I believe the Internet, which normally helps to break down barriers, does not work too effectively across some cross-cultural boundaries. I was led to this thought by two blog posts that I read this morning. The problem is the wide-spread use of search engines. If people use search engines, they may well end up always looking only at websites in their own language.

For example, I note that Isabelle Hontebeyrie is blogging about La f?te de l’Internet et de la francophonie. This runs from March 20 to March 27. I wouldn’t have heard about that at all if it wasn’t for an account of a physical meeting place where bloggers meet. Some may have read about it in the Gazette on Saturday March 18. Zeke (aka Chris Hand) has written up an account of that in The English Article.

It’s great that such meetings take place. However the language “barrier” does make Internetworking that little bit more difficult. To a large extent, Maclennan’s Two Solitudes still reflects the reality. He perhaps had the best word picture of Montreal.

Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect, and touch and greet each other.

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