« FOSS.IN | Main | Crazy Gods »

Language, Culture, Community, China

Check out Stephen Walli's online presentation for the China FOO event in Beijing -- My China FOO Presentation 一起建桥梁. Very impressive. He talks in English (well, Canadian English) and Chinese. I agree with Walli's opinions on language, culture, trust, and community. In his talk he tells the story about the China Open Source Summit he ran in Beijing (here, here, here), and he gives a real quick sense of how he dealt with contracts and trust in a new way. I can only imagine doing what he did, my goodness. I used to run a construction business in New York, and my customer and partner interactions were based largely on handshake. You get used to it. But at least I had the same language and culture on which to base the darn experience. Stephen did it across a rather gigantic language and cultural divide. It all worked out well in the end, and it wasn't quite a handshake but it was pretty close.

So, could the power of community be used to transcend some of these obvious language and cultural barriers? I don't know. I go back and forth on this. Language and culture are so critical to a functioning community and the understanding of even the most basic assumptions. And although open source communities are surely growing in a variety of languages and cultures, that's not the hard part. The hard part is linking the communities across their natural barriers and communicating with understanding. That's where all the good stuff happens.
« FOSS.IN | Main | Crazy Gods »
Comments:

wol wol .....

Posted by jone on November 20, 2007 at 02:52 AM JST #

Hi Jim Girs,I am a Chinese ,a college student,I love your blog very much and so the sun community.

Posted by jone on November 20, 2007 at 02:58 AM JST #

Post a Comment:
Comments are closed for this entry.
About


Search

Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today
Bookmarks

No bookmarks in folder