Have you ever noticed the cultural differences while making a conversation with people online? I as an Israeli use different gestures and behavior while "talking" to a Chinese guy using an instant messenger. Sometimes it can create some unpleasant outcomes, especially while trying to do business using online tools like IM, Blogs, Email, skype and more…
For example: In Israel (Updated) from my daily experience, It is common to burst into someone's instant messenger with a straight to the point answer or remark without using a polite "hello" or "hi" to check if the addressee is busy or if he is on a meeting with the screen facing everyone. Is it the same in Japan? China? Finland?
I started to think about this project during my BlogDay project. There I contacted and got massages from people from all over the globe, most of them didn't expressed them selves very good in English (So am I). Every one of them has its own cultural background and Netiquette that can unintentionally create some kind of misunderstanding that will affect the conversation hence the business process, Romantic relation, friendship etc.
It reminds me of the first time I had a business travel to Korea. Before the trip I logged in and searched for information about the business culture over there. I read that it is rude to write in a red pen and that in meeting the hierarchy is very clear – top ranked speak first. I also read about the Business card craze over there so I ran and printed some more…Just in case.
Today, more people do business online. Maybe even without a real meeting. When I say doing business I don't mean buying something in eBay. I mean closing deals! I remember that Loic told me that his blog is helping him get good business deals, people from around the world contact him and sometimes close deals without even meeting him. Hell, he even organized and publicized the whole "Les Blogs" conference from his blog.
I am looking for a large group of people that have an experience in doing business online. I will put up a questionnaire for them to answer and a wiki to gather information and stories. If it will be successful I will publish an e-book with all the information in a form of a guide.
If you think you have a say about international business Netiquette or know people that are doing business online using IM, Blogs, Message boards, Chat and more please contact me at nir.ofir [at] gmail [dot] com.