Location changes audience demands and the Internet can cure depression?

I’ve never traveled out of the country, so I find it interesting the reading this week stated different countries have websites that show information differently, for example they use less pictures.  This does make sense to me because I think about living in NJ and traveling to other places within the US.  It’s amazing how different things can be in different states.  I know NJ is very fast paced and when I travel sometimes it’s like being in a different country!  In some places people are much more relaxed and friendly.  I liked the example website provided in the reading, but would have enjoyed a deeper dive into examples of websites in different countries and why they are created the way they are.  I did some Googling and found a website in Spain and Ireland, and both have a combination pictures and words.  It looks like they’re laid out similar to websites that I’d expect to see in the US, so I’m not sure if I’m missing something, or not researching enough sites/locations.

Example sites:

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http://www.enlavaguada.com/W/do/centre/inicio

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http://www.thymerestaurant.ie/

Some of this is over my head information wise as I’ve never built a website, but there’s plenty of information on the web about how to build sites that will be used in different regions and how important it is to communicate with people in their own language.  The site below provides a lot of information on this topic.

http://searchengineland.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-multilingual-and-multiregional-seo-157838

I find it interesting the readings mentioned that studies haven’t really been done on how audiences are adapting to the digital age.  I found the case studies that were done though to be interesting.  The one mentioned how they use their support calls to help create content.  When I managed a knowledge base I used to do the same thing.  I’d go through the customer support ticket logs and listen in on phone calls to see what customers were asking and how they were asking it.  This helps get insight into what the customer needs to know and helps build the structure of the knowledge base so the customer could find it.  The reading also mentioned that the online environment is designed for quick feedback.  This is a very good point because in most knowledge bases users can leave comments or choose to give a thumbs up if the article was useful and a thumbs down if the article wasn’t helpful.

The reading did mention one of the issues with online content is that the information is available for everyone.  I don’t think this is true though, as some websites you have to log in to get access to content.  It is true that the content can be emailed to someone and be shared quickly and easily, but paper content can be photocopied and passed around too.

I also found The Implications of Mobility study entertaining.  I’d like to comment on three points I picked out:

  • 58% of business users agreed with “mobile phones restrict my freedom”

I can really understand this comment.  I have a work cell phone and I agree it restricts my freedom.  For example, there are two big meetings this week on Tuesday and Wednesday I’m managing material for.  I’ve been receiving emails/texts and working over the weekend because I’m accessible via my work phone.  I feel the days of having a weekend to myself are gone!

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http://joyreactor.com/post/470277

  • Mobile phones blur the boundary between public and private space

I agree that it seems people have private conversations in public places.  Just waiting online at the grocery store you can hear more about a person than you need to.

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  • Internet could reduce depression by providing a means to obtain social support

I’ve never thought about the Internet being helpful to people in this way, but I guess it really could.  I think if someone is being bullied and they find a support group and bond with people, it really can turn their attitude around.  Even if they’re talking to someone across the globe, it’s someone that relates to them and understands them.

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Posted on November 10, 2013, in Literacy, Society, Workplace. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. We also use our customer support calls to help us build knowledge bases. We’ve developed many FAQ documents based on these calls.

    I also wanted to comment on mobile phone restricting our freedom. I think I blogged/commented on this earlier in the semester, but I used to have my work email connected on my phone. Very quickly, I saw how it was invading my personal time at home because as soon as I’d hear that little bell that differentiated a work email from my other emails, I’d have to go check it out, even if I was in the middle of dinner or talking with my husband. After about a month of this, I realized there weren’t any crises that couldn’t wait until the next business day, so I shut the email down.

    Now, however, I am caught in the social media web where I am constantly checking FB and Twitter and it invades my personal time. Correction. It has BECOME my personal time!

    • I wish I could leave my work email behind, but being they pay for a phone for me I can’t do that. It’s hard because I’m just expected to be around all the time.

      I try to not be on the computer when I get home…I do a quick check of FB and Twitter and email and then try to do other things that I need to get done. I find that works because for the most part, a quick glance is all you need to get caught up!

  2. Hi:

    Lots of great points! I hadn’t thought a lot about the Internet and depression, but it seems logical to me. I suspect that’s the draw of FB and lots of social media sites — you’re able to be part of a community when otherwise you might feel alone.

    I think the idea of going to support logs is a great idea. When I read it, I thought “I’ll bet you can gain a lot of insight that way.” Can you remember anything in particular that you learned like “ah ha!” moment? Just curious. I always like to hear from people working in the field.

    Also, when you are on your own time, are you allowed to turn your phone off or ignore work calls? Or are you expected to be “always on,” as Naomi Baron would say?

    • Oh I’m expected to be “always on”. If something small comes my way I don’t have to drop everything and deal with it, but if something important comes through on a weekend they expect me to be around.

      On Monday night I had a reaction to my allergy shot so I was in bed early. At 11 PM I was sleeping and missed an email to do something important for the next morning. I came into work and my boss was upset that I didn’t take action sooner. It’s really a hard place to be in because that type of leadership doesn’t promote good morale.

      • Wow! You are not the first person I have heard of who is expected to be available at ridiculous hours recently. Even though everyone is more easily accessible because of mobile technology, it seems to me that companies need to start implementing etiquette rules!!! The other friend I heard a similar story from actually started keeping a log of events like this. She used it to get moved out of this very jerky boss’ department but I wonder if you kept a similar log and showed it just to your boss (not HR) to point out how often he/she expects you to do things at really odd hours. He/she might not realize how often he is doing that and it may get the behavior to stop. 11pm is ridiculous!!

        • That’s true, I should start keeping track so for my performance reviews I can bring that up. My boss is a machine, working from 8 AM and won’t hesitate to stay until after midnight. She expects the same from her team. I really don’t understand how you can work that way! Where is the time to go food shopping, do errands, do laundry, spend time with friends and family and do basic human functions like eat/sleep?

  3. I think the idea of “always being on” is definitely something many in the workplace deal with these days. It seems that many people in this day and age because we have access to our mobile devices demand our attention even more, so the boundary between personal time and work time has certainly become a bit blurred. When are we allowed to unplug?

    I know that I feel a certain sense of obligation to answer an email when I hear the ping come through on my cell phone.

    I can relate to your comment about feeling like the days of having a weekend are over.

    • Yes, I agree with what you said, when is it ok to unplug? We’re expected to work on days off and weekends…so when do we ever sit down and breathe?

    • Same here. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but more and more I’m thinking of drafting a new email policy to state I won’t answer emails received after 5pm until the next business day, mainly because my freshman this semester seem to always email after 6pm [even when I’m going to see them the next day at 940am!]. It could just be my wacky Tues/Thurs schedule this semester, but I need my evenings to relax or try to work on my own research. Ahhh academia. 😛

  4. So when you describe the following,

    I have a work cell phone and I agree it restricts my freedom. For example, there are two big meetings this week on Tuesday and Wednesday I’m managing material for. I’ve been receiving emails/texts and working over the weekend because I’m accessible via my work phone.

    was it clearly described how you were to use this phone and “be available”? Just curious. I was once issued a work laptop when I was an editor in St. Pete, FL and when there was a hurricane I assumed I could stay home and use it. Think again. They wanted us to come in. Why they gave it to me, I’ll never know!

    • When they gave me my work cell they told me if something comes through I’m expected to be around to answer it. If it’s something small it’s not a big deal, but for bigger meetings if something is going on it doesn’t matter when/what time…they expect me to be around.

      I said in my comment above how this week I had a reaction to my allergy shot and was in bed…and my boss was upset I didn’t take action on an email that I received at 11 PM, when I was already sleeping!

      • Oh wow! Well, at least they set up the expectation. One’s health should take priority though.

        I hope you’re feeling better. The allergies from earlier in the year are back?

        • They do…and for the most part it’s not terrible. It’s not every night or every weekend, and I kind of know when those times are coming so I can prepare for them. Not all the time though, those surprises definitely do happen.

          I’m feeling better now, thank you, just needed some benadryl and rest. Earlier in the year they kept telling me I had bronchitis and when I had it for months my dr. recommended I see an allergist. I’ve always had allergies, but just took some Zyrtec and called it a day. Turns out, I’ve developed asthma from my allergies, so they’re trying to treat me with allergy shots. I’m finally feeling better than I was earlier in the year, but it’s a long process with lots of bumps and expensive medications in the way. I’ll get by though 🙂

  5. Thanks for your post! I enjoyed reading your ideas. I think, clearly, from your examples that websites in different cultures are arranged differently. It reminds me very much of what I have been learning about in ENGL-740 this semester. Every culture has a different visual grammar. For instance, take Chinese restaurant websites. They are set up in a traditional way with the stick-like font. These types of fonts are in English, but resemble traditional Chinese characters which relates back to their visual grammar.

  6. I still have the luxury of not having to be “always on”. I can’t connect my work email to my phone due to corporate policies, and I only bring my computer home if I plan to work. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to leave work at work. I have a laptop, but it spends almost all of its time plugged in at work. I feel that maintaining that boundary allows me to be more devoted and productive at work. I think keeping the two separate also keeps me sane. I don’t want to be the kind of parent who is too busy looking at their phone or computer to pay attention to their children.

    • I agree that you need down time, as it makes you more productive. If you’re always working and don’t have a break you won’t do your best work. It seems like some companies don’t understand this…

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