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Some days into my new commitment to Google Plus I realise I'm not much of a curator. So instead another question.

One thing I enjoy thinking about and want to write about more is/are values. Now that start-up culture is global, does that mean American values are global values? Many Europeans used to think of Americanization as a bad thing and called it among other things Coa-Cola-isation. We've moved past that dominant culture model to something else, something that is springing up from the grass roots around the world, is diverse but is generally speaking an expression of capability. Start-ups are a great expression of capability. Is capability a new value system?
Jack C Crawford's profile photoGiselle Minoli's profile photoDenis Labelle's profile photoMax Huijgen's profile photo
My answer is that the dominant culture is still the American in VC funding hence a focus of startups on Silicon Valley. +Robert Scoble will repeat it again and again that without an iPhone and a meeting in Silicon valley you will never succeed.
A bit of backgrounder on the G+ side of being global can be found here:
Google roll outs are mostly US only. Will G+ ever be a global platform?
My experience on Google+ has been a global culture. By that, I mean a mixing of people from more cultures than I possible could have met face to face in my lifetime. Travel also affords such opportunities, but unless you are near the UN building in Manhattan, finding all of them together is rare.

I'm lucky because I have a lot of people in my circles from diverse places. +Haydn Shaughnessy +Giselle Minoli +Edgar Müller +Siamak Manzarpour (yes Canada counts) +Rotem Rehan +pio dal cin +Rana Wabes +Takahiro Yamamoto +Colin Lucas-Mudd +Gregory Esau +James Barraford (CT is an enigma to me) and other partners in crime +Tom Lee +Daniel Bobke +Jeff Moskovitz +Sherman Smith (others left out completely due to memory loss at my advance age) .
Max, I think whre Robert is right is that you need Vallye VCs if you truly want to scale a business hugely. It remains a great American advantage, seeing global scale in projects; the Swedes seem to be good at it too, Many of us reach the "enough" stage quickly but American desire for scale is still an amazing cultural phenomenon.
jack - I don't have enough hours in to have experienced a global conversation though I can see how easily it would arise. I do see a different culture though - a group who are tired of chasing the popularity hare, a more serious desire to explore human futures. And of course the usual helping of brand stuff going but in a more muted anad acceptable way.
Haydn: That's where I am ... from what I can see, the mutual admiration societies see that now as well. Part of my vigor here is my belief that G+ represents a sea change in "social" networking. Simply stated:
Facebook has all the people I know personally.
Google+ has all the people I don't know yet, but want to know personally. The +HIRL trend is a shining example of the potential for this platform.
I'm not selling the technology, I'm a believer in the idea and the process that has ensued from its release to the public. I don't think anyone else but Google could have gotten the traction we see here.
+Jack C Crawford I have collected the figures in a number of posts and they show clearly that the US dominates G+ completely.
I know we all have many people from other continents in our circles but they are a) a minority and b) usually not the originators, the starters of debates. See my full post for the argument I make.
+Max Huijgen That makes sense; however, for me, it's much more diverse. I added in that geographical circles extension for Chrome and was amazed at how much coverage of the world I have in my circles.
{edited} It's called "Map my Circles" - it's on the chrome app store
Hi, +Haydn Shaughnessy. For me the international diversity is a stunning surprise and a complete pleasure. I dont' know about anyone else, but I work in an international business and meet people from all over the world anyway...but G+ is different in that it is personal. I think there is a freedom to say things here and have conversations here that people might not have in their regular professional lives. This is an exploration of other. You asked about American values vs. International values and about capability. G+ is a forum for people to rethink and explore the way we all connect in this weird world economy...and...yeah, in the absence of preconceived dominant world models, people here sure are remarkably willing to investigate it all. Is capability a new value system? How about curiosity and dialogue? That might be one, too...
Thank you +Edgar Müller ... eloquent. Once again, a single sentence hits the heart of the matter for me:
"It is time that the age of the salesman finishes and we get back to engineers and inventors as well as to artisans and handicraft people, i.e. the real things." <-- +Siamak Manzarpour will like this one too.
I don't think Europe has fully adopted the 'cultural' model inherent in the US entrepreneurial spirit. We've slowly moved our political & economic machines toward the stage where outsourcing, spin-out firms & start-ups are being nurtured. However, we're still behind the US - due to historic reasons.

Historically, MIT was founded and the venture capital firms started moving into offices across the road. Students had their innovations and walked over the road to get backing from the VC.

By contrast, most of Europe has always been dependent on external funding from Brussels, Germany or the US. Ireland's Celtic Tiger boom in the 90's could be put down to many factors including tax breaks, EU funding (for education & infrastructure) and an influx of US multinationals... in effect, it wasn't home-grown. Yet still, many entrepreneurs head to the Valley for startup funding (let alone 'scale-up' funding) as local VC puts up so many barriers.

"Tiger economies" like Israel & Singapore have managed to build more resilient tech hubs due in part to political machinations. Notably, insisting on multinationals using a greater percentage of local producers, suppliers, startups, etc. This puts down roots & communities in the local economy spreading the parent firms cultural norms and reducing the probability of these firms being able to relocate.

Hard to gauge if Israel/Singapore took these approaches due to capability models, cultural norms (based on putting down roots & building communities) or simply due to foresight in their political & economic leaders.
+Jack C Crawford thanks for the h/t to the circle extension. However what I would like to know is where my followers are located. They seem to be much more diverse than the people I circle suggesting that my argument that G+ content still originates mostly in the US still holds.
+Giselle Minoli I go along with that - it's a real surprise and a pleasant one to be involved with an internatonal conversation that's kind of reaching out to undersand more.
+Rod Dunne That dependence on Brussels was self-induced Rod. COmpanies beganusing those funds and therefore we underdeveloped the VC industry.
+Edgar Müller and +Rod Dunne interesting thought about the European tech climate. Would you mind posting these same comments below:
When will we see the shift from a US centric web?
to get a discussion going as there are other comments there which I would like to get together.
+Haydn Shaughnessy post is about the universality of the cultural values on which I´m happy to chime in as I have written multiple long posts about the G+ bias and the value conflict which you see reflected in attitudes on things like nudity and safe for work debates as well.
I would like to get two discussions going instead of one interspersed with the other and I´m happy to participate in both as they interest me more than average.
+Max Huijgen +Edgar Müller and +Haydn Shaughnessy I'm not sure it's ever going to shift from a US centric web because, as Edgar has pointed out elsewhere, English is the language that most people speak. While Europeans are educated in other languages, their countries butting up so closely against one another that to speak three is common, Americans have convinced themselves for decades that everyone will come to us and we therefore don't really need to bother. This, in my view, is the arrogance that those who have embraced G+ are trying to bridge by reaching out across the globe.

Edgar, on your note about the need to get back to engineers and inventors and artisans you will get a resounding thumbs up from me, but, again, by and large, I don't think Americans respect these things. There is a great tradition of that in Europe, which is the reason that virtually everything in my house and apartment are from Europe. But here, the only respect we have for "products" is if they are technologically oriented and produced in such volume that quarterly sales can be reported. As a (mostly former) fine jeweler I fear the "culture" of artisanship is gone and has been replaced by the "culture" of technology.

As a country the US seems unfamiliar with the term "balance" and our pendulum is constantly swinging to extremes. Where IT used to be the bugbear, it is now the demi-God and has replaced everything else. Including language, writing and communication skills. Oh woe....
Ah +Giselle Minoli I should have invited you as well to contribute to the other topic as this a great contribution on Europe´s position.
On the subject of cultural values and a new rise outside the US i think it´s not Europe which is the most interesting, but Asia and the Arab countries. The first has a huge presence in the economy, in IT, in consumer goods productions, but also in social networks and the like.
In my older post about the US centric character of G+ I have shown that there are hardly Japanese active on G+. Leaving China apart as that is / could be a case of the chinese wall preventing posting here, South Korea is also not strongly represented.
If we talk about cultural values on G+ it´s clear that Asia nor the Arab countries have a large saying while there are many Arabs in my circles.
Me, too, +Max Huijgen but I have a confession...sometimes I Ignore/Block someone when they post in a language I can never understand. I can handle French, Spanish and Italian...but Arabic is Greek to me!
But the google translate button (a chrome extension by Google translate team member +Josh Estelle is extremely handy. But most of the Arab followers circle me based on English content and the rare comments are also in English so it´s not that I rely on translation. Like you +Giselle Minoli I am capable of reading some of the Latin languages with a bit of effort but that´s the limit.
I'm Australian and I'm not sure we are seeing a globalised culture, yet. Certainly G+ is very UScentric, as is facebook. I think Americanisation is still a strong force in other cultures, particularly in the developing world (your own article referenced American brands as aspirational in that space. Perhaps what you are seeing is more global influence on American culture, instead. Some push-back (pull-back?).
I agree that its easier for capability to be recognised across national boundaries now, which is awesome. But there's also a clash of cultures as everyone brings their own social norms into a common space. This is actually leading to the exclusion of some participants (I can add a link to a G+ example if you're interested)
+Giselle Minoli I tried to figure out how to post a link to a conversation on another post, and I've failed. +A.V. Flox has a series of posts with clips from her stream where the conversation gets hijacked by people making inappropriate sexual comments. Many (but not all) of these comments come from men from the middle east. I am not trying to blame an entire region or culture, but there seems to be misunderstandings about how to respond to a woman being vocal in a public forum. And this is leading to some women choosing to bow out of the conversation. Hopefully a search for AV will let you find the post.
+Jack C Crawford Yup that's one of them. Thanks. I want to re-iterate that I don't think this is purely a cultural thing (there are jerks everywhere) but I worry that people are so marginalised by this behaviour.
+Jack C Crawford Thank you Jack, but I'm quite comfortable with my current level of engagement on G+. Although I will admit that I don't post my picture because I prefer not to invite comments about my modesty (or lack thereof).
Thanks for bringing attention to that series of posts, +Kristin Milton. I can't put it in context with what +Haydn Shaughnessy is asking without first knowing how one defines "American" values, however.
As a person who likes to elaborate on cultures and values, I've enjoyed this thread very much. I'd like to thank to all the contributors.

Cheers from Turkey.
+Kristin Milton and +Edgar Müller and +A.V. Flox I find I'm consciously going down the same road Edgar has ventured down. I come from a philosophical background, and discussion in general has always driven my life. As the years have gone by however, my youthful belief that words can move mountains has shifted to analyzing which particular mountain I'm thinking I might be likely to move.

When it comes to beliefs that have been inculcated into people over the course of centuries, no matter the culture, country, religion or educational belief system, I'm now in a place in my life where I, too, don't want to deal with it...thus my tendency to use the Block button fairly frequently. I agree with Kristin that there are "jerks" everywhere, but I do not think one's profile photo has anything to do with it. Unless I've completely lost touch with reality, my own is rather sedate and one that I used professionally as an actor, yet still it invites a horde of unwanted attention, I can only assume simply because I am a woman with a public presence.

Yes, there is the philosophical issue of whether my reaction to this reality marginalizes certain people unfairly. And yet, the nature of being a writer is that sooner or later it is a public effort. And with the choice to be public comes the responsibility to be self-protective. I will never mind debate with someone who might disagree with me about a particular issue, but I will not debate someone who thinks that a person of my gender is not entitled to an opinion in the first place. That would not only be a colossal bore, but a colossal waste of my time. I was not put on Planet Earth to convince anyone that I have a right to be fully here and fully present.
We all have different experiences. The views +Edgar Müller expresses are very different from mine. In my own experience the Arabs I know (and I know many) are not as different from me as is suggested.
If we look at similar education levels I find people of an Arab origin not very different from my non Arab friends. They certainly don´t share the strange ideas about women.
I have read +A.V. Flox post about the absurd, almost surrealistic sexist remarks she gets.
The only answer to it is flag them, report the profiles, and of course block them. However if I look at Arabs with an university degree not one of them would ever post these kind of remarks.
What I do see that many Western man have profiles completely dedicated to posting pornography or women with big boobs. They have substantial numbers of followers and a quick unscientific check showed that these circles are not filled with Arabs.
Low class equals low class independent of origin I´m afraid +Giselle Minoli
+Max Huijgen for what it's worth, I was not referring to any particular culture, religion or country...only to my refusal to engage with anyone based on their reaction to my gender. I just won't do it.
+Edgar Müller I would respectfully disagree with the idea that somebody can not overcome the prejudices of their childhood and education. My father grew up in what was effectively an apparteid environment - but when he came to Australia all his convictions were challenged directly and obliquely. Also, like most human beings in a new social setting, he looked around and followed the social norms. My hope is that g+ as a new 'place' can set decent social norms so that people become self-regulating and stricter regulation isn't particularly needed. I've seen that work in smaller online communities. I wonder if g+ is too big, or growing too fast for it to work.
Perfect +Giselle Minoli Fully agree with you.
+Edgar Müller homosexuals are not chased down by Moroccan boys in Amsterdam; people are harassed in general by groups of youngsters as long I live. These incidents are not relevant for daily life. Neither do I experience any negativity in Spain where there is a large Moroccan community.
+Haydn Shaughnessy I believe I am about to make the first live circular reference to a thread. In your article in Forbes today, you reference this post.

So, technically speaking, Haydn has provided us the opportunity to continue writing our story, after the article has his the wires. Keep writing folks ....

Click the link above and then click the link in the article to come right back ... brilliant AND awesome.
Thanks +Jack C Crawford I did the full circle :)
"In the start-up community even Silicon Valley start-ups now want to hire talent from wherever, as long as it’s the best. Nairobi and Instanbul are, along with numerous other cities, start-up hot spots attracting American and European interest. The start-up is suddenly a global culture." from the article by +Haydn Shaughnessy
This is exactly what we are discussing in When will we see the shift from a US centric web?
The title doesn´t cover the full discussion about startups in Europe and what defines the best climate for entrepreneurs. We seem to be stuck as Europe should have most of the ingredients to be successful and +Haydn Shaughnessy names Istanbul as an example. I don´t have the same experience and travel a lot in Europe. What I do see is a lack of VC funding in Europe. Many people have now tried to answer the question why it just doesn´t seem to work and why especially web startups are still US based.
If you have some input please head over as it would help if people experienced with the American startup culture would give their view. It´s clear that Europe needs to learn something, but what?
That is brilliant +Jack C Crawford. However, +Haydn Shaughnessy in your article when you mention this post...I think it's important to point out that here on G+ there exist distinctly different types of communiators / commentors. A communicator/journalist/writer such as you, who wrote an intro to his post asking a question while at the same time revealing something about himself, garners, in my experience, a more in depth kind of conversation within the commentary...because it feels like an invitation to the long table, so to speak. Whereas a distinctly different type of post that might make more of an announcement about something, for instance, might garner shorter comments of the thumbs up or thumbs down variety.

How much "people care" has everything to do with how much the person posting cares. And that, for me, is the direction that Social Media is going and why it is going to be so influential in 2012.
In the past few years, from time to time, I've created accounts on magazine websites so that I could have the privilege of commenting on an article. Of course, the magazine benefits because it now has my profile information (the ramifications of them having this data shall be left for another time). For me, it was just another painful fill in the blank, wait for confirmation email, etc. A response packed with passion and energy needs to be more spontaneous.
Today, that has changed. +Haydn Shaughnessy has opened up this G+ post to BE the commentary on the article. +Giselle Minoli and +Max Huijgen are the first two contributors to this live, spontaneous, brilliant discussion.
Well spoken +Jack C Crawford and I fully agree with +Giselle Minoli that it´s all about engagement from the posters with the people who comment. Link dumpers like I call them, will never get the response nor will they create a debate. In all the different ´Circle suggestion´ groups I try to propose people who are original and who really engage with their audience.
+Haydn Shaughnessy...forgive me while I pick a proverbial bone, not with you, but with the nature of social media in general and perhaps even with our beloved G+ in particular, which is that in your article you mention a variety of topics well suited to social media, such as sports, music, business, technology of course, and blogging, which is a very specific type of writing. However, as a writer, I will not give up my own website as a creative vehicle because social media has yet to get hip to the enormous artistic community that is signing on, which now mimics the time when musicians started leaving the major music labels to pursue a more independent voice online.

Google+ has provided many valuable tools for artistic media that lend themselves to powerful visuals and graphics - you can insert a video, a photo album, or a hyperlink into a post, therefore immediately capturing the attention of the global cultural audience about which you originally inquired. Yet although it is words themselves that drive all of this, writers have not been presented with the tools that assist their own trade, not even some of the basic ones provided in WordPress, for instance. The basic assumptions are that the most popular topics are marketing, technology, brand-building and business, and that if writing is mentioned it is mentioned in the form of "blogging." Another assumption is that social media is becoming predominately visual. It is not. There are different sorts of people: those attracted primarily to visuals, those attracted primarily to the written word and those attracted to both. But social media distinctly assists the visual more than the written expression.

There are scores of poets, memoirists, essayists and writers of every ilk who are turning to social media to promote their work, as have musicians before them. Our fragile and unstable world economy has produced a shortage of jobs, a situation that always compels the creatively inclined to produce artistically. This community is increasingly turning to social media to find an audience.

You wrote: People care about this new globalism whether it arrives at their desk through sport or business or fashion or food, and you are absolutely right.

Yet what is almost always left out of that list are the arts, which themselves should be considered a vital part of this global social media conversation, along with any meaningful conversation about technology, branding and business.
I´m sorry +Edgar Müller but your sources are just funny and have no relation to reality. These are extremely right wing biased online publications which nobody in the Netherlands even reads.
So don´t spread this kind of information about a country if you don´t know it. It´s also a waste of this thread in my opinion. You can always open your own thread with these opinions.
If I may plug my two contributions to the US centric character of G+ +Morten Myrstad and +Haydn Shaughnessy
Google roll outs are mostly US only. Will G+ ever be a global platform? and When will we see the shift from a US centric web?
As complaining never changes things I have started a page +EuroTech to bring news from the European tech world.
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