• coplandmj

    I don’t really know how much it’s changed in eight years (eight years yesterday!), but I was stunned when I moved to the US how behind many of the rest of us they were in adoption of technology. In 2002, none of my university peers used text messaging. None. Some people may view this as a good thing; it certainly made you make more phone calls, but for an 18 year old who’d used SMS for three years already, it really changed the way I communicated. It wasn’t until much later–2005 or 2006–when people really got into using mobile phones.

    The mobile phones we used in New Zealand were pretty awful, but we did somewhat beta test a lot of their uses quite early on. In fact, New Zealand took to online communication pretty quickly, it seemed, as many people appeared to realise that it was a big barrier-buster for a very small country, three and a half hours away from its closest neighbours. Sadly, I believe that this is no longer the case, according to friends and my parents who still live there.

    Facebook and other online services could well see a higher uptake from smaller audiences. And besides, at one point didn’t London have the highest Twitter usage per head of population of any city, anywhere?

    Anyhow, although I’ve got absolutely no interest in using Facebook Places (Ciaran is in the pub. Ciaran is in his flat. Ciaran is playing Farmville :p), I reckon we could do beta testing justice and agree we should get the chance :)

  • http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    To be fair, Google did give the old British Empire Broad Match Modifiers before we got it in the states :-)

  • http://marketingtenerife.com Leslie Beeson

    Yes its shocking the liberties those new worlders take! Makes me think of one of those old maps of China where the rest of the world is depicted as a tiny little squggles of irrelevance on the peripheries.

  • Ruth_OL

    Hear hear! It’s really annoying to keep reading about great new features on pretty well every big-brand site and then find that you can’t use any of them. The combined European market must be huge, and yet we constantly get hobbled versions (hello Bing!) with seemingly no prospect of ever seeing the full-featured one. Why should we have to beg for the privilege of being a beta tester? Why can’t they just launch the thing in multiple territories? I understand that in some circumstances there may be legal or contractual difficulties (such as with the marvellous BBC iPlayer), but mostly it just seems like they don’t really understand or care that we exist.

    Hey! Stop being so parochial! Don’t you want our money?

  • http://www.itamer.com sarahk

    coplandmj is right!

    When I did the standard Kiwi thing and worked in the UK back in ’90 & ’91 I had a job setting up eftpos terminals at Shell petrol stations. Most were upgrading from basic tills and even shoe boxes. I was stunned, we’d had integrated pump->eftpos systems in NZ “forever”.

    We also used to be the test bed for consumer products. Get it wrong in NZ and its no drama, get in wrong in the US and you kill your brand. We’re a small but educated country with a western culture that is close enough to both the UK and US to be a valuable test bed.

    One classic example was a laundry detergent which turned clothes gray (go figure). Even once they’d ironed the problems out and launched worldwide they couldn’t sell it down here.

    Wouldn’t it be great if the big social networking sites used us for testing. Think of the fun we could have :)

    Better still, just roll out worldwide… surely it takes more effort to restrict functionality?