A year ago, on February 17, 2012, we made a commitment to blog regularly to promote cross-cultural understanding, link theory and practice, encourage best-practice use of tools, share resources and techniques, and raise awareness of the importance of building constructive cross-cultural bridges through communication. That commitment was intimidating — life and work are busy and the blog meant adding another major task.
Today, please join us in a bit of celebrating — this is our 128th post — not bad for a busy year and a new undertaking! Our quest isn’t for quantity, but rather to share a variety of quality educational materials.
Playing on the sound of the Cultural Detective, we started our blog with twin themes: 22 posts related to Cultural Effectives and 11 posts illustrating cross-cultural missteps or Cultural Defectives. We welcome your additions to these posts — we all learn from sharing each other’s experiences!
Speaking of sharing, a terrific gift this year was the series of posts by Phuong-Mai Nguyen, as she made a journey to trace the path of Islam from its origins as it spread outward. And, while we began the blog in English, we are happy to also be able to publish some posts bilingually in Vietnamese and Spanish.
Over the last year, we reviewed 19 resources, including five books, five training and coaching tools, three movies, two sources for research data, and two assessment tools.
We shared eight exercises/activities, eight free gifts/downloads, six how-tos or tips on using the Cultural Detective Series correctly, and one half-day workshop design. We posted four different research studies and theory reviews, as well as seven pieces of feedback and guidance from customers.
We were pleased to see the blog’s popularity building over the course of the year. The blog’s busiest day was December 13th, when seven posts showed record readership:
- Respect for All Spiritual Traditions
- Developing Intercultural Competence — Online?
- Film Review by Sunita Nichani: English Vinglish
- Every Organization Needs Intercultural Competence
- Resource Review: GDI Benchmarks
- What Do You Mean? I Worked Abroad 20 Years and Scored Low?!
- Partnerships: 5 Tips for Turning Frustration Into Innovation
Of course you, our readers, are central to us. You are the ones doing the important work in our world, teaching, coaching, educating, consulting, training, managing, guiding, bridging, mediating. You are building intercultural competence, respect, understanding, equity and collaboration in your spheres of personal influence. So who are you?
You come from 152 countries — that’s only 40 fewer than the number of UN member-countries. There is not a lot of information about blog readers except for where your IP address is registered. You, our followers, truly come from all over the world — though we could use some readers in Greenland and a few other locations, as you can see on the map below.
The top 20 countries from which we draw followers are:
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- The Philippines
Given the diversity of our followers, and the variety and quantity of content, we wondered what you found most interesting in our first year? Surprisingly, three of our top five most-viewed posts were about food! Congratulations and many thanks go out to guest blogger Joe Lurie, who authored two of those. The top ten posts on this blog in 2012 were:
- Joe Lurie’s Bicycling in the Yoghurt: the French Food Fixation
- Kevin and Rita Booker’s Using Film in Intercultural Education
- An anthem for the use of intercultural communication entitled Every Organization Needs Intercultural Competence
- Want to Feel Ukiuki, Pichipichi and PinPin? Japanese Food Onomatopoeia
- Joe Lurie’s The Squid Has Been Fried: Language, Culture and the Chinese Food Fixation
- A book review of How Maps Change Things
- A post on cultural appropriation with the case in point: The Swastika
- Our post entitled, Infographics on World Cultures and Immigration Trends
- A post explaining how to cull learning from some of those images we find in social media, entitled Can You Read This?
- Belief Holding as an Intercultural Competence, a competence that has long been one of my favorites, referencing Milton Rokeach’s Open and Closed Mind
Our top five most commented-on posts included one that didn’t make any of the lists above: Diversity Training Doesn’t Work! Obviously a title for some debate and discussion!
Many, many thanks to our regular authors Kris Bibler, Phuong Mai Nguyen, Tereza Bottman, Maryori Vivas, and Kate Berardo. Many thanks as well to our guest authors and contributors, including: Joe Lurie, Anna Mindess, Sunita Nichani, Piper McNulty, Barbara Schaetti, Pari Namazie, Thorunn Bjarnadottir and Avrora Moussorlieva, Kevin and Rita Booker, Carmen DeNeve, Ruth Mastron, Tatyana Fertelmeyster, George Simons, and Madhukar Shukla. We could not have built this terrific blog community without all of you who have commented, shared your resources, reposted our posts, and reviewed our posts before they were published. Many thanks!
If you have a passion for writing about cross-cultural issues and are interested in joining us here as a guest blogger, please contact me. We would love to be able to provide space for talented people to share their voices! We would also welcome your ideas for stories or resources to review, as well as your feedback.
Thank you for accompanying us during this first year of blogging! We trust that you have benefitted from what we have shared, and the thoughts and comments of readers around the world. We look forward to a peaceful and caring 2013!