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WSJ article 4/24/96; hypertext and cultural differences?
- To: xanadu@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: WSJ article 4/24/96; hypertext and cultural differences?
- From: jbc@xxxxxxxxxx (Jim Bryce Clark)
- Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 05:52:42 GMT
- Reply-to: xanadu@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Reading today's (4/24) Wall Street Journal article on Ted and the HyperLab
in Sapporo, the following thoughts came to me.
There's a lot of talk about "intranets" in American business now -- in-house
hypertext-based information sharing systems. Yet, in many American
organizations, individual managers hoard their own memos and stores of
information, and compete with *each other*. (An actual quote from a manager
I knew: "Put my form files on the company's computer network? Are you
kidding? If someone wants to use MY stuff they'd better come to ME.") The
whole idea of hypertext is linked information -- not much use to someone who
wants to keep their stuff *inaccessible*.
The Japanese companies I've known (mostly as clients) work on a different
model. Typically, they compensate professionals for *group* performance,
and their ability to *collaborate*. A company-wide hypertext database of
the collective corporate wisdom might be a lot more welcome in the latter
Do you suppose there are significant cultural differences in the
attractiveness, and intuitive fit, of hypertext as a tool?