My American compatriots still won’t believe me when I say that the best online publications are European. I’ve been telling them that for years, but their their national pride makes them think that whatever was invented in America is still made there. (Oh, yeah? Just try finding an American manufacturer of television sets, radio sets, disc drives, or cameras.)
The superiority of European online publications is nothing new to me. Back in November 2000, the French newspaper Libération quoted me
saying that the cutting edge in online publishing was no longer in America but in Europe. [The English translation of my answer to Libération‘s third question is, “Alas! the majority of the good ideas do not come from France. Partly because the French adopted the Internet on late. On the other hand, the media in Scandinavia launched sites very early. The Irish and the Spaniards integrated the video and audio and it on their sites whereas the Americans still do not do it, or almost not. On Dagbladet of Stockholm you can read the text of an article with audio and video segment turned in by the reporters on the ground. I believe that Europeans learned quickly that it was necessary to break news on their sites. The Spaniards are remarkable: I think that El Pais and El Mundo are among the best online newspapers in the world.”]
And as recently as last month, UK.Journalism.com paraphrased me saying that Europe’s online news publications are more advanced than those in the US, particularly in Scandinavia and the Netherlands, and Spanish and UK sites are leading the way in charging for web newspapers.
But today there’s more background to back up my apatriotic opinion.
A survey by International Business Machines and the intelligence unit of British magazine The Economist says that the Scandinavian countries and the United Kingdom have pushed the U.S. out of the top five ranking of most Web-savvy nation, Reuters reports. Denmark was number one, followed by the U.K., Sweden, Norway, and Finland. “Scandinavia is remarkable for the way in which citizens have incorporated Internet technology into their daily lives, completely altering how they work, shop, and communicate with officials,” the report said.
The U.S. dropped to sixth place. Despite the fast growth in use of broadband connections in America, the U.S. was still falling behind other nations’ population with broadband connections, the report said. “It is not a case of decline, but rather of stagnation or slow development compared with more aggressive e-leaders,” the report said.
During the 1990s, Europeans visited America to learn about the state-of-the-art about the wired Internet. But Americans nowadays visit Europe to learn that, plus learn about the state-of-the-art in wireless technologies. According to dictionary.com, the word for the American condiment ketchup can also be spelled catchup. Pour it on!