Sunday, September 28, 2008

Caribbean E-Commerce, Where Are We?

After posting a few of my 'Sites I Like' yesterday it struck me that none of them were Caribbean and I’d like to promote some good Caribbean sites and networks both for those of us who are reaching out into cyberspace ouselves and for those who would like to get to know the Caribbean a bit better while kicking back at their computers.

But, it has turned out so far to be a bit of another one of the “BAM!…bbb…bummer!” moments. There’s good stuff out there, it’s just hard to find – granted, I shouldn’t be trying to gather this info in such a short space of time, and I could’ve just shelved the project for a later post but, that ain’t my style – I like to get things out there while my spaghetti is still hot!

So what is it that’s keeping us islanders back? Well there’s a pretty good article at www.knowprose.com that touches on our insularity / lack of vision and also the discouraging effect of our backward banks; the latter being a nuisance to those of us trying to use the internet tools like adsense and adwords – we have to devolve to the paper mail delivery of money and our banks delight it letting us wait up to six weeks for foreign checks to clear. I’m not a banker but I suspect it could be done quicker. Are our governments supporting the banks in their lack of support for e-commerce? It can’t be that it’s so much of a risk here in the Caribbean, more so than anywhere else in the world? As one of my old Coffee Club pals used to say “It’s a mystery!”

I did also find a small blog directory at the same site – this guy seems to have a positive attitude towards getting the Caribbean word out there. But then my searching ran into a wall as the Internet disappeared again into one of those passing black holes. Once I got back online though, my explorations at least yielded some results which I was going to list at the end of this blog, but internet is being very difficult today so I’m just going to link you to a few and the bloglist on knowprose.

We could do with a lot more exposure I think, I mean, I found out there’s a Facebook group for Caribbean bloggers from my search, so I’ve applied to join that – it has 90 members but it’s a slow job finding the blogs through Google and seeing what’s really active. So added to my list of To Do’s for this blog : continue to search and compile Caribbean sites of interest and make a file here; I just have to figure out how to do that well on blogger and it will be put up no matter how empty it is to start with.

The thing with the Internet and all this connectivity is it’s about individuals making things happen, that’s the beauty of it. So, if you have any sites that you think are good – blogs, networks, art sites (see Alcina’s she’s launching a new site soon and will have a full page in Nov. issue of She Caribbean), sites on doing business in the Caribbean, music, literature, sport, opinion, living...please do send me the links and lets see what can happen! And please do chip in if you have expertise in how to make e-commerce a useful reality for the Caribbean.

Alphabet Attitude for today: N is for No Problem!

A Few Links:

http://barbadostravel.squarespace.com/
- aimed at visitors.
http://caribbean-gis.blogspot.com/ Geographic Information Systems/ Science (GIS), and its application in and around the Caribbean.
www.caribbeanprblog.com from the founder of the facebook group – perspectives about pr, marketing and social media
http://www.caribbeanfreeradio.com/blog/ not just podcasts – interesting posts and photos etc.
www.limershub.com - mostly just reposts of tech stuff, forum seems dead since 07