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The myth that
all WEBSITES are
A website can be seen anywhere in the world, so let's stop thinking about websites as being location-based! Why do some companies say things like "we only do business with uk-based websites" (or usa-based, etc)? What makes them think that a website exists only in a physical location on the surface of the earth?! Well obviously some sites are local-content only, for example the agenda of a local council, or a site of a shop that only does deliveries within a twenty mile radius of a particular town. But most sites are of general interest around the world. Even sites that are about a particular place are of interest to people from far afield.
The site www.zyra.org.uk is an example of a site that "tries to encompass the entire world". And yet there are still some companies, in particular a few affiliate merchants, who won't give the site affiliate status because they haven't really thought it out properly and assume that the site is regional to wherever the creator of the site happens to live. Well, they're living in the past! In the century before this 21st Century the world was divided into nation states with neat garden fences around them and International trade was something that was only for big companies. But now anyone can set up an International business.
That being a fact, it seems that in a culture where it is agreed that prejudice is unfair based on race, religion, gender, orientation, age, etc there is still a kind of location-discrimination. This, region-coding and other unfair practices based on geography where it isn't a relevant issue, are an insidious variant of racism and sexism, and have no place in a civilised world.
Let's take for example Zyra Artistic Restoration and Alteration. It doesn't matter where in the world you are, you can send a photo to be modified, and it can be artistically restored or creatively changed, and then sent back, and it need cost no more than if you arrived with a photo at the front door!
And for a WEBSITE, ie where the website itself is the business, International status is the natural fact. On this page you are reading now, there is some useful information, and I am not writing it just so the folk in this town I live in can read it, I'm writing it for anyone in the world!
Yet, a while ago I saw a company making cars and looking for affiliates to help sell them. The cars were of the pedal/electric type that are legal in the USA but not in some of the more pedantic states of Europe. The company refused to talk to me because I was "not a US-based site". Presumably they think that as the cars aren't legal to drive in Europe there's no point in advertising them outside the USA. The fact that this site advertises everywhere in the world and can be seen everywhere in the world is somewhat ahead of their thinking! In contrast, The New York Times, USA Today and Wine.com have got it right! They can only deliver directly in the USA, so they have asked me to mention that on this site! No problem! Similarly, Shop Direct UK have got it right. Their delivery is UK-only, so they've stated "sites must be able to attract visitors who live in the UK" which is fair enough. With any of these companies I can deliver advertising for them anywhere, so, that's great! As a result, those companies who understand this are receiving an advertising service in their home region by means of this site, whereas the other company I mentioned is missing out!
Discrimination and prejudice is not acceptable on the grounds of COLOUR, whether it be of the skin, of the hair, or in the manner of spelling of the word.
Now let's consider another scenario which makes the point. I am a mad scientist and I do some bizarre experiments and invent some crazy things. Supposing I invented a space-drive and moved to THE MOON. Having my website hosted on the Moon with a high-bandwidth satellite-link and sending back lots of interesting pictures and information about the terrain, do you think the site would be of any interest at all to anyone on the Earth? Do you suspect it might just happen to get a lot of visits and therefore would be very valuable as an advertising place? Well, some companies would assume, if they carried on with their daft policy, that it was of no interest, as it was not a site based in the same local region as them, and therefore not worth advertising on. They would miss out on one of the grandest advertising opportunities ever!
Update 2010: There has been an addition to the matter of REGIONAL DISCRIMINATION. Some of the States have enacted laws which try to grab tax from international merchants if they have any affiliates living in that State. Besides being very dodgy in terms of legality, it's also very bad for business as it has resulted in merchants having to banish all affiliates living in those goodsense-forsaken regions. It's made those regions poorer, but it's also had an adverse effect on the World's diversity-acceptance (like South African apartheid). This new scourge on humanity is known as NEW YORK TAX