It can be easy to forget that the Web is a truly international phenomenon and that people visit and view our sites from every continent and from all over the world.
While this is a truly amazing thing as it means that our message and our information can, quite literally, spread all across the globe in the blink of an eye, not everyone comes to your site with the same mindset and background. In fact, every person who approaches your site brings with them their cultural, personal, political and even religious background.
This means that, even if we completely ignore or overcome the language barriers that exist on the Web, no two people read the same piece of content the same way. Everything we read is colored by our background and the same holds true for each of the other 6 billion people on the planet.
This can create a very serious problem. What might be simply hilarious to you and your friends could be brazingly offensive to someone in another country. While this might be fine if you’re trying to be somewhat offensive with your humor, it can be disastrous if you’re trying to get information across or win people over to your viewpoint.
This alone makes cultural differences and important problem to be aware of and a pitfall that is critical to avoid.