WZD.com version 2 beta launches

Web 2.0 | 2007/06/04 15:54 | Web 2.0 Asia

WZD.com (pronounced Wizard.com), a Korean offering of web start page, has beta launched its new version. According to 2Z, a Korean blogger (note: link in Korean), the notable features of the new version include:

Sharing web widgets and personal pages: Users can share the widgets and startpages they created with other users. The place where these assets can be posted and shared is called "Oz".

Better UI and design: Unlike on other startpage services, WZD.com users can freely adjust the size of the widgets. Also widgets can be overlaid on top of other widgets, not necessarily constrained to move only up and down within the given horizontal boundaries.

Web widget API: WZD.com announced WZDAPI, a widget-creating API that's compatible with Mac OS, Google, Netvibes, etc.

I gave it a quick spin, and the first thing I said was: This thing is so easy on the eyes! (See screenshot below). You can customize the look and feel by selecting themes for different sections - header, skin, nav bars, etc. Below I selected a Sushi restaurant skin with matching header and nav bar themes, but rest assured, since not all the themes are this cute.

You can easily create and add your own widgets, as well as select from dozens of preconfigured widgets that stream the RSS feeds from notable sources such as Chosun-ilbo (Korea's top newspaper) and Allblog (a blog content syndication site).

So the question is: What's the next step for WZD.com? To become the king of the Korean startpage market (which wouldn't be too large in size, I'm sure), or go global? If they choose the latter, how do they plan to compete against the market leaders such as iGoogle and Netvibes? Bottom line: Well executed, but gotta overcome what some Koreans call the "Korean discount".

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