380 Articles for '전체'

  1. 2008/03/19 Comparison between Asian social networks (2)
  2. 2008/03/14 Meetup with Joyce Kim (2)
  3. 2008/03/14 Microsoft invests in Japan's OKWave
  4. 2008/03/14 CityIn officially launches
  5. 2008/03/13 Some news from Asian Q&A services
  6. 2008/03/13 CityIn is called "Intelligent social network" - my question is, how intelligent is it? (1)
  7. 2008/03/12 Four out of Ten Koreans turn to the web when they study (1)
  8. 2008/03/12 Chen says Youtube "commited to Korean market"
  9. 2008/03/11 Myspace Korea launched (5)
  10. 2008/03/11 "Korean internet users are prisoners of their language barrier" (3)

Comparison between Asian social networks

Web 2.0 | 2008/03/19 14:30 | Web 2.0 Asia
Benjamin Joffe of Plus Eight Star offers a great summary of leading social networks in Asia - namely, QQ, Mixi, Cyworld. Here's also a follow-up post.

Meetup with Joyce Kim

Other | 2008/03/14 16:46 | Web 2.0 Asia
Joyce Kim is the CEO of Soompi.com, but she's perhaps more famous for her other gig, namely the co-host of the GigaOm Show. Yesterday Joyce visited our office and we had some fun conversations.

We talked about many things: open web standards, blogging in Asia vs. the US, good strategies for international companies to knock on the doors of the US market, etc. We also showed our product to Joyce, and she liked it very much and she suggested we should set up a presence in the Bay Area.

(By the way, when the new blog service we're developing now will be out this summer, it will first be available in Korean - but we do will launch international version soon after that. So stay tuned. :-)

Despite being someone with such (sorry Joyce, I did some Googling), Joyce Kim was very down to earth and carried conversations in a pleasantly bubbly way. Also much to my delight, she reads my blog (she talked about my blog theme before I mentioned it to her, so that's for real). I would be more delighted if I could be invited as the next guest at GigaOm Show. I'd be able to share some unique views from the East, then. I'm all yours, Om and Joyce!

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TAG GigaOm, Joyce Kim

Microsoft invests in Japan's OKWave

Web 2.0 | 2008/03/14 15:32 | Web 2.0 Asia
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CNet Japan reported that Microsoft made investment in OKWave, Japan's #1 online Q&A service. With the investment, Microsoft now owns 10.52% of OKwave.

According to CNet, this marked the first time Microsoft acquired shares of a Japanese company. But apparently, this is not the first time Microsoft and OKWave announced partnership.

Microsoft and OKWave will work together to integrate OKWave's Q&A content with Microsoft's Live search. This, I think, is a smart move (if done right): Anyone who's kept an eye on the success trajectory of Korea's Naver would testify that "search + Q&A + contextual ads = killer combination and lots of revenue".

Here's my previous post about Asia's online Q&A services.
TAG Microsoft, Naver, OKWave, q&a

CityIn officially launches

Web 2.0 | 2008/03/14 15:11 | Web 2.0 Asia
CityIn, the new social network from China that aims to find your "taste buddies" in an intelligent way, officially launched. I covered the service briefly in a previous post.

According to the information sent by Simon Chan, the co-founder of the company (who, I learned later, actually happens to be a fellow Michigan Wolverine), CityIn has three key distinguishing features:

1. QQ IM Contact Import
2. The first SNS adopting Japan QR Code Technology!
3. CityIN learns your taste

QQ IM contact import would definitely be a great feature, as QQ is well known to be the single most successful service in China and everyone is using it.

But here comes my favorite part form Simon's PR:
We know clearly what the Chinese users need. I'm sure that CityIN is going to be the market leader, because we, the team of average age 24, have the ability to provide fresh experiences to Asian users through innovative breakthroughs.
That's the spirit, Simon! Also, what sets CityIn apart from the pack is that it's not one of those "C2C" ("Copy to China") services.

So the guys behind CityIn are young, ambitious, and are committed to building something uniquely suited for the local Chinese market - I think many ingredients for success are there. Visit the site here.

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TAG CityIn, Simon Chan

Some news from Asian Q&A services

Web 2.0 | 2008/03/13 01:13 | Web 2.0 Asia
Over the past couple of weeks, online Q&A services in Asia made some announcements, suggesting Q&A services are pretty active in Asia.

Tangos writes that Qihoo.com of China is set to focus more on the Q&A service (China already has a prominent Q&A service in Baidu Zhidao); Japan's top Q&A service, OKWave, announced they will start contextual ads ("content-matching ads") alongside their Q&A content.

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It's to be seen if Qihoo and OKWave will generate huge ad revenue, as seems to be the case with Naver Q&A service ("Knowledge iN") and Baidu Zhidao.

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Naver Knowledge iN

TAG Baidu, baidu zhidao, knolwedge iN, Naver, OKWave, qihoo
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CityIn is a new Chinese social network service that "aims to bring people together by matching their personal interests, entertainment, brands, celebrities and others."

So here's how the service seems to work (Reminder: I'm a Chinese illiterate, so my understanding of the service can be very limited. I'm turning more to Angus's English coverage here). In the sample case of iPhone (shown below), there are 11 people who expressed their love of iPhone, so you can browse who also liked iPhone other than yourself; Also shown are other items being liked by those who liked iPhone, such as BMWs.

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So CityIn follows textbook ways of connecting people and objects in the so-called "object-centric (as opposed to ego-centric) social networks", which I believe can be summarized:
But the big question I'd like to throw is, how much of intelligent recommendation technologies are being used for CityIn to come up with those "other people" and "other items" lists? Do they just use simple DB matching to come up with those lists? If that's the case (which I doubt), I wouldn't see much value in the service, because there can be millions of people who love Yao Ming, who each would love all sorts of random, mutually unrelated things.

The so-called "dopplegangers" carry significant meaning only when they share some very unique things with me, not generic stuff like Starbucks. But then, if you found a guy who also liked a '70s album that's known only to two people in the entire world, would you be delighted enough to send a private message to him? I for one wouldn't. (Well, If she's a pretty girl, that's a completely different story of course).

I think the concept of CityIn is quite nice (the best of Lovemarks and Amazon book recommendation, perhaps?), but I'd like to first see how much of personalization technologies the company brings to the table. Because I know that personalized recommendations take either huge amount of data or a very sophisticated, intelligent technology - or actually more likely, both. CityIn might have those - if you know, please shed some light here.
TAG China, CityIn, Recommendation, social network

Four out of Ten Koreans turn to the web when they study

Web 2.0 | 2008/03/12 17:05 | Web 2.0 Asia
Call Korea "e-learning paradise" - According to Naver News, on a recent survey, 39.1% of Koreans were found to turn to the internet (e-learning) when they study. The percentage of people who study on the web has been on a sharp increase - It was 13.6% in 2005 and 27.8% in 2006. The figures for people from 6 to 19 years old were a whopping 67.0%.

I don't know if Koreans are the hardest-studying people in the world (well, Korean students certainly are - though they still mostly cram stuff in their heads for their college entrance exam rather than developing creativity). But it's certain that when they do study, Koreans are much more likely to use the web as the medium than the rest of the world. Which translates into some tough competition for Korean e-learning service providers: There are 756 e-learning service providers, an increase of 21.7% over the last year, the survey also found.

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Picture from korea.net

TAG e-learning, Korea

Chen says Youtube "commited to Korean market"

Web 2.0 | 2008/03/12 16:51 | Web 2.0 Asia
Steve Chen, co-founder of Youtube, visited Korea yesterday and said the online video service is "fully commited" to the Korean market. Chen also said Youtube Korean will make sure the service is compliant with local IP laws.

Meanwhile, according to Rankey.com, a Korean web analytics company, Youtube Korea generated 2.6M monthly page views for February this year, showing a 409% year-over-year growth. Youtube Korea's monthly PVs are now at about 11.7% those of Korean market-leading incumbent Pandora.tv.

Now, 11.7% doesn't sound so big, but 409% YOY growth sounds quite a nice growth. So Youtube Korea is growing fast - Certainly faster than Google itself, which still has <2% share in Korean search market.

Chen admitted Youtube Korea is still largely just a language translation (which I pointed in this blog) - but they will undertake more efforts specifically suited for Korean market, including building content partnerships with local content partners, Chen said.
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TAG Steve Chen,

Myspace Korea launched

Web 2.0 | 2008/03/11 17:02 | Web 2.0 Asia
is up now, and the first thing I notice is that it's not just a simple word-by-word translation of the original Myspace service. The Korean version has its own site menus that include "Minilog", something that's not found in the US version. Minilog is apparently the aggregation of snippets of messages composed by Myspacers. Overall, the site is quite well localized - but it remains to be seen if the service will become the "post-Cyworld" in Korea.

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TAG Korea,

"Korean internet users are prisoners of their language barrier"

Web 2.0 | 2008/03/11 15:34 | Web 2.0 Asia
Michael Hurt left a long comment to my post "Social network fatigue is clear and present". To re-post the comment (with Michael's consent - boldings are mine):
Cyworld and their ilk are pumped-up, top-down, bloated extensions of Web 1.0-ware: Friendster/Cyworld are the same.

The difference between those and Facebook is that FB isn't a "social networking site" per se, but a network and PLATFORM upon which 3rd-party developers can add all sorts of (monetizable) functionality.

That difference is seen in the success of Scrabulous, or the fact that any OTHER non-FB service can write a plugin for FB that adds the user's existing network to the utility if that particular application.

What you see is nearly unbounded potential in FB, whereas Cyworld is still very much just a MINI-"hompy." Much more than they know, Cyworld is less than a homepage and not really much of anything else.

That's why I saw Cyworld moving anywhere outside of Korea as a stupidly arrogant mistake. I called this as soon as Cyworld went into the US and Europe.

The only reason half of the Korean Internet even remains used by the Korean population is because there's no other choice – they're prisoners of the Korean language barrier. If and when FB made a platform in other languages, namely Korean – goodbye Cyworld, with a quickness.

I trust that Cyworld (or some other Korean internet chaebeol) is busy getting ready to roll out its own version of Facebook for the Korean market as we speak. But the question Koreans will rightfully ask is: "How is this different from Cyworld?" in a Korean Internet environment in which you don't have lots of hungry startups and developers making all kinds of cool programs, in which the very trait that makes FB strong continues to be underdeveloped in Korea.

The same idiocy is shown by that guy you mentioned who thinks he's going to create some new blogging platform in the US market, with open-source Wordpress dominating everything marketable/professional, and Wordpress.com, Blogger, Typepad, and several others continuing to divide up a well-saturated market.

First of all, thanks for the long and thoughtful comment, Michael.

Now I think this can open up an interesting thread of communication. We could perhaps take the issue to a higher, more general level.

One area I find myself disagreeing with Michael is that I don't think localized versions of Myspace and Facebook will take off in Korean market either, just as Cyworld didn't take off in other markets.

Maybe there's a reason why Niko Niko Douga and 2Ch are popular only in Japan; Maybe there's a reason why Orkut is big only in Brazil and India. In some cases, what might seem like a universal success could actually be a hit in the US and the rest of English-speaking world, whose success has been bloated by the extensive coverage in English media. (Of course this shouldn't be the case for all services)

So I'd like to put up an instant poll of some sort and hope the discussion will continue... I think this is an important issue faced by many startups in Korea and other parts of the world that are considering about bringing their products to international markets.

a) If a service is "inherently good" enough, the service will become a hit anywhere in the world with only minimal amount of localization efforts;

b) When it comes to internet services, especially social nets, there's no such thing as a "guaranteed universal success" - even if a service is successful in its own local market, they shouldn't be naive enough to believe the same service will work in other cultures with minimal tweak and therefore should come up with fresh strategies for every country/culture it wants to be in.

I know the right answer lies somewhere in between :) But in any case, I hope you'll add your thoughts to this.
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