1 Articles for 'Home2'

  1. 2008/04/07 Cyworld to launch a blog service

Cyworld to launch a blog service

Web 2.0 | 2008/04/07 20:45 | Web 2.0 Asia
Cyworld is launching a blog service (link in Korean) - well, technically, they're not launching a new service, but changing the name of their existing Home2 service. With their "Cyworld Blog" initiative, Cyworld might add more features down the road, but at least for the time being, the change seems pretty cosmetic.

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What is Home 2? As the suffix "2" tells, Cyworld has made a longtime effort to bring forth an upgraded version of their popular yet aging (i.e. slow growth) minihompy service. As popular as minihompy service was, Cyworld knew that nothing can be popular forever and they had to come up with the new engine of growth.

So they put together a team of brilliant strategists (including Marc Canter of the US, it's widely known) and spent numerous hours on brainstorming sessions. The service that came out of that effort was Cyworld Home 2 (out in spring 2007) - which was essentially a blog service with some robust frontpage editing features (widgets, page addition, etc) and 1-chon (Cyworld's friend system).

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However, Home 2 service never really clicked with the Cyworld minihompy users. Minihompy users didn't perceive the more blog-like Home 2 service as the natural next step to their minihompies and therefore didn't rush to Home 2. The fact that Home 2 was packed with all the bells and whistles also meant the service didn't have a very clear focus. When introduced to Home 2, minihompy users were like, "ok, so why am I supposed to use this?"

So Home 2 was by and large a flop, but to make matters worse, the situation isn't all that rosy for the minihompy service either - it's under a double threat of a) decreasing traffic in its domestic Korean market and b) struggle in virtually all foreign markets it entered into.

Which is why the re-naming of Home 2 to Cyworld Blog seems to have come from desperation rather than from a well-devised strategy.

Cyworld is perhaps undergoing a textbook case of innovator's dilemma: Once great, now slowly aging. Massive self-reinvention effort in the name of Home 2 didn't exactly succeed. Again, if you were Cyworld CEO, what would you do? Certainly a nice brain-teaser.