Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Web 2.0 Asia :: "Korean internet users are prisoners of their language barrier"

Web 2.0 Asia :: "Korean internet users are prisoners of their language barrier": "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."

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