Sure. Sorry about that. Mini-homepy. That's just what they generically call the cyworld and daum planet business model: "mini-homepy" (pronounced: mini-home-pee). I know how it sounds but...its short for Mini-home-page ^^). Every member can creat their own mini-homepy using cyworld (for example) pre-packaged templates and items. The system is VERY robust and features are deep, well beyond what you see in the circles and spaces offerings. (hence, they are "baby-steps" cause I imagine they will add features if the mini-homepy model looks to do well for englishlanguage audiences).
Think....blog, forum, friendster, and personal portal mashed together and on heavy steroids. And you are getting a tiny idea of cyworld.
I've written a posts on cyworld mini-homepy before and how lycos(daum) Circles effort is the US adaptations of the mini-homepy model. And now that MSN's has joined the fray with Spaces, I am wondering if its picking up some momementum or msn and lycos both are looking to put a big push to this market. They need SOMEthing to make a dent in Yahoo, I'd think.
However, from what I see so far though, neither offering is anywhere near as addictive, interesting or rich in features as the korean originals..which is too bad. Part of it was "lost in translation" I'm sure, but some of it I probably just "testing" the market.
I wonder how ppl feel about them that have never seen/used cyworld. Or wonder if ppl did have a carbon copy of cyworld (english) whether it would pick up faster. Guess we'll have to see. ^^
Really should take a peek...oversimply: Cyworld dot com is main site where you can buy stuff for your mini-hompy and do extra stuff....but don't just check out the main page of the site...
its the pop-up mini-hompy that is the meat and bones of cyworld.
here are some typical examples: (I have no idea what you will be able to see or hear. There are activeX installs, music automatically comes out, and animations etc etc. if I recall properly, it gets TOTALLY MESSED UP IN FIREFOX!--which I noted as a reason FF will have big trouble here). So if you don't install stuff or hear stuff and it looks weird...its cause it didn't "take" in your browswer.
anyway....what you do see, I can promise you is probably less than 5% of all the features.
So here are some random ppl cyworld, so you can see for yourself. (don't worry these personal mini-hompys but are set to "public" --its a setting-- and its certainly not advertising them for anything).
www dot CYWORLD dot com
www dot cyworld dot com/busterboys
www dot cyworld dot com/cold28
www dot cyworld dot com/mongmongnae
I really wish I could show screenshots and give a run down of some of the more basic elements just so you can play around a bit more effectively...but alas.... no go on this forum. :(
Daum's Planet offering is nowhere near as popular, but its got some cool features (like inline mulitmedia and animation building tools!) that cyworld doesn't in hope of taking some of their market. ;) there are a few smaller sites as well.
anyway, well..so not to digress from the topic tooo much...
THIS is one of the reasons that Big G needs to advertise and doesn't hack it here as a desitination site in Korea. How can you even compare this crazy explosion of features in cyworld (and portal's search engines) with Goog's logo and search box? You can't. its just a different world out here.
But it works.
The G bus? Signs in the street? Its interesting...and nothing wrong with it....depending on their goals for this market. but potentially dangerous. Anyone who's been for any amount of time would know why (and I've said): koreans want things done in the korean way.
being a foreign company entering this market CAN be done..but its gotta be done right and gotta be done big (or riding on some inhouse-local brand/site). They got the big part (if they want) but...... the jury is still out on the Big G Bus approach.