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Speaking after the launch of MySpace's Korean-language version in Seoul, Chris DeWolfe said he was confident about its prospects in a country that has proved difficult for foreign online services such as Google.
Let me put it simply:
WITH intense effort of ACTUALLY "localizing" and PROMOTING it (ie: SPEND TONS OF COLD HARD MASS ADVERSTING DOLLARS)... I give a 5% (NOT 50%) chance of doing anything significant here. And by "significant" I mean like grab 5% of the market. 0% of become dominant (rounded down^^). And since I doubt they will do that (through Ad money at it)... I give it a 1% chance (rounded up). heh.
And seeing the article is a stark example in difference of perception.
* CNN article (and lots of others): Woot! Seems like big news, and a big deal -- OUTSIDE of Korea.
* Contrast: Couldn't find anything but barely a sliver of mention in Korean newspapers.
- It is NOT very localized as is. still REEKS of non-korean site. Why? that'd be a list too long to read, much less write.
- "minilog" service sounds like a big deal, but simply put: its not. Its a VERY basic feature (similar enough) on other social net sites here (eg: cyworld...with 18 million members). Same with stationary and "fancy stamps" DeWolfe mentions. its like saying: "Our new email system allows you to forward messages!"
ie: no effect/value proposition.
Also, anyone else find this..er...lacking:
"We believe that there's different cultures in every country," DeWolfe .... "We believe that people use Web sites differently in every country."
um... excuse the sarcasm, but .... reeeeally? Different cultures in different countries!?! Shocking. I hear they have different foods in different countries too! lol. I really hope there was more meat to the speech than that.
Don't believe the hype.
I can't see what MySpace Korea is offering that would make Koreans move away from above what is already available (and better), like with Cyworld (with 18million friends already who speak the same language and have near perfected their tools for maximum Korean convenience) or "true" local offerings.
Other than the novelty of something new from "the outside" (temporary) and grabbing the negligibly small percent of koreans that actually DO try to set-up personal sites in English: there is nothing.
Facebook would have MUCH better chance here. MUCH more "Korean style" as is (out-of-the-box, so to speak).
I hadn't logged into my CyWorld account in a while so I did that after reading your post. Even the non-Korean CyWorld is loads more usable than MySpace for me. Maybe I'm getting old and just don't get it anymore...
I know what you're saying about the internationalization Grendel. Seen MySpace Japan? They just translated the menus. I don't have the most recent stats, but Mixi (which is more like a Japanese Facebook) is still the market leader in Japan. While not totally original, it is a well localized service.
Sounds like the MySpace people believe their own hype a bit too much...
MySpace, the world's largest online social network, launched a Korean service last week, but local portal and blog users have given the new service the cold shoulder. "I signed up out of curiosity, but I canceled my membership soon after because I found it un-user friendly," a Korean blogger reported. Another blogger said, "MySpace isn't new or interesting for Korean users who are already familiar with online communities like Cyworld."
< insert broken record post here >
note: youtube isn't fairing much better.
[edited by: GrendelKhan_TSU at 11:56 am (utc) on April 21, 2008]