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Will Cyworld Take Off in the US? — March 14, 2007

Will Cyworld Take Off in the US?

Cyworld is a new social network in the West having launched in the US last July but has been operating in South Korea and much of Asia since 1999 where it has been phenomenally successful. Ninety percent of all Koreans in their twenties are members.

Cyworld logo

Cyworld is a clever name as it suggests a cyber world (think Second Life) but it also translates to “relationship world”. There are a lot of similarities between Cyworld and Second Life. Users set up their own avatars and their own “Minirooms” within Cyworld and can then visit their friends within these virtual spaces. The other key similarity with Second Life is that Cyworld uses its own currency “Acorns” to allow users to buy products to enhance their virtual space. Second Life uses Linden dollars and has been reported to have a gross domestic product of US$64 million just ahead of the Republic of Kiribati an island nation of 100,000 people located in the Pacific Ocean. In fact tax offices around the globe (Australia, USA) have been looking into how they can get their hands on this virtual currency.

It is fitting that in our ever more consumerised world it is now becoming common to spend real money to enhance our virtual lives with virtual goods. These not so virtual economies have shown themselves to be a key component of future social networks.

The question is will Westerners take to the more childish, cartoon like avatars of Cyworld. Perhaps Cyworld will fill a hole for those who do not want the completely immersive experience of Second Life but are bored with the flat page experience of social networks such as MySpace and Facebook. Only time will tell.

Cyworld screenshot

List of Ad Networks — March 5, 2007

List of Ad Networks

Every new media company needs an ad network at some stage. Here’s a list of them. This list will evolve over time. Please let me know if you know of any that are missing.

Cool online music video competition — February 23, 2007

Cool online music video competition

Music Nation is a site that allows independent artists to enter their music videos to be judged by the public and a panel of judges. At the end of the 15-week competition, winners will be crowned in each of our three genres: rock, pop and urban. The winners will receive recording contracts and will perform on Clear Channel’s exclusive in-studio performance series, Stripped.
I hope this site keeps going after the competition is over. It’s really good for finding new and interesting artists. This site is as much about the edgy video clips as it is about the music. I found a great video clip by a UK based surf band called the Fabs lead by South American songwriter Fabiola Gatti.

The Fabs

Awesome bike trials rider — February 19, 2007

Awesome bike trials rider

I like keeping an eye on alternative sports that require huge amounts of dedication, training, strength and skill like Parkour and Bike Trials. For those of you who don’t know bike trials riding is a form of mountain biking where the focus is on technical skill. Riders negotiate difficult man made and natural obstacles. It’s really entertaining to watch and one of the best I have come across (although I don’t follow it that closely) is Ryan Leech. I first found him on YouTube with the following clip. I particularly like the skills he shows on the railway tracks. Amazing skill!
I also like the sound track in this clip, it’s called Soweto and is by Goapele & Hieroglyphics.

Hello World — February 14, 2007

Hello World

I have finally decided to start a blog. It’s really just for myself but if you want to read it then by all means go ahead. I am constantly bookmarking things that interest me. They are often things that I intend to come back and look at… but I never do.

I am going to use this blog to make notes about cool things that I find (mostly on-line). That way I can come back at any time and look through my previous posts for inspiration.

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