The Importance of Being Social

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A General Overview of Online Social Networks - Why social networks fail and succeed in Asia (Cyworld case study), the technologies and practices of online social networks, the business of social networks and finally, the future of social networks. A talk for Barcamp KL April 2009.

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  • The Importance of Being Social

    1. The Importance of Being Social Bernard Leong Partner, Thymos Capital LLP and COO, SENATUS. http://bleongcw.typepad.com Twitter/Gmail: bleongcw
    2. Outline Context - Thinking Social. Converse - Technology Social. Convert - Business Social. The Future of Online Social Networks.
    3. Context - Thinking Social Why Social Networks matter and why some succeed and fail in Asia.
    4. Context: Thinking Social Online Social Networks are Cultural, Generational and Geographical. Sociology suggests that different communities appeal to diversity of platforms rather than one common platform. Errata: Facebook dominates in US now. Source: www.oxyweb.co.uk - (Nov 2008)
    5. Who succeeds and fails? Major western social networks find it difficult to penetrate into East Asian countries. Forget the “Clone Wars” The Cultural Advantage (for e.g. language and social practices) - Xiaonei (China), Cyworld (Korea) and Mixi (Japan). Major western social networks succeed in Southeast Asia (some are former European colonies): Orkut (India), Hi5 (Thailand), Facebook (Singapore) and Friendster (ASEAN minus SG & Thailand). The Context on why a social network succeed and fail is important.
    6. Case Study 1: CyWorld (South Korea) Founded by Young Joon Huang in July 1999. (South Korea). Subidiary of SK Telecom done via trade sale. 20M Visits a month (Korea). US Version launched in 2006. Languages: English, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese
    7. A Minihompy - Personal Profile in Cyworld Source: P. Ng, A. Kang, A. Quah & M. Netzley (SMU)
    8. Successes and Failures Business Model: Microtransactions based on virtual currency “Dotori” or “Acorn” - 35% (Music sales) and 40% (Digital Wallpaper sale). Online advertising is minimal. Cyworld Korea expanded over their services to virtual world, games and photosharing and their markets to US, Vietnamese, Japanese Chinese markets. Cyworld expanded into Germany with T- Online Local players like StudiVz & Skyrock drove the cost of entry high and Cyworld closed down its European branch.
    9. Ubiquitous or Niche? Setting up a social network is challenging and it will be important to ask the following questions: What’s the aim of the social network? What are the services provided by the social network to the users? How do you grow the user database? Can you manage growth with sustainable monetization?
    10. Converse - Technology Social Technology & Sociological Practices in Social Networks
    11. Features in Social Networks The ability to connect to people within 6 degrees of seperation. The shift from a static to dynamic profile - Activity The Interaction Factor - Share, Like, Comment, Send a Gift & Poke. The ability to galvanize - Causes, Forums & Groups The Niche Functions catered for a specific network. The ability to connect via APIs - FB Connect, Open Social - Inter-Operability and Integration with Content Providers (Text, Audio, Video)
    12. Connection within 6 Degrees of Seperation Six Degrees of Self-Organizing • • Seperation: Everyone is Nature of Networks: connected to each other scale free and the ability within six degrees of of identify generic hubs experiment. and connectors in a network.
    13. Connection within 6 Degrees of Seperation Six Degrees of Self-Organizing • • Seperation: Everyone is Nature of Networks: connected to each other scale free and the ability within six degrees of of identify generic hubs experiment. and connectors in a network.
    14. Connection within 6 Degrees of Seperation Six Degrees of Self-Organizing • • Seperation: Everyone is Nature of Networks: connected to each other scale free and the ability within six degrees of of identify generic hubs experiment. and connectors in a network.
    15. The shift from a static to dynamic profile - Activity
    16. The Interaction Factor - Share, Like, Comment, Send a Gift & Poke.
    17. The ability to galvanize - Causes, Forums & Groups
    18. The ability to connect via APIs - FB Connect, Open Social - Inter-Operability and Integration with Content Providers (Text, Audio, Video)
    19. Convert - Business Social Rethink Business Strategies for Social Networks
    20. The Three Phases of Social Network The Platform Creation Phase - when the platform is initially launched and generate interest. The Growth Phase - when you grow the members of the platform and sustain interest. The Monetization Phase - when you have the database and directs interests and generate brand and monetization.
    21. Online Advertising The promise of social advertising: to target ads on people interested in only the products and services that appeals to them. Online Advertising requires rich media delivery. Online Advertising is dependent on the audience and the traffic on the site.
    22. Subscription Model
    23. Micro-Transactions & Referrals Cyworld, Xiaonei & Facebook uses micro- transactions via “send a gift”. Xiaonei provides services within the network to push users to other microsites in China.
    24. Brand Advertising/Placement Most brands have avoided major social networks in the fear of dilution and afraid to let fans to run the groups or pages on Facebook. Brand Advertising and brand placement remains a holy grail and very few successful cases have happened.
    25. Future Social Where do we go from here? Any crazy idea - let me try one.
    26. Linkedin connects people professionally but does not distinguish the influencers and connectors
    27. In the online world, each connection is characterized by a 1(Connected) or 0 (Not Connected)
    28. Social Network Thought Experiment
    29. The Current Social Network is unable to measure Degrees of Association, i.e. how well you know that person.
    30. Try This Idea 9 Rule 1: Each user 9 assigns a degree of association value (1-10) 7 5 on how well you know 7 the other person. Do it 8 for multiple users. Score this based on the average of each pair scores.
    31. 10 5 10 9 10 Rule 2: Fit a statistical 2 distribution on all your associations. Rule 3: Calibrate the weights between each pair 7.5 of users based on the social 9.5 6
    32. A Weighted Social Network? http://www.slideshare.net/bleongcw/undercover-technologist
    33. With a weighted social network, you can search for best path to connect to someone within a network and also find the influencers and hubs.
    34. Thank You for your Attention http://www.slideshare.net/bleongcw/the-importance-of-being-social

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