Social Networks Going Global 2Presentation Transcript
Global Social Networks. 13 November 2008, Belgian Usability Day, Brussels Peter Van Dijck, http://petervandijck.com
What is cultural standardization?
“ Cultural standardization”
The myth that by spreading cultural artifacts & practices, culture around the world is becoming the same everywhere.
“ Coca-cola-ization”, “The convergence of tastes” .
But: people give meaning to artifacts & practices.
Users of the same service are not necessarily the same.
“ LiveJournal has decided that, in order to make certain that different communities are represented, there will be two user representatives in the Advisory Board. One will be elected to represent the Cyrillic language community and the other will represent the non-Cyrillic users.
Technological determinism .
“ Technological determinism”
The myth that there is one path of technological evolution that we all follow, determined by technology itself.
Example: “We’re 10 years behind Japan in cellphone technology.”
But: technology and culture interact, are co-created.
Diversity in global social networks.
Registered users (million)
Revenues 2007: (million US$)
Diversity of social networks
There is no winner (yet?)
Social networks on the move.
USA South Korea Orkut is focusing on Brazil Brazil Japan Friendster is focusing on Asia Netlog Is moving (leaving their home market) Is expanding
Technology & culture co-evolves.
Features and culture: Nico Nico Douga vs. YouTube
How “Japanese” is Nico Nico Douga?
It’s a cultural phenomenon.
“ My name is Kim Yoo Bin… I am 21 years old… I am Wonder Girls… I like Horror movies… I like pretty things… I’m…Truthfully…I…have a confession to make…
It’s a cultural phenomenon.
“ My name is Kim Yoo Bin… I am 21 years old… I am Wonder Girls… I like Horror movies… I like pretty things… I’m…Truthfully…I…have a confession to make… I am……. Snow White…. “
Features and culture
No anonymous browsing.
The usual photo/video sharing, buddy lists, groups etc…
Avatar’s and 3-d homepages that you can decorate with items you buy.
You can write a “couple-diary” with your special someone (way too corny for US audience).
You can also write a group diary with your friends as many as 12.
You can “lend” comic books (online).
Cyworld evolved in South Korea.
Technology and users co-evolve.
Exporting culture/adapting features.
Locales tend to mix.
Netlog’s strategy: add languages & smart localization.
Smart localization: KISS
Language based (not country based).
An easy to localize platform.
A smart global gateway.
Users see relevant content when logged in: users in their country, content in their language.
No local offices.
Community managers (students based in Gent) that speak the language.
Categories are cultural.
Categories are cultural
Standardization vs. localization
Standardize or localize?
Economies of scale.
Tension between standardization and localization cannot be ignored, nor resolved.
1 feature set
1 business model
Separate feature sets
Different business models
Standardize first, localize later
Go international (standardize)
After some time has passed, in some markets, go local