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Social Networks Going Global 2


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Published in: Technology, Business

Social Networks Going Global 2

  1. 1. Global Social Networks. 13 November 2008, Belgian Usability Day, Brussels Peter Van Dijck,
  2. 2. Cultural standardization.
  3. 3. What is cultural standardization?
  4. 4. “ Cultural standardization” <ul><li>The myth that by spreading cultural artifacts & practices, culture around the world is becoming the same everywhere. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Coca-cola-ization”, “The convergence of tastes” . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But: people give meaning to artifacts & practices. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Users of the same service are not necessarily the same. <ul><li>“ 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. </li></ul>
  6. 8. Technological determinism .
  7. 9. “ Technological determinism” <ul><li>The myth that there is one path of technological evolution that we all follow, determined by technology itself. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: “We’re 10 years behind Japan in cellphone technology.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But: technology and culture interact, are co-created. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 10. Diversity in global social networks.
  9. 11. Some numbers <ul><li>Registered users (million) </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook: 60 </li></ul><ul><li> 500 </li></ul><ul><li>Cyworld: 20 </li></ul><ul><li>Mixi: 14 </li></ul><ul><li>Revenues 2007: (million US$) </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook: 150 </li></ul><ul><li> 520 </li></ul><ul><li>Cyworld: 200 </li></ul><ul><li>Mixi: 100 </li></ul>
  10. 12. Diversity of social networks
  11. 13. There is no winner (yet?)
  12. 14. Social networks on the move. <ul><li>CyWorld </li></ul>USA South Korea Orkut is focusing on Brazil Brazil Japan Friendster is focusing on Asia Netlog Is moving (leaving their home market) Is expanding
  13. 15. Technology & culture co-evolves.
  14. 16. Features and culture: Nico Nico Douga vs. YouTube
  15. 17. How “Japanese” is Nico Nico Douga?
  16. 19. Cyworld
  17. 20. It’s a cultural phenomenon. <ul><li>“ 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… </li></ul>
  18. 21. It’s a cultural phenomenon. <ul><li>“ 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…. “ </li></ul>
  19. 22. Features and culture <ul><li>Environment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fast internet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real identity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No anonymous browsing. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Features: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The usual photo/video sharing, buddy lists, groups etc… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avatar’s and 3-d homepages that you can decorate with items you buy. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can write a “couple-diary” with your special someone (way too corny for US audience). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You can also write a group diary with your friends as many as 12. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can “lend” comic books (online). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cyworld evolved in South Korea. </li></ul><ul><li>Technology and users co-evolve. </li></ul>
  20. 23. Exporting culture/adapting features.
  21. 24. Locales tend to mix.
  22. 25. Netlog’s strategy: add languages & smart localization.
  23. 26. Smart localization: KISS <ul><li>Language based (not country based). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An easy to localize platform. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A smart global gateway. </li></ul><ul><li>Content prioritization. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users see relevant content when logged in: users in their country, content in their language. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No local offices. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community managers (students based in Gent) that speak the language. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 27. Xing
  25. 30. Categories are cultural.
  26. 31. Categories are cultural
  27. 33. Other
  28. 34. Standardization vs. localization
  29. 35. Standardize or localize? <ul><li>Standardize </li></ul><ul><li>Economies of scale. </li></ul><ul><li>Localize </li></ul><ul><li>Locally appropriate. </li></ul>
  30. 36. Tension between standardization and localization cannot be ignored, nor resolved. <ul><li>Standardize </li></ul><ul><li>1 feature set </li></ul><ul><li>1 business model </li></ul><ul><li>Central offices </li></ul><ul><li>Rollout globally </li></ul><ul><li>Global processes </li></ul><ul><li>Localize </li></ul><ul><li>Separate feature sets </li></ul><ul><li>Different business models </li></ul><ul><li>Local offices </li></ul><ul><li>Evolve separately </li></ul><ul><li>Local processes </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>
  31. 37. Standardize first, localize later <ul><li>Go international (standardize) </li></ul><ul><li>After some time has passed, in some markets, go local </li></ul>
  32. 38. Recap <ul><li>Cultural standardization. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People give meaning to artefacts. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technological determinism. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology & culture co-evolve. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Diversity of global social networks. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There is no clear winner yet. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technology & culture co-evolves. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficulty of transporting features. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Locales tend to mix. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The simple and the complex approach. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Categories are cultural. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Standardize vs. localize. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Standardization vs. localization. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ongoing tension - standardize first. </li></ul></ul>
  33. 39. Thank you! &