(This post was written back in 2007)
People have asked me, “why do you feel compelled to start another blog when there are already 80 million out there and you’re running 7 blogs?”
The need was born quite naturally. I’m from Korea and I’m subscribed to something like 150 feeds, mostly English content. While most of the “Web 2.0″ stories have been coming from the Western part of the world, I’ve been increasingly convinced that there’s so much happening over here in Korea that just simply must not go unnoticed. Moreover, I’ve been seeing, time after time, that things that happen in Korea end up taking place in U.S years later.
It’s probably because
- we have better broadband connections and mobile infrastructures,
- we have a better “gadget culture” where teens are not hesitant to easily spend $500 on mobile phones or PMPs, all coming at the expense of their parents,
- we have a culture which values the virtue of “flocking together” much higher than that of “staying as individuals”, empowering the growth of mass collaborative efforts across the Net, and
- we have a mental world where the virtual stuff is often blurred with the physical reality.
Of course, there are many other reasons why this is happening, but this is the short list I could come up with. All of these factors together have enabled the younger generation in Korea to experience the “digital society” much earlier than those in other parts of the world.
While I could much talk about the cold and dry biz/tech aspect of the whole picture, I feel that’s already being sufficiently done by some of those 80 million other blogs. I’d rather like to focus on the social dynamics, cultures, and economics behind the scene. Definitely, there’s a reason why the fancy and pretty Cyworld works in Korea and the coarse and logical MySpace works in U.S. Cultures matter and we’re not gonna change the cultures in Asia and Americas and Europe over night just because we’re now all connected to each other through HTTP. Accordingly, many of the things I talk about in this blog might be simply irrelevant to many people that are looking for business opportunities using the principles derived from Asia and applying them to the U.S. or European market.
But, here’s what’s important. The gap between the young generation in East and West is closing. The reason is because better broadband and mobile infrastructures are now set place in the West while the East is learning to be somewhat more “logical” and “open” on the Web like the West has been. However, more than anything, the digital generation from both East and West is developing a culture that is commonly observed across all different countries, philosophies, races, ethnicities, languages, and continents. Seriously, an average 6th grader from Japan has a much higher chance to be like an average 6th grader from Canada than ever before. They play games, send numerous SMS messages to friends, listen to mp3s through iPod. What does that say about business opportunities? Plenty, I think.
So, that’s why this blog exists.