Saturday March 5, 2005 11:45
Members cultivate on- and off-line relationships by forming “first-degree” buddy relationships with each other through a service called “minihompy,” which encompasses a photo gallery, message board, guestbook and personal bulletin board. A user can link his/her minihompy to another user’s minihompy to form a buddy relationship. It has been reported that as much as 90 percent of South Koreans in their 20s are registered users of Cyworld, and as of September 2005, daily unique visitors are about 20 million.
In South Korea, the world’s most internet connected country “Cyworld has 13 million residents and visitors more than a quarter of the country’s population. And with it has come its own currency,slang and social pressure.In Cyworld an address is a “minihompy” which is short for mini homepage or between friends simply a “hompy”. A person with a homepage is called a “mini-me”. When new Cyworld citizens sign up, they get a featureless empty room as part of their homepage package.
The challenge is to decorate it and then construct a personality for “mini-me”. For Cyworld’s owners, one of Seoul’s most successful internet companies,the site makes 200 million won per day according to the Samsung Economic Research Institute. Money pours in when the Cyworld population goes on a decorating,gift-buying or music downloading spree to adorn their “room”. The more attractive and interesting the room the more visitors it gets.And in Cyworld popularity equates to fame and success. The site even measures sexiness and friendliness which it gauges by the number of gifts a person gives or receives”.
The Cyworld has a some web2.0 characteristics such as user-paticipated social network and user-generated content and lightweight business model to sell cyber items. But, it’s only closed social network service similar with Myspace.com and Facebook.com in US.