Monday November 27, 2006 14:19
Mar.gar.in, Social Bookmarking for Korean
This article was written by PRAK.
Mar.gar.in(pronounced as margarine) was launched in 26th November, 2006. As you can easily imagine by its hacked domain name, it has little something to do with the del.icio.us. The mar.gar.in claims that it starts as a Korean-version del.icio.us, aspiring to be koreanized del.icio.us and the ultimate social bookmarking for Korean at the end of the day.
Language barrier has made Korean web sphere somewhat segregated from the rest of the world, and Korea has developed its own web world, comprised of Korean web pages, and distinct Korean web culture. Early attempts to transplant US business models back in 90′s were very successful. Hanmail (a Hotmail-clone) became Daum. Naver, a Yahoo-wannabe evolved to the predominant portal. Nate-on, a MSN Messenger me-too surpassed its original’s market share. Web 2.0-ish Korean web services, such as OhMyNews, iloveschool (Korean Facebook in 1999), Cyworld also sprang internally, even before web 2.0 fever hit the World. It is mainly due to the activeness of the Korean web surfers, who are well known to be one of the most advanced, sophisticated, participatory and demanding users of the Internet.
However, despite the participatory DNA of Korean people, when it comes down to web 2.0 services, especially the most famous one as social bookmarking, localization(or transplant) has not been very successful. As Web 2.0 started to gain attention in Korea early this year, there were attempts to implement del.icio.us-wannabes both by gigantic portals and individuals. They were Naver Blink, Nate Mini Channel and Bookmarkr.net. Yet, none of them delivered significant impact on the market so far.
Therefore, mar.gar.in says it decided to clone del.icio.us, the most famous and successful social bookmarking ever, and have it as a starting point to find out what would be desirable functions, features and UI for Korean social bookmakring services. It writes in its FAQ that it will modify and evolve into THE social bookmarking for Korean by reflecting feedbacks and utilizing collective intelligece of its users. Well, social bookmarking is about collective intelligence at the end of the day anyway, right? You can even vote for its logo at http://mar.gar.in/poll/view/1 to see its loge changes real-time. At the moment, its logo is M-shaped magarine spread on a bread.
The other reason, mar.gar.in confessed, that it adopted del.icio.us style UI was that basic structure of social bookmakring can’t be very different from one another. Therefore, how much nicer you build a social bookmarking, you can never avoid accusation of being a del.icio.us-wannabe. Even though del.icio.us itself is not an original idea… So, mar.gar.in simply decided to unload all its prototype designs and localized features and face the reality like a man.