Friday, March 3

Social Web: Eastern Promise

It will be interesting to see how the social web develops in Asia. By its very nature, the way Web2's social networks develop depends entirely on how users behave and interact.

Despite the collision of cultures online, we do still have our cultural differences, as nations, in regions and in families. So we can expect a different adoption and use of Web 2 in India to France, in China to the USA.

Firstly, the family unit plays an entirely different role and importance in Asia - with family members being naturally close (geographically) for much of their lives - their may be less need to 'connect' with family online. If you live in the same house it would seem fairly pointless. The flip side to this are the teenagers within the family unit who wish to express themselves outside of the watchful eye of parents. So community tools like myspace may actually be bigger in Asia than they are in the West.

Technology adoption plays an important role too. Whilst many books will have you believe in slowness of 'developing' country's people to adapt/adopt technology, my own experience and observation has been quite the opposite. Unhampered by 'old' habits (landline phones, ZX Spectrum's and Palm One's) many young Asian's naturally use IM, VoiP and all the features of these tools without so much as blinking ;-) They never had another way of communicating, neither did their friends. So their all using the same tools.

The traditional 'collectives', to be part of the crowd, to work as a team not an individual remain strong. This may play-out as strongly bonded networks/communities online but with less 'A-list bloggers' and individuals trying to make a point or name for themselves.

It will be fascinating to see how these world's develop, and eventually meet. At Ventures in PIXELS we're investing in this vision of the future.


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