From the Korean social media news:
- On Interactive Dialogue & PR 2.0, Juny takes a brief look at the explosive growth of social commerce in Korea. While saying the possibilities for social commerce are “boundless” here, he cautions that there are numerous issues to be overcome. He then leads into a series of documents and tables from the Altimeter Group including a link to an apparently free but (for anyone in Korea) nastily timed webinar about the rise of social commerce.
- As if in to illustrate Juny’s point, on November 20th came a report from SBS that what it calls “social shopping” is already spawning a wave of opportunities for purveyors of “속빈 강정,” or “hollow rice crackers” (ie, empty promises). It cites one restaurant that promised 50 percent off its beef intestines — that is, one serving, or 300g, for 16,000 won instead of 32,000 won — if more than 100 people signed up for it online. Unfortunately, when the customers went to redeem their vouchers, they found out that the restaurant owners were including the weight of the plate as part of the 300g. When the plate was removed, the serving shrank to 200g.
After citing another sharp practice at a ski resort, the report goes on to say that from zero at the beginning of the year, there are now around 140 social commerce sites in Korea, and their business is already worth 60 billion won (US$53 million) a year.
- Lots of stuff on Bloter.net in the past few days, including some intriguing news about a more open approach from Daum regarding its Twitter clone 요즘 (Yozm). As I’ve mentioned previously, The Economist ran a blog post recently arguing that Naver’s largely closed platform could prove its undoing against the combined forces of Google, iPhones, Facebook and Twitter. It seems as if Daum is taking the opposite route, because as Bloter reports, the portal has just made it easier to post Tweets and, um, Yozms (?) directly on to Daum blogs, and vice versa. It also apparently makes it simple to post material from Twitter photo services (such as Twitpic) or even location-based services such as Daum Place and Foursquare. This is all very interesting stuff, not least because it’s the first time (in my admittedly limited experience) that I’ve seen Foursquare mentioned in the Korean media.
- Also looking to open things up is itgling, an Android app that links people with similar interests through messages it calls “itlges.” Rather than subscribing to feeds (as with Twitter) or applying to be a friend (a la Facebook), itgling offers to let you join groups it forms by finding common interests between you and people you know. In the piece on Bloter, Yun Ji-yeong, a spokesperson from itgling’s creators MediaRe, says:
With next-generation SNS such as itgling, instead of placing restrictions on communications, the service focuses on “openness” and finds anyone who might want to take part in the conversation.
- Also on Bloter comes news that Konkuk University has signed a deal with KT to turn Konkuk into a “smart campus.” While negotiations on similar deals are under way with KT, SK and a number of other universities, this agreement, Bloter says, marks the first time that any university will be making itself not just friendly to smartphones, but to iPads too. Through their tablet computers, Konkuk students will now be able to sign up for classes, as well as check for information about relevant books and class content. Even better for classroom-averse students, the university is also developing a system for taking e-classes through the iPad.
- Finally, showing that there are increasingly few realms of life that are free from the reach of SNS, ZDNet reports on a special event from twitonair, a third-party Twitter app, that will offer live video streaming of wedding ceremonies. Aimed at SNS-savvy types with friends in far-off places, the event will allow guests to watch the ceremony via a real-time video feed. Applicants can make themselves known until the 30th of this month.