September 26, 2008

Community comes to news websites

Following up on yesterday's Austcham/ADMA panel on "What's cool in social networks?", where I was joined by Simon Newstead of Frenzoo, Ross McNab of Eyeblaster and David Ketchum of Upstream Asia, here are some extra musings and findings.

Jay Oatway, Editor of Charged, summarised the difference between social media and social networks very succinctly as being "content vs. people". However, I see it more that people become the content in social networks. To me joining a social network is like moving into a new neighbourhood, except that you get to chose who your neighbours are.

Some stats that I came across (not necessarily accurate):

  • Facebook has over 130 million members, of whom 9 million are in Asia and 580,000 in Hong Kong. (When I started tracking Facebook back in June 2007, there were only 57,000 members in HK).
  • MySpace has over 120 million members, of whom 7 million are in Asia (sorry no HK stats. Help me if you can).
Our focus was very much on business usage, so I found out that the following news sites have all recently launched social networks or some form of community:

Even British Airways is riding the bandwagon, with it's community site for frequent travellers between Londoin and New York, called "MetroTwin". You have to be receive an invite but I actually see this one working.

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