This week, we’ll welcome Yvette Wohn to discuss the Korean news & social site Ewhaian.com: “Integrating hyperlocal news with social networking”
In 2001, three seniors at Ewha Women’s University launched a social networking site for students of their school. (Ewha is one of Korea’s top universities and the largest women’s univ. in the world) With campus media subsidized and screened, this online portal took off not only as a networking site but also as an independent news and information portal. With 50,000 active user accounts (mostly current students) and an average of 8,000 concurrent users, the site is a forum for synchronous and asynchronous communication.
Although there are “staff” members for a news section, most of the interesting content is user-created– ranging from lecture evaluations to peer counseling and serial fiction. The content is not only self-created, but also self-moderated. Despite the high web traffic and massive hard drive management, the site is profitable–not relying on advertisements, but rather on offline events, which works in not only generating revenue, but also keeping the community together.
I believe Ewhaian is a great model for regional news sites, social networking sites that have a tight geographical focus, and could be the next step for Facebook in expanding its business/services. I wish to talk about how this site got here, what worked and what didn’t, and why after several years, it’s still thriving when so many similar sites failed.
As always, blog group meetings are at 7pm in the conference room of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, at 23 Everett St.
Upcoming meetings & events:
- 2/12 – Go to Ignite! Boston 5: sign up in advance to be sure you get in.
- 2/19 – Probably blog group will host the February Cyberscholars event.
- TBD: Renee Lloyd on women in technology & brainstorming about a possible “She’s Geeky” conference in Boston.
- At some point, we should take advantage of Berkman’s RockBand set and have a music party in lieu of a normal meeting.
- It’s getting to be time to have another dim sum gathering, too.
- See the Berkman Calendar for other upcoming Berkman stuff.
- Feel free to publicize related events here! Let Erica or j know, comment, or add them yourself if you have an editor account.