One Web or Multiple Webs

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This article from the Korea Times provides an interesting commentary on the question of whether there is one Web or multiple Webs. It indicates that Korean web applications are cut off from the rest of the world for two major reasons. The first is technological and the second is regulatory. First, Korean Internet users have become accustomed to websites laden with graphics, animations, and banners – features that rely upon a high speed connection for expeditious Web surfing. In other countries where broadand connections are not as prevalent (although the article notes that Korea is no longer the world leader in high speed broadband, it remains among the leaders), these web pages take an excessively long time to load and are consequently unpopular. Second, Korean web applications have not attained international popularity because of government regulation. The Korean government enforces identification and security requirements that significantly exceed those of other countries. Score one point for the multiple Webs theory.

1 Comment

  1. kparker

    March 10, 2008 @ 11:44 am

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    I’m certainly a fan of the multiple webs theory, but I’m not so sure that the technological hurdle is really driving national webs. On the technical level I think we are seeing a divide, but that is one between the world with broadband penetration (call it more or less the first world), and the world with limited but still substantial access (mostly the second world, and parts of the third world).

    An example would be YouTube, technologically advanced, requires high bandwidth, but is immensely popular outside of the US in lots of areas as long as they have substantial broadband penetration.

    There are other technological barriers (think filtering tech) that are driving multiple webs but I think that these barriers are better characterized as legal (or regulatory) than technical.