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« Data chart of the week: social networks around the world | Main | The real business model for Web 2.0: corporate clients »

June 08, 2008

Data chart of the week: forums, ratings, and reviews around the world

by Josh Bernoff

More data from around the world -- and from Chapter 2 of Groundswell.

As a companion to our data charts of social networks and blogs and user-generated video around the world, here's a look at forums, ratings, and reviews around the world.

Groundswell table 2-3

Unlike our previous international data cuts, this one is far more likely to reflect cultural differences than the prevalence of specific sites in a country's home language. We again see the advanced participation of Japanese and Americans in discussion forum. Koreans participate a lot less -- any Koreans out there that can shed light on this?

As for ratings and reviews, more than one in five online consumers read them in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan. (Note that this includes only people who read them once a month or more -- there are doubtless a lot of less frequent readers of ratings.) Americans, Japanese, and Koreans are the most likely to write reviews -- Brits and the French have the lowest proportion of ratings readers who are writers as well.

These "Web 1.0" technologies are the mainstay of the groundswell. They're easy to use, easy to participate in, easy to benefit from. All they require is that you react to what's in front of you. That's why Critics are biggest of the active elements of the Social Technographics ladder -- and why I think they'll grow to include more and more online consumers every year, in every country in the world.


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David Chung

I'm a Korean-American, and I've lived here in the U.S. all my life. I have a good understanding of the Korean "netizen" culture though, as I browse Korean websites on a near daily basis. Discussion forums likely lost popularity due to Naver's Knowledge Q&A system. It's very similar to Yahoo's Q&A, but on a completely different level... I mean far beyond. It's called "Ji-Sik-In" or "Knowledge-Human" (literal translation)... people go to Naver.com to read their news and ask their questions and look up media. Everywhere else in the world, people go to Google to look up everything, and usually a lot of symantic knowledge ends up being in a forum. You get human answers in Naver vs. algorithm-based search results (that lead to forums, articles, etc) from Google.

Again, this is "likely" and my own hypothesis.

It might be interesting to do a survey of Koreans. Let me know if you need to write up a quick survey in Korean and put it up on a few sites. My company is a B2B survey software provider -- Cvent.com. If it's not too big of a survey, I'd be happy to run it.

Angus Lau

Koreans are immersed in Cafes. From what I've seen, Cafes are Korean's flavor of discussion forums and my guess is the participation should be higher than what is reported if you surveyed Korean users using the term Cafe instead of discussion forum (assuming the English term forum or Korean translation equivalent was used).

Daum and Naver offers them and users can create their own cafes and allow others to come, participate and I noticed most Cafes are quite active.

I am a Chinese-American with interest in Korean web culture.


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