Living in Cyworld: Contextualising Cy-Ties in South Korea
Choi, Jaz Hee-jeong (2006) Living in Cyworld: Contextualising Cy-Ties in South Korea. In Bruns, Axel & Jacobs, Joanne (Eds.) Uses of Blogs. Peter Lang, New York, pp. 173-186.
South Korea has been receiving increasing attention from various spheres of international media in recent years, particularly for the nation’s exponential growth in the domains of technology and popular culture. As well as leading the broadband world with the highest penetration rate of over 75%, the “Korean Wave” is also taking various cultural penetration modes, from technological consumables, such as mobile phones and mp3 players, to more traditional forms of films and TV dramas, which make significant contributions to the nation’s reported US$650 million cultural export in 2003. However, there is another realm in which South Korea has been strongly expanding: blogging. According to The Blog Herald2, South Korea is the home ground for three of the world’s ten most predominant blog hosts: Daum Planet Weblog, Yahoo Blog, and Cyworld. Considering that Yahoo Blog, the first of its kind launched by the Yahoo Group, alone currently accommodates over three million bloggers, it does not come as a surprise that a small country whose population exceeds just over 48 million boasts the second largest number of bloggers in the world, surpassed only by the Unites States of America. Cyworld, whose number of members equates approximately to one quarter of the nation’s entire population, clearly leads the blog league within South Korea, while also expanding internationally, as seen in the recent launching of Cyworld in China and Japan. This chapter provides contextualisation of Cyworld in today's South Korean society by introducing Cyworld in general, discussing the design of Cyworld, and examining some of the major aspects of using, or the user development of, Cyworld as an online community.
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