Monday, 28 November 2005

Many-Times-Stop internet space

It's no secret I am often angry how croatian blogosphere , nevertheless still immature , is out of radar and percived with ignorance on daily basis in the outside world ( world's blogosphere map ) and what blogs in Croatia have achived since 2004 in terms of information sharing, citizen journalism, community building, density and attention of the users.

Today I read the praise ( qoute: "Claiming a youth audience three times larger than MTV in Sweden, two times larger than the entire readership of all of the Swedish evening newspapers combined and more members logging on daily than the total number of young Swedes watching almost every television show, Lunarstorm has become an accidental media titan here." ) for very successful swedish youth site, even Howard Rheingold wrote an article about the community site for the Feature. I asked myself, what's the math behind LunarStorm ( users, page load etc. in relative terms comparing it with the internet use in above-mentioned countries).

UPDATE 30.11.2005
Thomas Crampton apparently wrote as well about LunarStorm.

Lunar Storm is impressive indeed. Sticky community site for those 15-25 age. But they don't seems to grasp that there are other examples here in central and eastern Europe with many similarities and success. Not to mention citizen reporting boom.

Although I often speak with foreigners and try to explain them, I have a feeling that they think I'm some fucking salesman doing my daily pitch or web shark with advertising 1.0 in mind.
Well, wrong pals ! I wish you could read croatian and see it for yourself and not reading my boring half-english :)

I will compare croatian blogging community site with swedish community site.
My point is that in relative terms, applying web economics and some conventional wisdom, is contributing to more density and attention of users at one point in cyberspace and then swedish LunarStorm , and all that with much different path as a successful operation and different time horizont.

I call it Many-Times-Stop-Community. Just like portals used to be ''hub''.
LunarStorm is highly profitable and revenue vehicle with corporate structure, employees, professional support, paid services, marketing budget etc. has only formal organisation ( it's sister site of news portal, one of the four biggest news portals in Croatia). Not even one employee, no help desk, no marketing since day one, no paid services.

Free. Web based and hosted blog tool in its purest and simpliest form, no added services like email, social networtk tools, private messages and advanced features like trackback or domain mapping.

Just four dedicated people, and only one who is doing daily administration and that name you should write now- Dario Markus, 19 year old - the most talented internet entrepreneur in this part of the world , no matter what some critics would say. I know what I am talking.

Let's do some math. You now, like comparing how much , in relative terms , costs oil in the US and how much in Ghana ;))

Start with something simple, random number of internet users logged in.

Lunar Storm - random nbr.of users online: 37.000 on November, 28th 2005. - random nbr.of users online : aprox. 2.000 on November, 28th, 2005.

If we compare it to number of internet users then we get value of 0,72 percent for LunarStorm in relative terms to the number of internet users in the country, and we get value of 0,19 percent for in relative terms to the number of internet users in Croatia.

That's 2,5 times more for swedish site. Fine. But, now, take in the account internet penetration rates relative to the population. You get a picture where internet usage penetrated swedish society exactly 2,5 times more than in croatia.
That means, if we apply relative number in above values of random internet users currently online we get the value of exactly the same. 0,19 or 0,72 in the opposite direction.

I based my calculation and information for internet users, and population from Google source, here are data for Sweden and here are for Croatia . ( Source: Cia Factbook )

Keep in mind that Sweden has very advanced internet infrastructure and much, much cheaper prices for internet access for years ( liberalised market for web access and many telecom multinational corporations , and not to say word or two about its business growth and strength ) .
The telecom market in Croatia just started to be more open and more cheaper for average user.

Let's look at montly pages impression.

LunarStorm claims as of February 2005. : Aprox. 1 billion claims as of November 2005. : Aprox. 15 billion

See the difference ?
If not, look what Google thinks with its results by Google : 74.400 as of November 28th ( it has been online since 2001.). by Google: 1.920.000 as of November 28th ( it has been online since May 2004.).

Let's look at daily visitors.

LunarStorm claims as of February 2005. : Aprox. 300.000-400.000 users daily ( that's wide rift ) claims as of November 2005. : Aprox. 105.000 users daily and growing

No need to apply relative numbers here, just use conventional wisdom. Let's say, is among 3 top sites in Croatia by daily visits.

I'm tired writing and doing math for this essay ;)
I hope you get a picture.
I'll work later on this article and try to make more of it.
It's little simplistic view and without consideration of some other aspects of these two community web sites. begun, as I said, in May 2004. started in 2001. has diverse community of users in the age from 15 to 65. LunarStorm is dedicated to audience between 15-25 years.
Not to forget, croatian bloggers write blogs with other tools ( specially, those more techo savy ) : Blogger, Livejournal,, WordPress, MT and other blogging tools, but 95 percent are using site.

Although, very late to the party, it's pure mainstream in Croatia. Newspapers are discovering stories with users. The users are doing amateur reporting and citizen journalism in its full strength, with pictures too.
And still needs a lot of features that are waiting in the pipe like tags, RSS reader, MMS picture galleries, private shops for selling used goods, social networking cards, offline meetings etc. The potential is huge.

That's it for now. Hope to improve this article and enforce my point of views with more details in the future.

Belive it or not :) But, let it be heard.
My intention was not here to play game ''my is bigger than yours'' but to illustrate the differences and similarities.

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