28.11.05

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 LunarStorm.se, 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 www.blog.hr with swedish LunarStorm.se community site.
My point is that in relative terms, applying web economics and some conventional wisdom, Blog.hr 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.

Blog.hr has only formal organisation ( it's sister site of Monitor.hr 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.
Blog.hr - 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 Blog.hr 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
Blog.hr claims as of November 2005. : Aprox. 15 billion

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

Blog.hr begun, as I said, in May 2004. LunarStorm.se started in 2001. Blog.hr 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, MojBlog.com, WordPress, MT and other blogging tools, but 95 percent are using Blog.hr site.

Although, very late to the party, it's pure mainstream in Croatia. Newspapers are discovering stories with Blog.hr users. The users are doing amateur reporting and citizen journalism in its full strength, with pictures too.
And Blog.hr 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.

Blogging in the Enterprise

Recent findings and statistics about blogs in the ( US ) enterprises. When will someone make study for croatian enterprises ?

Clearly, US is fertil ground for ideas related to blogs in the enterprise. The source of latest , seems very relevant, study is made by GuideWireGroupe for iUpload.

The headline statement is that as many as 89 percent of US companies currently blog or plan to start in the near future.
They do it for internal and external communication. 63 % of those for internal use are for knowledge sharing, and 44 % said they blog for internal communication.
61 % of those for external use are doing it for PR and marketing purposes.

The adoption rate is higher among smaller companies and those with fewer than 100 employees and with the revenue less than $ 100 million.

On top of that, more than 30 percent CEOs have blogs, and they blog because of greater transparency to customers and stuff and a channel of daily communication.

Still, I doubt this percentage for CEOs blogs is realistic, because according to Millward Brownfor study made for Burson - Marsteller and PRWeek, of 131 CEOs surveyed about 7 % had a blog.

About Google Base

Late to the party with Google Base. I think, just like they are late to the party with Google Reader, at least for those advanced users of net. The other will probably use niche products.

Base is nice for their index, lot's of content could find its place there. But, it not finished product yet, there's no added value for the net users , for example would be nice to have Google Base Badge, just like Flickr has for pictures to be displayed on the blog / web site, so I could offer some items on my blog I have for selling .

I don't think that Base is treat to Craigslist or EBay at this point of time, at least not from the users point of view. But, there's tremendouse power Google posses and could take a piece of ads cake.

The evolution of service could bring Google edge later on, with users input about imperfaction.
Why's Google UI so...how sall I say, not-interesting at all.

24.11.05

Sharing one cold evening

The evening in Zagreb was interesting, a lot of nice people, Joi's session , but way too cold weather outdoor for my taste.

Sergej from croatian SAP made a video of the session, and Dario posted gallery and wrote a short story on the main Blog.hr site.

Ouch, I came home about 1.20 am from Zagreb. I drove 25 kilometers under the snow, and before that for about 1 hour riding on the train to Koprivnica.
And early in the morning back to work. Tough day.

22.11.05

Joi Ito in Croatia

As far as I can remember, I am reading Joi Ito's blog since 2002.
He's in Croatia for few days. I hope to meet him tomorow in Zagreb since I will be there with my team from Blog.hr, croatian blogging service which will incorporate Creative Commons license for its users.
First , Joi opened session in Dubrovnik for an annual croatian academic conference, and tommorow he'll have session Economy of sharing at Novinarski dom Zagreb.
I feel he's like my long not seen ''blogging friend'', only he doesn't read my blog ;)) I think we would have a lot to chat once we meet.

4.11.05

Visiting Plitvice Lakes

Gone to Plitvice Lakes, croatian national park. I need relaxation.
Have you read what National Geographic wrote the other day about Croatia ? Destination of the Year ? Nice.

Plitvice are amazing place for sightseeing tours. The music of water and nature.
Well, some pictures are worth for upload ;))
Or read about national park Plitvice Lakes here.

Pic 1.



Pic 2.

Quick comments on the latest

...that caught my pure attention and interest...

AMAZON'S CREATIVE BLOOM
Amazon.com is innovating. Brand new services Amazon Upgrade and Amazon Pages. It is truly consumer service and more valuable then Google Print and all other digital book scanning initiatives. Just think, Pages services offers you to own portions of the book, and Upgrade give you ability to look at your book from anywhere online/somehow your bookshelve is allways with you.

OPEN SOURCE ON A HIGHWAY
Invades the enterprise, says Forbes.com. God Bless mr. Boyd ( and his bike ) with whom I had pleasant talk few years back about Floss solution for companies here in Croatia. He opened my eyes, somehow.

ADS FOR THE NET'S ERA RADIO SHOWS
Finally Fruitcast, the publishers of focused radio net shows ( often called Podcasting ) have gotten way to earn money ( or support, if you prefere ) for their efforts . It's a Fruitcasts's concept. Very smart ! Probably this service will be bought and copied in the future.