MySpace is fun, Second Life as well, but the Cyworld numbers are even more inspiring. Just like the rest of Korea.
"Cyworld is a license to print money. The service itself is free (and available on cellphones as well as online), but to buy all the extras - like ringtones and virtual furnishings - will cost you "acorns," the service's virtual currency. Cyworld sells its users $300,000 in acorns every single day." Do the math: a free service, with a commerce marketplace owned by the vendor that generates well over $100 million a year in revenue. In Korea, with a population one sixth the size of the US. Not too shabby. Users have avatars that visit and can link to each other's "minihompy" - a miniature homepage that's actually a 3-D room containing a users' blog, photos, and virtual items for sale." Love that neologism, "minihompy"! But what I really found interesting here was the idea that the 3D web has reached the mass market not through wide-open worlds like Second Life, but by a constrained model that creates the 3D equivalent of MySpace.