Social media phenomenon in Asia?

Neville Hobson highlighted a Universal MaCann study that is the latest in a series reporting pretty phenomenal growth in the use of social media across Asia.  One earlier pan Asian study was by Windows Live Spaces .  Some salient numbers:

  • Nearly half of those online in Asia have a blog
  • 74% find blogs by friends and family to be most interesting
  • Young people and women dominate (except India where it is overwhelmingly a male domain and Korea where blogging is a part of everyday life for all)
  • 50% believe blog content to be as trustworthy as traditional media
  • 41% spend more than three hours a week blogging
  • More than 40% have less than 10 visitors per week

Beneath the headline numbers, however, more than 40 percent of bloggers polled in the study have less than 10 visitors per week, except in South Korea, with 11 percent having more than 50, and 12 percent with over 250 visitors per week.

For what it’s worth, it must be noted that the survey was conducted entirely online via the various Asian MSN portals.   Some 25,000 people reportedly took part in the survey between August and September 2006.  Is this methodology rigorous enough, since its draws solely from a participant pool of people who are already online?

No doubt, the use of social media is on the rise, and this impacts the field of media and communication, from journalists to PR practitioners.  However, I can’t help wonder if the numbers are as stratospheric as they are made out to be.  Afterall, the likes of Universal McCann have vested interest in pushing this new source of revenue growth even as advertising in traditional media platforms (especially newspapers) decline (see here, here, here, here, and here).

Click here for the press relase “Blogging in Asia: A Windows Live Report.” 

Click here for a CNET Asia report filed by Jeff Ooi.  Incidentally, this is the same Jeff Ooi (of the Screenshots fame) who is facing a defamation suit from the pro-establishment New Straits Times.  Jeff Ooi and fellow blogger Ahirudin Attan are being sued by NST for posts criticizing the daily and the government in what is seen as a politically-motivated tactic to put the lid on criticisms of the Badawi administration.  Read about it here here, and here.


1 Response to “Social media phenomenon in Asia?”

  1. 1 Michael Netzley May 15, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    Great work catching this story so quickly! Like Neville said, I cannot find anything on the Universal McCann site that allows me to begin assessing the quality of the research. Intuitively, the data strikes me as optimistic. Time will tell…

    The blog has been great!

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