Commentary Logo
Japan Island disputes in SE Asia    World War III Alarm Anti-Islam video and anti-US sentiment    Skull Say no to brainwashing

       peace and anti-war Israel Iran strike imminent    sanctions as a result of nuclear tests Sanctions on Iran and workarounds    black lightning bolt India's massive blackout

Snapshots of news
Gearheads and mastheads
Home  •  About this site  •  How did we once fight corruption in colonial Hong Kong?
 •  Historical US administrative thoughts  •  USA versus colonial Hong Kong
 •  Anti-corruption review of Nigeria  •  Procurement monitoring in Nigeria
 •  Syndicated news  •  Usman's blog  •  Anti-graft news  •  Socialist news

 Sunday, September 22 2019 5:57am Hongkong Time

SKIP TO     Page 1 | Page 2 | References

Computer mediated communications:

Social network – Came riding the waves of amazing coincidences

Raymond Cheng

Photo © Lise Gagne

Historically, major over-investment bubbles and their subsequent crashes often bring about profound socio-economic changes. The U.S. telegraph bubbles in the 1840s and 1850s gave birth to real-time news agencies (e.g. Associated Press 1846) and the introduction of "wire transfer" (e.g. Western Union 1851). The railroad bubbles in the 1880s and 1890s facilitated country-wide logistics and led to the rise of today's international brands (e.g. Coke-Cola 1886, Sears 1893). The stocks bubble in the 1920s during the Great Depression of the U.S. fostered the establishment of the world's first deposit insurance in 1933 and social security systems in 1935 (Gross, 2007). The dot-com crash in the early 2000s, likewise, brought down the costs of information technology equipment as well as that of the international leased circuits (Aizu, 2002), making broadband connections and mobile phone services much more affordable. Technological advancement also played a similar role but in a different way. With the collaborative development of open-source Web service platforms (e.g. Apache) that are more stable, reliable (Boulanger, 2005) and more widely adopted (see Figure 1) than their proprietary competitors (e.g. Microsoft IIS), large-scale "server farms" with much higher capacities have become possible (Tuomi, 2003). Peer-to-peer technology further expanded the scalability of the already rapidly growing computer networks (Nguyen, 2008). Advancement in material sciences, surface-mount and nanotechnologies coupled with newer processing and fabrication techniques also opened the door for lighter, smarter, less expensive, more robust and higher performing products (Ellsworth, 2004).

Market share for top webserver platforms (1995-2011)
Figure 1. Market share for top webserver platforms 1995-2011. Source: Netcraft.

Top 10 social networking websites and forums
Figure 2. Top 10 social networking websites and forums. Source: Marketing Charts.

Yet the concept of social networks (SN) does not have its roots entirely in any one of these socio-economic impacts nor technological reforms. The concept of SN, in fact, existed well before, but just in different forms – first as "Bulletin Board Systems" piggy-backed on slow modem connections in the 1970s, USENET newsgroups in the 1980s, and eventually "online communities" in the 1990s. It is only the handful few that survived the millennium that would be able to reap the benefits of the carrier price slashes as well as the emergence of the various technologies. (now a nostalgic site for the elders) and (a dating site) were launched in early 1995 as the very first batch of web-based online communities followed by SixDegrees and GeoCities in 1997. Later reviewed as "moves simply ahead of their time" (Marion, Omotayo, 2011), both SixDegrees and GeoCities went out of business in 2001 and 2009 respectively, together with a handful others. Those that managed to stay to enjoy the coming of Web 2.0 [1] are either launched with specific purposes in mind, e.g. for dog lovers, for church-goers, and for democrats, or are geographically and/or linguistically focused, e.g. for Russians (see Table 1). Some other online communities, originally designed to cater for the general public, chose a different survival path and transformed to support a smaller niche group (see Table 2). The dot-com crash and the technology did not give birth to social networks – it was the SNs that rode on their backs.

Name of SN Rank Brief Description
Facebook 1 General Internet population
V ( 32 European-based social network active in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Belarus; users in the age range 18-24, graduate school educated and browse from home 66 Russian word for "Classmates ", popular in Russia and former Soviet republics; home users in the age range 25-34, have children, are graduate school educated 182 Previously the largest SN in the U.S., users in the age range 18-24, have no children and browse from school 377 Popular in Japan, targets males in the age range 45-54, have no children, no college education who browse from work (Google owned) 496 Popular in Brazil, India, Japan; targets males in the range 18-24, have no children and are graduate school educated 240 Popular in Dominica, Sudan, Malaysia, Iraq, Kenya, Puerto Rico, UAE; targets males in the age range 45-54, received some college education and browse from home 338 Users in age range 55-64, have no children and received some college education 1,392 Popular in U.S.; users are mainly females over 65 years old, received some college education and browse from home; increasingly focused on nostalgic content since 2010 3,183 Popular in South Korea; targets female users in the age range 35-44, have no children and browse from work; first Korean company to profit from the sale of virtual goods 3,471 Sounds like "Bee Hives "; popular in Netherlands and Belgium; targets males who are graduate school educated and browse mainly from school 4,236 Popular in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand; targets males in the age range 18-24, have no children, received some college education and browse from home 4,653 Stands for "International Who is Who"; popular in Hungary and Romania; targets users in the age range 35-44, have no college education and browse from home
Geocities 7,905 An early online community first appeared in 1994, purchased by Yahoo in 1999, closed in 2009
Affinity Circles 432,842 An early player in the social media business that targets university and college graduates; users in the age range 35-44, graduate school educated and browse from work
Six 1,051,186 Users are males in the age range 18-24, have no children, college educated and browse from home; ceased to operate in 2001, restarted in 2010 (note: do not confuse with the initiative)

Table 1. Major SNs [2] and their Alexa® ranking [3] (October 2012). Source:

SN-turned sites Rank Brief Description 633 Popular in Angola, Congo, Cameroon, Ecuador, Costa Rica; targets male users; recently transformed into a social gaming network upon purchased by (Raice, 2011) 15,074 Popular in Malaysia, Singapore, India, the Philippines and Bangladesh; users in the age range 18-24; recently transformed into a gaming network

Table 2. SN-turned gaming sites. Source:

SKIP TO     Page 1 | Page 2 | References

Note 1: Web 2.0, see "What Is Web 2.0? Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software" by Tim O'Reilly, dated September 30, 2005.

Note 2: Google+ (Google Plus) is not listed in Alexa's ranking. See Figure 2 for ranking.

Note 3: The term "rank" here refers to the Alexa's daily Internet traffic ranking reports ( Alexa is funded by Amazon Inc. and provides traffic ranks for approximately 16 million websites (amounting to 4.5 billion web pages) around the world.

Commentary and reflection pages by Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA FRSA

  Main • Commentary   Special Foci • Syndicated News | Corruption | Socialism | GuanXi

  Health Related • Traditional Chinese Medicine   Others • OXLL

© 1997-2018 The Commentary by Office of Dr Raymond Cheng. All rights reserved. Copyright of selected news articles, the headlines and logos belongs to the respective entities. Read disclaimer

Digital platform powered by Wyith Limited, Wyith Institute. Wyith Limited and Wyith Institute are associated businesses operated by the Office of Dr Raymond Cheng • Dr Raymond Cheng & Partners Ltd and The Commentary Ltd.

Home  •  About this site  •  How did we once fight corruption in colonial Hong Kong?
 •  Historical US administrative thoughts  •  USA versus colonial Hong Kong
 •  Anti-corruption review of Nigeria  •  Procurement monitoring in Nigeria
 •  Syndicated news  •  Usman's blog  •  Anti-graft news  •  Socialist news

Contact the editor at raymond {dot} cheng {at} kellogg {dot} oxon {dot} org

The RendezvousBuildersCommentatorsContributorsReadersResearchers
Reflection Pages • Miscellaneous Stuff
The difference between instant evaluation and improving recognition – November 20
Freddy Krueger revisited: Politically correct education? – October 23
From the evaluator's perspective: Justified conclusions and decisions – October 8
Online and distance learning degrees – evaluator's perspective – September 25
The moment fake degrees turned recognized and appraised – September 9

Photo credits for top title bar, from left to right: Iza H (Work), Lukasz Gumowski (Blue balls), Marcin Bania (Smiling and naked), Lautaro Gonda (Milan station), Jan Abt (Girl taking a picture), Daniel Tang (Hot switch), Barbara Henry (Moriah reading), Ralf Herrmann (Checkmate II), Marko Roeper (Led #4), Ian Russell (Girl in downtown LA).
Note: Animated GIF graphics and clipart obtained from,,, and Sketches, cartoons and other handdrawings courtesy of Alice-the-Artist.

Special Alert! This is *NOT* the American Jewish Committee's Commentary Magazine! Special notice! This is not the American Jewish Committee's Commentary Magazine nor are we in any way affiliated with them. To visit AJC's magazine, please go to instead, thank you for your attention.
Memo with pin Technical memos for members
Receiving using Gmail | Sending using Gmail
0x800ccc0e | 0x800ccc19 | 0x800ccc79

This site is best viewed with Microsoft® Internet Explorer 6.0 or above, minimum 1024x768 16M color-depth resolution. The Commentary Group and its personnel do not endorse external sites and are not responsible for the content of these websites. All external sites will open in a new browser window.

COUNT ON THE STATISTICS  100% Towels (c) Daniel Chittka
Photo © Daniel Chittka

This new section contains some interesting statistics in bribe and corruption, please check back for more as we pile up our numbers!

It's statistics time!  Using n-gram: kickback, graft, bribe and corruption - Comparison of their historical occurrences from 1810 to 2009 A.D.

  The word guanxi (collocation) and meanings of bribe: Deeply rooted, disgusting, sad endings

Looking for a good book (c) Doug Logan
Photo © Doug Logan
tagged by area of interestBY AREA OF INTEREST
Pragmatics: Politeness trends from the historical perspective of global trade
Computer mediated communications: Social network – Came riding the waves of amazing coincidences
Language acquisition:
A critique on "A corpus driven study of the potential for vocabulary learning through watching movies"

Grammatical analysis: "When a linguist stumbled upon a Buttonwood"
Lexicon and the corpus: "John Sinclair's lexical items – an introduction"
tagged by regionBY REGION • Anything AsiaUS Presence in Asia
ChinaTaiwanHong Kong and MacauJapanKoreaSingaporeMalaysiaPhilippinesPakistanIndiaAfghanistanVietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and MyanmarTimor-Leste and IndonesiaMongoliaNew Zealand and Australia
tagged by topicsBY TOPIC • BiofuelRhino and elephant poachingAmerican movies hit China marketChina Internet censorshipChina's outward FDI opportunitiesGlobal rice yield
Island disputes in Southeast Asia | Senkakus-Diaoyu and historical findings | Dokdo-Takeshima | Spratly, Paracel, Scarborough | Kurils

For those you who don't have time to read all our news excerpts about the Asian island disputes (links above), you may find the following video, "The economic impact of a war between Japan and China", very enlightening.

© Minute MBA: More from

Free Pussy Riot!
Free Pussy Riot!

Photo © Igor Mukhin, retrieved from Wikipedia

"This trial is another example of the Kremlin's attempts to discourage and delegitimize dissent. It is likely to backfire." John Dalhuisen, Director of Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia Programme

 More from Amnesty InternationalFree Pussy Riot

How it started – Pussy Riot Prayers, February 2012

08/17 Pussy Riot imprisoned on hooliganism charges
08/17 The only professionals in sight
08/19 Pussy Riot protesters arrested in Marseille
08/20 NZ PM – Sentence 'disproportionate'
08/20 Pussy Riot fear their kids being put in care
08/22 German supporters face criminal charges
08/22 Pussy Riot – it's carefully calibrated
08/23 Russian church-state corruption unveiled
08/23 Putin's secret weapon: The Orthodox faithful
08/24 Putin-nominated watchdog slams convictions
08/31 'Pussy Riot ritual killing', man detained
09/03 Orthodox deacon speaks over verdict
09/06 Putin denies part in 'Pussy Riot case'
09/10 Pussy Riot benefit concert draws 1,000
09/10 Gorbachev says verdict "disproportionate"
09/19 Punk group to transfer to remote penal colony
09/21 Aung San calls on Moscow to release RP
10/01 Sentence appeal delayed until Oct 10
10/10 Katya freed, 2 years for Nadya and Masha
10/16 Masha and Nadya sent to remote labor prison

BBC • Pussy Riot women begin life in prison

11/16 Merkel challanges Putin on imprisonment
11/22 Maria Alekhina transferred to solitary cell
11/28 Tolokonnikova's appeal case goes to court
12/24 Extremist videos appeal adjourned

01/15 Masha's sentence deferment denied
02/01 PR civil claim granted right to appeal
02/07 Pussy Riot files complaint with ECHR
03/06 Ombudsman asks court to overturn verdict
03/08 Protesters detained in Moscow
04/13 PR gets reprimand: parole problematic
04/21 PR defense seeks abolition of conviction
07/26 Parole denied, PR remains defiant

The Knife supporting PR at Pukkelpop

08/17 Against verdict on PR – Day of Solidarity
08/23 PR seeks mitigation of remaining sentence
GLUCK ON SOCIALISM AND CHINA Asia (c) Robert Churchill
Photo © Robert Churchill

Professor Sidney Gluck (c) Sandi BachomI am honored to have obtained Professor Sidney Gluck's (right) permission to allow me to repost here some of his work and interview related to China and socialism. Professor Gluck is professor emertius at the New School University in New York. A classical Marxist, Gluck has been studying China for 60 years in history and modern development. He has lectured all over the U.S. and still welcomes engagement at the age of 94 – photo © Sandi Bachom


Usman Khurshid on Mike McCune's HD Monitor with Paths logo with Maartje van Caspel's Public Space
I am proud to announce that the website is now carrying the technology updates from Usman Khurshid's Usman is a network consultant and works in a mixed environment of Windows and Linux platforms. He likes to study about the latest advancements in computer technology and shares his views on his blog.

Click here to read Usman's tech blog
Subscribe to RSS feed
Photo © Usman Khurshid, Mike McCune, Maartje van Caspel
COMING 2019 – COMPUTING CORPUS Active Network Hub (c) Phil Sigin-Lavdanski
Photo © Phil Sigin-Lavdanski

Oh, please do not get me wrong. This new section is not about computers, electronics or any engineering stuff, but rather I am currently constructing a new corpus based on Spectrum, the monthly publication from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers USA, from July 2007 to date. Having been a member for over 20 years since 1992, I am always fascinated by some of the terms scientists use when they talk about or envision their new inventions or methodologies. How many of them eventually come into practice? Could there be some insights we could possibly derive, from the linguistics perspective?


This website is published and designed by Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA and reflects only his personal views and opinions in his individual capacity. It does not represent the views and opinions of his firm, employer(s), students, etc., and is not in any way sponsored or endorsed by any other thrid parties. Click here to read my full disclaimer

Share on Twitter  Add to Facebook  Share on LinkedIn  +1 on Google