Current Project

Korean online and cellphone use

I am linking to an article from the Chosun Ilbo, which is being linked to by one of my favorite blogs, Gusts of Popular Feeling, but some of these statistics are literally amazing and have great significance for those organizations that wish to establish themselves in these areas.

“The ebb of email is confirmed by a diminishing trend in pageviews, a tabulation of frequency in service used by email users. Daum Communication, the top email business in the country, saw its email service pageviews fall over 20 percent from 3.9 billion in October last year to 3 billion in October this year. By contrast, with SK Telecom, the nation’s No. 1 communication firm, monthly SMS transmissions skyrocketed over 40 percent in October from 2.7 billion instances last October. Cyworld, a representative mini-homepage firm, witnessed its pageviews multiply over 26-fold from 650 million instances in October last year to 17 billion in October this year. “

The above sort of signals the fall of email (at least as regards to service-related issues) and the rise of SMS (Short Message Service) transmissions (cellphone). Anybody who has spent time in Asia is not surprised by this.

“According to a recent study, Korean teenagers aged between 15 and 19 send an average of 60.1 text messages a day. That works out to nearly 2000 text messages a month. What’s more, the trend appears to be increasing…”

Yes, that is right, 60.1 text sent messages per day. So, if you are looking to create a digital presence in Asia, you better incorporate a strong SMS presence.

These statistics are confirmed by a recent study done by OCLC regarding online use in the US, UK, Germany, France, Canada, and Japan.

By the way, the image is the cellphone I had in Korea; I didn’t send anywhere 60.1 text messsages the entire time I was there.
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About Author

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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