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free egg, anyone?

Following the last posting on video-sharing sites in China, I’ve found a cool new Korean video-sharing site. It’s called ‘free…

By Cynthia Yoo , in Blogs SNS 3.0: The Asian Invasion , on February 4, 2008 Korea's newest video-sharing site

Following the last posting on video-sharing sites in China, I’ve found a cool new Korean video-sharing site.

It’s called ‘free egg’ an ambitious new company jointly owned by JoongAng Ilbo and alticast. JoongAng Ilbo is a top Korean news outlet and alticast is a market leader in providing MHP solutions for digital interactive TV, using open standards technologies. It’s a mouthful, but basically, they provide the tech services for video-sharing sites, including SEO and data mining solutions.

The site itself is pretty. It’s also fast and provides HD-quality videos. Impressive.

I’m a sucker for fun but semi-useless tools like free egg’s tag-cloud. A work colleague poo-poo’ed it, saying it was a waste of time. But part of the fun of Youtube and other sites are the recommended postings and related tags, right? (Well, that’s true as long as they’re smart and find you what you didn’t even realize you were looking for.)

Since I can’t join (membership is restricted to Korean nationals and foreigners with visas) I can’t examine the networking functions too closely but it wasn’t the online SNS that caught my attention.

It was the offline services that stood out.

free egg has built a “UCC Factory” where members can go to shoot videos, edit them and share them online. You can take a virtual tour through the four-story building here.

Having a cool office where the public can come and work on their videos is part of their CI-corporate identity/branding to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack.

free egg wants to provide online video-creation/editing services to its users. Kinda like a one-stop shop or the Konglish “NONE Stop” service as they call it.

free egg runs counter to the advice given by Chinese media experts on their burgeoning video-sharing market: make it simple, faster, easier, and take out the frills!

It shows you the difference between China’s young market and Korea’s mature one. Korean online services are full of frills and whistles (ah the freedom of mixing metaphors in bloggrammar).

Koreans are different too in that their online communities do like to meet offline. When I discussed the free egg “UCC Factory” and offline meets to my colleague at NowPublic, he joked, “Why meet at all! The whole point of online groups is that you never have to meet these people!”

Oh and why is it called free egg?

Google or Wiki egg of Columbus. There’s your answer and the brand mythology behind free egg.