Sunday, March 22, 2009

Looking outside your box - Eighteen interesting sites in China, Japan and Russia

For the longest time, whenever I see things like the curious IM service used in the Oldboy movie, I have asked myself "What is the computer culture really like [over there] ?" Well, with the help of Alexa traffic statistics and Google Translate, I can actually check for myself. It is no exaggeration that a new world has opened itself for me, amd I'm looking forward to what I may discover there.

You may have noticed that I've already before made this blog available in several languages using (the admittedly very mediocre quality) Google Translate:

Now I would love to find the coolest things existing in some of the largest countries of the world, but which due to language barriers are isolated from the most of us. Using the Alexa top lists by country, I checked which are the most popular sites in China, Japan and Russia, excluding those international sites I already am familiar with from the western world.

Maybe you are wondering how your sites or country compares to the rest of the world? Well, check out the lists for example for Sweden or Estonia (not synonymous with "sites in Swedish" or "sites in Estonian", which you can also look at). It may give you some good surprises.

How large are then the sites I will check out the weeks ahead? Well, the smallest of them are kaixin001, Hatena and respectively, with traffic rankings of 137, 237 and 2224 respectively. Compare that with the largest site in Sweden, Aftonbladet at 664 and Estonia, neti at 6050. The traffic rank is essentially a number of the site's place on a list for a specific region, in the general case for the entire world. That means that Aftonbladet is the 664th largest site in the world, only barely beating a, a Russian nerd site with funny quotes. I say barely, because with traffic and ranking, you have to consider magnitudes, like that which is taken into consideration for the popular Google PageRank, plus that PageRank is magnified in the markets Google dominates, have you ever used the leading Chinese search engine? :-)

So, if you have any suggestions or comments for cool sites in other languages I must check out, just drop a comment and let's together use Google Translate to break down barriers!

Below is my selection of interesting sites from the top sites in China (translated):

    The leading Chinese language search engine, provides a simple and reliable search experience, strong in Chinese language and multi-media content including MP3 music and movies, the first to offer WAP and PDA-based mobile search in China.

  • QQ.COM
    The largest Chinese portal website to provide instant messaging, news and information, online games and online auction business,

  • Sina News Center
    The same day at home and abroad, including different types of news and comment, the characters feature, Gallery.

  • Soso Soso
    Provide a forum, web pages, pictures, music and the type of search service.

  • Yoqoo
    Net yoqoo ( is the first video website. Net yoqoo provide a foothold for Chinese all over the world's fastest video player, the most rapid release of the video, the fastest video search service.

  • ZOL
    ZOL Greater China are the most commercially valuable IT professional website has been constantly engaged in sales promotion-based IT professional media building. ZOL was founded in March 1999, its customer base, mainly from small and medium-sized users, the individual buyers and substantial IT industry and related industries manufacturers, distributors.

    Provide all kinds of game information, downloads, games and players communicate

  • Net fun
    All the working people are a good place for leisure, an SNS community

This is my selection among the top sites in Japan (translated):

  • Fc2
    Free Blog (blog), Home Services, and various Web applications

  • Livedoor
    Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. Such as portal management and hosting services. Corporate Profile, IR information, and links to your site.

  • Mixi
    Social networking site. Exchange messages, diaries, create communities, Functions and friends.

  • Hatena
    Community-oriented social bookmarking and blog search services Human Web.

Finally, my selection among the top sites in Russia (translated):

  • V Kontakte
    The most popular social network utility in Russia.

  • Yandex
    Find information on the Internet in the light of Russian morphology, the possibility of regional specification. Parallel search for news, images, products, blogs, links organizations.


    Placing a personal diary.

  • Inc.
    Entertainment portal.

  • Bash Runet
    "Masterpieces" new civilization: comments on IRC and ICQ.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The reliability and credibility of the Alexa Rankings have often been subject to differences. There are opinions that the Alexa ranking is far more credible and true for the sites below 10,0000 than that for the ones above it. Another factor that proves to be a major drawback of the Alexa rankings is that the rankings are governed by the Alexa toolbar and the Alexa toolbar users community. All the browser types are not taken into account as far as the rankings are concerned. As for example the Alexa rankings does not work in Windows Vista even though the latter has a huge user base and is highly popular.