Baidu, a “local Chinese Google”, who leads the search engine market with over 75% share (Google only has 19 percent), is also one of the biggest and popular websites in the world. Alexa currently ranks it as the 6th popular in the world, just above Wikipedia and below Live. As do most big players in the SE industry, Baidu offers various services – such as video and image storage, website building platform, online encyclopedia, discussion forums, and more.
However, in today’s dynamic world, standing still and cherishing your achievements will very quickly lead to dethronement, at the very least. That’s why Baidu is looking to expand even further, especially when the number two Chinese website, Tencent, is also gaining ground, entering Alexa’s “world’s top 10” this month, after surpassing Twitter.
Tencent is largest internet company in China, and, with Facebook being unavailable to users, it is trying to utilize the social networking niche to compete with Baidu. The “satellite” services that are being offered by Tencent are very similar to the stated above Baidu products, making the clash between the two a “hot” battle for dominance. Baidu’s response, according to Robin Li, the CEO of the company, lies within expanding its own network of users and making it more “social”. In addition of fighting Tencent, this should also serve as additional income channel for the Chinese market leader.
When “the internet” was introduced, its main purpose – and the idea behind it – was to allow educational and research institutions to share data. That was back in the 1980s. Of course, since then internet has passed several phases. Globalization and technology have joined forces to make the WWW a must-have feature for almost every household. In the start of the 21st century the internet was mainy about reading and gathering information. Nowadays, it is mostly about sharing. Facebook success is adorable, however it is the social network concept that made it possible – of course, it was somewhat altered and some even would say reinvented by Mark Zuckerberg and Co. to speed up the growth.
Anyway, there are many others that wish to exploit this approach. The Russian “Vkontakte” (connected), Chinese-oriented “QZone”, Orkut (owned by Google and extremely popular in Brazil and India) are just a few of the social networking websites. With local social networks already present, the next step, it seems, is to create a more “targeted” communities for those who have specific common interest.
SolaMaps, launched recently by Australia-based Stewe Edwing and his fellow green energy enthusiasts is one such an example. The idea of the network is to connect solar energy users all over the world, enabling them to share tips, ideas and experience with one another. By attracting more and more users, the site founders also hope to increase the global awareness of environmental issues. “You Don’t Need A Solar System To Join the SolaMaps Action!” the website slogan states. All you need is a passion for renewable energy.
The global village and the internet era is everywhere. Long gone are the times when Church opposed science– Vatican itself is happy to use the most advanced technology in the world. And internet is no exception, it seems. In his latest statement, the Pope has shown good familiarity with social networks and their popularity among teenagers, pointing out pros and cons of digital communication.
Pope Benedictus XVI praised the prospects offered by the new technology saying that “if used wisely, they can contribute to the satisfaction of the desire for meaning, truth and unity which remain the most profound aspirations of each human being”, and emphasized that digital communication is a form of sharing.
His Holiness also warned about misleading by creating a “fake” personality in quest for “followers” and “friends” and stated that “there is the challenge to be authentic and faithful”. The Pope invited the Christians to join the global network as relationship is the fundamental need of a human being, and concluded his address with Apostolic blessing to all those that “make good use of their presence in the digital world”.