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20 Million People Visit the Pioneer of the IT Korea per Month

20 Million People Visit the Pioneer of the IT Korea per Month

Posted March. 09, 2003 22:46,   


Daum Communication (www.daum.net) has gone through a typical growth pattern.

It secured very charming and highly contagious ‘killer contents’ that people could find only in that site, and made visitors come back habitually. And when the number of the visitors, which was increased like that, reached critical mass, it led visitors to come back again with various added services, and it is making good profits out of it at the same time.

Daum Communication, which was started as a solution company in 1995, was just one of the group ware developing companies. At that time, when PC communication was the major stream, although it had epoch-making technologies at that time, such as web-mail and bulletin board solutions, not many companies wanted to make an intranet with them.

The reporters who has been covering Daum Communication remember President Lee Jae-woong`s feature at that time. He has stood up as the ‘tycoon of Dot Com’ now, but at that time, he was drinking in agony saying, “The business must go up soon…”

▽Change of conception = He changed his thought. He tried to make the technologies which were intended for companies used by individuals.

Internet email, which could be used after installing a separate program and through complex configuration procedures, was only for specific classes such as companies, research institutions, and schools. Daum Communications made their e-mail technology adapted in a web mail style, which everybody could use on the net without any special knowledge, and it carefully opened it to public on May 1997.

The reaction was explosive. Hundreds of thousands of people received free web mail accounts in few days, and people realized that Internet was not just a simple information searching tool but it was ‘something that they could do mutual action’.

▽Why not the bulletin board = On May 1999, exactly 2 years after the email hit the jackpot, and when the foreign portal sites landed on Korea started to imitate the web mail, it hit yet another jackpot with on-line community Daum Café (cafe.daum.net), which they adapted the bulletin board technology to Internet.

Now, net visitors a month are around 20 million people. Daum Communication, who secured the ‘definite number,’ which ‘they could do whatever they wanted to do with that many members’ for the first time in business, still offers most of the services for free and makes profits through e-commerce.

▽Daum is harmony of multiple voices = Last year, the amount of goods was dealt through Daum Communication was as much as 180 billion won. The amount of commercial dealing that enormous number of members is unrivaled. Since it has many members and frequent contacts, naturally many ads are attached. The amount of sale that Daum made last year just for ads was 40 billion won.

However, President Lee Jae-woong said, “It is too early to talk about success.” He said, “Internet businesses are starting to make profits and the markets are growing bigger, but relative importance of this business in the whole industry is still slight.” President Lee showed his ambition by saying, “It must be the time that multiple voices are made on Internet in order for it to grow big, and Daum will stand in the center of it.”

Seong-Yub Ra cpu@donga.com