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JapanFocus
'OhmyNews Has Unlimited Potential'
Masayoshi Son, president of Softbank, explains why he invested in OhmyNews Japan
Masayoshi Son (internews)     Print Article 
Published 2006-08-29 15:22 (KST)   
I first met Oh Yeon-ho, CEO of OhmyNews, in Aug 2005. A president of a broadcasting company in Korea introduced me to him. Indeed, I was keen on gathering Internet content at this time and therefore very interested in Mr. Oh, whose OhmyNews had become a great success in the Internet media field in Korea.

Shortly after our meeting, I realized that I had good chemistry with Mr. Oh. We discussed the future of the Internet, forms of new media as alternatives, which only the Internet could establish, and ideal models of it. I completely agreed with Mr. Oh's belief that "all citizens are reporters" and his desire to "make free platforms for journalism in the 21st century."

Thus, I decided to invest in the project to launch OhmyNews Japan.

The Internet has become very popular over the last decade. Today, people use the Internet as a new method for information gathering, in addition to reading newspapers and magazines, listening to the radio, and watching TV.

At present, we often hear the phrase "Web 2.0" in the media. The definition of Web 2.0 is not clear yet.

To my mind the "Web 1.0" era can be defined as the time when the Internet primarily functioned as a source of information. Now, in the period of Web 2.0, Internet users can produce and exchange information, and furthermore discuss and form communities through the Internet. In fact, the Internet functions as a social infrastructure.

Technological advances also promotes innovation. Today, people can easily send and receive information on a large scale by using a small mobile phone. This is thanks to the emergence of new technologies such as HSDPA, flash, OFDM and WiMAX. It means that video data can be transferred to any place in the world in real time if any notable event occurs.

In many senses, it is inevitable that new media such as OhmyNews have emerged in the midst of all this technological progress. People can send information both about happenings in their neighborhoods and events in the world. Some types of information are useful for everybody, while others are for people with specialist interests.

I believe that OhmyNews's participatory nature gives it unlimited potential to become an important and reliable new media entity.

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©2006 OhmyNews

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