Visions and Praxes: The Trajectories of Chinese SNS Trailblazers
Dong , Fan and Wang , Hua (2011) Visions and Praxes: The Trajectories of Chinese SNS Trailblazers. pp. 1-34. In: Proceedings of the A DECADE IN INTERNET TIME: OII SYMPOSIUM ON THE DYNAMICS OF THE INTERNET AND SOCIETY, 21 - 24 September 2011, University of Oxford.
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Based on a series of semi-structured in-depth interviews with industry pioneers, this study outlined the evolution and development trajectories of Chinese SNS with an emphasis on the individual motivations and self-interested actions of industry pioneers and the innovation ecosystem they operate in. We argue that apart from the transnational networks of technological entrepreneurs such as those based in Silicon Valley (Saxenian 2006), indigenous innovators are critical catalysis to the development of China’s creative industry. It is the link between their visions and factors within the ecosystem that shapes the innovation pattern. The malleable characteristic of SNS also allows for more innovation efforts generated by distinct local culture and social environment. We mapped out the genealogy of Chinese SNS characterized in three waves according to their launch time, social networking themes, operational features, and innovation milieu. Three case studies provided insights about industry pioneers’ motivations, visions, resources and constraints. Four factors were identified as most critical in shaping the current innovation model in Chinese SNS industry: (1) the developmental phase of SNS industry, (2) user demands and dynamics, (3) financial environment, and (4) governmental policy.
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