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You think Facebook, twitter, Instagram is the only thing out there that is hot? You thought wrong. In European countries, there are all sorts of different social media platforms that are active/were active and I am about to introduce two of the popular ones.

Partyflock, started 2001, by Thomas van Gulick, is a dutch virtual community for people who are interested about knowing where they can find events or share thoughts about house music and other EDM(Electronic Dance Music). Since the start, Partyflock became the biggest online community in the dance scene for Netherlands. It has more than 400,000 regular members and more than 500 million views every month for it’s page view count.

Interesting thing about Partyflock is that until march of 2005, the website was run purely by volunteers and all systems(including hardware for computers) were paid by member donations. It became so huge that they were able to hold their own festival in the Gelredome in Arnhem where 19,000 “flockers” gathered together to celebrate it’s fifth anniversary.

The website have the “news section”, and it is in a calendar form where everyone can check where and when the events are happening. There are over 23.5k artists, 4500 venues, 2200 company or organizations. There is also a photo gallery section where more than 400 thousand pictures are posted and shared to the members and visitors of the website. Lastly, they have an interactive forum section that are posted by the Partyflock website members, and these are discussed based on the common interest of the members usually. These usually include music, new news of music, upcoming parties, popular venues or clubs, but also sports, health and relationships. Although the website is purely run with the dutch language the website has a separate section where it is done by English and where English-speaking members may interact.

Image courtesy of partyflock.nl (the logo image) 

Dance music in European countries such as the Netherlands or especially Holland, you can see that many popular DJ’s come out of Holland because the culture exposes people with EDM constantly. The dance music being prevalent and everywhere in this country is common. Common places such as the supermarket, restaurants, shops all have a lot of EDM playing as their store music. Additionally, when compared to the sheer amount of time that EDM has affected different countries, it’s obvious why certain type of music is more popular in certain regions. It has only been around 5 years since EDM has become a thing in the United States, but European countries like Holland has been influenced by this type of music for decades. Moreover, the Netherlands also have many different clubs and bars that are focused around this type of music. The clubs are very vibrant and festival-like and they hold very many rave and festival scenes around their country. Lastly, the Dutch are used to this constant exposure because huge companies, knowing that EDM is big in the Netherlands advertise and support the artists in this genre. The culture, the infrastructure and the sales/marketing strategy all affect how this music could prevail and be popular for a long time.

Now IWIW, on the other hand is something quite similar to a popular social network platform in the western hemisphere: Facebook. IWIW is a Hungarian social network founded in 2002, and had the most visited number of people in Hungary from 2005 to 2010. Initially the website was WIW(Who is Who) but after they revamped the website with multilingual interface with the addition of special Java Applet to show international connections visually. Although the website has shutdown since June of 2014, it had more than 5 million registered users with real names and every user could provide a profile that listed personal information and interests. People connected through each other in enormous numbers. People were able to find others with similar interests by the search tool or the acquaintances of acquaintances.

Iwiw.jpg

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

The website was created before Facebook, and because this was very innovative and efficient it was able to attract all the Hungarians who wanted to connect. Although the system was started off with invitation only, the website exploded because acquaintances of acquaintances were all being invited to this website. Although websites that impose “elitism” ideas(by invitation only) was supposed to die down it somehow was able to prosper. I think because of the invitation feature people felt like they were “cooler” and people felt more “special” therefore in the early years they were able to be more popular than Facebook.  However after Facebook started becoming a trend  and had interesting and unique features, users slowly migrated from IWIW to Facebook. Still, the IWIW had similar number of accounts on the website as Facebook until the late 2010. Because IWIW was funded by donation, and Facebook was actually funded by corporations.

European Media seems much more diverse in the ways that they specialize in different things such as specific music genre(based on culture usually), and unique inventions of websites etc. America seems pretty consumed in the big companies that take up basically all of the market of social media(Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat).

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