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Monday, October 30, 2006

Is Eskwela.com biting Friendster.com's market?

I was invited AJ Batac to try out Eskwela.com's open beta testing about 2 weeks ago, i heared of this site already months ago and the name itself gives a hint on its offerings. Eskwela is just like Facebook but it's still rough on the edges, notably the site make use of AJAX alot which makes the user experience very Web 2.0. Undeniably it's target market are Filipino students and alumni, IMHO its a great way to start since most of us was at one-time a student thus connecting with our roots in schools is the best way to link up. Although there's a much heated debate about the site's tag line and a sharp critic on its functionality, this is truly unavoidable due to its beta nature so i will refrain from anymore of that on this post.

However there is one serious issue to consider, is Eskwela.com after Friendster.com's market?

Friendster's target audience is the entire population of the world, mostly ranging from students to working professional. However because MySpace has already captured most of the US and UK audiences, Friendster prospered on Asia especially on the Philippines. It is reported on a case study conducted by Friendster that their Philippine based users contributed to its growth equally compared to all their other users put together in the whole world.

How will Eskwela's entry into the market affect Friendster's growth?

Let's compare the two model's together. Friendster is modelled upon social networking of
people, since everyone in the world is connected within 6 degrees of acquaintance. Eskwela on the other hand is modelled on similarity of attributes between people such as schools, hobbies, etc. Most Filipino spends 14 early years of his/her life in school, making school its second home where we develop our primary values, ideologies, sense of membership. Coupled with Filipino traits that values family and friendship, Eskwela is on the right track on reuniting as well as affirming bonds between each Filipinos.

Why might Eskwela's succeed where Friendster failed?

It is still a very early to tell how Eskwela will grow but how it is likely succeed compared to Friendster is already answered by Eskwela's tag line: 100% Pinoy. Friendster's network was built on rough fragile bonds of friendship built on occasional and distant degree of acquaintances while Eskwela is based on strong rooted relationship that lasted for avaerage of 14 years and there's no other people on the world would understand that than the people that built Eskwela.com; a 100% Pinoy and not by Americans who built Friendster and who's social bonds are built less that what we Filipino's have. That's why there are a lot of fake profile's now on Friendster, this is a sign that people are desperately searching for something with stronger bonds to affirm.

Will Eskwela learn from past mistakes?

I sure hope Eskwela will not make the same mistake as Facebook, Friendster or Alumni.net; but after a quick look at Eskwela.com team member's list; oh its Terence Pua! The same guy who made Friendster classifieds (formerly Pusit.com acquired by Friendster) possible.

I'm more assured now mistakes will not happen twice :)

9 comments:

Jofell Gallardo said...

I believe the Eskwela Team thought of building their site with the customer / Filipino user in focus. Whether it "takes a slice" from Friendster's market or it becomes as widespread as Pusit.com is not part of their plans. Pinoys need another way to be more connected to the people that shaped their thoughts and beliefs, and you were right about the idea that most of us owe our good mental stuff from our school lives. That's why, IMO, Eskwela is a separate idea from Facebook (which, I guess, deals only with meeting people). First of all, users get to look back to their very classrooms by specifying the classes they have taken. From there they will find their classmates and schoolmates, and from there, they can evaluate the truths that that class has given them (whether they really treasured their teachers' lessons, or they regret cutting their classes). This way, people can talk about school life the way normal reunion attendants do when some homecoming event happens.

Anonymous said...

How did facebook fail? You don't even have an account. It's not about meeting people and it's nothing like Eskwela. Facebook even has p2p built in.

godieYOSI said...

Reply on: "How did facebook fail? You don't even have an account."

coz i didnt signed up :) it fails in the context of capturing Philippine based audience.

godieYOSI said...

Reply on Jofell:
I'd definitely agree, moreover debates on Eskwela's tag-line also iterates that the void created by not having something tailored to Filipino's social connectivity is the primary reason why Eskwela was made. Consequently its still a business so analyzing its potential role on impacting existing businesses is interesting for me :)

Berlin said...

Facebook only recently allowed non-university students to register. that's why no one was able to join except college kids from the U.S.

ia said...

it's still very much alive and for some people much more useful than myspace because it's meaningful. tried it recently and i kinda like it; twas refreshing compared to the puke you see on myspace these days. :)

so many people are attacking the small-mindedness of the local approach but i think that's because everybody wants to make it big at once. eskwela wants to start local first. or apply something to the philippines as part of an it-enlightenment thing.

(gee i sound like an eskwela developer already)

Anonymous said...

How do you delete an account in eskwela.com?

andrew99 said...

Can anyone tell me how I can advertise on eskwela.com? I represent futurepowerengineer.com online training for Filipinos that leads to favourable immigration positioning and jobs in Canada that pay six figures to start. Eskwela.com reaches the very people we wish to work with, bright young Filipinos with a good understanding of math and sciences.
So, can anyone please get me in touch with the advertising people at eskwela.com? Thank you.

godieYOSI said...

andrew99,

You can email AJ Batac at ajbatac-AT-gmail.com

or

visit http://www.allanjosephbatac.com/

Additionally, he's in Canada too :D

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