Things have been going well over at MOSH.cn -the rock-oriented social networking site went from 200,000 to 400,000 members in six months. We’re getting 500 new members a day, the website's friendly content director Mr Wang told me the other day. The firm behind te site, essentially the hobby of a group of Chinese financial veterans, has tweaking features of the site, like user privacy, but Mosh seems to be abandoning the student rock fans it vowed to serve. That the site’s target is “white collar professionals” is clear from the frequency and comfort with which he uses the term during our latest chat. Rather than link up local alternative music fans, the site now wants to become a ‘platform for young people.” Sounds familiar. Also, users can also “sort their friends into groups.”
So how is that any different from Facebook and its many Chinese clones? Well, there’s a forum, that allows users to connect and comment on concerts and exhibitions they’ve seen or have calendar-ed. The biggest traffic on the site recently was drummed by the 10th anniversary of the Goethe Institute – lots of local professionals go there to learn German, still perceived to be a useful tongue, given the supremacy of German brands like Volkswagen over local competition. The Goethe has courted locals by flying in German bands like Massive Tone. Mosh is as secretive as ever about how they make money: “some from tickets sales and some from advertising” is the best the Mosh man Mr Wang would offer. Another hint at where Mosh's priorities lie: the middle class-targetted advertising for cars and consumer goods on the site. The site sells tickets for concerts and discounts tickets for certain venues, like the Star Live. Mosh personnel hand out the site's distinctively colourful "We Mosh!" stickers at gigs which it co-promotes.
1999 - 'The eMusic Market', written by Gordon McConnell it focuses on how the internet could change the music industry. Boy was he on the money, years before any of us had heard of an iPod or of Napster.