Germany, Holland, Poland, Korea, United Kingdom, Russia, Spain, China and Turkey. For this post I have Luca Conti to thank. Luca runs Pandemia, one of the most read and authoritative blogs in Italy - in which he writes about Internet technology and media.As well as being reigning world football champions, Italy has a number of world class web apps. Yes, Italy is the 10th country to be profiled in Read/WriteWeb's Top International Web Apps series. The others so far have been
Luca started off by saying that Italy "is not a very healthy environment for internet start-ups and venture capital." He said that Internet adoption, especially broadband, is not at a high level. Italy has nearly 7 million broadband connections, but half of those are 'pay as you go'. The Internet population is under 20 million people (out of a total population of 57 million).
From 2Spaghi, a site in which people rate and review restaurants in Italy - see below
Big Media dominates
The major television networks Rai public service and Mediaset - the latter owned by Silvio Berlusconi, ex-Prime Minister and the richest man in Italy - have the biggest advertising market share. Internet advertising by contrast is only 3.4%. What's more, the biggest media groups aren't spending a lot of money on the Internet - even the newspapers. The big Internet properties are Dada, an internet media company that was acquired by RCS Mediagroup (owner one of Italy's top daily newspapers, Corriere della Sera) and the telecom companies like Telecom Italia (Alice), Wind (Libero) and Tiscali.
La 7 (another tv network) and MTV Italy are properties of Telecom Italia, which indicates how much control big media and telecom companies have in Italy.
Top Web Apps
In this big media environment and with low Internet investments, Italy has inevitably gotten some Digg, del.icio.us, YouTube etc clones - but this is like most of the other International markets we've profiled so far on Read/WriteWeb.
Merzia srl has developed Segnalo (a del.icio.us clone) and OKNOtizie (a Digg clone). They recently made a co-marketing deal with Alice (Telecom Italia), to be linked inside its portal - one of the most visited portals in Italy.
Dada has the biggest italian social network with Love.Dada.net - for dating and friendship. They are working on a communication hub, Life(.dada.net) - which features blogs, social bookmarking, a photo album and contact manager.
Libero, the second largest broadband provider, has a video platform like YouTube and a blogging section called LiberoBlog - which has an editorial selection of some articles form the Italian blogosphere.
A new entry to the market is a popurls clone: Basketurls. Its innovation is a 'virtual basket' where you can save your news selections.
During the FIFA World Cup a lot of Italians used Moltomondiale, a special automatic semantic news aggregator about the event. After the World Cup, it will probably evolve into something similar but more general.
There are four independent 'nanopublisher' networks: Blogo, Blogosfere, Blogcenter (which Luca owns) and Communicagroup. Blog metrics operation Qix is also working on a global ranking system for the Italian blogosphere.
Italians love eating and 2Spaghi helps them to rate and chose the best restaurants. It's a social site which lists restaurants in Italy. You can vote, tag, comment on any place and you can also open a WordPress-hosted Spahi blog free of charge.
Scrive.it is a social review site where you can write your opinions about movies and books.
Feedo Style offers a wide range of feed management services.
Mobango is a very popular international community where you can share mobile content for free.
Pieno risparmio gives you information about fuel rates, with a geodatabase in which anyone can submit the cheapest service area in their city and share it with the community.
Last but not least, there is my blog buddy Paolo Valdemarin's consultancy Evectors - they invented one of the original topic aggregators k-collector (see this R/WW post from May 2003 to see how it influenced me).
A lot of the links here were taken from this post on Luca's Italian language blog Pandemia. Grazie Luca for all your help!
As always I encourage readers, especially those from Italy or who know the market, to add to the above list in the comments. Your feedback is what makes these International Web posts so much fun - and so instructive.