XKCD Updates Its Map: We No Longer Live In Actual Countries But Digital Ones

A lot has changed since illustrator Randall Monroe drew up the original XKCD “Map Of Online Communities” in 2007. In testament to how far we as Internet denizens have come, earlier this week XKCD updated its beloved classic to more accurately reflect the rapidly changing online world of 2010.

From Monroe in 2007:

“I’m waiting for the day when, if you tell someone ‘I’m from the internet’ instead of laughing they just ask, ‘Oh what part?’

Until that day is here (and it’s coming VERY soon, like tomorrow) here’s a quick state of the Internet union; In 2007 the most prominent digital countries were Myspace, Friendster, AOL, Live Journal and Xanga … In 2010? Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Skype, QQ, Happy Farm and Farmville. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose?

Um, Happy Farm? Yeah that’s right, Chinese MMOPG Happy Farm is bigger than Farmville on the most recent map based  on an interesting Wikipedia statistic of 228 million active users, which would make Farmville at 62 million monthly active users the “second biggest browser based social networking centered farming game in the world.”

Zoom in for  hidden gems like “Social Media Consultant Channel” and “Bieber Bay.” Double zoom in for the island of TechCrunch/Crunch Gear, off the nothern tip of the Tech Blog peninsula.

Original 2007 map for comparison, below.

Thanks: David Murphy


TC reader Kai Lukoff points out that the Happy Farm 228 million active users statistic is kind of shady, and it looks like he’s right, the accurate numbers having been lost in translation. His explanation:

Wikipedia lists two links for this fact:
1) A Chinese-language Dayoo article that only has an estimate of 28-30 mln DAU one year ago. Numbers have surely declined since, just like FarmVille. http://game.dayoo.com/200911/20/68602_100420554.htm I should know bc it’s a translation of an earlier article I wrote for VentureBeat: http://venturebeat.com/2009/10/29/china-qq-farm-happy-farm-games/
2) A RWW article that makes no mention of the 228 mln http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/china_social_gaming_landscape_whats_coming_next.php

Happy Farm is still huge in China, but 228 mln actives is probably 2-4x its actual size.

I’m still looking for an accurate stat and am emailing Monroe and Happy Farm for more clarification. Newsweek pegs the Happy Farm users number at about 80 million.