Japan loses interest in Social Networking?

Jonathan Browne

Jeff Lippold at Diamond Agency has written a post to examine some new data from Synovate that suggests that Japan may be losing interest in Social Networking.

I need to read the Synovate report for myself, and I will look at the next results from Forrester's surveys of Japanese consumers to see if I see the same thing... Can't do that right now, I'm afraid.

I think Jeff is spot on with his view that Japanese Social Computing is often Web1.0 at heart. In particular, I agree with his observation that anonymity and lack of segmentation (trying to cater for the "general population") hold back the possibilities for Social Computing.

Could Japan's fickle consumers decide that SNS was just another fad and "move on"?

Somehow I cannot imagine it. (Move on to what? Long socks and tiramisu?). Is it possible to have a "camel" shaped adoption curve...?

Japan & Korea prefer anonymous social computing

Jonathan Browne

Chang-Won Kim reports that Korea's top actress, Jin-sil Choi, has just taken her own life. It seems that she was deeply hurt by anonymous comments leveled at her online:

Chang makes the point that social media need a more robust system of identity and reputation to support online interaction -- so that communities have ways to freeze out irresponsible and hateful individuals.

I think this is a particularly serious issue in countries like Korea and Japan. In these countries, where "real life" society is quite buttoned up, people turn to online forums to let off steam anonymously. For example, Japan's social networks (such as Mixi) tend to be anonymous and the most famous bulletin board, 2-channel is full of posts under the identity "No Name". Many Japanese people feel that this anonymity protects their privacy and liberates them to say what they really think.

I remember a conversation that I had a few months ago with a Japanese technology blogger who hides his "real life" identity. His technology blogging struck me as inoffensive (and brilliant), so I couldn't understand why he asks people to refrain from taking his photograph and why he dons a disguise before making a speech in public. (It sounds like a comedy about the mafia... right?) He told me that he feels a need to stay anonymous, even for his politically neutral blog.

I wonder if it will always be this way? I hope that more people in Japan will see the value of social media where online identities are associated with offline identities. That seems to be the surest way to ensure that people behave responsibly.

[On an unrelated note - I have heard that the email subscription software on this blog has been sending out multiple emails with the same information. I'm trying to get that fixed as soon as possible].

changes to my internet banking account

Jonathan Browne


130 pages of information from MUFG to tell me about changes to my internet banking account

Bloggers' Dinner in Tokyo - Oct 22, 2008 (Wed)

Jonathan Browne

Jeremiahowyang_5My colleague, Jeremiah Owyang is coming to Japan so we're going to have an informal, no-host bloggers' dinner on Wednesday, October 22nd in Tokyo.

Jeremiah is a senior analyst at Forrester Research. He helps interactive marketers get to grips with Social computing, Social media measurement, Web marketing, and Interactive marketing. He also writes an excellent blog of his own - Web Strategy by Jeremiah.

Our plan for the evening is that Jeremiah will talk for about 20 minutes to share some insights on trends in social computing. And then we hope to have a stimulating discussion on any topics that interest us -- in other words, all things social. No sales pitches allowed!

If you want to attend, please contact Ritsuko Tague at rtague@forrester.com with your name, company name, email address and the URL of your blog by October 3rd.

<Bloggers' Dinner in Tokyo>

Date & Time :  Wednesday, October 22nd,  19:00-21:00

Location:  FUJIMAMAS, 6-3-2 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo    MAP

Tel: 03.5485.2283

Cost:  4,000JPY - includes an Asian Tapas buffet and free bar (nomihodai).

Attendees: 20-25 bloggers

Agenda:

19:00-19:20 Jeremiah's welcome speech

Read more

Categories:

Chinese food scandals

Jonathan Browne

A change in tone for my blog today. This story with links is more to do with Corporate Social Responsibility than Customer Experience. It just happens to be what's on my mind right now...

If it weren't for the financial melt down, I'm sure that the tainted milk scandal would be top of the news agenda in Japan today. This isn't the first time that the safety of Chinese products has come into question - and it won't be the last.

If customers don't trust your company, it's bound to be bad for business. The FEER blog points to a noodle shop in Hong Kong, which is seeking to reassure customers by printing expiry dates on the noodles themselves.

But how does one deal with a collapse of trust in an entire country? Whenever a new scare threatens Chinese exports, we hear about new legislation, increased inspections, and draconian punishments. But it seems that the underlying problems are endemic and can't be easily rooted out.

Read more