Facebook Japan mixi Social Networking twitter

Social Network Analytics of Japan

Google Insights for Search reveals rather interesting fact about social network system’s in Japan.

Overall, Japanese social network scene is dominated by mixi, and Google Insights filtered to Japan do show that trend as well. (In world wide trend, mixi is nothing.)

Filtering the result to year to date 2009, it starting to reveal rather interesting fact.
The overall trend shows that mixi’s gradually losing its popularity, while Facebook is increasing, in Tokyo, Facebook already has surpassed mixi early June, and YTD average shows Facebook is already as strong as mixi. (and if this trend continues, by next month, Facebook will become most popular social network system in Tokyo.)

Tokyo’s shift in trend is unique, as even Okinawa, showing strong MySpace support than rest of Japan, although, mixi is still dominating the popularity there. (I speculate presence of US military base for high support of MySpace in Okinawa.) Okinawa’s overall trend has been following somewhat close to rest of Japan, but perhaps with Facebook and MySpace competing for shares.

Regional comparison for Facebook in major cities in Japan shows that overall popularity volume in Tokyo is much higher than rest of places. (and likewise, comparison with MySpace shows significance of MySpace in Okinawa.

So, it seems like, in Japan, many people are starting to migrate to something other than mixi, perhaps for the fact mixi’s more focus on mobile phone market (and especially, if they use carrier menu to access to mixi from their mobile phone, it won’t show up in Google Insights) as well as more push to Facebook from different sectors (for example, DSi support of photo upload to Facebook.) Somehow, this trend is showing in Tokyo drastically than in different places. This may be mean that there are more international relationship dynamic happening in Tokyo, requires more global communication. (mixi do not allow sign-up without Japanese mobile numbers now)


Online Marketing in Japan?

When I was helping out figuring out what would be the best way to marketing the video game product online in Japan, I was disappointed I could hardly find any options.

I’m talking about something other than those banner ads, but what I’m talking about is thing like Facebook page system. For example, there’s big Japanese SNS mixi, but problem of their system is that their “community” system is nothing more than “group” feature of Facebook (which means, there is no expectation that the community is “official.”)

What people use in Japan to do these marketing? Is it because those are happening all in their mobile realm, that I can’t see them, because I can’t access to them? Or they don’t simply exist? Or perhaps, only way to get on any online media in Japan is to utilize some sort of agencies?

I’d appreciate if anyone with information enlighten me!

Happening in Japan Japan

Just few notes about my “work environment” related notes

Before I go on with more of work environment notes in Japan. There are few things I’d like to make it clear.

First, I have not worked in Japan before, so a lot of articles do come from news sources, and other blogs. Those articles are screened through to see how credible they are, by comparing them with Japanese trends from news, personal contact, and also cross checked with many different corporate environment related sources.

Second, for couple of notes already, I have criticized Japanese work environment, mainly their work-life-inbalance. Just to be clear, I am not necessary criticizing overtime (although I do criticize unpaid overtimes for those paid hourly.)

After all, I work for video game industry, which involves overtimes, and sometimes overnighter. I want to make it really clear I am criticizing Japanese way, because of their harmful mentality, for example, they cannot leave when they are done with their work and their hours up, because they are expected that they ask their senior or a boss to see if there any other work to do, before you leave, and you are asked to stay to complete such tasks. If you don’t this, or if you refuse to stay, often, you are classified as defunct Japanese worker, because you are not working hard like everyone else.

Yes, I have to confess that I was asked to stay in this industry in the US, but that’s only because there were things relevant to my area of work, and it often was for crunch time. Andstill I was not prevented leave if I had to. But, if you have to stay late everyday, like it is becoming your norm, that’s just different story. And I usually have remedy if I had to stay late; there were no sweat me showing up quite late next day. A lot of Japanese business environment where you are expected to put in excessive overtime, you are still expected to show up at 9:00AM or when their work start next day. (could be same day, if they are working until 2AM)

You think I’m exaggerating? Let me tell you that more than 30,000 people commit suicide in Japan every year. When I was going to the job for internship, my instructor told me “leave within 5 minutes if you have finished and you say bye, as people will assume you are incapable of getting things done,” I guess if I do that in Japan, I’d be screwed.

Third, I’ve briefly touched on Japanese athletic mentality and about Senpai and Kōhai deal in Japanese sub-hierarchy. About athletic mentality, which somewhat related things mentioned above. It’s basically is excessive focus on how hard you work as opposed to how efficient you can get things done. For example, if you and your friend working in same kind of task. And say, you finished your work, because you figured out the way to do it faster, but your friend is still working on it, ended up working all night finishing it up. In the end, it will be your friend who will get better view. In these athletic mentality, they often assume you are trying to slack off by inventing new efficient way.

As for Senpai and Kōhai, frankly, I hate the concept. Perhaps, part of the reason I hate it is because I haven’t grown up in culture that practice heavily on the concept. But mainly, it is because, I consider people I work with colleague and not my senior of juniors. After all, as far as people of same corporate hierarchy, I feel each of them have unique and different talent, with different skills, and years at the company serves very little relevancy. There are few of my contacts trying to fit myself into this annoying scheme. I can tolerate them just because they are 4800 miles away from me, but if they are to be here permanently next to me, then that’d be the time for me to start looking for new place to work. I really don’t appreciate the way they try to step into my psychological personal space, just because they think I’m their Kohai, either. They aren’t necessary bad people, but I have disagreement there and I can’t get along with people showing such attitudes.

Some of my friends who worked in Japan may disagree with me, especially if you are not Japanese. Because if you are foreigner in Japan, they do not consider you “one of them” in terms expectation of how you do things. Frankly, I’m the kind of guy Japanese people hates the most; because I have very Japanese appearance, speaking Japanese, but my mentality has departed from it. This is certainly why I experience bit of awkwardness every time I go to Japan, too.

Happening in Japan Japan

Management of a Company Retires Over Hostile Work Environment

Ok, I’m exaggerating here, but I found this hilarious.
NHK and other reports that Stuart Chambers, the president of Nihon Itagarasu (Nippon Steel Glass) who was transferred from its own subsidiary in England a year ago just resigned.
He says:

“I think many many Japanese people, particularly the classic salary man, if you like, puts the company first, and maybe the family second. I don’t say there is anything wrong with that, but in my case, I’m not able to do that, I have discovered.”

This is crazy. He pretty much said “Japanese working environment sucks, so I resign.”
I think it’s good chance for Japanese society to review their work environment; but I have feeling that not gonna happen…

Happening in Japan Japan

You may be screwed if you don’t write your resume by hand

According to the research by Business Media Makoto, Japanese HR personnel exercises rather criteria when they screen their candidate.

The hearing was conducted from 1416 hiring personnel in companies, between April 17th and May 1st.

Question were regarding resume, and respondent were expected to answer each of them in scale of “Strongly positive,” “Somewhat positive,” “Somewhat negative,” “Strongly negative,” “Doesn’t matter,” and there were people skipped a question as well.

So here’s some breakdown:

Good Penmanship

  • Strongly positive: 32.4%
  • Somewhat positive: 58.8%
  • Somewhat negative: 0.5%
  • Strongly negative: 0.0%
  • Doesn’t matter: 8.1%
  • No response: 0.2%

Neatness of Penmanship

  • Strongly positive: 13.6%
  • Somewhat positive: 61.9%
  • Somewhat negative: 0.5%
  • Strongly negative: 0.0%
  • Doesn’t matter: 23.7%
  • No response: 0.2%

Handwritten Resume

  • Strongly positive: 16.7%
  • Somewhat positive: 37.9%
  • Somewhat negative: 0.3%
  • Strongly negative: 0.0%
  • Doesn’t matter: 44.8%
  • No response: 0.3%

Prepared in Word or Excel

  • Strongly positive: 1.3%
  • Somewhat positive: 12.4%
  • Somewhat negative: 18.1%
  • Strongly negative: 5.0%
  • Doesn’t matter: 62.7%
  • No response: 0.6%

So, in Japan, if you don’t handwrite your resume, you will be screwed. If you don’t handwrite your resume, it may not be attractive to 54.6% of HR personnel, while it will appear attractive to puny 13.7% of them. Oh, but don’t forget it will be seen unattractive to 23.1% of them. Even if you are willing to handwrite your resume, but if your handwriting sucks, you’ll still slip off from 91.2% who feels good penmanship on your resume appear positive.
Of course, these won’t be only factors determine your fitness to the particular work place you applying for, but it sounds quite stupid to me that there are more people feeling negative about resume prepared by computer than people feeling positive about handwritten resume.

One note, though is Japanese resume format is not free form, they require specific format, which you can find some samples by Googling them.

You don’t think it is painful to write all that? Well, if you make mistake, be prepared to redo your resume from the beginning, as 78.5% of them feel use of those correction fluid negative.

Japan mixi Social Networking

Policy Revision of mixi Starting Aug. 18

Looks like mixi‘s becoming anonymous social network site. There’s new policies effective August 18, among many other policy changes, they are adding following to the item 16 of the prohibited actions clause.

(16) Disclosure of a contact information of third-party or a self, which can be used to identify individual, including address, phone number, E-mail address, to the part of site that is viewable by public.

Notice by this, they are prohibiting disclosure of contact information about yourself. So, when did mixi become my babysitte

Japan twitter

In Japan, Twittering by Candidates are Illegal During Their Election Campaign

Yes, you heard it right, in Japan, their cabinet council determined that twittering by candidates during their election campaign illegal under Japanese Public Election Law, which classifies twittering as “election campaign by texts or graphic.”

This sounds really insane, but it is already illegal for candidates to even update blogs during their election campaign.

Why? Because their law is so outdated that the law pretty much allows only limited method of election campaign. What are they? They are posters at the designated board, limited number of fliers and postcards, use of cars with speaker to announce their name, etc.

Other than that, they are pretty much restricted to do anything to promote themselves. They have this kind of regulation, because apparently, having those allowed grants them unfair advantages over other candidates.

So, no, if you are living in Japan and happen to get voting rights in Japan, don’t expect to find useful information on the net.