Twitter banner ads in JP UI in IE only

Now Twitter comes with the banner ads in the upper right corner when you use IE from Japan IP address (presumably).

twitter banner ad japan ie

This is a great experiment for twitter how the banner ads work. However, I personally don’t like it makes it Japanese UI whenever it finds the user from Japanese IP address (which is quite common practice though). The same exact mistake google makes.

Update: They allow you t0 choose language in the settings.  When you choose English, Japanese UI and banner both disappeared,which is nice.

I like what Gmail says

Search, don’t sort.
Use Google search to find the exact message you want, no matter when it was sent or received.

Don’t throw anything away.
Your account includes plenty of storage, so you’ll never need to delete another message.

Keep it all in context.
Each message is grouped with all its replies and displayed as a conversation.


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The victim of old tv channel

 B&W Television, originally uploaded by forester401.


*The photo I picked up via seach in flickr with keywords “old tv.”

I grew up in Kumamoto city, the southern part of Japan in my childhood, where they had only two tv channels (channel 11 for RKK, channel 6 for TKU) except for two NHK channels (which make four channels in total). Even folks in Tokyo had only four or five tv channels back then and, still even today, we have only channels 4,6,8,10, and 12 national tv networks here in Tokyo.


Over time, our minds (mine for one, obviously) have been tamed and we tend to think the tv channels must be about the selection from a few.  Even more so for my parents’ generation.  But the notion would sound totally irrelevant to the generations of my daughter who have never used the old tv set but instead are getting accustomed to keyboard and touch panel.

I think it is the matter of timing until the younger generations will start wondering why there are only 12 buttons available in todays’ tv controller.


The tv section of print newspaper is already full and to me it seems they are ready to boast. 

tv section

Using LISMO with Flickr

Yesterday, I was trying to upload AU mobile phone pictured photos to flickr using AU’s LISMO software. It went something like this:

1) Download LISMO to my computer (WIN PC, in my case), obviously.
2) Sync photo files in my mobile phone with PC using USB enabled cord.

3) Photo images appear in the LISMO screen (below)


Like i-TUNES, this LISMO looked like a big silo as Doc Seals once so characterized i-TUNES. Then, I called AU customer support for assistance, asking how I can find the photo files in the windows explorer ’cause I knew I might need it in flickr interface.

The answer was: START=>right-click on MY COMPUTER=>Explorer=>C=>Documents and Settings =>All users=>ApplicationsData=>KDDI=> auMusicPortUserData=> AccountData=> 001=>Album=>2006=>7 (in case of photo taken July, 2006)

When I complained it is tedious, the support stuff agent agreed and was kind enough to offer the alternative way. Export that “Album” folder by right clicking on it to Desktop. The solution was somewhat OK to me. I thanked him and hanged up the phone.

When I actually uploaded the photo, I happened to have remembered that flickr has its own uploader and tried it with LISMO with the drag and drop of the photo from LISMO to Flickr uploader. It worked just fine (below).


Why we take photo with mobile phone to begin with? To me, to share them with with friends and family on the Internet. Why would they provide the interface with your mobile phone device and PC (or Mac)? Displaying them in the proprietary software called LISMO in the PC is only half way and definitely not the end; uploading them in the public photo sharing site is the goal to me. I think AU should know the tips beforehand and educate the support stuff about how a user can easily integrate with flickr and the like. That’s what taking photo with mobile phone is all about.
Seek vertical integration and proprietary profits later on, but focus on usability and openness earlier. It won’t happen overnight. Nonetheless, I am sure Yahoo mobile of Japan soon will provide the much easier interface with flickr (uploader). Note: flickr is a subsidiary of yahoo corporation.

LATER: I noticed the fundamental mistake of LISMO; it forgets to ask the email address of a user, which ideally can be asked at the time of sign up/download (well no sign up process, in fact). So it basically lacks the communication gateway such as mail magazine with a potential user except for mobile mail. But, since they downloaded LISMO it is the sign and indication the user is also a PC (or MAC) user and willing to integrate the mobile with PC (or MAC). For what it is worth, iTUNES and SONY MYCLIP even regularly email me with new release information.

The cost of a click

I am not talking about Cost Per Click (CPC) to an advertiser. I am talking about the cost or the efforts associated with moving the mouse so that the mouse pointer rests on the link in a given web page.  Below is the very first page of now famous social networking site,, of Japan:

 The cost of a click1

Despite of its all-by-invitation only membership, it has the “sign up” button, which, upon click, leads you to the following note:

The cost of a click2

The note basically is saying, among other things, “..we regret to inform you that, to sign up, you have to wait for someone to send you an invitation.” Personally, I’ve found this user interface quite disturbing, since i’d imagine that by clicking on “sign up” button in the previus page, any first-time visitor would have expected to become a member. Every time the expectation goes up, mixi turns it down.

People DO BOTHER to click on something in expectation of experiencing something else in the next page accordingly.  So please do not betray them. hotlist

Have you noticed has the new feature hotlist upfront, which focuses more on new last 1 hour tagged items.

Interesting to see the difference on one hand services like technorati focuses on top 100 or my favorites EVER, on the other hand fouces on recent last one hour. I think the time is the new dimension, with which those tools can guide us in the new direction.

What gyao doesn’t get is one of Japan fastest growing free of charge video streaming services, with a registered membership of 9.6 million+. Despite its self-proclaimed success, it, too, has the typical “directory” type user interface, akin to Yahoo’s. Might be comfortable to those who are accustomed to viewing TV by channel. At the same time, it will limit its growth in its own right. What a significant contrast to the user interface of YouTube.

Update: graph In addition, if they’d listen to what Joshusa Schachter preaches here (via himazu blog), would not have made it a mandatory for a new user to fill in all the profile information at the time of registration. It is a total waste of every opportunity; by no means worth the effort of anybody. But I understand a client generally likes it; but it is our job to convince the client not to pursue whatever won’t work. Note amazon would not ask any of these. Nor does flickr, nor does, dor does youtube, so on and so forth. It’s only tagging, not profiling.

docomo i-mode user interface

By far the most terrible user interface I’ve experienced in my entire life.
Cost me about 20 steps only to change the mobile package plan online (what they call “i-mode”).

This terrible UI has been around for years; still docomo has kept its dominant position in Japan (>50%).

I know they inherite the DNA of NTT, Japan’s ATT. A dinaour, which is another story. But, now that Yahoo Japan / Softbank enters the JP mobile market taking over vodafone, docomo has no choice but to focus on their UI. Or, die.