according to some research, it says twitter has got 1% penetration and 12% awareness among the Internet users in Japan (article in Ja). Awesome, isn’t it? Without spending any advertising money ( I assume). But that article describes it quite negatively; making the comparison 40% awareness of mixi in 2004 before mixi broke with 12% of twitter today. The comparison is fair, but my feeling is that you just can not analyze the potential for the serivce like twitter in a traditional way. My feeling is that it has already tipped.
This morning I was gonna wake up very early to see if I am lucky enough to get one of those WIIs from Nintendo launching today. I could only wake up like 8 am and visit Olympic store nearby with White (Jack Russel Terrier).
At first I thought I was lucky to find there are only four people on the line (see the pic below) .
It turned out they have allocated only four units to this store. So I gave up. I am not sure if Wii is really popular or is this just the matter of marketing tactics? Anyway, it is selling like JPY 36,000 over its retail price JPY 25,000 at Japan’s larget auction at Yahoo.
P.S. I myself don’t play game at all but I am tempted to get one of those cause my wife and daughter love it.
Update: Ouch! My wife has just informed me that my daughter has asked Santa Claus to get WII on Dec 24th.
A famous Japanese lyricist and producer, Yasushi Akimoto (秋元康 in jp wiki),who has produced or at least heavily involved in producing the super manzai duo, Tunnels (とんねるず in jp wiki), and more recenly the popular actress, Nanako Matsushima (松島奈々子), once told about the tip of knowing, beforehand, if a rookie talent becomes the star.
The story I originally heard at the video lecture a year or so ago from Hosei Business school.
According to Akimoto, it is Domino effects. That has to start with the talent manager. If the talent manager is convinced that the rookie is going to be a star, then she or he can get excited about introducing that rookie to the magazine editor, the TV program producer, and so on and so forth and eventually going gold. On the other hand, if the talent manger is not really convinced enough from the beginning, the game is already over. “No exception,” told Akimoto.
In a somewhat related vein, Joshua of del.icio.us was talking about building evangelism at the future of Web Apps conference*. The user no.1 has to find the system useful (that was Joshua himself). There is not gonna be user no.2, if the user no. 1 gives up and goes away. So Joshua made the system at least useful for him to use when he built it.
You see? The key person is you or more near you.
* of 2005, in London, for which the archive seems to have gone from the site, but I have the MP3 with me so let me know if you’d need it.
Word of mouth might just take care of itself when the product or service is remarkable like YouTube. No adaptation to specific local market needs. The following chart is the comparison of community size for YouTube vs. Google Video inside Mixi.
UPdate: Thanks Ben for pointing me at http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=238
Update: For the record, when Google acquired YouTube, October 11 (Japan time), 2006, its community inside mixi has grown to the 2nd larget community with the membership of 124,679 (at the time of this writing), 736 times bigger than it was 166 days ago (April 29).
Interestingly, it is MIXI CTO http://mixi.jp/show_friend.pl?id=1 and id=2 is its president http://mixi.jp/show_friend.pl?id=2 . Obviously, the Word of Mouth (WOM) spread from these two guys, via invitation after invitation after invitation.
By the way, the face of mySpace Tom immediately becomes your friend upon signing up with mySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tom
While Mixi is by-invitation only and mySpace is free to join, seems the key persons at MIXI and mySpace are equally open and friendly to its members. It is interesting to see how mySpace will tailor its openness and friendliness to Japanese SNS market and generate WOM, when they will enter Japan’s SNS market (via Gen Kanai blog) this fall with the 50:50 partinership with softbank.