The art of messaging

Sending email to your friend is to force the recipient to read the message. It works as long as there’s a trust friendship between sender and receiver, though I’d admit that not all such messages are comfortable in my experiences.

Likewise, posting a new journal post and letting your buddy know that I have posted something is to force your buddy to read that particular post, though the degree of expectation is now less. That is, sender now expects receiver to read the message to a lessor degree at SNS journal posting environment like MIXI than it is with email environment (as a receiver, when you’d ignore or forget to read that message, it is OK). It is really up to recipient whether or not to read that message. But there is still some degrees of expectation remain. I can know when you read that message, when I know that you read that message I get happy. Even more happier, when I got comment.

In Twitter/tumblr, that expectation is now shifted one step further. you don’t know whether or not the recipient read that message and hence you don’t even bother if they read it. That is the art of messaging in twitter/tumblr, where, by default, they don’t even have the comment function.

I forgot to add blogging but it should be positioned somewhere in between twitter/tumber and SNS journal.

Open is the new proprietary

In the “Open is the new proprietary” world, the winners like Google try to be open and the losers like docomo try to be proprietary in the same exact deal.  The important lessen to be learned here is that it’s “open is the proprietary” but not that “the proprietary is proprietary.”  The proprietary is dead.

Notice from Mixi (or, “How do we know we know each other?”)





Mixi says that my invitation function is currently disabled, notifying that they ban the act of inviting, in public, someone I don’t “know” such as in the bulletin board. In my previous post (a blog, that is), I showed how to set up a mixi account in a tutorial style but I didn’t say that I will send an invitation, even though many have asked me to do so.

I think It is at best ambiguous as to if I am the one who invited the person that I don’t know; and without defining the act of “knowing” means in this context (menshiki no nai or 面識のない in Japanese again still ambiguous even in its original language.) All I can say is many if not most online friends (i dare call so) are those I haven’t met in person. Especially in an ‘open is the new proprietary’ world, I think mixi should be more clear on this.

Update: I think the real question that MIXI should ask is how do we know we know each other? I bet a substantial portion of maimiku (buddy or friend by invitation or by authorization) don’t, in fact, know each other; yet, the meaning of “know” might vary among the users of that particular term.

Update2: I learned mixi joined openID project with a bunch of other prestigious internet players in Japan.  But not sure how they will solve the problem like this.

The use of premium pricing at Mixi

As I updated in another post, MIXI now requries the mobile phone email validated before signing up for the new account, which in effect means the new user must be a mobile phone holder possibly residing in Japan. On one hand, it is a good idea to use mobile phone registration as a key to personal identification. On the other hand, by refraining the new users from sigining up from abroad, it dismisses the potential of the Internet, it would halt the international growth. What has made me so sick about this treatment is that they still allow “abroad” to be chosen in the list of address check box at the sign up. (How can one residing overseas possibly obtain the mobile phone email address from Japanese mobile phone carrriers? Note: Docomo told me that foreigners need alian registration to have docomo mobile phone.)

Anyway, one of my mymixi or maimiku in Japanese (mixi buddy, that is) has a good idea (the link to my diary inside mixi, the registration/invitation required). Those new users who can not afford to have mobile phone email address largely becuase they reside outside Japan, instead, can apply for the premium service, where credit card information can be used as identification. As Fred Wilson once declared, I think the premium pricing is at the heart of successful social media services.

Not sure how much users be converted to the premium at Mixi now, but I think Mixi should learn to use its premum pricing more wisely.

おつかれさまでした (Congratulations)

fon night


おつかれさまでした。(English: Congratulations! Though I was not really listening to the presentation since the place was so crowded, I suppose what he talked about was more or less the same with the press release made during the day time on the same 12/4.)

Here is from netafull, YouTube.

Best wishes,

Update: “FON” is ranked second as the popular keywords now (as of 11:16, 2006/12/05)
It moved up to the top as of 10:00am, 12/06, Japan time.


Also the Blog TV video featuring Chigahara san of FON Japan, (in Japanese) aired the last Friday on Tokyo MX TV. (via blog tv official site)

MONTHS LATER: PODCAST cliraji featuring Chigahara san and Mashima san.

UPDATE: Fon community at mixi ミクシィのFONのコミュニティです  now reached 567 over the ten days, almost 4x of what it had prior to the launching campaign. キャンペーン開始前の約4倍、2006年年末時点でメンバーが750名を超えました。

Graph evolution of community at Mixi for FON, Mylo, and X01HT, updated 2007/01/21

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See the spike right after the La Fonera free sampling campaign Dec 5-Dec 9

FON Japan, La Fonera to sell online JPY 0 yen, starting Dec 5, 5 Days campaign

Update: It seems you’d need to register for La Fonera and log in at and follow the “Japanese (日本語)” link to access that content.

fonjpshop zero yen campain five days dec 5

FON Japan has is openning up its online shop and starteding “zero” yen campaign of La Fonera ( starting Today from Dec 5 until Dec 9. (It is actually more than five days?) It is real 0 yen, except for delivery cost. Anyway, conglatulations! here is fon community I host inside mixi ミクシィのFONコミュ.
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More on FON la fonera launch party.

how the word-of-mouth catches up

Obviously Softbank mobile X01 HT is backed up by mass advertising (I mean, indirectly), while mylo and fon not backed up by mass advertising. H01 curve is steep, others’ more slow and gradual in mixi community size comparison. But hey they all surely catch up.

UPDATE: According to, “X01HT” is ranked as 3rd popular word, indicating the phenomena. I am also glad to know now has favorite tab, which has only been avalable in (English).

UPDATE: FON increased significantly from 132 to 429 after the launching campaign on Dec 5, accompanied by La fonera giveaway for 5 days, Fon Night event in metropolitan Tokyo. It was covered by major media such as CNET Japan, IT Media (Online), World Business Satellite (News program, on channel 12, Network TV), Newspapers (which I haven’t confirmed the detail though).


Graph updates here at flickr.

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FON map for Japan

Tatsuya at FON community inside mixi nicely developed the FON map for Japan (in Japanese) because the official one seems to contain inaccurate information. At the timing of this writing, there are only two access points declared here; yet I am sure a lot of others will join when FON will launch FON-ready router in Japan, which I have been waiting for such a long time.

Take a look at FON community at MIXI コミュを覗いてみる

Netvibes meets mixi


Netvibes meets mixi, originally uploaded by Daioh.

I happened to notice this photo in the flickr. Suppose this is the reflection of the recent upgrade by netvibes. Anyway, I think Im gonna try this out.

Mixi going public in September

Here’s Fukumimi report (via gen kanai). CNET Japan (in Japanese).

Update: According to Nikkei, its valuation based on bookbuilding method is said to be about $ 1.09 billion (let dollar =100 yen for convenience). If we devide it by the number of “friends” (members, I mean), we get $ 218 per friend which in a way represents the value of the company.

As Fukumimi notes that the valuation is crazy, the cost per friend at $218 might be too high, when compared to the case of MySpace deal, to the estimated acquisition cost per friend at $29 ($ 580 m/29 million friends, per Fukumimi) or $5-6 per friend (the same MySpace case, with a bit different approach, $ 580 /100 million friends, per Donna Bogatin who used the number of “friends” of the subsequent year as a denominator via Scott Karp, via Jeff Jarvis).

*MySpace at wikipedia.

While we really don’t know the fair price of aquiring a non-paying customer on the so-called Social Network Services (SNS), MIXI IPO will provide a bases for for the better valuation of it, as both MySpace and YouTube will be valued far more than MIXI in case they’d go public.

Update2: Here is what is called mokuromi-sho (looks like a business plan, 129 pages in total) in pdf in Japanese I’ve found e-trade securities site ( This states the advertising revenue in the seventh period ending March, 2006, was JPY 640,837,000 when its membership reached about 3 million. If I’d use the quick and dirty analysis that Donna Bogatin employed (again, let 100 yen = dollar).

Revenue per “friend”: (1) $2.14 (when divided by 3m)

(2) $1.28 (when divided by 5m)

Cost per “friend”: (1) $363 (when divided by 3m)

(2) $218 (when divided by 5m)

To me it seems out of question. In the field of direct marketing where I live, we often use what is called media ratio (in Japanese, many people call it メディアレーション ? or media rehshon), which is simply [product revenue]/[media cost], the measure of evaluating the direct response media. In my personal opinion,

a) “Excellent” when it is >1.0

b) “Pretty good” when it is in the range of 0.5 -1.0

c) There is still a “hope” when 0.1-0.5

Again, out of question, otherwise.

Oh I was ignoring the revenue from job matching advertising business. If we add part on the revenue side, the revenue becomes JPY 1,893,452,000 (USD 18,934,520 at JPY 100/USD). The revenue per friend now becomes:

Revenue per “friend”: (1) $6.3 (when divided by 3m)

(2) $3.8 (when divided by 5m)

Dividing each by respective cost per friend of $363 and $ 218 gives the media ratios:

(1) 0.03

(2) 0.01