Softbank Mobile 学割 student discount offers at 0 yen base charge

softbank mobile finally started offering student discount at zero yen for base charge with tiered pricing for packet usage (quite low compard with otherwise).

tiered pricing for packet usage

Quite an audacious move. They are achieving No.1 position net increase over the past 9 months in a row, ahead of docomo and au. I myself experienced the similar kind of dynamism of pricing when i was a pricing manager at one air express company in Japan. The pressure is there essentially when you already have a certain amount of revenue, just like docomo or au, accumulated over the long period of time, It’s just damn hard to compete on price, for especially the top management just can’t make a decision on revenue dilution.

softbank+mobile, white+gakuwari

It also adds a good customer segmentation scheme just by pricing.
people looking at softbank mobile phones with new

wifi in the lobby (or, no one but me is wifiing around here.)

Thanks for NTT docomo mzone so comfortable here. it only costs 350 yen or usd 3 or so a month if you have subscription with docomo mobile. extremely cheap compared to US counterparts – what is it ? T-zone 30 dollars a month?

You’d definitely need shozu which is very powerful in the wifi smartphone environment, would allow you to upload direct from mini sd card which is otherwise impossible without shozu.

BTW, Japan is a wifi paradise, in my opinion, thanks to Son san of softbank who has implemented whatever he believes.

The thing is it is not FON, docomo mzone, softbank mobile, google even, or any other wifi player that has extremely low awareness among conventional people. It is simply WIFI that’s not known until this day to the general public. Docomo mzone, softbank mobille, fon, google even and all the wifi providers should promote WIFI together to increase the awareness and to achieve the critical mass. Or,they all gonna fail.

wifi in the lobby, originally uploaded by kenjimori.

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.

Find folks via gmail being disabled, tentatively or what?

I have found “find folks via gmail” feature in twitter, linkedin, facebook, and plaxo quite powerful and, as Fred Wilson described, inherent in social networking.  To me, the situation is, in a way, the gmail database being utilized (exploited?)by other platforms especially facebook, which is a threat and do not nesecacrily benefit to Google.

Yet it is a trurism that gmail in particular and email address in general is the engine of social networking platform. It might not be a win-win situation for Google and other platforms.

A few days ago, I just realized this feature is disabled in all the platforms I use and, according to twitter, due to a change in gmail contact system.


The definition of “new” (now) is being changed by twitter

With increased update cycle, blog posts once changed the definition of “new”(or “now”) that we had used to with the traditional media, broadcast or print. I think now is the time to re-define “new” (or “now”) again with twitter, which allows only 140 characters per twit(ter)  but with an amazingly higher update cycle than any other existing publishing tool. Wonder if Google or Technorati is going to capture this whole data set (say, every 5 minutes? And wonder if it is any meaningful at all?).

Being spontaneous, I bet, the quality of each twit(ter)  is so low. Yet I think we should embrace that spontaneity at the cost of quality, just like we did so with blog posts to traditional media. Besides, I have the feeling we have so many blogs posts that are essentially redundant including mine; we should often be able to boil down what we are going to blog post to a twit(ter) of less than 140 characters.

Obviously it is about the trade-off between Spontaneity and Time-To-Edit (hence, Cost of editorial).


definition of

Amazingly enough I searched “twitter search” and found, among many, this thing called twittersearch. WOW, Really amazing!

Update: Incidentally, thanks asyuu for pointing me at mybloglog blog; mybloglog is now being integrated with twitter account but so far I can not figure out how. I did myself somewhat similar a couple days ago instead by placing my mybloglog URL in twitter homepage section and my twitter URL in mybloglog homepage section in the hope of visitors being cross-referenced.

Update2: Just found the blog post by Andrew Parker where he believes many blog posts can be a twitter post less than 140 characters. I totally agree.

Google Japan offers mobile gmail

Here is annoucement from Google Japan in Japanese, I could not figure out that when I first read this.

But, according to Markezine (in Japanese), Google Japan now offers mobile Gmail; namely, Docomo, AU, and Softbank. Yes, Softbank, which is strongly affiliated with Yahoo Japan. I used to be afraid Google might be more integrated with AU; but glad to see they include docomo and rival softbank, even.

1. Get access to the Internet, in my (daughter’s) case, via docomo

(BTW, myself now use softbank, my wife and daughter are super loyal docomo users. I coundn’t convince them.)

2. Go to then it will bring you to the login screen.
login mobile gmail jp

3. After login, the list of incoming emails.

mobile gmail japan jp looks

GooTubeに対抗する連合結成-TechcrunchがScoop (in Ja)

As I was gonna go to bed in 2 a.m in Tokyo, this news just caught my eyes and I couldn’t help briefly translating the original techcrunch post.

Here it goes in ja:

Google YouTubeに対抗するオンラインビデオ共有サービスが、ジョイントベンチャーという形態で今年の夏に始動する模様です。これはまだ未発表なんだけれども、TechCrunchのスクープです。ジョイントベンチャーに顔を並べたのは米既存メディアの大手で、確認されただけでも、MySpaceを有するNewsCorpとNBC/Universal. 先日GooTubeを訴えたViacomが参画してるかどうかは不明。また、コンテンツの流通(検索および紹介、リンクで)は、AOL, MySpace, MSN,そして Yahooが提携すると。Google GooTube包囲網といってもいい。単純に規模でいえば相当のものになる。


Techcrunch 日本版