Even though I did recently join Facebook, I’m very much of the same opinion as Jason Kottke regarding Facebook vs. the Internet.
As it happens, we already have a platform on which anyone can communicate and collaborate with anyone else, individuals and companies can develop applications which can interoperate with one another through open and freely available tools, protocols, and interfaces. It’s called the internet and it’s more compelling than AOL was in 1994 and Facebook in 2007.
Facebook is the new AOL [kottke.org]
Shin from from the inside, looking in points us to a recent survey by NetRatings Japan which shows that despite growth by Google in Japan, Yahoo! Japan clearly holds the mainstream of the market in Japan. I hope Shin doesn’t mind if I copy his whole post, because it’s succinct and each sentence has critical information about the mainstream of the Japanese Internet.
Netratings have published Japan PV and user numbers for May 2007, and Yahoo! Japan again comes top with 31.8B pageviews/month. Yahoo! Japan has retained the top spot for 85 months, since the first Japanese statistics were compiled in April 2000.
Uniques for Yahoo! Japan have surpassed 40 million for the first time ever, and reach is estimated at a staggering 88%.
y/y growth provides solace for Google, which is up 58% which appears to be poised to rise to #2 web property in Japan imminently. Google is currently behind Rakuten (25.8M users), NTT Communications(24.5M) and Microsoft(24.3M) at 23.8M users, but competitors are showing negligible growth (2~3% y/y) or in the case of Microsoft, a decline (-6%y/y). The domestic total internet user base grew 8% last year, so the #2~4 players’ reach has actually declined. Yahoo! Japan showed 10% growth in y/y user numbers.
Yahoo! Japan’s 31.8B pv/mth figure puts it (just) ahead of the most viewed site in the US, which is the original Yahoo! at 31.6B pv/mth. When you consider that Y! Japan, because of the Japanese language nature draws its user base almost exclusively from the Japanese internet population which is approximately 1/3 that of the US, and Yahoo! US has greater overseas exposure on top of its larger domestic base because its content is in English, the lingua franca of the global internet, the page view numbers are even more impressive.
Yahoo! Japan is now distributing Firefox with the Yahoo! Japan toolbar, (Yahoo! Japan has been distributing Firefox for some time but only recently with their toolbar.) The dominance of Yahoo! Japan in Japan is a great example of how markets in Asia are quite distinct.
Lots of folks have been buzzing about Marc Andreessen, who recently began blogging and has been doing a great job at it. He’s got lots of interesting posts but this piece of advice caught my eye.
Finally, if you are a programmer, I highly encourage you, if you have time, to create or contribute to a meaningful open source project. The open source movement is an amazing opportunity for programmers all over the world to not only build useful software that lots of people can use, but also build their own reputations completely apart from whatever day jobs they happen to have. Being able to email a VC and say, “I’m the creator of open source program X which has 50,000 users worldwide, and I want to tell you about my new startup” is a lot more effective than your normal pitch.
The Pmarca Guide to Startups, part 3: “But I don’t know any VCs!”
Peter Junge has a post on the OSS World Summit 2007 in Guangzhou for ZDNet Asia’s Open Source blog. This post was merely listing who spoke and what they spoke on. I hope Junge has some interesting opinions about the event for his next post.
Back in May, Chris Messina, who used to volunteer with Mozilla, posted a video rant which got a lot of attention. # 3 on the list of constructive criticisms about Mozilla Chris discussed in the video was, “I know something is happening in Japan with Joi Ito… but that’s about all I know about.”
Well, Chris, what is happening in Japan is a vibrant community around Mozilla Japan and Firefox with over 165 attendees for this past Saturday’s Firefox Developers Conference Summer 2007. In fact, I think we can say that we broke a number of records:
We we honored to have presentations from Mark Finkle, Mike Shaver, Justin Scott, Dan Mills and Basil Hashem in addition to presentations from 25 other members of the Mozilla Japan community.
The Japanese press covered conference including the updates to Firefox 3 including Places and the potential for microformats.
There are a number of comments up already in English:
We also have a lot of comments about the event in Japanese including:
As for photos of the event, there is
A number of people have asked about the streaming video and whether it will be published. We’re evaluating this request based on the additional cost (copyrights) and will report back soon.
I’d like to thank everyone who made this event a success: the vibrant Mozilla Japan community who gathered 160+ strong for an all-day affair, the presenters who spent lots of time and energy preparing for their presentations, the conference staff who worked on the network and video capture and streaming, and finally my colleagues at Mozilla Japan who pulled together to produce a great event. Thank you everyone!
Amy Jiangsu, who is promoting Ubuntu in China, has some thoughts on open source software in China that I found to be pretty interesting.
Question: With software piracy rates in China so high and proprietary software being almost free as in beer, do FOSS advocates like yourself have to work harder to persuade users to try Linux than advocates in other countries?
Answer: I don’t like to use the word persuade. It’s true that there is almost no economic incentive for users to opt Linux over Windows on their PCs in China, but let’s face the fact that this option has rarely been an economical decision. Even in developed countries, where people has to pay for proprietary software as enforced by copyright law, how many Linux users have chosen Linux merely because it’s free as in beer ?
Swimming Upstream – Open Source in China
Just a quick note to let everyone know that we’re over 150 attendees signed up for our Firefox Developers Conference 2007, June 16th, 2007 here in rainy Tokyo. We’re almost at capacity and we’re delighted that so many developers and community members will be joining us for a full day of discussions and presentations related to extensions and Firefox.