Future Culture

Futurist Writer Lei Kalina writes her tongue-in-cheek musings and ramblings on the growing worldwide phenomenon of the growth of the Future Culture in the 21st Century

Future Culture In The 21st Century

Future Culture In the 21st Century

Futures Studies, Foresight, or Futurology , according to Wikipedia, is the science, art and practice of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the worldviews and myths that underlie them. Futures studies (colloquially called "Futures" by many of the field's practitioners) seeks to understand what is likely to continue, what is likely to change, and what is novel. Part of the discipline thus seeks a systematic and pattern-based understanding of past and present, and to determine the likelihood of future events and trends. Futures is an interdisciplinary field, studying yesterday's and today's changes, and aggregating and analyzing both lay and professional strategies, and opinions with respect to tomorrow.

Monday, July 21, 2008

If You’re A Japayuki, Chances Are You’re Into “Mixi”


I would wince every so often as I watch my handsome-and-charming thirteener Krishna pound away on the computer keyboard --- hurling here and there his potshots at his friends’ Friendster profiles, throwing cajoling pokes and jokes left and right at his peers on his Friendster network, and seemingly unstoppable until the late hours of the night just to make his online presence heavier everyday on the Friendster network.

Friendster is definitely such a whopping slambang hit with the younger set in the Philippines , check out the statistics: 14 million ( and counting ) key-tapping Filipino netizens to date, with a whopping 10.7 million users hooked on Friendster --- some 76% of total Internet-savvy Pinoys with females comprising 55% and males at 45%.

The site, says reports, has 58 Million registered users world-wide to date, with approximately 8.6 million visits from the Philippines as opposed to 570,000 to MySpace and 490,000 to Facebook.

But over at Japan, it’s a completely different social networking world --- as Friendster moves over to make way for Mixi --- metamorphosing from completely unheard of into a surprisingly popular local phenomenon. Check out Techcrunch’s report : “Drawing in one-in-five web users in the country, Mixi now boasts over 15 million members. The site ranks sixth on Alexa Japan and racks up over 14 billion page views monthly. Google Trends for Websites shows the Japan-focused service attracts more visitors than Bebo on a worldwide basis --about 2.3 million daily.

Cyberculture analysts smirk and roll their eyes at Mixi’s rather “scarce functionalities” --- such as impossibilities in changing layouts, designs , profile look , and only available in the Jap language , login users should use only Jap mobile mail address to register , and new members can only join if invited by a current user. You bet: strict and yeah, super-stiff rules ( restricted membership only for those over 18 years old).

And more eyebrow-raising facts: Mixi’s Jap population are largely the blogging types --- pouring their heart and soul into blogging in their profiles like some grand online diary for the blogging users, as the site also offers more than 2.5 million user-generated bulletin boards. And if you’re dreaming to add applications to your profile , like Amazing Slideshows, Tyra Banks videos, YouTube fave shots, or Imeem music --- forget it, and just keep on dreaming. Mixi won’t hear any of it --- as the site doesn’t allow external applications.

Funny part: “Mixi abides by the preference of Japanese people to generally stay totally anonymous online. The number of members using real names and photos is below 5%. Very important for Japanese users: The so-called ashi ato (footprint) function makes it possible to retrace every visitor on profile pages, improving the feeling of personal security.”

But raise your eyebrows no more: Mixi’s service stands out among the social networking sites, as it shot up with its robust revenues. As the world’s first Web 2.0 company, Mixi went IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in September 2006. Market capitalization currently stands at $970 million, bringing the company close to LinkedIn’s $1 billion value.

Mixi Inc.’s Find Job! , mainly for IT-related job openings. contributed a whopping $11.6 million in sales, and a quantum leap ballooning from $36.5 million to $82.4 million on a year on year basis, as company net profits shot up from 79.9% to $19 million in the same time frame.

After four years in business, cyberculture analysts nod their heads in unison , labeling the site as a “quasi-monopolist” : “based on a horizontally and (to a lower level) vertically diversified business model.”

“MySpace (Alexa Japan’s No. 81) and Facebook (not in the Top 100) are trailing in Mixi’s home market, even though they established translated – yet not localized – versions in November 2006 and May 2008, respectively. On the other hand, Mixi’s price for success is that it’s Japan-focused approach to design and funcionality renders scaling on an international level next to impossible. The company recently expanded to neighboring China but in its current form, Mixi might be better off continuing to skim the Japanese market.”

Way to go for Japan’s Mixi, and the revenues are just going up, up and up.

No comments: