Shoko Nakagawa (aka Shokotan), one of the most successful Japanese celebrity bloggers, finally started Twitter (@shokonakagawa) on February 24th with a tweet “I begin to chirp…” [J].
This could have been a milestone for Japanese Twitter to show the centre of the celebrity blogging moving from regular blog to microblog. However, after posting 15 tweets sparsely in 2 months, she posted that she “gave up doing both blog and Twitter” [J].
Her blogging style, which make her very unique among celebrities her early days to become popular, is to post a lot of one line entries and/or photos taken by her cellphone, sometimes makes 50 posts per day. You may see those numbers on the left sidebar’s monthly archives. Her style made a lot of followers of Japanese celebrity bloggers.
In the end, what she did on blog platforms (she has been switched her blog hosting twice) is “microblogging on blog”, and if so, she could not find any advantage on Twitter, which does not have built-in photo upload/show features and the Japanese cellphone version of which has room to be improved.
CyberAgent‘s Ameba blog, which holds over thousand celebrity bloggers including Shokotan, has been running its own Twitter clone Ameba Now, to hope to keep their bloggers within the Ameba sites. And this incident may be a hint that they can lean on and extend their clone, as Twitter will not be able to enhance its functionalities only for Japanese celebrity market.
Ameba Blog[J] a.k.a. Ameblo, which is well-known for marking the highest number of serving celebrities’ blogs among Japanese blog platforms, announced that some 450 passwords that allow participating celebrities to update their blogs have been stolen and leaked out. No suspect has been confirmed so far.
On January 1st, an image of a Japanese-style envelope for presenting new year’s gift was appeared on some celebrities’ blogs which are being operated on the platform. By clicking on it, anyone was allowed to obtain an excel file containing more than 450 passwords that enable role full access to the celebrities’ blogs.
Ameblo’s owner Cyber Agent made an announcement on their website as follows:
We formed the emergency task force to deal with this case and changed the passwords that have been leaked out by noon of the New Year’s Day. We also reported the case to police and keep working on finding how it has happened.
The news has caught the attention of not only Japanese bloggers but also Korean bloggers who have seen many showbiz scandals that the blogosphere has affected. Korean A-list blogger Lonely Han-byul(고독한별) says on his blog[K] that there’s no national border on the personal information leak issues.
Shoko Nakagawa, aka Shokotan, announced [J] her blog moving to Ameblo [J], CyberAgent blog hosting who boasts over 1,400 celebrity bloggers.
Shokotan’s blog originally began in 2003 at Yaplog, a free blog hosting service popular to girls by cute design selections, when she was just one of them.
After getting popularity by her aggressive frequent posts with photo around 30-50 per days and called “a new blog queen” after Kaori Manabe and blog-retired Chinatsu Wakatsuki, in February 2008, she (by rumour was ordered by agency and reluctantly) moved to another free hosting, Excite Blog with her 10 billion page views. On Excite Blog, paid premium service were introduced. Excite PR denied financial transaction with the talent agency for the move.
This time, according to her staff’s explanation [J], this movement to Ameblo is mainly by Excite stopping its fan-club service which Shokotan had been using, and they are seeking to utilize Ameblo and CyberAgent’s community services such like Pigu.
Takafumi Horie, aka Horiemon, who founded livedoor, one of the Japanese major web companies, who was arrested by securities fraud in 2006, began twitter and quickly getting thousands of followers in hours today.
His first post [J] was “I started twitter. I’m thinking what to eat for lunch”. Later he reported he had eaten squid ink pasta and soup.
After his original popular CEO blog on livedoor was shut down after the incident, he left the livedoor board but still keeps 17.25% stocks. He started another blog [J] in August 2008 on Ameblo [J], which is operated by CyberAgent which CEO is his close ally Susumu Fujita [J].
After 10 tweets and 4,382 followers at this point, he only follows only one, another successful web entrepreneur friend Masatoshi Kumagai [J], CEO of GMO Internet [J].
As Japanese twitter has not growing as fast as English one, and unlike English, celebrities are already active on (regular) blogs and have not come into twitter world much, 4,000 followers in hours is pretty fast. That shows many web users are highly interested in Horie’s words, thoughts and activities.
BBC NEWS | Business | Japanese tycoon guilty of fraud
Takafumi Horie | Japan — Business People Technology | www.japaninc.com
Japan’s largest social network Mixi started a specialized user accounts limited for TV-talents/musicians on July 28th 2008.
Mixi has a system limitation on your number of friends “Mai Miku”(My Mixi), 1,000 friends at most, however, with this “official account”, which Mixi ascertains the account is owned by the celebrity herself/himself/themselves (=not fake), that celebrity account can be connected with unlimited number of followers=fans. The account also comes with auto-following-back feature so any fan will be added as a friend with the celebrity with it.
The list of the celebrities has now 12 persons/groups. It is interesting that three of them are American, Japanese-American and Japanese-Indonesian, which foreigners rate is higher than average I think, might be affected that those people already know music promotion have been successful in oversea social networking service, means MySpace.
I think this move is also to chase Cyber Agent/Ameblo’s success (at least on page views) with their celebrities weblog.
Mixi’s Release [J]