Kotaku Opens Japanese Version Of Its Game Blog

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American Popular Game blog Kotaku licensed its brand and contents to a Japanese company Mediagene, after their first localized blog in Australia to open a new blog media [J] in, one of the most important countries for game industry and market, Japan.

kotaku-japan-screenshot

Mediagene already has been running two Japanese version of popular English blogs provided by Gawker Media, Gizmodo Japan [J] and Lifehacker [Japanese version] [J].

Kotaku Japan introduces its 12 staff of editors, translators, column writers, manga drawer, etc [J].

Kotaku Japan’s direct competitor may be 4Gamer.net [J], which is not blog-originated but a successful online media around game information in Japan. On their media sheet they say 4Gamer.net’s page views is 40 million per month. The border between blog-based and non-blog-based professional media is not clear now.

hat tip to Kirikomi-Taicho

NicoNico Douga-like Twitter Widget NiTwPress

NiTwPress, NicoNico Douga flavoured Twitter client widget for WordPress, is made and released by (self-claimed) 17 years old girl sakuratan (Sakura Yamamoto) [J].

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Different from twitter’s official blog widget, this widget display your tweets in flowing overlay texts, like Japanese favourite online video site NicoNico Douga.

There are many mashup services/tools which take this style of visualization in Japanese, showing people’s favour to NicoNico Douga and its style.

The widget is internationalized and works well in English, available on WordPress plugin site. If you show your tweets on your blog in Japanese favourite style, this is the one.

Agile Media Network raises $1M

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Agile Media Network raised a $1M investment from Ant Capital Partners on March 31st. They use the investment to develop new software systems.

Agile Media Network is a Japanese ad-network / blog marketing company for blogs and social media which was established in February 2007. They sell ads of many Japanese top blogs such as Netafull.

They expect first monthly profit in March 2009.

Disclosure: Motohiko Tokuriki, CEO of Agile Media Network, is an advisor of Asiajin.

via Venture View [JP]

Paperboy & co. goes public

18th November 2008, Japanese web hosting company Paperboy (J) (JASDAQ:3633) announced that the company will be listed to JASDAQ stock market on December 19th. Paperboy runs services like Lolipop (J), Heteml (J), and Jugem (J). Kazuma Ieiri started the business in October 2001 in Fukuoka. Paperboy is providing hosting services for consumers with very low prices.

Web hosting service ‘Lolipop’ offers a web space for 263yen ($2.6) per month. Domain name reseller ‘muumuu domain‘ (J) is providing dotcom domain with 950yen ($9.5) per year. Paperboy is a subsidiary of a global registrar GMO Internet.

In March 2005, Paperboy raised 128 million yen (1.28 million USD) from GMO Internet group with a 597 million yen (6 million USD) post-money valuation. GMO Internet group is one of the biggest Japanese Internet companies. In 2006, Ieiri sold 10% of Paperboy stocks to the GMO group.

Paperboy reported a revenue of 1.7 billion yen (17 million USD) for a FY2008. Its post-tax profit was 200 million yen (2 million USD). [1]

GMO Internet is the biggest shareholder of Paperboy, and has 59.6% of its shares. Ieiri has 38.4% share of Paperboy.

Kazuma Ieiri is known as a very funny person who is doing many funny projects. He released some web gadgets, including a Flash gadget which introduces items from his shopping site by a computer generated voice. Also Paperboy is operating a cafe called HI SCORE Kitchen (J) in Shibuya.

[1] FY2008 pre-tax profit was 356 million yen (3.56 million USD).

See also:
* A prospectus (J) (PDF)
* Kazuma Ieiri’s blog (J)

The First WordCamp in Japan: WordCamp Tokyo 2008

We Asiajin weblog is built on WordPress, open source blog system on PHP/MySQL. Today I attended the WordPress event WordCamp Tokyo 2008, the first ever WordCamp held in Japan.

On a half day conference at Digital Hollywood Shibuya, to over 60 attendees 10 speakers made development/customization presentations,

  • WordPress history
  • case study in high school
  • useful Firefox functions/add-ons for WordPress blogging
  • Lightbulb moments with WordPress
  • CSS based customizable theme Sandbox
  • Contact Form 7 plugin author’s talk (Asiajin uses this plugin and I recommend it to anyone needs decent multi-byte compliant/internationalized contact form)
  • script manipulation of WordPress articles by XML-RPC
  • Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 with WordPress
  • WordPress plugin Ktai Style for Japanese cellphones (a lot of knowledge about how to make cellphone pages for Japanese are inside)
  • Plugin internationalization how to

Michael Pick from Automattic came from Sapporo to talk about Automattic and WordPress relation, current statistics of users and developers, good customization samples, etc.

I was not aware that Automattic has their people in Japan. I talked with Michael and became to know that Automattic staffs are working remotely from all over the world, which is cool.

Unlikely US market, In Japan Automattic(WordPress) and Six Apart(Movable Type/LiveJournal/Vox)’s rivalry is not a balanced match.

Historically, early stage weblog enthusiasts did great localization jobs on Movable Type (also supported by good business decisions). Although there had been many other competitors blog systems both imported and domestic, Movable Type became synonymous with blog application in Japan.

Many of blog hosting portals use TypePad (e.g. Nifty Cocolog, NTT-Com), Six Apart earns much from Japanese customers so their Japanese subsidiary holds many staffs including development teams in Tokyo.

So I can say that the most blogging country in the world is heavily produced by Six Apart products. WordPress is also well localized to Japanese now and gaining popularity, but not strong as them. Probably that is the reason the first WordCamp Tokyo took time in comparison with other big cities in the world.

There are many blog reports in Japanese by presenters and attendees. If you want to check them, links are available on my other blog here.

See Also:

WordCamp Tokyo 2008 | blog.detlog.org