Yahoo! Japan To Close Yahoo! Kukuru, Naver Matome Rip-off

Yahoo! Japan, the largest website in the country, who holds a lot of successful sub-services under its brand, announced today the termination of their Yahoo! Kururu, user-generated summary site.

The service launched September 2011, is often called as “Yahoo!’s Naver Matome”, as the service seemed quite similar to the already-successful info-aggregation site Naver Matome. The word “kukuru” means “to bundle” or “to categorize” in Japanese, which might be chosen to avoid using “matome”(to summalize), whilst another challenger, Japanese net-savvy’ friend Hatena made Hatena Matome.

In October 2011, Yahoo! pushed Yahoo! Kururu items on its search results page, which is used more than Google Search. However, it did not really take off. See Google Trends for Websites. It was too late for Yahoo! to notice Naver Japan’s success.

Last month, Yahoo! Japan started providing ads on Naver Matome as an ad network.

Although the notification box on the site says, “Thank you for your long-term support” cliche, it will be run only 10 months. There was a replacement of executive team in March, which may affect this short-term shutdown.

Drecom To Quit Job Board Service

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Drecom, once was a college-venture star IPO-ed, recently financially helped by Rakuten, announced that they would shut down their job board service “Drecom Job Board” at the end of August, 2009.

Job Board services is not greatly doing in Japanese web, as the top player is going to stop it. Some popular IT bloggers such like 100shiki [J] and Moongift [J] have their own, but seems not big. Joblet by ThePlant, which is bilingual and handles more foreign and foreign-related companies may be an alternative choice, but the concept of “job board” itself seems not so widely known to Japanese.

People seems to prefer agent service both on the web and off-line. I must point out that there are also no counterpart of Craigslist in Japan.

I guess this is because Japanese people culturally tend to avoid negotiation and confrontation between individual-to-individual/company. This will and should be gradually changing to the direction of the world average, but it might take time.

via Drk7jp [J]

CyWorld Pulls Out From Japan

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CyWorld Japan [J], a Japanese localized version of the most successful social networking service in Korea, CyWorld, announced its withdrawal from Japan in August 2009 [J].

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According to the announcement, the direct cause of this shut-down is the operation failure of periodical site maintenance on May 26th. It is explained that the unstable errors after the maintenance is not recoverable until the close. Honest explanation also says that the maintenance was a part of preparation for the site close, so anyway shut-down was inevitable.

Announcement also tells that you can register to the original Korean CyWorld as a foreigner. But it requires you to send a copy of passport or driver’s license to their head office in Korea. CyWorld Japan was localized to accept anonymity for Japanese net users who prefer being anonymous, whilst the original Korean one is strictly keeping real name registration.

This is a symbolic news which shows how social network is difficult to deploy into other language, even by the very successful and strong player.

The news is a kind of ominousness to other imported social networks such like MySpace Japan, Facebook, both of which are not so successful as in their originated country. Also for being exported successful Japanese social networks like Mobage-town in USA and Mixi China.

Web Chat Service Lingr Shutting Down

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A web based chat service Lingr announced its closing down at the end of May 2009.

We’re sad to announce that Lingr will be shutting down on May 31, 2009.

It’s been great pleasure that so many wonderful people have joined and gotten to know each other here at Lingr. We want to give our wholehearted thanks to everyone who gave us compliments, suggestions, and criticism- Lingr couldn’t have existed without your feedback.

Lingr Blog: Announcing Goodbye from Lingr

Lingr was developed and run by Infoteria USA, San Mateo based American company, which is a subsidiary of Inforteria Corporation, Tokyo Japan.

Making a real time web chat system over web/http protocol is not as easy as you might expect, especially if you want it to be scaled out. Lingr used latest technologies and software such like COMET, Ruby on Rails, Jetty, etc. for it.

Infoteria, a young enterprise software company specialized in XML based data handling system, is on Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers [Code 3853] since 2007. Infoteria USA is planned to be closed around June.

Kentaro Ejima, who is well known by his successful career as a star engineer of Inforteria, describing himself as a Philosopher, is also a very influential blogger , has been leading the project by moving himself from Tokyo to USA. He has been writing about this challenge on his blog and many Japanese web entrepreneurs and engineers hoped his success in US/English market will be the best practice for Japanese web startup and person going oversea.

On his popular blog [J], Ejima looks back his 4 year struggling in US company, with retrospective assessment including that HR cost was almost doubled in compare with Japan.

Luckily for he himself, he has just got a green card recently, and he tells he stays in USA to do another project, which maybe around iPhone. I wish his every success in his new challenge.

See Also:

Announcement of the service end of Lingr and Rejaw / Kenn’s Clairvoyance – CNET Japan [J]

Another bay area resident Japanese Hacker Tatsuhiko Miyagawa made a long interview with Kentaro Ejima / Gihyo.jp [J]

Kentaro Ejima(江島健太郎) search on Google [J]