Google Japan Launches Minna no Business Online, Free Website Hosting For Small-Mid Business

Minna no Business Online (=business for everyone online) is a newly released web hosting service by Google in Japan, today on September 13 2011.

The site is, very different from typical Google web services, not under google domains but have its own jp domain (minbiz.jp), designed with vivid red, like the color which is used by the nation’s largest e-commerce mall Rakuten [J].

Features they post on the top page are:

  • Easy for everyone to build
  • Free for 1 year
  • Specialized designs for many industry categories
  • Your own domain

On your registration, you will be asked a new domain name you want to use, from the selection of “.jp”, “.com”, “.net”, “.org”, “.biz” and “.info”, which covers most top level domains Japanese companies usually choose.

You may choose about 100 different designs from 14 categories of industry. At the end of registration process, you need to receive an automatic phone call to get authenticated (that you are a real shop owner).

Google’s motivations for the service seem on 2 points. Firstly, this service will start charging after 1 year, for example with “.jp” domain, 1,470 yen (US$19) per month. The other part is the site guides the new website owners to its advertising platform, AdWords.

Google’s commercial film is up on YouTube,

“Free website building in 15 minutes”

The partner page shows that Google Japan is collaborating with some others. KDDI, 2nd largest cellphone carrier, and its subsidiary KDDI Communications who has been running website builder/hosting Jimdo in Japan. Actually, design choosing form on the Minbiz’s registration process is on Jimdo site.

Extra-governmental Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation and NPO IT Coordinators Association [J] are also on the partners list.

The first case studies are introduced on the site. There Google took a small island Kouzusima, and let some small business owners make their first websites.

via Google Japan Blog

Japanese Government Opens Hatomimi.com For Informants

hatomimi-com-logo1

Japanese Governmental Gyosei Sasshin Kaigi(Regeneration of Administration Committee) [J] announced that they open “Hatomimi.com (or .jp)” from December 2nd for government workers, and in January 2010 for citizens, to receive opinions/requests/suggestions for cutting waste, absurdity, injustice and unfairness in government offices, to realize more efficient government operations. You may send information not only on the website but also by snail mail.

“Hatomimi” part of the Hatomimi.com is written in hiragana (Japanese alphabet). Although the document says “Hatomimi.com (or .jp)”. As it is still “domestic staffs” only, they do not need the site opened, however, all of Hatomimi.com and Hatomimi.jp domains (both in Japanese hiragana domain* and in romanized letters) seem to be squatted by others already.

I am unsure if this really can be a social driven improvement of transparency and disclosure in government, or leads a police state such like Soviet Russia (or name your favourite totalitarian regime) at worst. One sure thing is that no one involved do not understand the internet and domain system, with ordering logos having Yukio Hatoyama, the prime minister’s illustration.

hatomimi-com-logo

If they have to purchase the domain from squatter, that must be the first waste to be concerned.

(*) Second level domains are available in Japanese letters, though they are very unpopular. Japanese top level domain(TLD) will be coming with other non-English TLDs soon, which I am sceptical its usefulness.

[Update 2010-01-27] It has been launched.

See Also:

Hatomimi.com release [J, pdf, only readable by Internet Explorer]

Yomiuri [J]

Mainichi [J]