Presentation for the JEMA New Media Bazaar
February 18, 2008
I have received numerous requests for an invitation to join mixi, so I will update an older post, and provide some new information.
The bad news is that it appears that few people living overseas have been able to join mixi. For whatever reason mixi has made it extremely difficult to join unless you live in Japan, and have a Japanese cell phone account. I will still be happy to send an invitation to readers who request it though, so if you want to try, feel free to ask.
Anyone who has tips on how readers who live outside of Japan can successfully join mixi, please let everyone know by posting a comment.
What is mixi?
mixi (pronounced MI-KU-SHII) is Japan’s largest SNS (Social Networking Site). According to Rueters, "mixi is Japan's second most visited Web site after Yahoo Japan's portal site. It has 13 million users, or around 10 percent of the population, and gets 11.8 billion page visits a month."
- Invitation only -- better security than myspace and similar sites
- Blog type diaries -- you can choose the option of only allowing your circle of friends to see your posts
- Communities -- a huge number of them, formed by users they can be “open” or by invitation only.
- Event promotion -– invite friends to an event, they can RSVP, and post comments
- Media -- users can post photos, videos, and links to other sites
- Large numbers of Japanese youth (around 70% of them) are using mixi.
- It is a "place" where Japanese youth are “hanging out” -- if you want to “connect” with youth in Japan, this is one way to do it.
- To form new groups (Communities).
- Improve communication with an established group, i.e. a Bible Study.
- Event planning and promotion.
- Keep in touch with individuals you work with, see what they are doing, thinking about, what they are eating… (several of my mixi friends habitually post photos of food they are about to eat).
- Establish and strengthen relationships.
- Media is important, many youth are not responding well to a text-based approach.
- It is virtually free of charge – why print and distribute thousands of expensive flyers that get little response, when you can use mixi?
- Read this site: How to use mixi Guide (in English)
- Mixi is a Japanese site; there is virtually no English.
- Use “rikaichan” an easy to use, effective, AND free dictionary/kanji reading tool “plug in” for Firefox. Download HERE
- If you live in Japan, a cell phone eMail address is required
- Outside of Japan you are reportedly not supposed to need a cell phone eMail address, but several readers report being asked for one.
- For an invitation to join, post a comment on this blog and ask for one (you will need to include your contact information, which we will not post to the public) OR ask a young Japanese person who you know for an invite -- they are probably using mixi
The Millennium Matrix by Rex Miller. This book takes a broad look at the influence of media on how we think and act and examines the monumental changes that we are now experiencing in the “digital era.”
“Train Man” -- Densha Otoko ( 電車男, Densha Otok ) is a popular movie/manga/drama and book that depicts what is said to be the true story of an intensely shy young “geek” who falls in love with a woman he meets on a train. This is relevant because the geek’s friends are ALL unseen users of a SNS. These online friends support, encourage, and give advice entirely via text messages. The theater version of this story (available in DVD rental stores in Japan) is an entertaining, fun movie that also says a lot about the influence of New Media on Japanese society. Be sure to get the theater version, as it is much better than the version made for TV.
Presented by Paul Nethercott, CAN Director
CAN Site: www.japancan.com
Addendum #1 -- John G on why people living outside Japan are having a hard time getting signed up for mixi:
I think I've found the issue here as to why mixi is asking people for a Japanese mobile number in order to register.
It appears that as of April 7th, mixi is attempting to block non-Japanese IP addresses from registering on mixi. The below is taken from a forum I found:
"As of April 7, Mixi requires a valid (Japanese) cellphone e-mail address in order to sign up for its membership. The only exception is when your "regular" e-mail address belongs to one of the ISP's recognized as "safe" by Mixi. As usual, Mixi will not publish the list of those "safe" providers.
The effect of this new requirement is that people who live abroad will not be able to register for Mixi anymore. It's highly unlikely that those who live abroad have e-mail addresses from those "safe" ISP's in Japan, let alone Japanese cellphones. I tried to see if big names in the U.S. like Comcast and Verizon were possibly included in the safe ISP's list. The answer was "no."
Existing members who live abroad are *probably* safe for now, but who knows? Being as crazy as they have been lately, Mixi may require us to re-register, at which time a valid cellphone address must be entered, or something like that. I don't want that to happen. I hope you share my concern."
It also appears that using the mobile address of someone in Japan will do the trick, according to some forum users.
Addendum #2 -- Gary W. on how to register without using an eMail address (for those living in Japan):
I have discovered that if you try to register with Mixi using any of the "free" email providers like "Yahoo" or "Hotmail," "gmail," etc. then, yes, we are stuck with needing a mobile phone address as Mixi will make that demand.
BUT, if you try to register using an email address that you pay for, like "jcom.home.ne.jp" etc. one that is a contract provider, THEN Mixi doesn't require a mobile phone address!
Just thought it'd be good for you to know in case other people ask you the same question. I've just successfully joined Mixi this way without a cell phone! Keep smilin'!