Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Obama Mixing it Up

Probably in response to the growing competition,, by far the largest social network in Japan, is no longer an invite only service.

Led by Japan’s 40th richest man according to Forbes, Mixi boasts over 25,000,000 users, a revenue per member 3 times bigger than Facebook, and attracts several times more visitors than Bebo on a worldwide basis. It has a quasi-monopoly among similar services in Japan (crushing international giants like Facebook or MySpace) and has recently started to diversify it’s offerings with new features such as iPhone apps and a micro-blogging platform similar to Twitter.

Mixi is just one of many Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) that have the power to improve productivity, help create internationally competitive businesses and that represent a key to social and organizational reforms. President Obama used ICTs effectively during his presidential campaign. Now in power, his administration makes aggressive use of the social networking tools to develop stimulus policies and other governmental operations. Here, ICTs are not just tools for election campaigns, but for realizing civic participation and transparent policy-making.

Also important is the vibrant blogosphere where discussions about the future of media industries and Internet firm business models are influencing corporate strategies. A pattern is emerging where corporate and policy decision-making is shaped by open Internet-based discussions. Japan has advanced broadband infrastructure and excellent entertainment services. However, comparable progress in reforming business and society is lacking, a problem the Democratic Party of Japan seems keen to address.

Friday, March 19th, Japan Society is hosting a panelist discussion to discuss these topics that's completely free to the public:
Obama's Internet Initiative & Social Reform
in the U.S. & Japan

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