Twicco.jp - Twitter based communities

imageAt the New Context Conference in November, Digital Garage announced their new Twitter-based community service - twicco.   DG had announced a partnership with Twitter, Inc., at the beginning of 2008 - See PDF (PDF? c'mon... !) and the have been working on localisation issues with the service.  twicco represents an extension of this relationship, and is produced by DG group's DGIncubation, Inc - although curiously there is no mention of the service on the DG Incubation website.

twicco works simply by taking @replies sent to an account, and posting them as updates to the account's timeline.  This changes twitter from a one-to-many to a many-to-many communications service, hence enabling groups or communities.

The interface is only in Japanese at the moment - and the instructions on the site are a little confused - but here is the rough guide to starting up a twicco group...

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mixi's Open Strategy ... mixi Connect, mixi Appli and mixi OpenID

On the 11th of this month, mixi - Japan's largest social network - released the beta of their Open Web services. In fine closed Japanese form, the beta is limited to "corporate" developers. The site says that the service will be opened to individual developers too, but is not specific about when. Corporate developers can sign up here (Japanese).

mixi had 15.68 million users at the end of September, and has recently relaxed the rules for joining, by removing the requirement to be invited by other users, and lowering the age limit from 18 to 15. This is a bid to revive flagging growth, by targetting high schoolers and people - especially in rural areas - who simply don't know anyone who can invite them.

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Web 2008 Expo - Day 2 - Web Innovation & Creative Day - Mashup and Beyond

Mashup and Beyond

The final session of the conference was about Mashups - and specifically presenting the winners of the annual Mashup Awards, sponsored by Sun and Recruit

The session was moderated by Akihito Fujii, who works for Sun, but was there as founder of the Mashup Awards. Fujii-san is very active in supporting Open Source and Startup businesses in Tokyo.

The grand prize winner lives in Fukui Prefecture which is a bit of a hike from Tokyo, and could not make it to the conference, so the two runners up were there to tell their stories. These were again two very contrasting presentations, and the most technically interesting of the conference.

The first was "Air Sanpo" - which translates as "Air Walk" or "Air Stroll" - a multi-dimensional mashup, followed by Newsgraphy - a mashup of news API, filtering and analysis and geometric science.

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Web 2008 Expo - Day 2 - Web Innovation & Creative Day - Geomedia-fying the Web

Geomedia-fying the Web

The Panel discussion on Geomedia on the Web was moderated by Naoyuki Seki from the GeoMedia Summit organising committee, and the panelists were Takehiko Murata from Yahoo Regional Services (ex. president of Mapion), and Gen Miyazawa, president of Cirius Technologies.

First they went through the history of maps and online and mobile mapping:

Ancient Prehistory - maps are used for communication - perhaps even before language
1997 - first free maps online - Mapion
1999 - mobile web begins - imode, ezweb, jsky
2002 - mobiles with GPS - gps sites and games
2005 - Google maps - free to use API

Murata-san said he considered the most significant recent milestones in the mapping industry were in 1997, where Mapion made maps free to use online, and 2005, when Google made maps free to "re-use" online. This has obviously changed the came in the mapmaking industry, and he recalled being berated by an analogue map producer at an industry party in the early days for giving his product away online.

The discussion covered the market for location aware media services, and Murata-san noted that while the current market for such services online is about 5 trillion yen, the paper based advertising market for local services (flyers, newspaper inserts, etc.) is 145 trillion yen, so there is still a huge amont of market that could potentially be changed to digital.

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Web 2008 Expo in Tokyo next week (Dec. 3 & 4)

Next week sees another event in Tokyo, the "Web 2008 Expo". Organised by SNS XShibuya, the byline for the event is something along the lines of "The Vision of a Web Era the Japan Sends to the World" .... fascinating!

XShibuya is an area-based invite-only SNS started in July 2006 by the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI), designed to match up "Creators" in the Shibuya area of Tokyo for business opportunities. The site is operated by the Greater Shibuya Area Creator Matching LLP (!) ( 広域渋谷圏クリエイターマッチング有限責任事業組合 ) , which seems to be backed by Otsuka Shokai, Takara Tomy, Total Brain and others, and is headed up by Shuji Honjo, a VC from Net Service Ventures.

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Presenting ... Twitterlater - the future of microblogging...

... or rather, microblogging in the future!

Recently I have started working on some pet projects around social networking and personal data control. It's been about 4 years since I actually designed, built and released a whole web site, so in order to ease myself back into the whole www-facing thing, I thought I would try wheeling out a low impact app in an afternoon.

I use twitter quite a lot, and find it great for passive news gathering, and occasional communications. I thought it would be nice if you could schedule your tweets in the future, for reminders, or perhaps some kind of game or promotion.

So after lunch yesterday, I set about putting together just such a thing. Several hours later, and http://twitterlater.com/ was born. It is a simple site that allows you to set a time in the future (currently UTC only, but I'm working on it ...) or a countdown timer to a tweet, and have it posted then. If you're interested, please go and kick the tires... it's very beta, but the initial basic functions should be working.

Not 5 minutes after I uploaded the site, I was back on Twitter where Tim O'Reilly and Eric Burke were discussing their desire for a service that would spread out "bursty" tweets - people like Robert Scoble have good content, but sometimes they tweet in bulk, pushing everyone else's tweets off the page... drip feeding tweets to help this issue is now on the road map. Please let me know if there is anything like that you'd find useful.

Oh ... and as you can probably see from the logo, If anyone would like to contribute some high-end pixel-mongering to my look and feel ... shout out!

Brainstorming dinner for Business Blog and SNS World 08 Session

Last month, eSynapse was approached to put together a session for Business Blog and SNS World 08 at BigSight from May 28th to 30th.

With only a few days to settle on the session content, we quickly decided to do a panel discussion on Open Data and Mashups, and how they relate to the event main topic.  The session is on the 29th (Thu) from 12:00 to 12:45.

I pulled together a collection of industry colleagues to participate, and Andrew Shuttleworth from Tokyo2Point0 volunteered to moderate the session.  

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Facebook Developer Garage

CA340028I went along to the "Facebook Developer Garage" at an event space in Harajuku.  There was a fairly basic introduction to Facebook Applications given solely in English :( , followed by free wine and snacks, and then a series of talks from local developers of Facebook apps.  I hung around to see Junya Ishihara present his "Kanji-Fandom" application, and Yuki from OnGMap informs me that there were three more demos after that, followed by a bit of networking time.

 

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BlogTalk 2008 - Robert Mao - Open Portable Social Network - a Prototype

Robert Mao is a Senior Engineer at Microsoft's Global Product Development Centre in Dublin.  A very sharp guy, he comes from a Social Network background in Nanking, China.  In his spare time he has been working on an interesting project to turn his blog into the hub of a social network.  This concept is exactly what I am trying to achieve with my personal blog, having started by toying with OpenID and Twitter integration.  So I was naturally excited to check out what he had done...

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Tokyo2Point0 - 2008-03-11 - Photohito.com and Press Army

Back in close-to-realtime now, another month, another great Tokyo2Point0 at Fujimamas.  This month Andrew scored a good one, with Kakaku.com coming along to give side project Photohito.com its first public outing. 

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