Twitter Killed my Blog

And then it killed itself... it was horrible...


... But it didn't kill my digital camera!!

2009.03.23 - Green Mondays

2009.04.30 - Danny Choo's Consumer Generated Arm Wrestling Night

2009.04.27 - Tokyo Beer and Blog #4 - Swagat Indian Restaurant

2009.06.08 - Tokyo2.0 #25 - The Web and Language

2009.06.09 - Geeks on a Plane

"Tokyo2Point0 and Adobe Communities to the MAX" pre-MAX party.

Adobe MAX, the annual Adobe developer and user conference/road-show is coming to Tokyo this month.  Community leader Andrew Shuttleworth and I thought this would be a great opportunity for a Tokyo2Point0 event, one where we can connect with the various Adobe communities here in Tokyo.

Ryan Stewart from Adobe has kindly offered to give us a special teaser presentation for MAX, and Ken Azuma - RIA master from 2ndFactory - will assist with interpreting duties.  Other special guests from Adobe will be there, as will people from the Flex User Group, Flash OOP, Spark Project, JCFUG and others.

UPDATE 2009-01-27:

Date: Wed 28th Jan
Time: 7pm Start
Location: Fiat Caffe, 2 min from Gaienmae Station
Entry: Free entry, with light food and drinks available from the bar
No Smoking Event!
Registration Required: Registrations have reached capacity - thanks to everyone!

Come along and mix it up with the Adobe user community, and meet the people behind Flash, Flex, Photoshop, and other great Adobe products!

Event Schedule:

19:00 Event opens - networking time

20:00 Adobe Community Lightning Intros

20:10 Ryan Stewart Presentation

21:00 Party time

22:00 Cafe open to public again. (Event guests are welcome to stay on)

Street View - go right for Aoyama Icchome, Left for Gaienmae:

View Larger Map


Startup Revolution - Using Metrics to grow your startup with Dave McClure and Sean Ellis

Friday (2008-12-19) I attended another great event organised by the indomitable Andrew Shuttleworth of Tokyo2Point0 fame. Dave McClure had taken time out from the Silicon Valley echo chamber to present his new religion - Metrics for Startup - to small but well formed group of budding Tokyo entrepreneurs. He had Sean Ellis of Startup Marketing along riding shotgun to present the second half of the event.


Web 2008 Expo - Day 2 - Yahoo! Japan announces new experimental mapping service

As part of the Geo-media session, Murata-san from Yahoo announced the release of "Pochi" a new mapping service from LatLongLab - a Yahoo! Japan unit whose stated goal is to "revolutionise online use of maps and location data".

Murata-san rightly questioned the usability of maps covered with icons, and unveiled a new, but somehow familiar interface - for Japanese users. The maps simply have text links on each of the properties - and clicking on these brings up various results in a panel on the left of the page. The resulting interface is similar to the Japanese local maps painted onto tin that can be found in neighbourhoods nation-wide.


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.


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.


Web 2008 Expo - Day 2 - Web Innovation & Creative Day - Power Pitches

Power Pitches

First on the card for the second day was "Power Pitches" ... two lightning presentations from two startups that couldn't have been more different.

The first was Hironao Kunimitsu, director of gumi, presenting his company's "port" of Open Social to a REST platform for application to the Japanese mobile web - and by extension, other non-Javascript UIs.

As no-one else are doing this, Kunimitsu said with a smile, they are by default world's largest mobile open web platform ... but they do have over 90 applications working so far.

Second was Taisei Tanaka from Geisha Tokyo Entertainment, introducing their "Augmented Reality" product - "Aris". It is a software package that hooks up to a web camera, and a small cube that is placed in front of the camera, and the systems uses as a visual marker. As the company name might suggest, the system overlays a "Virtual Maid" onto this cube. Oh dear ... I thought ... Japan's vision ... to the world? ... but wait, there's more.


Web 2008 Expo - Day 1 - Open ID and Open Web Day

Yesterday was the first day of the Web 2008 Expo at the Shibuya. The timing was the same as the ill-fated O'Reilly event of a similar name, but this was much more of a grass-roots industry affair.

Because of the timing, I did have the pleasure of meeting Brady Forrest from O'Reilly Radar - he had already booked his Tokyo tickets on the return leg of a vacation when the event was canned, so he came along acccompanied by Andrew Shuttleworth.

Opening Remarks

Shuji Honjo - the chief of the LLP that runs X-Shibuya SNS, and organiser of the event - kicked things off dressed in traditional Japanese office kimono.


Next Natsuhiko Sakimura from the Japan Open ID Foundation took to the stage to explain their mission - to spread the adoption of Open ID among the general population.


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.


Aoyama Gakuin Open Lecture: VC Funding and Venture Management in a Time of Rapidly Dropping IPOs

Pina Hirano from Infoteria is a regular at the monthly Tokyo Blog Dinner in Gotanda. At last week's event, we got chatting, and he was kind enough to invite me to a lecture at Aoyama Gakuin, where he leads a business course. Most of the lectures are just for the handful of postgrad students on the course, but this one was open to others, and about a dozen other guests attended.


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