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Japanese version of CoComment December 22, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in blogosphere, Internet, Japan, VC.

A:CEuro notes that CoComment has raised $1.5M from Netage Capital Partners, the Japanese VC which was one of the main investors in Mixi. $1.5M for a 40% stage seems very reasonable (heh, understatement) to me. I doubt you could drive such a bargain with a Japanese IT start-up these days.

(The value proposition here is that CoComment takes (at least a proportion of) pageviews away from the site that the comment was originally posted on, by scraping the content from the marked threads, and diverts eyeballs to the CoComment site which then can be monetized. Basically a blogosphere impression hijacking engine :-))

Netage launched a Japanese version of CoComment at the end of November (although much of the site is still unlocalised, which might hinder users).  It is part of Netage’s Saaf portal which gets nil points for originality, featuring Digg and del.icio.us feature ripoffs. (even in Japan there were companies like Hatena doing most of what Netage is doing here a long time ago)

The CoComment investment will probably be matched to the Trend Match advertising engine (or some other ad engine) to monetize pageviews I guess.

I’ve been using CoComment for a while and find it handy to track comments, especially if you are a Firefox user.

However, it will be interesting to see how the blogosphere dynamic evolves, NRI published a report on the state of the blogosphere in Japan (article here in Japanese) where they pointed out that of approx 10Million bloggers in Japan, only about 10% actively comment or trackback. I don’t think that there will be much change in the proportion of bloggers who actively link and comment, but I guess that such bloggers do spend much more time on their PCs, which may be a plus for advertisers. However, at the same time my gut feeling is that the more PC-centric a person’s lifestyle is, the less they actually click through CPC ad links. I certainly don’t click on many ads at all….


1. nobi - December 22, 2006

hi, ohisashiburi desu.
I met you in roppongi at Dave McClure’s meetup.

I have interviewed coCOmmnet+NetAge people right after the signing. The article should be up on CNet Japan soon; I am waiting for the clearance from IR department, etc.

btw. I think one of the reason for japanese not commenting is because they are so used to comment tracking a feature which has been available on ‘mixi’ since their inception (or at least since they have started the diary service); the other reason, of course, is because most japanese feel more comfortable by remaining annonymous.

I think coComment is building a very unique asset.
It is also very interesting to see, how they have started as a venture within Swisscom.

2. fukumimi - December 22, 2006

Hey Nobi,

Nice to see you here.
Look forward to the article.

I do think both Mixi and 2ch have a huge impact on the commenting culture in Japan, but I think the proportion of commenters vs ROMs (read only members) is not that different elsewhere, eg Nielsen’s 1-9-90 “rule”, or more generally a power law distribution of intensity of participation vs number of users.

It is indeed interesting to see that CoComment came out of Swisscom, I think a more liberal attitude towards spinning ideas out would do people like NTT a lot of good. They do lots of interesting things at NTT Resonant and other places, and I have a feeling some of those ideas might make good businesses if they did not operate under the NTT umbrella.

3. kenji mori - January 2, 2007

Cocomment is great, but I often forgot to cocomment and remember only after making a comment (not this time, I hope). What is great is that they have introduced http://www.cocomment.com/tools/integrate
that remind you to cocomment when you make a comment on the blog with “integrate.” It comes in plugin for wordpress, which I adopted.

With respect to Japanese bloggers alike, right, I don’t think they will adopt cocomment anytime soon.

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