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Read/WriteWeb now in Japanese (CNET Japan) November 22, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in Internet, IT, Japanese.
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CNET Japan has started running a Japanese translated version of Richard McManus’ Read/WriteWeb

The R/WWeb blog has been going since early 2003, and is “a tech weblog […] focused on Next Generation Web Technology”, and has been in my blogroll for a long time.

R/WWeb does at least one thing right from the beginning, proper attribution of translation/editing duties. (Having said that, a name without any background information isn’t much information at all, but it is more than what was provided at Techcrunch for the first several months)

I wonder what logic drove the decision to make the first post posted on R/WWeb(JP) a post from back in July, though. I contend that picking and choosing which posts to post is an exercise of editorial powers almost as strong as actually “translating” content in a way to change the message.

Clearly translating the archives involves considerable effort, so I think the best practice is to set a zero date and work forwards chronologically from there, giving priority to new posts, and dealing with the archives separately, either from the first post forwards or from the zero date chrnologically backwards as a basic rule. (I might make exceptions for instances such as where a new post links to an old one, this kind of scenario may warrant translating the linked post out of order)

[As an aside, the R/WWeb post on the “Top Web Apps in Japan” was pretty mediocre, compared to others in that series there were a lot fewer sites profiled, and it was much more commentary heavy, something other readers apparently appreciated, but I personally found some of the commentary dubious.]

Speaking of Techcrunch(JP), it has updated its About page with what I guess what they consider is sufficient attribution, a list of 4 names of people apparently responsible for the translation.

I have a problem with this approach, as individual posts are not attributable to a specific translator (which I suspect is deliberate).

The names don’t come with any context, so it remains unclear how clued-up these translators/editors are with the issues being discussed.

Worse, only one of the names given is a full name, the other 3 give either just their first or last names, hardly useful information:

Nobuko Fujieda

The one full name returns this blog [update: Nobuko tells me she is actually blogging here now (in Japanese), which comes up directly below the blog I originally linked to, on Google at least], whose owner appears to have some of the skills required for the purposes of the effort involved in putting out the Japanese version of Techcrunch.

Could do better.

Human powered search August 15, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in Internet, IT, Japanese, TechCrunch, technology.

Techcrunch had an article about question and answer services yesterday. (the article was actually about the Israeli service called Yedda)

In the article, it lists other players in the same sector like Yahoo Answers, Wondir, Google Answers and Oyogi. Which is all well and good, I’m sure Techcrunch readers are always keen on hearing about the latest products and ideas.


Given that they have a “Japanese Editorial Team” and publish the content in Japanese (the article above is available in Japanese here), I wonder if they can’t start actually editing the article at least in the Japanese version to reflect the fact that there are domestic human powered search services in Japan too. Actually, I think overseas readers (and entrepreneurs) would be very interested to see what goes on here.
Indeed, there is a company which has had an IPO on the back of their human powered search service (and its expansion into servicing FAQ type pages for corporate clients, which is along the same technical lines). The company is called OKWave and IPO’d in June of this year (admittedly on the relatively minor Nagoya Stock Exchange’s Centrex emerging markets exchange), and is currently valued at a little over JPY8Billion. It’s done more than 9.5 million Q&As and has more than half a million registered users. Just in Japanese. OK, so listing requirements are less strict here compared to NASDAQ, but if you want to see some non-Google/MSFT/Yahoo/Amazon/Ebay/Fox exit models for “Web 2.0” businesses (or even more mundane internet businesses like advertising, SEO, or on-line vertical B2B marketplaces – all of which have seen IPOs in the current year. And we have the SNS IPO coming next month), Japan is not a bad place to start.

Then there is hatena, another interesting company which offers very “Web2.0”-y applications including human powered search, a social bookmarking service, blog hosting and much more besides (they have a portfolio of 13 different web based services, and the company has less than two dozen employees – this company is about as close to the SV IT startup model as you might find in Japan). They even set up an office in SV last month (press release) which I think was an excuse for the CEO to see how things work on the ground across the pond. 🙂

Yahoo! Japan also has a Q&A service, but that is lagging behind with less than 90,000 queries posted.

Going back to my bitching about lack of exposure of Japanese businesses (short of Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Sony, Matsushita, Canon, Sharp and the rest of the multi-billion dollar set), Business 2.0 had a piece about global Web2.0 sites. The number of Japanese Web2.0 sites profiled? Zero.

Of course, part of the problem is that most Japanese services are just in Japanese. Yes, it is in no small part due to the language barrier as well. I’d also say that many of the entrepreneurs are less marketing and promotion savvy here, compared to the US. We aren’t doing a good enough job of telling the world what our small innovative companies are up to.

I would plead guilty as charged on that count, I am pretty conservative about profiling Japanese companies, especially in the internet sector, mainly because they are all too often rip-offs of US/overseas ideas. However, if they can take a clone and make a business out of it, they deserve credit, IMO. Of course, if an overseas business can ramp quickly and internationalize and localize with sufficient speed, and take advantage of network scaling effects, clones should no chance. But the reality is that different markets sometimes have differing needs, and building a truely universal product is often an elusive task.

TechCrunch日本版 June 20, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in IT, Japanese, TechCrunch.
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ご存知TechCrunchはMichael Arringtonが主催するWeb2.0ブログ。数ヶ月前からはフランス語版もあり、こちらはフランスで有数の人気を誇るブログに成長しているとか。

TechCrunch(US)の記事の翻訳だけでなく、日本のWeb2.0の話題も取り上げる予定とか。( さらにこれが本家でも発信される可能性があるらしい)








Techcrunch Japan launched June 20, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in IT, Japan, Japanese, TechCrunch.

Michael Arrington of Techcrunch has announced the launch of Techcrunch Japan.

(The RSS feed is http://jp.techcrunch.com/feed/)

There were clues on Techcrunch that this was in the works, with trackbacks on Techcrunch posts from jp.techcrunch.com with  snippets of Japanese text being displayed. (although the links returned error messages at that time before the official launch of the Japanese page)

One big thing I have noticed which differentiates between Techcrunch (and for that matter, Techcrunch France) and Techcrunch Japan is the anonymous nature of the individual(s) behind Techcrunch Japan, who is/(or more likely in the plural) are hidden behind the Japanese site. They have announced that they will be creating original content as well, not just translating stuff written by Messers Arrington and Kirkpatrick, and Monsieur Ohayon. If the Japanese editorial "team" is going to be authoring content, shouldn't the Japanese writers also be identified?

Techcrunch is meant to be about "Web2.0" which I believe emphasises a social component if I am not mistaken, and blogging is meant to be about conversations.

Whilst a recent Japanese survey found that more than 90% of Japanese bloggers are anonymous, I don't think that is really a reason (excuse) for Techcrunch Japan to post anonymously, given their position within the blogosphere.

Anonymous bloggers blogging about anything remotely related to money or business aren't really my cup of tea. YMMV.

Disclosure is (hopefully) a rule which business bloggers all adhere to. I think Michael Arrington should think about the implication of an anonymous "editorial team" being a major component of the Techcrunch Japan outfit.

As for the quality of translation, it isn't bad at all.

However I might make the suggestion that to make it more relevant to Japanese users, the Japan team (who ever they are. Ok, I've made my point and I won't nag any further) might add a line or two about usability from a uniquely Japanese perspective. Handling of Japanese input, any issues with signing up from Japan, etc.

ブログ検索のTechnorati、中国当局がブロック? April 27, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in IT, Japanese.
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TechnoratiのVP of EngineeringのAdam Hertzのブログによると、Technoratiへ中国からのアクセスが出来ないとの報告があるとのこと。

中国国内のブログ登録数は2005 Q3までに3300万超と報告されている





ドーナツファンに朗報 April 13, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in Food and Drink, Japan, Japanese.

Krispy Kreme 日本上陸決定!

ロッテリヴァンプがKrispy Kreme Japanを5月末までに設立するそうです。5年で30-50店舗の出店を予定しているとか。(日経新聞報道

Krispy KremeもIPO後色々ありましたが、個人的にはここのドーナツが好きなので期待大。

ミスドなんて論外です。最近首都圏で出店攻勢をかけているDoughnut Plant(Dean&Delucaでも購入可)も、いまひとつピンとこない。


早く東京でもKrispy Kremeが食べたい!

PSE法に反対するデモ March 20, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in general, Japan, Japanese, law, technology.
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そもそも中古販売だからこそ、電気的・機械的な部品があるものに関しては販売業者に整備・点検・販売製品の記録管理の義務があってしかるべきでは ありませんか。それを怠り、売るだけ売って、ノークレーム・ノーリターンで営業するのはいかがなものか。そのような悪徳業者も存在するのは事実ですし、そ のような業者に当たる不安故に中古品の購入を躊躇う消費者がいるのも事実です。それら業者の存在は一般消費者にとって利益のあるものか。



中古の電化製品に関しては販売の際に基本的な点検(内部点検を含む。コンデンサーの電解漏れや、埃の蓄積など、不良の原因がないかチェックする) を行うことは義務づけられるべきだと思います。その際、古い物に関してはフューズ交換くらいは行って頂きたい。(経年劣化でフューズが切れただけの「故 障」は少なくないし、フューズなんて数十円のパーツ。販売後の早期不良を未然に防ぐための先行投資としては極めてリーズナブルかつ良心的な対応)フューズ 交換の行為をもって製造事業として認められる現制度に適応した事業者として業務を行うこととなる。



もちろん、体制整備にお金が沢山かかるようでしたら、零細事業者に過大な負担がかかるとの理論は成り立つわけですが、実際はそうではありません。 検査用機器は10万円前後する機械です。届出も難しい作業ではないし、そもそも販売した商品のインベントリー管理は良心的な販売店としては当たり前の行為 ですし。


という状況は、ビンテージ品の除外が既に発表されている現在、真実なのか疑問です。昔から欲しいと思っていた物であれば、それなりに名機として認 知されている物である可能性が高いわけです。まぁ、正体不明のブログの書き込みなんか基本的に信用できませんが。(それも新聞記事等と並べるのもどうかと 思うが)





Some problems with permalinks etc March 16, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in IT, Japanese.
1 comment so far

Seems we have been having some problems with permalinks of posts with Japanese characters in their titles.

The posts showing weird behaviour have been renamed and the links (should) now work. (I think I checked all of the links)

Weird thing is that some of the posts were fine, and the ones that were causing problems were (mostly, if not all) renamed with new/edited titles with Japanese characters, and the edited posts do not appear to be exhibiting the problems.

Sorry for those people who are subscribed to the rss feed, there will be some duds due to the renaming.

Guess I will do some investigation into this problem sometime to work out what is triggering the bug.

WBC media coverage March 13, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in Japanese.
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NHKも荒川静香の誰に配慮したのかウィニングランを一切放送しなかったし。 荒川の時だけ報道の映像の構成が明らかに違った。



追伸: アメリカメディアがこの問題を批判的に取り上げだしたら、日本メディアは一斉に批判的報道を展開。




新たなFlickr競合サイトの登場? それも日本語対応 March 13, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in IT, Japanese, TechCrunch.


TechCrunchのMichael ArringtonはKristopher Tateが開発した zooomr のデモを先週の meetro のパーティーで体験したと書いている。 Krisは若干17歳!で、meetroの社員でありながら(誤)zoomr(正)Zooomrを仕事時間外に一人で開発したとのこと。3月1日サービスインしたばかりのサービスですが、わずか3ヶ月程度の開発期間を要したそうです。Flickrに様々な機能が添付されています。

Zooomrはflickrと似た(一見酷似した?)ユーザインタフェースを使用していますが、機能面ではより充実している。Zooomrアカウントを作成することも出来るが、(現時点では)他の5種類のアカウントで使用できるとのこと(Level9, OpenID, LiveJournal, Google (Gmail) or Meetro)。機能面ではどのIDを利用して登録しても、同じ。Zooomrは既に日本語を含む16言語に対応。17言語目となるハンガリー語は現在QA中とのこと。



機能の詳細に関しては “learn more”まで。気になるサイト利用のコストですが、月間50Mbまでのアップロードは無料、月間2Gbまでのアップロードは年間$20(Flickrと似たコスト体系だが、Flickrより$5安い)



注2:この記事はTechCrunchの記事を翻訳・編集した物です。追加情報はOfficial Zooomr Blogから収集しました。

TechCrunchの記事の利用はCreative Commonsライセンスに則った形で編集・再配信させて頂いています。