Wednesday, September 28, 2005

MySpace and Mixi community sites

Lately I've been wrestling with some extreme boredom as my wife works nights, and like any modern-day geek I've turned to the interweb for salvation. I'm probably a bit late to the party but I signed up with the gi-normous community site MySpace a month or two back, joining the ranks of the approximately 27 million other hopelessly young and immature teenage morons and idiots who like to "pretty up" their profile pages with the gaudiest, ugliest graphics and sounds they can find in an ode to web design faux-pas circa 1996. Maybe I'm just getting old, but it's a site like this - with a median age of about 16, a median IQ of about 65 and a hopelessly small age distribution curve - that will eventually force me to admit that the future of our country is doomed.

Yes, it took me about five minutes to get utterly sick of this site. Now, it is true that MySpace has grown so popular that you can literally meet people from practically anywhere in the world, and there's something to be said for that. And once you venture off the beaten path and actually seek out those beyond our borders, you will meet more normal people than you'll ever find in the high schools or malls of America. The problem is these people, like me, seem to get sick of MySpace real fast, and once you start to build up a little circle of friends you'll likely find it disappearing just as quickly as the normals drop off from lack of interest. Unless you just fill up your friends' space with a bunch of random jerks in a vain attempt at being the "most popular on MySpace!" like most people do. MySpace boasts a huge number of members and just looking through the profile pages will confirm that, but dig a little deeper and consider how many of those people haven't logged on in months and the story is a little different.

It's also a site that anybody can join, so probably a large minority (if not a majority) of its members are someone other than who they say they are. Sure you're talking to that hot 18 year old with a picture of herself spreading wide? How naive can you be? Heck, I had Natalie Portman ask me to be her MySpace friend. Real? Possible, I guess... likely? No.

Now, as we all know, everything's better in Japan. After slugging it out in the ghetto of MySpace for a while, my wife sent me an invite to Mixi, the better, stronger, faster Japanese equivalent. Mixi is an invite-only service - sorry, my fellow dumbass Americans, if you want to join you'll just have to make a real Japanese friend somewhere. Most people on Mixi have their real friends as their Mixi friends for this reason. It's a nicer place, with more thoughtful people, and the age range is a bit wider. It doesn't technically have as many members as MySpace, but I've still managed twice as many profile views there as I ever got on MySpace, in half the time. Who knew?

Mixi does have English-only communities and it does have both westerners and English-speaking Japanese as members. So it's not inaccessible for a foreigner. It just takes an invite...

To sum up -

MySpace: big and stupid. Typically American.
Mixi: smaller but smarter and more fun. Just what you'd expect from the Japanese.

Update: This post has been getting a sizable (and growing) number of hits from people coming in through Google searches. That's great, but please don't ask me for a Mixi invite either in the comments here or by email. I'm not going to delete them or anything like that - I believe in free speech (mostly) - but I'm not going to give you an invite. Think about it - everybody on Mixi was invited by somebody, which means everybody on Mixi knows who on any given profile page was invited by that person. That means that, unlike MySpace, people with lists of random "friends", who may or may not be behaving well on the site, are viewed quite negatively by others on the site. Given that most of my Mixi friends are real-life friends (one of the benefits of an invite-only system), and that their friends are also real-life friends of mine, I am not interested in having a stigma attached to my Mixi profile.

So, while I can appreciate your interest in Mixi, and I might have even been responsible for stoking the fire a bit with this post, you'll have to find an invite elsewhere. Sorry.

17 comments:

  1. We are Japanese student organization at the University of Iowa.
    Our graduates are spreading in the U.S. or in Japan.
    It is very hard to keep in touch.
    Therefore, we have been thinking that if we could make a alumini community on SNS.
    If you could consider inviting us to mixi, we will be pleased.

    Thank you

    Japanese Cultural Association
    jca@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous10:06 AM

    www.myspace.com/rx7_craig
    go there and add me

    ReplyDelete
  3. This might sound competely random, but could you invite me? My e-mail address is bluefolders007@yahoo.com.

    Thanks,
    -Julia

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous6:39 AM

    Does anyone have an extra mixi invite? Thank you.

    pinjapan@hotmail.com

    Kind regards,
    Paul

    ReplyDelete
  5. would you be my mixi friend too? turnkit '@t' gmail.com

    I am interested in learning more about Japanese culture and meeting people there.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous9:02 PM

    hey i was just wondering if mixi is like a myspace but japanese version .. well i just got back from a vaca in japan so i wanted to jus check up on latest fashion and all that good stuff so i thought mixi was something like that ... aritey if anything message me ..
    myspace.com/heyjoy

    thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous7:45 AM

    teambeast_1@msn.com....

    could you invite me... ill be your best friend. :D

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous10:32 AM

    I'll be more than your best friend please invite me, i also speak japanese "invite me please" m(_ _)m

    erik-val88@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous6:53 AM

    I live in Japan, today Maxi entered the TSE and the stock skyrocketed. I never heard of Maxi until I read it on Mainichi online and NHK. I wonder how native English speakers can start their on group on Maxi? Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous9:50 PM

    would love an invite. for those who are in and letting others in.

    kenny.owens@gmail.com i will invite to gmail if asked.

    ReplyDelete
  11. we're a bunch of undergrad japanese majors wanting a mixi to help us with our japanese skills and increase networking when we go abroad. If you could send an invite to

    ksadiyasoup@gmail.com

    we would be so greatful!

    ReplyDelete
  12. aloha,

    i’m a german guy living in new york. i’m play with the idea to move to tokyo next, would love to be in mixi.

    anyone has a invitation for me?! thank you sooo much in advance

    kartus@gmx.de

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous8:55 AM

    I study Japanese at university and I think this would be a great opportunity. I'd love to be invited on mixi...

    Thank you!

    moonbaby@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed because it linked to malicious content. Learn more.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Unfortunately, you can only join Mixi now if you have a Japanese-based cellphone. You have to confirm your account by PC and cellphone email.

    I just did it today, but it was a bit tricky to confirm by cellphone. You have to allow the phone to transmit it's manufacturer code.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous7:20 AM

    Despite public perception, most MySpace users are over 35, according to a release today by ComScore. The stat-tracking company says that as MySpace continues to grow, its user base is skewing older - teens accounted for around 25% of users in August 2005, but now only represent 12% of the audience. Almost 41% of MySpace are aged 35 to 54 - a big increase since last year. THIS IS DATED Oct of 2006

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous5:00 AM

    I don't have mixi although I live in Japan and my friends use the site.
    But, I believe I heard once that you need a japanese email address to register. =/

    ReplyDelete

About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.

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