Thursday, June 23, 2005
Blog Comments Not Popular in Japan
So I'm reading an interview with Nob Seki, EVP, Six Apart-Japan, at The Red Couch blog (now with new name I cannot bear to repeat).
The person is talking about how comments are not enabled on many blogs in Japan, but trackbacks are acceptable.
Something about how it's considered rude to confront people directly. What a sad and pathetic nation of zombies, as far as I'm concerned. This anti-comment sentiment, and a reluctance to confront people directly, is disgusting to me.
I'm a very combative and blunt person. I also despise humans of any nationality or culture who bow down to any authority and sheepishly, unthinkingly follow the Leader, who is usually Blind.
Let's look at this issue very closely.
Here's what I discovered at The Red Couch...
Q: Trackback seems to be an even bigger deal in Japan than it is in the US? Why is that?
Trackback makes a very big difference in Japan. Companies find comments get very negative. People write nastier in comments than they do in Trackbacks. So companies don't allow comments but encourage Trackbacks.
Q: As time goes by, are comments becoming more acceptable in Japan?
No. These days, newspapers are covering the blogging phenomenon. Most coverage attributes the success of blogs to Trackback.
Q: What do you do about negative comments? This is a big issue among American businesses. How do people feel about turning off comments in Japan?
There's a lot of history about this in Japan.
In December 2003, Nifty Corp.—a Japanese ISP and a subsidiary of Fujitsu—became TypePad's first licensee worldwide.
Before Nifty introduced the blog service, Japan’s largest bulletin board—called Channel 2 – were very famous.
Channel 2 is very anonymous.
People write about anything, without saying who they are. It sometimes gets very nasty, sometimes used for criminal stuff—even once for a murder announcement. A teenager once announced a murder before he actually committed it.
Bulletin boards are chaos. They are mostly anonymous and people focus on the darkside because they can be anonymous.
When Nifty was about to introduce the blogging service, they hesitated to let the blog accept bad comments.
They didn't want blogs to have the same bad image as bulletin boards.
They decided to refrain from using any comments, but instead, asked people to use Trackback, because it is traceable.
Their blog is a success, in part, because the Trackbacks were less nasty than comments. Plus people start their own blogs so that they could make comments on other blogs.
Nifty showed other companies how they could use blogs, because they want in on the conversations that are going on over the Internet.
Recruit is a magazine publishing company who decided to use Movable Type for newly introduced magazine websites because it was easier. Some people at Recruit had personal blogs. They learned that Trackback generated better quality comments.
Senior people were afraid of nasty Trackbacks and warned they would shut the blog down if that happened.
Instead, they got many positive quality comments. What started as just a small test, now has Recruit using Trackback for every magazine issue.
Q: What makes TrackBack so appealing in Japan?
Trackback is one way to communicate with other people.
Comments are easier.
I'm not sure why TB is so popular, but many Japanese people think about Trackback as something different [from comments]. Trackback makes the blog different from the web or [other ordinary] Internet marketing.
The online diary in Japan is also interesting to me. Even though these are diaries, they are using Trackbacks. Trackback is one way to communicate.
Why do diaries need Trackbacks? I use comments because they are easy and straighforward.
Japanese people feel more offended than American people when you get comments. That’s why I guess Trackbacks get more popular than comments. It may be cultural things.
Japanese are not so good at listening to opposing opinions.
Japanese culture doesn't allow you to make direct negative comment because its impolite. I shouldn't talk directly to you. Trackback is indirect. Comment is very direct. Maybe, this is why Trackbacks are so appealing to Japanese people.
Posted by shel israel on June 22, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack
TrackBack URL for this entry:
[My Confrontational & Rude COMMENT]
Ah, this is simply Japanese Mind Control.
When a corporation or an individual fears and hates negative feedback, it makes you wonder what the entity is doing to attract such negativity.
To say "If too many negative comments or trackbacks, we'll shut the blog down" is a typical paranoid corporate attitude enforced by severe conformity.
From ancestor worship to CEO worship is no big leap.
Mind Control, wanting no negative feedback, not allowing dissent, forbiding confrontation, outlawing independent opinions, disallowing free expression.
Sure, they point to anonymous bulletin boards. Well, our American gaming forums, political blogs, and even web usability sites can be the recipients of much abusive input from psycho readers.
Yet, few American blogs have disabled comments.
With Blogger, comment spam, abusive comments, flame wars, chat roomy private reader conversations, and other inappropriate input is easily and swiftly eliminated.
Interns can handle the cleaning and monitoring of blogs.
I've seen tons of Trackback Spam on blogs. Filthy, abusive, crazy, exploitive, druggy, etc. trackback spam.
So trackback without user comments is not a valid solution to comment spam, abuse, trolling, baiting, or flaming.
Why is there no mention of comment moderation, delayed posting, captchas, site registration, and other methods of negative input prevention?
And what do these stuffy Japanese companies consider "negative" commentary? Anything critical, questioning, non-conformist?
Posted by: Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate | June 23, 2005 06:10 PM
[END QUOTE from The Red Couch blog]
"Japanese are not so good at listening to opposing opinions."
Now, how is this any different from Communist, Islamic, Nazi, Fascist, Christian Right, Liberal Left, or any other kind of brainwashing and enforced conformity?
I hate Christian mind control, Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Marxist, Capitalist, Socialist, Atheist...any kind of coerced belief system and social stigmatization of dissent.
How can any nation be proud that there is no division, no opposing party, no independent thinking, no free expression, no public debate, no right to differ, no liberty to question...
...and no comments on blogs?
The Anti-Comment trend is really disturbing, especially when you see entire nations, even US allies, supposed "democracies" repressing blogs and blog comment functions.
I hate all cultures where "respect" for elders and worship of ancestors leads to perpetuation of empty traditions, protection of outmoded institutions, thought policing, suppression of contrarian viewpoints, and fear of the Powers That Pretend To Be.
[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate
Posted by steven edward streight at 6/23/2005 11:52:00 PM