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


carrie said...

interesting cultural difference.
i've known of some blogs who have threatened to turn off comments
people say they only want positive comments. i guess you could change your comment link to say, "compliments only", which I've seen.... also I've seen "do not disagree with me"


steven edward streight said...

I love Asian people and their food. I have no gripe against the Japanese, Chinese, or North Korean. I just think some or many attitudes of their governments and corporations STINK.

Of course, I also do not think the USA is perfect, in fact I think America has a long way to go to be any kind of model or leader of the "Free World".

Look at the expansion of eminent domain. WalMart can now tear your house down to build a parking lot.

Lots of BS in America, and we arrogantly hide it, or politically defend it.

But this Anti-Comment trend is alarming.

You've actually seen comments labeled "Compliments Only" and "Do Not Disagree with Me" ?

Please, if you can recall, send me the URL or title of such blogs, via email if you wish.

I have got to see that.

See, I love negative feedback.

I learn from negative, harsh, critical comments.

I have made huge changes in my thinking and in my blogs and in my life...due to harsh, ugly, mean, terribly rude, even filthy language comments.

Now I don't recommend that we make repulsive, hateful, dirty speech comments at blogs or in real life.

But I do believe we should be more blunt, direct, and confrontational in many areas of life...while maintaining a sincere desire to help, befriend, and love all other living entities.


carrie said...

well, i took it that they were saying those in a tongue-in-cheek way.

steven edward streight said...

Oh, okay. I see. Yeah, maybe they were smirking behind the text.

At any rate, I really am impressed with your many blog innovations.

You are very creative, and somehow, no matter what you talk about in your blog, you know how to say it, and you say it in a funny yet very personal manner, and you know when to stop.

I especially like the narrow text column, which prevents the head from having to turn side to side while reading, the narrow column is good usability. Wide text blogs are a pain to read, and I hate that sideways rocking of the head to take in each sentence.

I also like your splitting comments into what I assume are male and female, "wayward knaves" and "krinklefish" I think you call them.

Never saw that before.

Way to go.

Your "The Wrath of Grapes" is the one and only personal blog I read with any regularity. Fine job, Carrie.

carrie said...

a) the krinklefish are trackbacks.
b) i suppose a trackback is more feminine than a comment.

i am absolutely thrilled that you enjoy my blog. thank you.

steven edward streight said...

Being outspoken, even harsh when I feel it's necessary, I probably make far more enemies than friends via my blogs.

In fact, I'm sure of it.

I get a kick out of seeing how I lose RSS subscribers every time I speak my mind about something I feel is wrong or dangerous.

When I posted a couple of little essays on personal details on blogs and the identity theft/stalking problem, it was like the Personal Blog blogosphere, and even some Business Blogs, united to attack and shun me.

But I was correct.

Identity theft is a "perfect crime", meaning the perpetrators are nearly impossible to catch.

And revealing certain sensitive, private details is very risky.

Many public blogs have gone private password access only, due to identity theft, stalkers, child abductors, etc. type problems, either experienced or potential.

I write for Truth, not popularity.

You are a gifted writer, a nice personality. You have an attractive blog and lots of innovation and creativity. And a good sense of humor.

I'm honored that you take your precious time to visit and post comments here.

carrie said...

i still don't know anything about rss. i signed up at feedburner, but... i don't get it. and i think that i spam the thing, by re-doing my posts over and over until they are just so.

i feel that your blog inspires me a great deal and gives me a desire to make my blog better.

steven edward streight said...

I've only deleted two posts from any of my blogs.

One was a very harsh sarcastic post about Offshore Outsourced Telemarketers, ways to hurt and harm and humiliate them. Like saying "wait a minute" then leaving the phone by a loud stereo speaker for a long time, until they hang up on you. And other wicked retaliations. Very harsh post. I thought some might consider it xenophobic, so I'm going to work on it and re-post it later.

The other was "Against RSS". Boy, did I get some flames on that one. "Some blogologist you are, hating RSS and making fun of it."

But I was essentially right.

RSS is a messed up, chaotic, buggy system that nobody can figure out completely. Very young tech that needs lots and lots of work to improve and standardize.

I grudgingly go along with it to a tiny degree. RSS evangelists are funny, they don't see all the myriad problems. They think RSS is some info savior that will revolutionize content delivery.

I have Feedburner feeds from my sites. But I deleted FeedDemon RSS reader because I don't like demons, and I don't like how it was only a 2 week or so free trial. I didn't use it at all.

I just recently signed up for Bloglines feeds and reader. I'm slowly adding Bloglines as yet another way to syndicate my sites. Vaspers the Grate has it right now.

Atom, XML, syndication, RSS, RSS spam, RSS ad feeds, partial text or full text feeds, large image file feeds, RSS-only blogs, etc.... many controversies and problems.

I limit my feeds to subscribers to my sites to "first 50 characters" or so, because if it was "full post", the large 150 K image files on each post would pose problems.

Robert Scoble, of The Red Couch blog and Microsoft, an avid RSS advocate, agreed with me in a private email. He normally advocates "full post" feeds (so users don't have to click twice), but in my case he said to stick with partial post feeds, like teasers, due to my digital art in each and every post.

Lockergnome has good information on RSS/Atom. I rarely have time to really dig into the subject like I want to.

Yeah, I edit my posts sometimes too. Evan Williams, inventor of Blogger and Odeo podcasting service, says edit posts all you want, which is contrary to spontaneity purists.

You bring up a complex issue now.

I guess I should do a full post on all this, what little I understand about it all.

To avoid "spamming" or actually confusing the feeds with multiple publishings of single posts...

...I try to get the post right the first time.

...I upload digital art and photos from My Pictures on Paint Shop Pro to my Art Test Explosion blog first, via Hello/Picasa. Then I copy and paste the image code to New Post in Blogger, as needed.

Is this the best way to do this?

But it avoids sending the image to the blog, like Blog Core Values, which causes the image to seem to be a separate and full post, then going in and saving it as a draft for future text additions (actual post) or right then and there writing the text to accompany the image as a unified post.

I'm going to subscribe to my own RSS feeds to see how the posts appear.

I subscribe to my own Bloglet email updates, and I'm not at all happy with the results.

It seems I must repeat the full title of each post in:

* post title

* image caption

* first sentence of post text

...or else it appears as separate posts.


But see, we, you and I and millions of other bloggers, we are the pioneers of Blogosphere Phase III.

We will work out these problems for future generations.

I'm working on a new post on Interplanetary Internet. It's been way too long since I posted something about this astonishing UltraNet.