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Japan: On How to Perceive the Japanese Web (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two.

As examples of the Japanese web that it isn't ‘disappointing’ at all, many bloggers referred to the success of the video sharing website Nico Nico Douga. A-list blogger Dan Kogai pointed to the recipe site Cook Pad (which went public a few weeks ago) and Yahoo! Japan as stellar examples.

So, what next?

Romeo at OpenMediaLaboratory doesn't see anything wrong with the current direction:

私はWebの世界はもっと「愚衆化」が進めばいいと思っている。サブカルチャーの部分がどんどん進めばいい。新たな文化は結局サブカルチャーであったり、アンダーグラウンドな世界からしか生まれない。徹底的に愚衆化が進めば、そこから新たな何かが生まれるだろう。

その過程として、日本のWebが「残念」な状況になるなら全く問題ないと思うのは私だけだろうか。もっともっと愚衆化が進んで残念な状況になれば、そこから自浄作用も生まれてくるだろうし、新しいメディアの形が見えてくるのではないか。

I think there should be more ‘idiocy of the masses’ coming from the web. Subculture should be more prevalent. New culture is born only from sub and underground cultures. Something new will come out comprehensive idiocy.

Am I the only one who thinks there's nothing wrong that if in this process the Japanese web is ‘disappointing'? With more ignorance and disappointment, the web will take on a self-cleaning function and naturally weed things out. As a result, a new form of media will take arise.

Ichiru at Kotori Piyopiyo notes that subculture is equally strong in the English web and that the difference is that their ‘higher ups’ and ‘professionals’ “actively use web services, invest in the web, place ads, and communicate via blogs and social services”. He wonders if the reason for the ‘disappointment’ is a lack of effort by the Japanese elite and proposes:

だから……ここは梅田さんがひと肌脱いで、日本の「最先端・最高峰な一流の人」たち、ハイブロウでエスタブリッシュメントな人たちを、ネットの世界に引きずり込んで、日本のネットをより高尚にするというプロジェクトを開始してみてはいかがでしょうか?
[...]
なんでもいいのですが、今の梅田さんの立ち位置だったら、今までネットには及び腰だった人たちを、ネットに向けさせることが可能だと思います。そういう意味で、梅田さんには期待しています。または梅田さん自身が動けないのであれば、同じような残念感を共有する他のどなたかか。

So… how about Mr. Umeda step up to the plate and start a project to elevate the Japanese web? Drag all of the high-brow people that are part of the establishment into the web!
[...]
The project can be about anything but with Mr. Umeda's current standing, I think it's possible for him to change the minds of people who are reluctant to take part in the web. In this regard, I have high expectations for Mr. Umeda. Actually, it could be started by anyone who shares this feeling of disappointment, he can't take action himself.

It's become evident that Umeda is considered to be an outsider, as clarified in Motohiko Tokuriki‘s post as he reaffirms his resolution to enliven his part of the web.

米国のインターネットの最新事情や方向性は教えてもらえるとしても、

  • それが日本にとってどういう意味があるのか、
  • 日本のインターネットはどういう風になるべきなのか、
  • 日本のインターネットのどこが世界のインターネットにも役に立ちうるのか

ということを考えるのは、やっぱり日本のインターネットで生きていくことを決めて、日本で生きている私たちの役目であり、義務ですよね。

We can continue to learn about the direction of the Internet in the United States from Mr. Umeda, but thinking about

  • What it means for Japan
  • The direction that the Japanese web should take
  • How the Japanese web can be of use to the world

is our role and our responsibility, as people who have chosen to live in Japan and its web.

He has accepted the interview as a challenge from Umeda and reporter Yuka Okada, and is currently planning an event, tentatively titled ‘Web Innovation Summit’, for people to make presentations on web services and devices that will boost the Japanese web.

もし、今回の「日本のWebは「残念」」という記事タイトルに、怒りを感じたり、悲しさを感じたり、悔しさを感じるのであれば。?そうじゃないことを証明し、胸を張って日本のネットの面白さを自分たちや世界にアピールするにはどうすれば良いか、日本のネットを使い、形作っている私たち自身が行動して証明するしかないんだろうな、と。

As someone who was angered, saddened, or frustrated by the title of the interview, I can do no less than prove that it isn't so, and show the world with confidence that the Japanese web is exciting.

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