How do I sign up?

 Mixi is the most popular social media website used in Japan. Interested in social media I stumbled upon this page. My first impressions on this website that it wasn’t very culturally friendly as all of the writing was written in Japanese.

It has a completely different vibe to Facebook (which would be the #1 western social networking site) as it there is a lot going on. There are many flashing images of Asian women or other random Japanese content which personally doesn’t really make any sense to be on a social networking website. Although on the other hand I have no idea what is being written around it – so who knows maybe it has some sort of meaningful connection.

Although completely different to Facebook I assumed that the two blank boxes were the ‘log in’ tool. I attempted to create an account – keeping in mind I am Japanese illiterate so it was really a guessing game.

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After starring at the Japanese writing for a solid 5 minutes I had no idea what to do. I thought that there had to be a way for me to change it to English. After changing browsers I found that google chrome has the ability to change the language. Now that I’m able to read what is happening I realise that there is actually no way for me to sign up…

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Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make an account and I was confused as to why not. It didn’t give you a ‘sign up’ option which interested me. I started to do a little research into the site ‘Mixi’ and apparently one needs to be invited by an existing member in order to have an account.

Therefore I can’t access this website unless I can hunt down a Japanese individual to shoot me a friend request. Unlike Facebook ,”Mixi’s site design and navigation are extremely intuitive. Your homepage displays a selection of your friends, a list of their latest blog posts and photos and the latest news from your communities.” (Top 6 social networking sites)

– Nicole

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5 comments

  1. What an interesting social paradigm! A social network that requires an invitation presents some very interesting questions in itself. I can’t think of a western equivalent, is it just a manifestation of Japanese cultural mores, given as a society the Japanese are usually characterised by their levels of basic courtesy and conformity. It makes you wonder if these country or regional specific cultural traits are present in the operation of other networking sites, especially those that have global footprints. Is Mixi the Japanese equivalent of Facebook? Have you investigated the potential of joining other social or are there similar protocols? I have a couple of Japanese friends who I’d be happy to ask if they could help you out…

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  2. Sounds really interesting, especially when you compare it to Facebook, Twitter, instagram etc which are such open platforms. As James said in the above comment, it is fascinating how you needed an invitation to access it. It does raise questions over its ability to work outside of Japan and the rest of Asia unlike sites like Facebook, Twitter etc which generally have a global reach. Like James said, it would be great to see if this is a social media platform which works better in Japan and how it works in other Asian countries.

    This is a topic which is definitely worth investigating!

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  3. It’s interesting how that is probably their version of Facebook and i find that intriguing that the culture isolates itself by making it hard for non-Japanese people to figure out how to make it so they can understand it and not allowing you to join without an invitation. This leads me to the thought that we often think of Asian cultures as an us vs them type of deal and this seemingly reinforces that preconception. It seems they have made it’s own ‘in’ group as Westerners often do which is quite ironic. Those that we isolate, isolate themselves, it seems it is a two way street.

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  4. This is so interesting to think you can’t sign up! Comparing it to Facebook I guess they are trying to make their website more exclusive in a way making it only accessible to Japanese people. Although in saying this it is the popular social networking site in Japan, which i guess doesn’t make it that exclusive. I found this video that might help you create an account, although you still need to be invited, it explains an alternative way that you can create an account without having a Japanese email address. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCWMG44H0I4

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  5. Maybe this kind of ‘invite-only’ acceptance could help Facebook – no more fake accounts or identity thieves perhaps? That being said, the fact that it is in a way ‘exclusive’, limits the ability for ‘social networking’. It would be interesting to see if there are any other features like this once you do have an account. For example, if you can’t add a person unless you have a mutual friend? However I don’t think that it being entirely in Japanese is an attempt to ‘exclude westerners’ as some of the comments suggest. If it’s a Japanese platform, why wouldn’t it be in Japanese? While it limits our ability to access it as Australians, there is no real reason for us to be on the website unless we do have a contingent of Japanese friends. Do you agree?

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