Visitors

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Izumi’s old friends from Guam, Kazumi and Akiko are visiting today on their way back from a tour of Alcatraz. Kazumi lives in Hawaii and is visiting with Akiko for the holidays.

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Current Events

Marqui’s “Blogosphere Program”

Internetnews.com writes that Marqui is paying bloggers ($800/month) to mention their product:

We put no limits on what these paid bloggers can say about Marqui; we only require a badge on their site, a weekly mention of our product and a URL link in the body of their blog.  For their own integrity factor, if they want some sort of disclaimer on their blog, they’re more than welcome to acknowledge that we are paying them to blog with a frame, background, language, etc.

If bloggers paid by Marqui want to do more, whether offering criticism about our products and services or adding their personal endorsement, we welcome it. Criticism is helpful
in our development process and it is always better to be talked about than not.

This of course sparked a lively debate in the blogosphere to which they say:

Complete transparency (sic) is mandatory

The idea of paying bloggers is a controversial one, as it challenges some of the sacred cows of the journalistic publishing business. When we first started talking about this idea, an energetic exchange between people with traditional publishing backgrounds and bloggers erupted on the Web.

If Marqui can support these debates, helping the business community to better understand how to harness the power of the network — which is exactly what our products and services are designed to help them do successfully — we believe our sponsorships will pay huge dividends.

It will be interesting to see how the model will play out for them. It will certainly generate content around their URL and increase the Pagerank of their site over time, then it’s successful. After the hubbub around the ethics of this tactic dies down, they will hopefully get good product feedback this way as well. It’d be great if they provided a list of the 15 bloggers they have chosen as I’d like to read what they are saying about Marqui.

Another fun way to “game” the search engine rankings is what P&G Japan did with their trackback contest. They asked people to post stories about their run ins with tough stains and then trackback to their site for laundry detergent. I think they gave out prizes for every 100th trackback or something but the result was that many websites are now pointing to this page so that it’s become a top ranked page for those searching on tough stains and detergent – exactly what they were after!

Categories
Current Events

Tokyo Storm Drains

This has absolutely nothing to do with media, technology, or finance but hey, it’s the holidays and these images are absolutely stunning. Pointed out by a colleague of mine who has a knack to uncovering all that’s weird and wonderful, these photos of a Tokyo sewer system are nested in a larger site that details the engineering behind a large public works project.

Just goes to show, that well engineered public works projects can be both functional and beautiful.

Categories
Current Events

SuperDeluxe is the Best in Asia

Our friends over at Klein Dytham architecture have made Time Magazine’s Best of Asia list as a cool spot to hang out and catch the pulse of the avant-garde scene in Tokyo. Located in what looks like an old auto body shop in Azabu, SuperDeluxe has turned into the modern day equivalent of a Merry Prankster’s workshop; there’s always something interesting going on.

Hooray and congrats to you all! For a list of the latest events (the planned one anyway) check out the SuperDeluxe website.