Visit Japan’s top social-networking site, the 8-million-strong “Mixi,” and you’ll see prim, organised columns and boxes of stamp-size photos – not the flashy text and teen-magazine-like layout of its American counterpart, MySpace.com. The difference in appearance between the two online hangouts reflects a broader clash of cultures – and illustrates the challenge News Corp.’s MySpace faces as it jumps into the Japanese market.
Mixi knows how to thrive off the nation’s cliquish culture so different from the aggressive me-orientation prevalent in American culture.
“MySpace is about me, me, me, and look at me and look at me and look at me,” said Tony Elison, senior vice president at Viacom International Japan, which is offering its own Japanese-language social networking service here. “In Mixi, it’s not all about me. It’s all about us.”