Mixi.jp is Japan’s number one social networking site, much like America’s Myspace or Facebook. To get in, you have to be invited by someone who is already a member, which thankfully helps to make Mixi a lot less sketchy than Myspace (though I guess that doesn’t take much effort). I’ll be giving out invitations for people to join Mixi, but not yet! Just because you are American (or European), doesn’t mean you can get in, raise your profile flag and name the site as your own. Before you get an invitation to mixi, you have to learn Mixi’s culture. It is surprisingly different from Facebook, Myspace, or any other social networking site, and in order to be accepted into the community, you’ll have to know a few things before getting your digital feet wet.
What is different about Mixi?
- Everyone is Paranoid: The most important thing to know about Mixi is that nobody wants to be your friend. That is, the folks who use Mixi listened to their parents, and will often refuse to talk to strangers. I feel like this is quite different from Myspace, and even Facebook. When I first got Mixi, I joined a community (which you will learn about later) for everyone who went to the high school I went to in Japan. I thought I would add some people I didn’t know (but who went to the same school as me). I thought this was reasonable. I have a decent amount of “friends” on Facebook from high school or college that I’d never formally met, but still added because we shared a common educational experience. Although most people were nice about it and added me, I got a handful of people who refused my Mixi friend offer saying they didn’t know me personally, so I should stop pestering them, or something to that extent. I suppose the best way to learn is to make mistakes.
- Centered around Journal Writing: In a sense, Mixi is somewhat similar to Livejournal in that a lot of it is centered around journal writing. When you write a journal entry, all of your added friends see it on their front profile pages. Many of them read it and comment on it too. I know several people who are absolutely addicted to this feature and will get a little bit restless if they can’t read their Mixi journal articles on a regular basis.
- Communities are Big Big Big: Another big part of Mixi is their communities. Unlike Facebook groups, people are often active members. Communities don’t usually have silly names, and anything written in the community is relayed to your front page, which keeps you on top of things (as long as you don’t join too many big communities). Joining a communities might be a good way to make friends as well.
What you should know before joining Mixi:
- Everything is in Japanese: If you are just starting to learn Japanese, it won’t be easy stumbling around the controls and setting up a profile (not to mention meeting people and making friends). You should probably have a pretty good grasp on [Read more…]