Mixi, with more than 14 million registered members (as of March, 2008), is the biggest and dominant SNS in Japan. Despite the recent launch of Japanese-translated Facebook, Mixi will surely keep its dominant position for a while. Mixi and Facebook have a lot of similar functions as an SNS, however, Mixi has grown more suited for the Japanese internet culture through numerous improvements. Here are Mixi’s basic functions:

1. Diary

This is the most popular and frequently used function, although Facebook currently doesn’t have it. With this function, you can write about your daily lives, make comments on Mixi news (I’ll talk about it later), and sometimes share business-related advertisements (though this usage is rare). Your friends (called My-Miku -My Mixi-) can comment on it, and it’s regarded polite or sometimes obligatory for you to reply to your My-Miku’s comments. If you forget to make replies, your friends may feel ignored and will never make a comment.( I’m kind of exaggerating). That’s why the Mixi developer team recently added a reply function, making it easier for you to reply to your friends.
You have 4 options of who can read your diary; 非公開(private; only you can read), 友人まで公開(only your My-Miku can read), 友人の友人まで公開(only your My-Miku and your My-Miku’s My-Miku can read), and 全体に公開(everyone can read). You can select from these 4 options on a diary basis, so you don’t have to worry your boss may catch you complaining about your company.

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Gang Lu

Dr. Gang Lu - Founder of TechNode. He's a Blogger, a Geek, a PhD and a Speaker, with passion in Tech, Internet and R'N'R.