Organised by Ken Brady of Genkii.com who runs the Tokyo Beer and Blog website, it was a very social evening with no agenda or presentations. It was mostly an excuse to get together, enjoy a drink at the Hobgoblin Pub in Shibuya and meet other technology enthusiasts.
Andrew Shuttleworth, one of Tokyo's well known social network gurus, was there. He had some electronic "Pokens" for sale at 2,000 Yen each. They were soon snapped up by those of us not already owning one.
Poken is your social business card. Scrap the paper business card! Your Poken card is far more comprehensive. Rather than handing out a piece of paper that shares just your basic contact information such as company, address, phone, and email, with Poken you can include your social network profiles as well. When you associate a social network to your Poken identity that social network's favicon appears on your Poken card. If you are connected to your friend on that social network, then they can click the favicon link to instantly view your social network profile. If you opt not to be connected on that social network, then they will simply see the public-search version of your profile.
We discussed these on the J-bloggers conference and several people were looking forward to getting one. I think they could catch on, but these days with everyone having iphones and mobile phones, where data exchange is already very easy, the extra step of having to register your Poken on their website maybe be one hurdle too many. According to their website they are doing well in Europe.
Some of the many people I met include: Steven Nagata, Ted from TokyoFoodCast.com, Sam Ragnarsson and Matthew Dons who is planning to run a Bar Camp event in Tokyo at the end of May.
Joseph Tame, who has just launched his new podcast site JapanPodShow was there briefly, before having to go to work. In their first podcast: Joseph and George discuss some news items; guest presenter Honor of TokyoTopia has some advice on flying into Tokyo; there's an interview with Ken Brady about Genkii.com's new project Sparkle: The first virtual world for the iphone; the inventor of the Poken talks about how he first thought of the idea and how he met Britney Spears; there's an interview with a musician and a competition to win a Poken too! Go on over to JapanPodCast.com to hear the full story.
One last thing: check out this Web Trends map of the most influential websites arranged in format of the Tokyo Subway map. From Information Architects.
(Hat Tip to Japansoc.com where it is one of the top stories. In fact it should appear in the widget on my sidebar with the subject Websites as Stations on the Yamanote )
Thanks for the post.
In response to your comments about Poken, although I'm completely subjective, they are especially great because:
1) You don't have to register them before starting to use.
2) It takes just a second to register information. (Although IR is popular here it's not universal and often seems to be a lot of hassle). Poken are also not universal ... yet. I really think they have the possibility to grow from what they are not and become a global standard.
3) Poken are a lot of fun.
I've already certainly benefitted especially when attending events where a large number of the attendees have Poken. Looking forward to see how things go.
I'm definitely going to find one when I visit Japan! That thing is awesome!
Thanks for your comments Andrew. Now that they have started selling them in stores in Japan I think they might become a bit of a fad.
I expect to see more stylish versions come soon. They currently look a little too gimicky I feel. I think a sleek and more professional style might go down well with more people.
Phoenix Storm, don't wait untill you come to Japan. Go over to the Japan Soc Blog and you could enter a competion to win one with a quick post on your blog:
It would be interesting to get the Korea Market on the go.
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