To mark June 30th as Mashable’s ‘Social Media Day‘ an event was held in Ginza this evening featuring lightening talks from a whole lot of presenters – some in English, some in Japanese.
Something that is really apparent since last year is how boring social media itself has become – which is a really good thing. Whereas in the past there was still a lot of get rich quick hype and general bullshit, people are now seeing past the shininess and exploiting it for what it does best – connecting people and communicating information in a one to many manner to get real world results.
The recent ‘3.11’ earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown really threw up some interesting applications for online media that didn’t just have an online effect but had a real impact on peoples’ lives and the recovery. A lot of them were completely informal groups – one group of mothers in one town posted that they needed diapers while mothers in less affected places like Tokyo arranged for the supplies to be delivered.
The presentations at today’s event in Tokyo were a mix of people talking about social media marketing strategies, app. developers and activists. For me, the activism applications were the most interesting. Here is a quick run down of a few of the groups/projects.
NYN or ‘Nikkei Youth Network’ is an organisation that brings people together from all around the world with an interest in Japan. They’ve taken the expression ‘Nikkei’ which usually means of Japanese blood and changed the character so that the meaning is connection rather than blood. Akira Uchimura. a Chilean/Japanese born in Costa Rica founded NYN to build strong bonds between Japan and nikkei communities around the world. Through funneling people from facebook to their web site and to an online sign-up form, NYN has sent hundreds of international volunteers to assist in the aid and recovery in the Tohoku region of Japan.
i-Kifu is a project that is still in development, but it looks really interesting. It addresses the issue of Japanese people contributing less to charity than other countries by increasing transparency, interactivity and rewards for giving. Looking forward to seeing it in action.
The untameable Mr. Joseph Tame once again stole the show without breaking a sweat in the awesome i-Run personal social media broadcasting system.
Joseph used this contraption (photo at top of this post) to live stream the entire 42km of his run in the Tokyo Marathon held not long before the recent earthquake.
Together with Tokyo resident Mike Kato, Joseph will ride a shopping bicycle wearing i-Run for 1,400km from Tokyo to Aomori in the north. On the way he will pass through some of the worst affected areas from the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident. The objective is to highlight the cultures of the areas he passes through and also focus the attention of the world on an area that is still in need of help.
Thanks to Dean Fujii, Rob Van Nylen and all the other volunteers for bringing so many interesting people together in a single space.