Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

We've been chatting on #joiito on Freenode to try to help coordinate technical support and resources for Katrina relief work. Please sign up on/edit the wiki page and join the conversation on IRC if you can help in some way.

Decided to play a bit more World of Warcraft this weekend. Wandering around Darkshire, I met the first person so far with a sense of humor. (Also the first person over 30 who I don't know in real life.) His name is Illuminus and he's a 37 year old philosopher/bouncer who likes to play mages. Anyway, we decided to start our own guild. It's called "We Know". If you're on Khadgar and want to join us, sign up on the wiki and look for me on Khadgar. We're still in the process of getting people to sign the charter.

I'm sure that people who use Technorati have been frustrated lately by Cosmos search (or URL search) timing out occasionally. Dave has posted an update on the work being done. Thank you for your patience.

I find Japan to be extremely "faddy" and the media and consumers tend to jump onto new toys very quickly. Trends tend to die very quickly as well. Things that you are excited about only temporarily are often referred to as "my boom". For example, you might say, "blogging is 'my boom' right now." There are now television ads about blogs. The other day I heard a radio commercial where they read out the URL, but added that you could post comments and send trackbacks. Yes. Trackbacks. I have yet to hear a radio commercial in the US on a normal major FM show (maybe there are some) asking people to send trackbacks a site. It wasn't even a geek site. I think everyone here is finally jumping on the bandwagon.

That's why it's not strange when reports constantly ask me whether I think blogging is a fad, assuming that this "fad" will disappear along with the tamagocchi and pokemon in due time. Many reporters still look at me a bit skeptically when I try to explain that it is a trend, not a fad or some cool new toy. Watching the Japanese consumer machine trying to devour this one will be interesting.

Having said that, I'm sure many people outside of Japan also feel that blogging is just a fad.

In an effort to cut down on energy consumption, Japan has implemented "Cool Biz". Cool biz facilities keep the temperature at around 28 degrees Celsius (approx 82.4 Fahrenheit) in the summer. It often feels hotter than that. In these offices, people don't wear suits. Most government buildings and many public facilities are now cool biz. First of all, 28 degrees is hot, even with a t-shirt. Second, when you travel around buildings requiring various dress codes, this system doesn't really work.

This isn't a new thing, but it appears that it is being implemented with renewed vigor this year. I blogged about this back in 2002. According to the Japanese Wikipedia, they think that it will save about $1B.

I suppose I'm a schmuck for complaining about something so socially and fiscally good, but for some reason this kind of suffering feels very Japanese and annoying. There is something very ceremonial and inefficient about it. Maybe it's just that I'm sweating my ass off in a cool biz zone. Maybe this is a signal to me to figure out a way to save $1B for the Japanese economy and help the environment. Maybe we can start by firing all of the retired bureaucrats that they force companies to hire who get paid a mint and driven around in black limos.