Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

At the Internet Association Japan meeting yesterday, the folks from Impress gave a summary of their 10th annual Internet survey.

Impress 2005 Internet White Paper
There are 32,244,000 broadband households which is 36.2%.

There are 70,072,000 Internet users.

72.5% of people have heard of blogs, up from 39% last year.

25% of women in their teens and 20's have blogs.

9.5% of Internet users use RSS Readers.

46.5% of Internet users have decreased spending in physical shops because of online shopping.

29.6% of offices have wifi up from 10.7% last year.

2.8% of companies have corporate blogs and over 50% express no intention of ever having corporate blogs.

5.5% of companies have corporate web pages for mobile phone users.

I took notes based on a verbal presentation so there could be some mistakes. If anyone notices any, please let me know.

UPDATE: PDF of press release summary of white paper. (includes charts / Japanese)


Only 72.5% have heard of blogs? Walk into any bookstore and you'll see entire displays devoted to blogging so I'd say that number's a bit low.

boo: More than half of my friends at Cornell didn't know what a blog was. Kind of sad... It sounds like the situation is somewhat better in Japan, although I am surprised that there aren't more corporate blogs.

The low RSS Reader figure is no surprise. Most users don't know what they are or what practical purpose they serve.

I know based upon my own experience. I started using a reader only a few months ago; up to then I didn't even know what they were.

though in japanese, a summary is available in pdf:

i have a question, why the random faceroll?

Why not? ;-)


I'll have to read over the linked PDF, but I'd certainly be interested to know how the stats were figured and how the terms are defined. I prefer to base my scepticism on fact rather than echomania. I wonder for example if a mixi nikki counts as a "blog" or not (how about photo journals or non japanese language pages maintained by people resident in Japan, etc?) This is part of the basic problem I have with the whole blog koolaid, if you cant define a thing then you cant count it and so the numbers cant be trusted. BTW have you read any of the Japan Media Review articles on "blogging" in Japan? (oh please merciful gods give us a better word for creating a web journal)

It is encouraging however that broadband is spreading here. Slowly but surely, I'm finding more and more local non corporate content being created here and posted to the net. It is indeed nice to be able to connect to others who share my specialized interests for which there are rarely any real world forums to communicate. This only comes with computers connected at decent speeds. A network of keitei clients cant create content, only consume.

I'm not sure if I've read any of the JMR's articles on blogs. URL?

Yes. I think the definition of blogging is very sketchy and there are lots of other factors like active bloggers vs inactive, etc.

Heh guess there far and beyond the UK :(

I've always wondered how they make the distinction between "active blogs" and inactive ones, as it matters a lot less when you use an RSS reader.

I have people in my subscription who only post every few months, but that's just their pace and their writing and their blogs are better for it, I think.
(Of course, if you were to read their sites with a browser only, checking every day to see if they've been updated, you'd quickly lose interest, thinking them "inactive.")

Maybe the key is to map their posting history and statistically predict when a post is overdue. If a blog has three posts, all in the same week, three months ago, then nothing, yes, it might be dead. Another blog that averages one posts a month over a couple of years is most likely still live even if there's been no post in three months.

If doesn't get updated for tho months, you're going to have people kicking in your door to see if you're still alive.
It's all relative...

I was wondering if you have similar stats for Korea? It'd be interesting to compare.

The first two numbers seem kind of tweaked. ~9M households and 70M users -- is the average household really 8 people?

> Eric Marcoullier:

It is not entirely unconceivable that people without an Internet connection at home might still be able to use the Internet at their school, workplace etc... ;-)

To say nothing about all the people in Japan surfing / e-mailing from their mobile phones...


The first stat is household (hh), the ave household in Japan is around 2.8. They derive,

50M hh x 36% penetration x 1.8 users/hh
=32M household users.

note: NOT 32M x 36%!(=9M?)

The second stat, 70M users, is inflated roughly by office use. They divide 70M users into:

-24.5M home-use only
-23.6M both home- and office use
-12.6M office-use
- 9.3M mobile and other devides

hope this helps.

Kenjimori --

The original post had the comma in the wrong place and I read it as 3.2M. You can probably see how I derived 9M total households from there.

MostlyVowels --

I see your point, but given that 85% of the households apparently have internet access, my question would have been just as valid as "do they really have 7 people per household?" However, my faulty eyesight makes it all moot.

Eric : Oops. Sorry about that. I just fixed the comma. It got screwed up when I was converting:

3 sen 224 man 4000 sen to 32,244,000. ;-)

source of random faces? curiosity is killing me. WHY the random faces? (doncha dare answer a question with a question!) :P

9.5% of Internet users use RSS Readers.

Oh wow. That's pretty impressive.

The random faces are from random sources...

I'm impressed by the 72.5%
Here in Switzerland I guess it would be around 10-20%...

Dancing With Tears In My Eyes


malaysians are starting to be blog-obsessed people. percentage is probably as high as 10% and out of that (in my opinion), 35% female, 65% male. the girls are slowly catching up! :)

Interesting stats, I believe Japanese market is much more comparative than the US.

9.5% use RSS Reader? i think this is very much. in switzerland it would be about 1% max i think.

Did anyone pull out the information from the white paper (PDF of press release summary of white paper.) in english? I am sure it contains valuable data for me but I cannot read Japanese.

Thanks for your help.


Very interesting statement! Thankyou.

"2.8% of companies have corporate blogs and over 50% express no intention of ever having corporate blogs."

Most companies don't understand, that they have to talk to their customers. And in addition, they did'nt understand yet that blogging can be a powerful tool to do that. I assume, they will change their mind, if the first companies have measurable success out of this. But this will need some more days ... ;)

If you cant define a thing then you cant count it and so the numbers cant be trusted.

Keep up the good work guys

Good Luck!


Good Luck!

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