Knowledge Communities & CGM

Knowledge Communities

The umbrella term “knowledge communities” comprises sites like Hatena, various question and answer sites, and others. A roundup of these is also available on Wikipedia.

Consumer Generated Media (CGM)

Depending on the website you are promoting, review/”kuchikomi” sites and comparison sites might help get you links. For video posting Nico Nico Douga is popular in Japan and gives more of a local flavor than using YouTube for your video posting. There is a list on Wikipedia. Also see this Wikipedia article on internet communities.

Social Bookmarking Sites

These are Japanese sites along the lines of Delicious in the English-speaking world.

Article Sites

Article aggregation websites along the links of in the U.S. are listed here:

The higher quality your articles are judged, the more links you are allowed. But the word is that Google has docked these sites, so they may not be as effective now that Yahoo has switched to Google’s search results.

This PDF leads you through the process for using Article InfoMake, which is representative.

Press Release Sites

There are several press release distribution sites in Japan, including the following:

And there are many more press release websites listed at Senden Meijin, along with general advice about writing effective press releases for the Japanese market. You may be thinking, Who cares how effective a press release is?, since a link is a link, but most Japanese websites will reject releases that seem fake or spammy.

Before submitting to a press release distribution website, check for fees (some are fee-based, some free), and check for nofollow tags. Ideally you will want to vary the text of each press release, as well as any anchor text. Some websites offer a service to distribute press releases by fax to journalists in addition to listing them online.

Press Clubs

If you want to try traditional PR (although it probably won’t get you any links), it can be easier in Japan than in the United States because of the phenomenon of the 40 or so topic-specific press clubs (記者クラブ) in Tokyo, where journalists from competing newspapers sit side-by-side with their competitors. The annual publication Mass Comi Denwa-cho (マスコミ電話帳) lists all these clubs. For example, there are press clubs for travel journalists, leisure topic journalists, information technology journalists, science writers, and sports magazine writers.

To distribute a press release just show up at the press club with a stack of releases, let the receptionist know why you’re there (if there is one), and then quietly circulate among the desks dropping a release on each desk. Don’t disturb any of the journalists, but if one is at his desk and deigns to pick up your release and read it you can pause in case he has any questions to direct to you. When you’re done, put the releases you have left in the mailboxes of the regional journalists who do not have desks at the club.

For major news, make an appointment for a presentation at the club (but you’ll be lucky if two or three journalists show up), or directly contact one of the journalists and pitch an exclusive. Exclusives only get you in one newspaper, but on the other hand journalists cut you a little more slack in their standards of what they will agree to write about. You probably need to hire a publicist to successfully pitch an exclusive.