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Jake is interviewed at

I had the pleasure of being invited by Eric over at to talk about Social Media and Big in Japan and other assorted subjects. Eric is on a quest to interview 1000 marketing people, and I was number 79.

Check it out and if you’re interested in helping Eric drive to 1000, drop him an email and introduce yourself. He’s a great guy, and it’s a great project!

Jake McKee | 8:54 am | No Comments Tags: Blogs , socialmedia , podcast , biginjapan , jakemckee , interview , marketing | Bookmark on | Digg It

One year later: weblogs work, but . . .

Weblogs Work is now part of Big in Japan! It took us a year to determined that weblogs do in fact work, but they are simply one social media tool a business or agency should consider. As a result we have decided to consolidate the Big in Japan and Weblogs Work brand into one with a renewed focus on helping businesses and agencies build turnkey social media programs by providing a broad spectrum of social tools including weblogs, wikis, podcasts, forums and feeds. Don’t worry, the Weblogs Work weblog won’t go away, it will continue to provide a place for the Big in Japan team to blog about social media. Can you believe it has been a year?

On April 12, 2022 I wrote the first Weblogs Work post titled, “Business Blogs the next big thing (that is already here)!” In July we began offering ‘blog consulting’ services to small companies. We also started having our programmers build various tools for our consultancy to effectively host shared and dedicated, single and multi-user blogs. Soon our clients got larger and our projects more complicated. Our programmers started building even more customized tools like elfURL, PodServe, FrankenFeed, InstantFeed and SocialMail. We even created a brand for our social tool effort called Big in Japan.

Almost ninety days ago it became obvious we had a choice to make. We could build an agency and expand our social media consulting practice or we could change our focus to exploit what we were already uniquely positioned to provide. Weblogs Work and Big in Japan are both brands owned by Spur (the holding company I manage). Spur also owns an IT support brand called Architel. Weblogs Work and Big in Japan had been stealing resources (data center space, servers, programmers and engineers) from the very start and it became clear we were very good at building, customizing, managing and supporting various social tools. Very few companies had the experience and resources to do what we were doing on a daily basis.

Just before the 4th of July we bit the bullet and decided to refocus our offering to provide agencies and brand managers enterprise class social tools complete with hosting, management and day-to-day support. Here is an example of our most popular offerings:

  • Social Media 101 – A two-day fire starting event for your company. Our trainers will show you how social media tools will change your business through a hands-on training event for up-to 20 employees per event. Includes 12 months of hosted/managed/supported weblog, wiki and podcast services.
  • Managed WordPress – Offering a multi-server WordPress implementation allowing for separation of presentation and database functionality. Supporting up-to 512 unique weblogs on two servers. Nightly backups and statistics included.
  • Managed PmWiki – Offering a highly secure wiki implementation allowing for up-to 256 unique wikis on a single server. Nightly backups and statistics included.
  • White Label PodServe – Offering a unique integrated podcast and telephony tool for your business.

Want to learn more? You can reach me directly at 1+214.550.2003 or just send me an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

Alexander Muse | 8:31 am | No Comments Tags: Blogs , socialmedia , podcast , biginjapan , weblogswork , blog , socialtools | Bookmark on | Digg It

PodServe: Best in Show


Alex did a great job of talking about PodServe and all the Big in Japan apps today at the Under the Radar event held at the Microsoft HQ in Silicon Valley. We got some kind words from Mssrs. Arrington & Clavier and had lots of good conversations with companies interested in hearing more after the presentation.

The best feedback so far is that PodServe was a ‘Best in Show’ winner after all the audience votes were tallied tonight. Not only did we ‘win’ the love of the crowd at our panel on podcasting, but PodServe was one of the top vote getters among all the apps demo’d today. Said one respondent: “I’d buy that.” Now that’s what we like to hear. Thanks, Debbie Landa and all IBD Network team for inviting us out to present. We also did an interview with Irina Slutsky, which I’ll link to once posted.

Rock on, Big in Japan team.

Brian Oberkirch | 12:28 am | [4] Comments Tags: Blogs , biginjapan , michaelarrington , undertheradar , podserve , irinaslutsky , jeffclavier | Bookmark on | Digg It

Biggu Will Be in the Gym This Weekend

We are taking down all the Big in Japan apps this weekend in order to pump, (clap), them up.  Crazy demand is pushing us to bulk up the environment for PodServe, SocialMail, InstantFeed and all the other apps.  We’ll have them up by Monday morning.

Brian Oberkirch | 10:59 am | No Comments Tags: Blogs , biginjapan | Bookmark on | Digg It

Mashup and Remix

Companies make mistakes all of the time.  For example, Big in Japan printed shirts for this month’s issue of Valleyschwag.  They never got a chance to see the shirts before Thor shipped them and learned from a subscriber that they were see through.  Ouch!  This did not seem to mind the TechSlut, but Mierla was not to impressed.  What if your users were so excited about your service that they took the time to fix your mistakes?
This afternoon I noticed a few new pictures tagged with biggu on flickr bubble up on the SocialMail footer and clicked through.  Turns out Mierla, not deterred by the mashup goofup ‘remixed’ the shirts.  She documented her effort on flickr:

Alexander Muse | 2:57 pm | 1 Comment Tags: Blogs , socialmail , biginjapan , biggu , techslut , mierla | Bookmark on | Digg It

But Will They Wear Your T Shirt?


You send out free t shirts because 1) t shirts are fun & you are fun and 2) people will put them on, snap a photo and post them to flickr. And because you really want to be the skinnycorp boyz when you grow up.

Brian Oberkirch | 6:51 am | No Comments Tags: Blogs , biginjapan , valleyschwag , tshirt , mashup , flickr | Bookmark on | Digg It

SocialMail: Feed Me Email

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Alexander & I have been working a lot lately on all the Big in Japan tools. Lots of changes to PodServe, revamping FrankenFeed in Rails and with the new user experience tweaks we’ve been doing to all the tools, and launching the remaining tools. (Note to self: doing ten apps at once is not a good idea.) We posted up SocialMail for a bit of feedback, and we’re getting it.

What’s SocialMail? It’s a tool that lets you get any email as an RSS feed. Now, for non-geeks, that means you don’t have to keep piling on your Inbox just to stay connected with people. For me, and perhaps for many of you, email is just not as effective anymore. If I’m out for half a day, my email piles up so much that I’m not as effective in paying attention to things. I’m managing most of my projects through various Basecamps, and getting feed updates on new actions and such.

You can use SocialMail to:

  • Forward any email to an RSS feed, tracking it in your newsreader or republishing to a blog. For instance, it might be handy to have all support@ emails republished to an internal blog where your team has better access to them.
  • Create non-managed email discussion lists. Want to have a quick talk about Bay Area Hiking? Create and let everyone interested subscribe to that feed. They don’t have to give you an email address, nor do they have to unsub and manage their participation when they tire of the conversation. They simply unsub from the feed. Then, again, you can republish the information to a blog, etc., making it more searchable, indexable, easier to interact with than typical email.
  • Share common addresses. Instead of having one person responsible for sales@ or support@, create a SocialMail feed and let everyone in the company have access to these public emails.

I’m sure our users will come up with many more things, but we’ve started the ball rolling. Read Alexander’s write-up or check out what TechMeme is tracking on this new tool.

Brian Oberkirch | 7:48 am | No Comments Tags: Blogs , Feeds , rss , socialmail , biginjapan , alexmuse , webfeed , syndication , email | Bookmark on | Digg It


We are huge fans of Valleyschwag. (In fact, I have just checked my mailbox three times this afternoon hoping that they made a rare double trip to my house just to drop off my new t shirts.) This edition of the the schwag-by-mail club includes a Big in Japan shirt we did: summer versions of the Mashup t-shirts we did around the Web 2.0 show last year.  As seen on actual rockstars like Nivi.

Brian Oberkirch | 5:09 pm | 1 Comment Tags: Blogs , biginjapan , biggu , valleyschwag , tshirt , mashup , nivi | Bookmark on | Digg It

Biggu tool update: SocialMail

Brian is going to do a full post on SocialMail, but I thought I would mention that it was turned on last week. For those of you who use various Big in Japan tools, you will note that SocialMail is the first example of our new login and footer design (no more sidebar). All of the tools will adopt these two SocialMail features. Otherwise check it out…


Frederic Tubale | 5:54 pm | No Comments Tags: Blogs , rss , socialmail , podcast , feed , biginjapan , biggu | Bookmark on | Digg It