Below are some questions that are frequently asked regarding the Mixi statistics I share on this site.
What is Mixi?
Mixi is a Japanese social networking website similar to Facebook in the English-speaking world. Users can post profiles and join communities based on their interests. The communities themselves are very robust, with BBS systems and the ability to create surveys among their capabilities.
Where do your numbers come from?
As on a website like Facebook, there can often be many communities surrounding the same subject. Some are redundant while others serve specific interests, such as girls-only or GLBT fan groups. For each group and group member I cover, I select the most up-to-date fan group (Nagate Ayaka, for instance, rather than any groups with her maiden name) with the most members and record the number of members in that community. In the overwhelming majority of cases there is one clear-cut choice.
I’ve seen sales figures that say N-chan sells more merchandise than X-chan, but the Mixi ranking says that X-chan is more popular! What gives?
Keep in mind that just as there are many people who choose not to use Facebook, not everyone in Japan uses Mixi. Likewise, individuals may choose not to join communities on Mixi even though they are a fan of a band or individual. There is no single metric which is guaranteed to give an accurate picture of the overall popularity of a celebrity or group and these statistics are just one resource that fans can use.
Why do the numbers go down sometimes?
Just like on Facebook, Mixi users can choose to join or leave a community as their interests change. Often graduated members or those who have not been active in Japan for a long time will lose community members faster than they gain new ones. Scandals, real or perceived, can also affect group membership.
How do I join Mixi?
Unfortunately, Mixi changed its membership policy some time ago, and it has become rather difficult for overseas users to join. In order to join Mixi, new users must be invited by current members, and part of the registration process requires new users to have a Japanese keitai email address, which you only have if you own a cell phone in Japan. In short, your best bet is to talk to someone you know who is currently residing in Japan.
I am in Japan and I have a phone that can receive mail. Can you send me a Mixi invite?
Users who provide Mixi invites in public forums such as on bulletin boards or blog comment threads risk having their invitation privileges revoked. As such, any comments to the effect of “can I have a Mixi invite?” will be deleted from this blog. However, many English-speaking Mixi users frequent music forums and are happy to entertain private requests from other users they trust.
Can you tell me about how popular W-san/Band L/TV Show Q is on Mixi?
I am happy to help when I can, though I cannot guarantee that I will have the time to honor every request. Leave a comment and I will see what I can do! For the record, I plan to start my coverage with H!P, NGP, and Idoling!!, with the possible addition of AKB48 and other groups as my schedule permits. Obviously, I won’t start publishing information about monthly growth and the like until I have two months of data for a particular individual/group.