Tagged: social bookmarking

JapanSoc Video Tutorial – Social Bookmarking Button

Over on the Daily J, our friend Tori is working hard to bring Japan’s community of bloggers together. As well as projects such as Nipponster and Japanopedia, he is regularly giving exposure to blogs and community-driven websites such as JapanSoc.

To my surprise, he has started on a series of video tutorials for each of the tools on my JapanSoc Toolbox page, starting with a guide on how to install the JapanSoc Voting Button. Since I think video tutorials are an excellent idea, I’ve made one myself!

The JapanSoc social bookmarking button is a textual or graphical link at the bottom of a blog post that when clicked, automatically submits an article to JapanSoc. Here’s my first attempt at a video tutorial, a 9 minute overview, stealthily avoiding all the details and focusing only on WordPress.org blogs.

If you can’t see the video, watch it here on YouTube.

Note: I made this video using Hypercam (shareware) and Windows Movie Maker (bundled with Vista).

JapanSoc Toolbox


Welcome to the JapanSoc Toolbox, a page full of resources to help you get the most out of Japan’s fastest growing social bookmarking site for the foreign community.

I’ve listed them in order of release, with new additions added as they become available. Please let me know if any of them are broken.

The JapanSoc Bookmarklet – Submit while you surf

JapanSoc Bookmarklet

The bookmarklet is added to either your browser’s bookmarks or links bar. You can submit a page to JapanSoc just by clicking this button, saving time and encouraging you to submit more articles! Find the bookmarklet on your JapanSoc profile page and read the instructions for the browser you use. Note: As an alternative, consider the Nipponster Toolbar described below.

JapanSoc Social Bookmarking Button

JapanSoc Social Bookmarking Button

This handy little button can be added to the foot of your blog posts, allowing your readers to submit your articles to JapanSoc. If you’d like to include a JapanSoc button on your site, grab the code and buttons from How can people soc my articles? on the JapanSoc FAQ.

JapanSoc FeedBurner FeedFlare

JapanSoc FeedBurner FeedFlare

What you see in that image above are links at the foot of a FeedBurner RSS feed. Clicking the JapanSoc link allows you to submit an article directly from the feed, which is incredibly useful if you use a feed reader such as Google Reader. The JapanSoc FeedFlare was created by Ken from WhatJapanThinks.com and can be used by anyone who has burned their feed with Feedburner. If you’re confused, watch the introduction to FeedBurner video in this DailyJ post, and then read Ken’s article so you can implement the JapanSoc FeedFlare into your own feed.

JapanSoc Voting Button

JapanSoc Voting ButtonThe JapanSoc Voting Button is the best way to encourage your readers to submit and soc your posts. It’s the most visual button and screams to be clicked! Although I’ve only tested the plugin for WordPress.org blogs, there is code you can copy and paste into your site to make it work on non-Wordpress blogs. If you’re looking for interactivity with your readers, more socs and more exposure, then this is the tool for you! Read more about the voting button.

Update: The WordPress plugin for the JapanSoc it! button is now available directly from WordPress. Read about the updates here: New JapanSoc it! Button. April 14th, 2009.

Nipponster Toolbar with JapanSoc It! Button

Nipponster Toolbar

This toolbar is unique in that it is designed for people like us. You’ve got a Japan-specific search engine, English-Japanese and Japanese-English translation tools, other useful links and gadgets, and of course, there’s a JapanSoc It! button, so you can submit articles while you surf. You can download the toolbar here.

JapanSoc Widget for Mac OS X

JapanSoc Widget for OS X

This flash-looking widget was designed by RockingInHakata author, Deas Richardson. About this tool, he says:

I whipped up an OS X widget to display the five most recent top stories AND allow me to submit new stories to JapanSoc directly from my Dashboard. I tried to keep the colors consistent with the actual site as well. If you are a JapanSoc member, or looking to be one, maybe you’ll find some use for it?

I’d love to try it, but since I don’t have a Mac, I have to settle for the video of the widget in action on Deas’ JapanSoc OS X Widget post. Incidentally, he has also made a Nipponster widget for the above mentioned, Japan-specific search engine.

JapanSoc RSS Web Widgets

JapanSoc Web Widgets

These two web widgets are an alternative to using the FeedList plugin above if you don’t have a WordPress blog. They can be embedded in sites such as iGoogle, Facebook, MySpace, Blogger and WordPress, too. Each widget represents a different JapanSoc feed; the orange one is for the main Top Stories feed, while the blue one is for Upcoming Stories. You can even customize their appearance by changing the colors and showing summaries of each story.

Stay up-to-date and keep you readers informed of the latest headlines from JapanSoc with the JapanSoc Web Widgets!

Additional Resources

Check out and bookmark this blog’s JapanSoc Info page. It has become the home for all things “JapanSoc”.

JapanSoc Voting Button for Blogs

By now you’ll know that I’ve started a social bookmarking site for everything Japan-related. If you’ve registered for JapanSoc and write about Japan on your own blog, then you’ll probably want this Digg-style voting button on your site.

Update: The WordPress plugin for this button is now available directly from WordPress. Read about the updates here: New JapanSoc it! Button. April 14th, 2009.

What does the button do?

Example of the JapanSoc Voting ButtonIt allows your readers to easily submit your blog posts to JapanSoc, and then automatically shows how many votes, or socs, your article has received from other JapanSoc’ers. After an article has been submitted, clicking the button will send your readers to JapanSoc where they can vote, or otherwise to the login/registration page.

Why should I use it?

It should encourage more of your readers to sign up for JapanSoc and vote for your posts, giving you more exposure on the social bookmarking site, and bringing new visitors to your blog.

How do I add it to a WordPress blog?

If you are running your own WordPress blog, then follow these instructions:

  1. Download the JapanSoc WordPress plugin
  2. Upload the japansoc folder to your wp-content/plugins folder
  3. Go to Admin -> Plugins, scroll down to JapanSoc: Soc it!, and click activate
  4. From the HTML tab, type <!--japansocleft--> or <!--japansocright--> in your post where you want the button to appear

How do I add it to a non-Wordpress blog?

If you don’t have a WordPress blog, you can still use the button, but you must be able to to insert Javascript directly into your post, or be able to edit your blogging template directly.

To add a button on a page with a single post, just copy and paste this:

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://www.japansoc.com/evb/button.php”></script>

If you have a page with multiple posts, you can separate each instance of the button by using the two lines of code below, and providing a url for each post.

<script type=”text/javascript”>submit_url = ‘url of the post‘;</script>
<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://www.japansoc.com/evb/button.php”></script>

Thanks to the Xorsyst, creator of OtakuStuff.com

Credit for the JapanSoc Voting Button goes to Louis from Xorsyst.com, one of the oldest blogs I’ve come across, with content dating back to early 2002!

OtakuStuff - Social Bookmarking for OtakuOne of his latest articles announced the launch of OtakuStuff.com, a social bookmarking site for fans of Japanese anime, manga, games and cosplay. In building the site, Louis made the above WordPress plugin, and was kind enough to share it with us at JapanSoc. If you’re an Otaku, make sure you sign up for OtakuStuff and get the Moe It! version of this voting button for your blog.

Using JapanSoc to Boost Blog Traffic

JapanSocFrom time to time, I’ll be posting about my new project, JapanSoc, so if you’re not sure what it is, please read the article JapanSoc Brings Social Bookmarking to Japan so that you understand these posts!

Over on the Daily J, Chris B posted a comment about JapanSoc’s voting system, suggesting that people could cheat it by asking their friends to vote up their submissions. I responded by explaining how social bookmarking manages itself because users can vote up what they like or “bury” what they don’t. I then went on to talk about how votes are less important than visitors:

Using JapanSoc as a bridge between Google and your blog

From a bloggers point of view, you want to get as much traffic as possible. The best way to get traffic is through search engines, but it’s very difficult to get your own blog ranking high in Google’s search results because you’re competing with other, bigger sites for the same keywords.

The advantage of a site like JapanSoc is that as it grows and gets more users and incoming links, it will become one of those “big” sites, and rank higher for YOUR keywords than your own site. Hence it becomes a “bridge” between Google and your blog.

One important concept to remember is that when you submit one of your own posts, you should use a different title to the original, and give it a quality write-up, using keywords you want Google to find. If you just cut and paste the opening paragraph and use the same title as you did in the original post, it will be judged by Google as duplicate content and not rank so high, if at all.

Anyway, I hope you can see that it’s not about getting votes, it’s about getting visitors.

Competing with yourself is a waste of potential traffic

With the above in mind, I did some searching on Google to see if I could find any real examples of how JapanSoc can be used to get traffic from the search engine giant. First, here’s an example of why you shouldn’t use the same titles:

Google results for Hinoki Ramen Shinjuku

You can see that for the search term “Hinoki Ramen Shinjuku”, the third result is the JapanSoc submission, which comes behind Neil’s original article. Ideally Neil should have used a different title with different keywords to avoid competition between his original article and the JapanSoc submission. Incidentally, notice how the JapanSoc link ranks above otaku.fm, Danny Choo‘s aggregated feed network. Sorry, Danny! ;-)

Titles matter to Google

This next example is a little more interesting, but shows the same problem:

Google results for Yutampo Japan

The above screenshot shows the results for “yutampo japan”. Thomas wrote about the Japanese hot water bottle on his blog, but his original post doesn’t show up in these results at all.

However, you can see Japanalyst (an rss feed aggregator) at number one, and it shows the same title for JapanSoc, BloggingZoom, and even the original article – talk about competing with yourself! :shock: Blogging Zoom have made things hard for themselves by attaching “BloggingZoom” to the front of the title instead of the end. All these things matter to Google.

Example using different titles

This last example shows how it should be done. The original article was titled “Slipper Ping Pong Official Racket” and as you can see below, it comes up first for the search term “slipper ping pong”.

Google results for Slipper Ping Pong

The JapanSoc link is nowhere to be found in those results because when I submitted the article to JapanSoc, I gave it the title, “Play table tennis with your slippers”, which as you can see below, ranks third for the search term “table tennis slippers”. Now that article can get traffic from both search terms!

Google results for Table Tennis Slippers

Help yourself and others by using different titles

If you use a social bookmarking site, whether it be JapanSoc or otherwise, think about changing the article’s title and summary when you make a submission. Of course, if you’re not a blogger yourself or you like submitting other people’s work (as I do), you can send them a little more traffic from the search engines by taking a few extra moments to personalize each submission. Happy JapanSocking!

JapanSoc Brings Social Bookmarking to Japan

JapanSoc - Social Bookmarking for JapanSocial bookmarking is a means of saving links to your favorite pages online and sharing them with other people. Just like you can add your favorite sites to your browser’s Favorites or Bookmarks, you can add them to a social bookmarking website which you and your friends can access anytime, anywhere, even from a different computer.

Social bookmarking for niches

The biggest and most popular social bookmarking sites include Del.icio.us, Reddit and Digg, and there are probably hundreds of similar websites for you to choose from. Recently, a number of niche websites have opened, limiting the content to a particular topic. For example, Sphinn is specifically for internet marketing news, and BloggingZoom is for bloggers.

Creating a social bookmarking site

It was the arrival of BloggingZoom that made me wonder how easy it would be to set up a social bookmarking site for Japan-related news and stories. It turns out that with Pligg, an open source social content management system, I was able to set up such a site in about 24 hours. It will take a lot longer to generate some interest, but the coding side is pretty much all done.

Introducing JapanSoc, social bookmarking for Japan

JapanSoc is for all things Japanese, in English. Whether your interests lie in Anime, Japanese TV, Japanese food, the language, teaching English in Japan, Japanese news or technology, then JapanSoc is the social bookmarking site for you.

What’s the Soc in JapanSoc?

Type “define: soc” into Google and you get this nice definition that sums up the name:

Socialising and discussion of social issues.

Free registration, only takes a minute

User registration is painless and you’ll soon be able to submit any stories about Japan you find interesting. If you blog about Japan like I do, you’re very welcome to submit your own blog posts and hopefully get some extra traffic to your site.

Success depends on mass participation

For a social bookmarking site to be successful, it needs a lot of users regularly submitting, rating and commenting on articles. I think JapanSoc has great potential, but it’s nothing without users. If you like the JapanSoc concept, please take a moment to register and invite some of your friends to join. If you have a blog, please write about it and lets build a community!

Sites in the JapanSoc community

Below is a list of the first ten sites that helped to promote JapanSoc in some way or another:

Linking to JapanSoc

You can link to JapanSoc with either:


or the following HTML code:

<a href="http://www.japansoc.com" alt="Japan Social Bookmarking">JapanSoc</a>

Here are some images you can use. Right click and save them to your computer:

190 x 41 px 160 x 35 px 120 x 26 px
468 x 60 px

Your comments are welcome!