I just read in the New York Times that Japan's largest business newspaper, Nikkei, is banning links to it articles. Read full article: Nikkei Restricts Links to Its New Website.
I am afraid that this is a very bad move on Nikkei's part and it is going against the tide of what is occurring in the Media industry.
I spoke with an associate the other day who told me that many of her Japanese clients are NOT using social media as part fo their marketing strategy. Of course their localized offices in foreign countries have adopted Facebook, Twitter, etc. but HQ overall just does not see the need.
Face it—Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools are here to stay. They will evolve of course but they are not going away and it is no longer wise for the Japanese to take the “ wait and see how everything plays out and then we will join in” approach. It will be too late for them then and they will be playing even more of a game of catch –up than they are now.
I remember reading an interview with Sir Howard Stringer of SONY in Nikkei Electronics Asia last year (how ironic is that?) in which he said “ Sony hasn’t taken open technology very seriously in the past. Its CONNECT music download service was a failure. It was based on OpenMG, a proprietary digital rights management (DRM) technology. At the time, we thought we would make more money that way than with open technology, because we could manage the customers and their downloads. This approach, however, created a problem: customers couldn’t download music from any Websites except those that contracted with Sony.If we had gone with open technology from the start, I think we probably would have beaten Apple Inc of the US. " (NOTE: I just quoted from the article, I did not link to it).
Let that be a lesson for any company but a Japanese one in particular and Nikkei specifically—the more you try to hold back technology and control and box in your customers, the more you will suffer.
Linking to articles in blogs like I am doing here with the New York Times article increases the chance of more people knowing about that article and going to their site and maybe becoming subscibers which will bring profits to their business. Even if it doesn't, you basically have someone -ME-pushing people towards your product for free.
I will be watching how this one plays out.