Big in Japan Web 2.0 Toolbox

The Big in Japan Web 2.0 Toolbox is a collection of powerful blogging, podcasting and RSS tools. The service aims to help people who are actively engaged in developing and managing a presence on the web. Several tools have already been launched with more to follow. There are currently ten web-based applications being incorporated into the ‘super mashup’. The ones available at the moment are free to use and an additional pro level will be phased in when ready.
Tool List 
  • PodServe: Free podcast creation and hosting with some cool features (see below).
  • FrankenFeed: Combine multiple RSS feeds into one monster feed.
  • ElfURL: Shrink large URLs, tag them and get stats.
  • InstantFeed: Delivers RSS feeds to instant messengers.
  • QwikPing: Blog update notification. Add your blog(s) and instantly ping multiple services.
  • SocialMail: Forward email messages via RSS feeds (launch pending).
  • FeedVault: Save and/or share your OPML files, create group discussion feeds (launch pending).
  • MailFeed: RSS by mail (launch pending). 
  • FoneFeed: RSS by SMS (launch pending).
  • StatsTool: Roll all your stats from various key services into one central location (launch pending).

Each tool provides a focused set of features for managing your feeds. A single signup/login provides convenient access to all applications for executing a range of management tasks. The user interfaces are clean and uncluttered with the same look and feel throughout. 

All this makes it possible to quickly set-up/select multiple feeds, mix them into one with FrankenFeed and have them delivered via InstantFeed to MSN Messenger, Jabber, AIM and ICQ. Further automation within the toolset will make this a very attractive service for serious bloggers, podcasters and businesses.


Podcast Creation and Hosting

PodServe is a free podcast application and audio file host with up to 1GB of storage space. Creating podcasts with Podserve is extremely easy, simply enter some details about the podcast feed, upload the mp3 files and you’re done. You can choose to have the feed listed on Itunes, Odeo, Ipodder and Hosted podcasts may also be listed in the PodServe directory. Your podcast can be tagged with keywords and have a cover art image attached.


When creating podcasts you have a choice of three podcast sharing options:

  • Standard Podcast: You will be the only person uploading shows, other users will only be able to subscribe and listen to your shows.
  • Social Podcast: This podcast will act as a community for you and other people who share an interest on the same subject.
  • Public Podcast: Anyone with a PodServe account will be able to apply to contribute to this podcast.

The last two provide a moderation option for filtering content before publishing. The Public Podcast is experimental and I’m curious to see how such a powerful tool develops. Social, public and group podcasting raises interesting potential financial models for media distribution. This is a simple solution for creating specialized content channels and a feature I would expect to see getting much use from music distributors and promoters. Think Creative Commons music channel, netlabel releases, independent associations, etc.

Some of the tools have their own address e.g. 

By the way "biggu" means big in Japanese. Overall, ‘Big in Japan’ gets a big thumbs up from me, its design is clean and well thought out, it offers a powerful free podcasing solution and manages to incorporate essential RSS tools into a package that ‘feels’ good to use. Making tools that are both useful and aesthetically pleasing is a real challenge and the team behind this project have obviously worked it out. Zen tradition emphasizes direct communication.

Here’s the Big in Japan blog. Further information can be found at Weblogs Work.


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Entrance Panel

One response to “Big in Japan Web 2.0 Toolbox

  1. Thanks for the review.  We are ‘soft launching’ the tools – i.e. without much fanfare.  The idea is to get a few users, find bugs, fix those bugs, add a few features, change some UI and then add a few more users and repeat.  Sort of a 37 Signals approach to release and refinement.  We never really told anyone we launched InstantFeed and now we have 5000+ users.  PodServe has almost a 1000 podcasters and 34,000 podcast subscribers.  Let us know what you need and we will put it on the list.  Cheers!

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