In 2005 I was in Japan, Facebook was in its infancy and unknown to me. MySpace was as lame and teenie-bopper ridden as ever and the model for a decent social networking website was Friendster.
At the time I had the idea to create what would now probably be described as the facebook of Japan. I called it Nipponster.com.
I built it on phpizabi a powerful social networking site CMS.
The phpizabi open source community was growing daily and in the forums there was the general feeling that the CMS was something special indeed.
Unfortunately my promotion of Nipponster was not effective enough and my timing was off.
It is one of my most painful failures as I KNOW it could have been very big and even with all of the bad deployment and poor promotion the signups and the positive feedback and user engagement was impressive. The momentum just wasn’t there and my personal life (as I was graduating and overworked) didn’t allow the time for it.
At the time I read articles on friendster and this one about friendster scaling their website using the open source LAMP was a good one.
Happily NIpponster has had several reincarnations since then and sparked the “Japan-related web” movement, a decentralised movement of Japan-related bloggers and webmasters. I am very proud of my contributions to that community.