Ignore the Bloggers? Not if you Sell Products in Japan

by Steve Broback on April 6, 2006

As we’ve been saying for years now, ignore the bloggers at your peril. Now they’ll be advising people in stores as they contemplate purchases (at least in Japan.)

The Economist reports that Toshiba will soon offer a system that will allow shoppers to scan barcodes in stores and get a review of the scanned product from bloggers.

“The software, which will work in any handset equipped with a digital camera, will let users scan the barcodes of an item in a shop to call up assessments of the product on the internet. The phone connects to a central Toshiba server that can both identify the barcode from a database of 1.5m products and then sift through all 6m Japanese weblogs for any references to it. A more complex algorithm then decides whether the reference is broadly positive, broadly negative or neutral, and within about ten seconds the product’s reputation gets a numerical value on the handset.”

I wonder if this will finally convince corporate America that bloggers are worth engaging with. We are still experiencing timidity at surprisingly high levels…

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Teresa Valdez Klein 04.06.06 at 8:23 am

I blogged about a similar phone back in November. This one would allow you to scan a bar code and compare the price of your potential purchases to the same item at nearby stores. Adding that information to product reviews by bloggers will be truly informative for customers.

And that means a great deal for many businesses.

2 panasianbiz 04.10.06 at 4:43 pm

What a novel idea! Leave it to Japan to come up with something like this.

I wonder how many bloggers there are that concentrate on product reviews.

Any ideas?

3 Teresa Valdez Klein 04.24.06 at 12:37 pm

Panasian: I think at one time or another, all bloggers have something to say about a product or service they experienced, regardless of whether their blog is focused on product reviews or not.

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