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Imagine that you are at a conference in Tokyo. As is the custom
in Japan, for each person you meet, you formally exchange business
cards by bowing and making it clear to them that you have
Imagine that you are at a conference in Tokyo. As is the custom in Japan, for each person you meet, you formally exchange business cards by bowing and making it clear to them that you have thoroughly read their card before gently tucking it away.
This is an important gesture. Not just because someone told you it was the custom here, but because you have no idea who this person could be. He could be the former CEO of Toyota for all you know, so you figure youll play it safe and find out later when you look him up on LinkedIn.
You get back to your hotel with your stack of business cards and start searching their names but no results.
But within few hours you get 5 friend requests on Facebook from people you met that day. Why are they adding me? you think. Dont they know not to mix personal with professional life?
What you are finding out firsthand is that Japanese do not use LinkedIn. They use Facebook. Both Facebook and Twitter have become wildly popular in Japan, but for whatever reason, LinkedIn hasnt.
The reason is the way the Japanese view LinkedIn site. In a country where many people still seek strong and even lifetime services with the same company, LinkedIn is seen as just another job site. LinkedIn allows people to talk about their career achievements. This is a problem, because Japanese tend not to boast about themselves so openly.
There is one more factor that plays a role. In Japan, the employees are often hired based on close relationships that requires bonding and getting to know the other person. Sharing personal lives with one another is a way of doing that. Facebook gives them a window into each others lives.
Many Japanese people tried to create LinkedIn of Japan, but have failed. Dont Japanese need a professional social network?