At the top of the agenda is the ongoing conversion to a database-driven site. It’s a lot of work, but progressing nicely. It should be ready in Jan. or Feb. Here’s a brief sample of the site’s major changes:
- The site will have three major database-driven modules. One for textual information, one for photos (already in place), and one for contact addresses and phone numbers like a phone book.
- The photographers’ biographies in PhotoWho’sWho will be totally revamped and each biography will have its own Web page. Many biographies will also include a Japanese-language bio. People can also post a comment on the page for any questions, corrections, or supplemental information.
- PhotoHistory will also be database-driven and people will be able to post comments. PhotoHistory for 2002 will also be added.
- PhotoSpaces, which lists photo galleries and museums in Japan, will also be totally revamped and database-driven. Many more galleries and museums all over Japan will be added. Addresses will be in both English and Japanese.
- Besides PhotoSpaces, other directory-type sections such as PhotoVendors and PhotoBookstores that consist of contact addresses and phone numbers will be in an online database. If you become a registered user (free), you can select your favorite listings of photo galleries, bookshops, etc., and assemble them on your own customized Web page at PhotoGuide Japan. You can then have quick access to your favorite photo-related businesses.
After that, there will be more online photos of Japan and a major update of PhotoJapanese (Japanese lessons for the photographer) and other outdated sections.
Hope to see you often in 2003!
Without a doubt, the proliferation of cell phone cameras (called camera-tsuki keitai denwa) was the year 2002′s top news for photography in Japan. They were everywhere this year. It sort of reminded me of the Print Club boom that swept Japan several years ago.
According to J-Phone, 6 million camera cell phones for their Sha-Mail service have been sold since June 2001 when it was first introduced. (“Sha” is an abbreviation for the word “Shashin” which means photograph.) Total domestic sales of cell phone cameras in fiscal 2002 is expected to exceed 20 million units (compared to 6 million in fiscal 2001). And over half of all cell phones sold had a built-in digital camera.
In fiscal 2003, a whopping 30 million cell phone cameras are expected to be sold in Japan. This is about one-third the number of single-use (or disposable) cameras sold in Japan. I’m sure that the cell phone camera will greatly affect sales of single-use (or disposable) cameras. I bet they will start making cell phone cameras that can be connected directly to a printer to print images. The cell phone may also become an electronic wallet that you can use to pay for train tickets and vending machine soft drinks. Times are sure changing. I mean just a few years ago, the idea of using a cell phone to take pictures was totally unimaginable. What next?
On Dec. 15, 2002, Kodak shut down its “Kodak@Shop” online store and stopped selling its APS cameras and consumer digital cameras to the Japanese market. Although its digital camera sales in the US has been doing alright, it could hardly compete in Japan with the features and design found in Japanese-made digital cameras.
It had not introduced any new digital camera models in Japan during the past year.
It will concentrate on the digital print business in Japan instead.