So a bit of background: We have a team in Japan, and I am having discussions with our country manager about community there as we look to grow and be intentional there in Japan and the APAC region. In recent discussions about our direction for platform, I mentioned that I was going to be using the Discourse Translator plugin to get our existing content translated for use in Japan and that I would want to move away from Facebook Groups (where current activity for community building in Japan is being housed) to our Discourse site.
He feels very strongly that the only way to build community in Japan/Asia is to do so via Facebook Groups, and cites companies like AWS who do so and how “successful” they are. I asked him to define “build community” and he responded with this:
people are able to connect with each other and when they’re talking with them about a our product and how to use it, they can click and go see more about that person in their Facebook feed which gives more connection and sense of belonging and people in Japan love that. They can also talk about things that aren’t about our product as well."
To which my response was “So, how does our current, already in use Discourse implementation not fit that bill?”
His response was:
There are no companies in Japan that I know of who utilise a platform like Discourse for community. Instead they use Facebook Groups, which has the killer ingredients for companies like AWS to be successful with their community in Japan.
He has asked me to compile companies in Japan or that have a presence in Japan that use platforms like Discourse that are successful. I went through Best Communities Running Discourse and didn’t see anything that stood out around companies that are in Japan exclusively, though there are a few listed at Discourse customers | Discourse - Civilized Discussion which have a presence in Japan.
Is anyone here aware of companies based in, or with a strong presence, Asia that are using Discourse?
Having spent quite a few years doing community, I’m not convinced that his assessment of Facebook Groups being the only way to build community in Asia makes any sense at all. I acknowledge that there are cultural differences, but the reasons he mentioned are not exclusively solved/facilitated by Facebook alone.