A friend of mine just got some nice news to finish out the year. Daigo Fujiwara is a Japanese-born journalist, graphic artist, Web dude and baseball fanatic who now lives in Boston and works for the Boston Globe and Boston.com as a graphic artist.
Yesterday, Boston.com announced that it had cut a content partnership with “an established Japanese baseball site” called Go-RedSox.com. It turns out the man behind that Japanese language Web site for the Sox is none other than Daigo Fujiwara.
On his increasingly popular blog, JapaneseBallPlayers.com, which he produces in his spare time in both English and Japanese, Fujiwara had been enthusiastically covering the Red Sox’ negotiations last fall with Daisuke Matsuzaka, the superstar Japanese pitcher. And fans in Japan were enthusiastically reading the news Fujiwara posted, up to and beyond the six-year, $52-million signing.
Boston.com understandably covered the deal closely, and also covers the Red Sox deeply. So when Fujiwara happened to mention to the folks at the site that he writes in Japanese about the team on Go-RedSox.com, the powers-that-be saw an opportunity to reach out to a whole new market of readers halfway across the world. So Go-RedSox.com will dispay translated stories from the Boston Globe, Boston.com and from fan site Boston Dirt Dogs, an English language blog that Boston.com also partners with.
In a way, it’s not a big deal — certainly not for Daigo, who takes the partnershp in stride, albeit with pride. The media, however, seem to feel differently, and some are treating the news as a bigtime content deal.
Good for Daigo, I say. He’s not getting rich off the deal but I bet he’s not doing so badly with the Google ads on his site, including Japanese Google ads on the Japanese pages.
It’s more proof that independent, individual media producers like the Daigo Fujiwaras of the world can play with the Big Boys on the global media stage. And, it’s another sign that media world is changing faster than you can say “newspaper are so last-century.”