At the the shrine, people bought a wooden tablet and wrote their prayers on it, they then hung the tablet on a wooden plank along with the other tablets. While with Wish site, people submitted their wishes, which would then go to a moderation queue before appearing on the site.
The similarity is mainly on the idea of making a prayer/wish, with a certain degree of anonymity, and it is then available for others to see. What was interesting to me is the way they handled ‘inappropriate’ content. They filtered out most of the ‘spams’ by making it a non-free process (most people wouldn’t spend 500 Yen just to spam). They also put a piece of paper with an explanation of how the process works, and that’s where I noticed this sentence “Please write down your prayers, in a faithful spirit of respect and devotion.”
That sentence highlights the main difference between our visitors. The shrine visitors made the prayers mostly with a good intention. While Wish site had to face the evil spammers and angry people on the Internet, besides the real wishers who simply want make a wish. The long walk from the main shrine to the entrance gave me a lot of time to think of how I should improve the way Wish works, the site has stayed too simple for the past 3 years, it’s time for some improvements. Stay tuned!
Some pictures from the shrine…
A couple reading the prayers. This is similar to browsing the wishes at Wish.
A text based prayer with a simple timestamp. We got that at Wish.
Some people like to draw. We got it too, though most picture submissions weren’t original content from the submitter, so this part hasn’t worked well at all.
I didn’t spot this until I returned to Melbourne. Is that kennysia.com on the second tablet from the top? He did go to Japan in April. For the uninitiated, Kenny Sia is Malaysia’s most popular blogger.