LA TIMES -- Dec 25 -- Mixi's highly specialized online shopping circles, 900,000 virtual communities are nurtured within the 6-million-strong empire of Mixi users. In such communities have become so strongly linked to the real world in recent years that they now can affect the behavior of consumers at venues as diverse as pet shops and noodle bars. MySpace is determined to muscle in on this scene. In November, MySpace announced a joint venture with Internet and telecommunications group Softbank in a move that should see a fully localized PC-based version of MySpace operating in in March. Mixi is invitation-only and receives 750 million hits per month from PC users, and nearly 2 billion hits from Japanese accessing the service on their mobile phones.