First of all, I really want to thank all of my fellow K-bloggers/writers and everyone else who has really taken initiative on this project. You know who you are and I'm proud to be part of this community.
Since the meeting on Sunday, I've read some pretty solid ideas of how to go about this and where to start. Charles did an excellent job of laying out what was said at the meeting. You can read it on the Facebook group or on Foreign/er. The project entails three main areas: information availability; community building; and public relations.
I think we all know where the information is because we spend much of our online-time reading blogs, news and other informational websites. However, and as Joy rightly said, most expats probably don't know who we are or where we get our info. Trust me, except for my posts on Korean culture and society, Ask the Expat is a service for people who don't know where to go. They have nowhere to turn and when they go online in search of info, they're most likely going to end up at a recruiters site or a rant on Daves. We can fix this.
Joe's got a new site up and Joy suggested something like yelp.com. I think both of those sites have a lot to offer, just as Hub of Sparkle does. It's clear that a meta-blog is a must.
Public relations is crucial to this project in my opinion, but we've gotta reach out to all mediums of media, not just the papers. Joe was on the radio the other day, we've got all sorts of English-speaking papers covered, multiple podcasters, Korea Beat's magazine spread, Hurt's got his fashion presence and I'm sure we could continue to push. I wonder though: What's going to be our angle? How can we take what we already do and make it work?
I think we should tie that in with positive growth/exposure activities like volunteering; fundraising; cook-offs; quiz nights for charity; blogger bashes; and other things we come up with along the way.
The final thing I wanted to mention was something that Joy also said (I obviously liked her thoughts). Canvassing. We can easily come up with a survey and canvass our local neighborhoods to find out what the average expat is thinking. That would be very easy, quick and a great way to get some solid info. The bottom line is that if we want our community to thrive we have to get rid of the idea of Korea as a hold-over. I can't tell you how many expats and teachers I have met that view Korea as a brief stop and happily move on. If we can get people to think of Korea as a place where you can grow socially, professionally and personally then our community could really take root and start to expand.
So, first things first: What do you all think of coming up with a simple canvassing survey?