Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More on the Community Building Project or "The Project"

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?


Jacob said...

Canvassing is good. I can get information and opinions from probably 100 english teachers in Gwangju.

I just need something that is standardized a little bit and we have to figure out where all this information goes and what to do with it.

Charles Montgomery said...


Or should I say "man of mystery?"

we get the name and mission right by this weekend?

Full ahead on the canvassing.

As you note, it is how you determine what the audience wants. In this case the initial audience being expats.

Then, when we have that straight, we'll canvas Koreans, then the Korean NGOs.

We will rule the world!

And I'll say it again here. You're focus on a meta-blog is right on.

But we should strive to be much more.

I hope to meet you soon (come out from behind the curtain!)


The Expat said...

I think we've got something here with the canvassing (way to go Joy). I'm here in Gangnam, so I can get 100+ within a few hours. Looks like I'll need to get the old clipboard out.

Question: Are we targeting teachers or all expats?

I think we should shoot for having the survey ready to go by Friday. This way we could do some solid canvassing this weekend and then perhaps meet next Sunday with our results.

Chris (and anyone else in Gangnam): If you read this, we should meet on Sunday and hit the streets in Gangnam.

adam said...

I will be in Seoul this coming February, and as a avid reader/fan of this site I must say that I think this is a fantastic idea...it just seems very natural. My hope is to have Korea become much more than a hold over (who knows though).

Upon arrival I would love to get involved...but i fear i may end up spending every free moment at Cult Park skatepark hahaha.

빈누 said...

This seems like a fantastic idea! I'm a Korean who has been reading some expats' blogs out of curiosity about different people than myself, and I hope this will work just great. I can't wait to see your progress on this.

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