Back in 2001, anime fan and computer guy Nikolai Nolan got together with a few friends and started the Annual Weblog Awards, aka the Bloggies. I love the awards from this non-profit because they go to “old school” blogs—blogs that thrive on individual creativity, not corporate funding. It only takes 60 seconds to nominate your favorite K-drama blogs—for simple instructions on how, scroll to the bottom of this post.
Individual, idiosyncratic, non-corporate, outsider—that was the web during its first decade. I’m just GenX enough to remember my amazement when the worldwide web first appeared. It could bring together people from different cities, even different continents. Anyone with computer savvy could share their thoughts. Every visit to the web, you’d run into something new and unusual.
When a friend explained the word “blog” to me in 1997 or ’98, I hoped the portmanteau word would die out quickly. Blog? Isn’t that just about the ugliest, most awkward syllable in any language? It sounds like the name of the alien commander leading an invasion force from Mars. (My apologies to the Mr. and Ms. Blogs out there.)
But even though I still hate the word blog, I’ve re-lived a lot of my old amazement about the web since late October, when I realized no one was writing about K-drama Pride and Prejudice in English and I started doing it. (DramaBeans, where were you?!) I just wanted to find a few other people who were watching it, so I could share my excitement and confusion.
I had no readers in October—in fact, I wasn’t looking for readers, I was just teaching myself WordPress and writing bits and pieces about shows I love.
In mid-November, I moved my site to a slightly different domain to make it easier to find on Google. Kdrama.today became koreandrama.today. And P&P‘s plot got more and more complicated, so I wasn’t the only one looking to figure it out.
Here’s the growth in visits to K-Drama Today over the ten weeks since then:
You can see the spike in traffic the day after P&P‘s final episode!
In ten weeks, almost 5,000 people have visited:
I no longer worry that I was the only person watching P&P!
But what I like most about the web is the same thing that got me excited back in 1991—the fact that it brings together people from so many places. Visitors from 117 countries have stopped by during the past ten weeks.
I’m an unlikely K-drama blogger. I’m a teacher and freelance writer with master’s degrees in creative writing, economic history, and Middle Eastern studies. I’m fluent in Arabic but can barely write my name in the Korean alphabet. (I’ll tell you one thing, though, after learning Arabic, Korean looks like the easiest language in the universe. I feel like I’m a tropical beach vacation every time I open my copy of Korean from Zero.)
I also don’t have a natural talent for tech, business, or the tech business. Case in point: I put a few ads on the site in early January to find out what would happen. The site revenue from them so far is roughly zero. That number might be inaccurate—affiliates take awhile to process their statistics. But the data tells me to start experimenting with other approaches.
I was avoiding Google ads till now, but I may give them a try. My current ads look good, and that matters to me so much. But until ads cover my $8/month hosting costs, I should probably focus on the ads that perform best.
The excitement of writing on the web is the same as it was in 1995 or 2001, though. Even though the web is full of big corporations these days, it’s also full of interesting individuals blogging on a shoestring thanks to WordPress. And K-Drama fans have some of the best online fan communities and websites of any I’ve seen.
To my surprise, though, the Weblog Awards haven’t acknowledged all the energy in the K-drama web. Please join me in getting recognition for the K-drama bloggers out there!
The Bloggies don’t come with a jackpot prize (the big winner gets 2,015 American pennies), but they do highlight the great stuff happening on the web—the quirky, independent sites where we read the voices of real people. (By contrast, the Webbies are super-prestigious but mostly go to websites run by large companies and decades-old organizations.)
How to Nominate a Site You Love for a Weblog Award
I read the rules already so you don’t have to. Here’s the quick run-down on how to send a high-five to your favorite sites by nominating them for a Weblog Award:
1. Go to the Weblog Awards. The deadline is this Saturday, Jan. 31.
2. In the gray tab on the left, you’ll see the categories. Make sure you pick the right categories for the sites you nominate. You can nominate the same site for more than one category.
3. You have to nominate at least three unique sites. Nominate all your favorites! Note that you can leave blanks on the long, long nomination form. No one expects us to have opinions on every category.
4. It only takes a minute to enter the information: the website name and URL address, and your name and an email address. You’ll have to verify the email address, and then you’re done. I’ve never received annoying spam from these people.
5. The sites that get the most nominations advance to the next round.
6. After examining the categories carefully, I nominated Dramabeans in Entertainment and “Secret.” My reasoning: the entertainment category has been dominated in recent years by ludicrous celebrity gossip sites like Perez Hilton, which are a world away from the smart commentary at Dramabeans. That’s why I also gave Dramabeans a Best Kept Secret nomination. I don’t think it belongs in the Asia category, because it isn’t produced in Asia.
7. If you enjoy this site, consider nominating it for best new site!
Whenever I visit the Weblog Awards site, I find amazing new sites by interesting people, which means good new music. Here’s a cheerful song—complete with video of awesome old dancing guy!—I found at one of last year’s winning sites. Enjoy! And thank you so much for reading!