There is quite a famous Korean blogger. She is a succesful woman who overcame a lot of hardship and rocky life – poor upbringing, went to vocational training high school (in Korea, if you say you go vocational training high school, people really look down on you and your resume will be filtered out automatically in most of the cases), ex-gang member, later went to great university in Korea, got a very nice job, then struck down by a cancer, survived, went to UK, and now working as a manager in Royal Dutch Shell. She published a book which sold very well. She was on TV. I won’t comment her real name, since my blog posting about her is not the most positive one (and after all, I’m blogging anonymously, so me commenting her real name will not be fair). If you have a Korean friend, or can do internet search in Korean, you will find her pretty easily. Also let me make this clear – I have no intention to attack her personality, or her achievements. What she achieved is great and she earned it.
Before she became nation-wide famous like now, I did visit her blog while I was searching for foreign visa sponsorship. My friend who lived in UK for a while said their immigration policy is much more rational and flexible than US, so I was gathering up some information on that (now it really doesn’t matter – who wants to even “touch” immigration regulations when in recession? That’s suicidal). The lady I mentioned earlier was working in UK, and responding to massive request she posted some writings on what she did and how she got her visa sponsorship. It was all good, but what made me uncomfortable reading her post was her tone. In short, I felt: I tried very hard to earn it. It’s not impossible. Therefore, you people who complain and worry about this and that are just a lazy bunch.
I guess she deserves to say it, given that she had a lot of hardship yet able to overcome all that out of her willpower and tremendous effort. I also understand there is always that group of people who just comes to your cyberspace and ask a favor or information right away, without a word of gratuitous, compliment, or apologize. On the top of that, there is always that bunch who don’t even bother to do search before asking questions. I would not be surprised if she was irritated by the overflowing number of impolite visitors. But I still do not think it is a nice to thing to say, especially on some place where weekly visitor hit is over 100. Whether you intended to or did not intend at all, you getting recognized by increasing number of people expose you to a very diverse group of individuals. In my humble opinion, basically what she said was a kind of prejudice – judging others solely on your experience. Everyone is different; everyone’s experiences are different; and everyone’s reaction to that experience is different. Additionally, getting a visa sponsorship to work in foreign country involves a handful amount of luck, especially in recessions like this. By luck, I mean the factor(s) that is/are out of your control. Even the most talented person can face epic fail when it comes to a visa sponsorship. I know, a lot of things in this world have more factors that is uncontrollable than controllable. Visa sponsorship is especially so (I think pretty much all TCK/CCKs hate any kind of immigration regulations for this reason!). I think many people complained about her tone and how she posted the information – she later said there has been many changes since she got her sponsorship. I don’t recall reading her apology, though.
Secondly, it is somewhat uncomfortable reading how she is not a fan of South Korean society, yet she keeps blogging in Korean on Korean blogging service provider to Korean audiences, and posting some of Shell’s company magazine clip of her, mentioning how she wants people to know more about Korea and how she is proud to be Korean and such. I mean, it’s really her choice and I can’t really say anything. It’s her blog, and if she wants to blog in Korean on Korean service provider and to Korean website, fine. But I mean…it does feel a bit strange to me. Funny thing is, it reminds me of an old debate thread on TCK website about nationalism/patriotism. Almost all TCKs don’t buy the idea of nationalism/patriotism. Some even went to disliking people saying “I am proud to be XXX.” Quoting, “what are you proud of? It’s a part of you, so you are proud to be yourself?!?!” As of me, as long as that “pride” is not pushed down to my throat by some other person, I’m cool with it.
Lastly, her posting pictures of her colleagues and friends – many not Korean – on her blog is just disagreeable to me. Maybe I am over-using my imagination, but sometimes I feel like she is posting them to brag: “look my exotic friends, how cool it is!” If her friends know the existence of her blog, and know that their pictures are uploaded and shown to public, no problem. If that’s not the case, I don’t think it’s appropriate. If my blog is some very popular blog with over million hits, I would definitely not upload the pictures of my friends and colleagues without their consent. If I really want to upload it, I’d probably blur their faces. Apparently, all my pics on Facebook are open only to people on my friends list, and I do not accept people as a Facebook friend unless I have, at least, talked with the person several times.
In short, my two cents on proper blogging is:
1) Know your audience (so you would not make any unnecessary enemy, or taken advantage of)
2) Don’t upload things related to others’ privacy, including their pics, unless you have their consent.
I no longer go to her blog. It doesn’t matter to her, since she is already famous, has a lot of fans, and her book is selling well. And I’ll probably look like some loser who is jealous of her success and have too much time.