Sunday, September 02, 2007

Happy Birthday to Blog

While posting my previous story about the fake degree scandal, I suddenly realized that KOREA POP WARS is exactly one year old. That is kind of nifty. The first article I wrote is here. Kind of amusing that it was about a Japanese band, but such are the gentle ironies of life.

For the first couple of months, almost no one knew about KOREA POP WARS, with just a couple of visitors a day. Then in November, Darcy Paquet mentioned the blog over at KOREANFILM.ORG, and that gave me a little bump... to around a dozen or two visitors a day. Things changed pretty radically in early December when I posted the first online review of Park Chan-wook's I'M A CYBORG, BUT THAT'S OK. That grouchy little review got linked and quickly my hits spiked into the hundreds. Things died off, but then spiked again for my even grouchier RESTLESS review (both those articles still regularly show up in my Google search results).

Feb. 1 was my biggest day ever, thanks to a prominent endorsement at THE MARMOT'S HOLE. I appreciated his enthusiasm, but honestly I would not consider this blog a "must read" by any stretch of the imagination.

All told, KPW's first year, I wrote 187 articled (about one every other day, on average), and received 45,992 page loads and 35,834 unique visitors. Not exactly DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD DAILY, but not bad, I guess, considering the subject matter.

Certainly the blog has unfolded differently than I thought it would. At first, I thought I might do something anonymous and full of all the fun gossip and stories I come across in my work. But I quickly realized that if I wrote the really good stuff, it would be rather obvious who I was, and people would stop talking to me about the good stuff.

Then I thought I might be publishing extracts from my book... try to get a little feedback from people as I cranked the thing out... kind of like Chris Anderson's THE LONG TAIL. But that did not work out, either. For one, my writing process did not work like Anderson's, and did not lend itself to excerpting.

For a while, I thought about translating the tabloids and sports newspapers, but there are already plenty of people doing that (Shenyue, Pop Seoul, etc.) ... and besides, those papers' considerable inaccuracy would have driven me bonkers quickly.

So, in the end, what you see before you is what I did. Not quite sure how I got here or where this little project will continue to go. But for now I am here. Thanks for reading.


Mongdori said...

Congratulations! Enviable blog you got going here. Keep up the good writing.

c said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! i enjoy your blog

matt said...


Seeing as he rarely posts, perhaps Oranckay didn't send many new readers your way when he pointed out that you had a blog, but that's how I found it.

Mark Russell said...

Hi Matt:

Thanks for the comment. Yes, Oranckay gave me my first link. I remember being shocked to see my daily hits top 10 for the first time. He may not have given me a lot of traffic, but they were quality hits.

BluE SunfLower said...

a bit late, but congratulations! I also enjoy reading your blog.. and can't wait to read your book about kpop.. :)