When was YouTube first introduced in Korea?
YouTube Korea (http://kr.youtube.com/) launched on Jan. 23rd, 2008. Korea was the 19th country to have its own regional YouTube site; England, France, Australia, Japan and others have YouTube sites in their own language.28 According to one Korean YouTube manager, YouTube Korea showed the biggest increase in web traffic in July.29 This research was done by a Korean web-site evaluating company named Koreanclick (http://koreanclick.com/information/freedata_rankings.php).
Many people would agree with that YouTube is a big hit in Korea, but there are also some alternative views. Korea already had many of its own internet ventures such as search engines, web2.0 sites through which people share UCC (User Created Contents) and so on. These highly localized sites dominate most of internet market in Korea. Because of this, giant IT companies such as Google have not been so successful in the Korean market. When YouTube Korea launched, Korean newspapers and IT magazines asked questions such as, "Is YouTube going to be another case of world-hit internet site that failed to attract Korean users?" This questions still remains. For example, in April 2008, there were now only around 115,000 daily visitors to YouTube Korea, where as 997,000 people visited the Pandora TV website a day.30 In an effort to expand their audience, YouTube Korea has built up partnerships with a variety of Korean companies, especially Korean Web2.0 companies to share videos clips created by its users.
How has YouTube become famous among Korean people?
Two years ago, a relatively unknown guitarist Im, Jeong-Hyeon posted a short video clip of himself playing a rock version of Canon on YouTube. People around the world soon noticed his video, and many of them thought that he was a great guitar player. This made him famous over night. Eventually his name was known to Korean people and they started showing interests to YouTube.
What do Korean people with YouTube?
Music videos of the Korean group Wondergirls and performance of Korean B-Boys are popular in Korea. People mostly use YouTube Korea for amusement or entertainment as well as for other purposes.
Similarities and differences between YouTube Korea and YouTube U.S.
Despite the fact that YouTube Korea is aimed to be more localized to attract Korean users, so far it is fundamentally the same web site with YouTube.com, only translated in Korean. If a user signs up to be a member of YouTube Korea, he/she automatically becomes a member of all connected YouTube websites. Also, through YouTube Korea, people can share, search, and watch the same videos as other YouTube users all around the world.
In YouTube Korea, Promoted Videos are chosen by Korean managers. Usually these videos are about hot issues in Korea, and most of these are posted by Korean users. However, sometimes video clips posted by international users are picked when they are thought to be attractive issues among Korean users. Featured Videos and Most Viewed Videos in YouTube Korea are sorted out based on numbers of times it has been viewed only by Korean users. YouTube Korea communicates with its users via official blog of YouTube Korea. This blog has information about new promotion events, worldwide or regional competition, and latest news about YouTube Korea.
How is YouTube Korea used in education inside and outside schools?
Some school teachers in Korea use video clips from YouTube as teaching materials. Application of YouTube into the classroom is mostly done by the teachers' individual needs and expectations. So far, not so many studies have been done to clarify cause and effects of using YouTube as a teaching material in Korea. Blogs and personal web sites of some teachers who are willing to use YouTube materials for their classes show that there are several different reasons for using YouTube. Sometimes YouTube is used to show animated pictures that visualize chemical reactions or to demonstrate science experiments. Video clips from YouTube can also be used in English Class to show students' speeches of native English speakers. There are many other ways that YouTube is used in the classroom as well. However, there are some common reasons why they want to use YouTube. First, it is free. Second, there is enormous amount of information within YouTube. And, last, it is easy to access.
Suggestions about using YouTube Korean in the Korean educational field
A. YouTube can be used to help teachers communicate with each other in two different ways. First, Korean teachers can share their teaching materials via YouTube Korea. If their materials are a video clip, they can share them directly. If their materials are real objects, they can make video clips about how to make and use them. Second, teachers can record their class and show it to other teachers and ask for their comments. It is also possible to share information with teachers in different countries since YouTube Korea is connected with other YouTube sites. In this way, teachers' burdens to create teaching materials can be lessened, so they can focus more on their teaching methods. At the same time, all materials can be improved and localized by YouTube users' suggestions.
B. YouTube Korea can be used to increase teacher-student, student-content, and student-student interactions outside of the classroom. For example, if teachers upload class materials or video clips of their class, students can watch them as many times as they need. Furthermore, students can search for more information about what they have learned. They can also record themselves performing lesson tasks such as conducting scientific experiments or making an objet and then upload the video.
C. A study by Park and Choi (2004) reveals one major difference between Korean and U.S. internet users.31 Korean users mainly seek for companionship through the internet, while U.S. users are more focused on seeking for information. Korean people have a strong sense of being a part of a community. Instead of urging teachers and students to use YouTube in an ordinary way to share their information with unknown internet users, we suggest YouTube Korea to promote Korean teachers and students to form communities within YouTube Korea. YouTube Korea does provide services for its users to form and run their communities, but it is not very well-known among Korean internet users. Forming communities will also help teachers and students to find information they need more easily and more meaningful feedbacks can be given.
YouTube Korea Website
For more information
a middle school English teacher's blog showing how she used YouTube materials in her class
a middle school Geography teacher's blog showing how he used YouTube materials in his class
Video clip of a famous Korean group singer, Wondergirls
Wondergirls - So Hot
Wondergirls - Tell Me
Wondergirls - Nobody
An article about Wondergirls's video clips on YouTube
Video clip of Guitarist Im, Jeoung-hyeon on YouTube
An article about Im, Jeoung-hyeon who has become a world famous guitar player through YouTube
Performance of Korean B-boys on YouTube
PLANET B-BOY official trailer
RUN_DMZ (Director's Cut) PLANET B-BOY
PLANET B-BOY official 'Korea'
an article about video clips of Korean B-boys
General information about YouTube
 an article about YouTube starting its services in Korean.
 an article about growth of YouTube Korea
 Introduction of the official YouTube Korea Blog
an article about the interview with the founder of YouTube
[31+]Park, Sung hee, Junho Choi.+ Cross-cultural Analysis on Internet Motives : South Korea and the U.S. 2004