Wednesday, April 15, 2009

when googling something is simply not enough.

Welcome to Korea!

Where Google and Youtube are frequented just as often as when you found out your mom was on Myspace. ;)

While everyone in the U.S. seems to believe that Google is taking over the world, a particular Korean site has expanded my internet paradigm significantly. I'm sure it has a lot to do with my environment, but my immediate instinct to Google something has been replaced with an "I'm just gonna ask Naver".

Yup, Naver.

Naver is Korea's #1 search portal and has successfully managed to create a community of users who frequent the site to log in to their e-mail, update their blogs, manage online cafes/communities, look for videos/music, and ask questions to get really good answers from fellow netizens. Don't know how to make an alfredo sauce? There will be an answer to your question and usually pictures to illustrate step-by-step instructions from a friendly stranger in the Jishik-In or "Knowledge-In" section.

I think the key word in describing Naver would be "community", something that Google hasn't been very successful in implementing most likely because of its broad range of users. Naver, on the other hand, has a very specific demographic: Koreans who have an innate sense of trust for one another. To me Naver has become the friend I could ask for directions, a good cafe, and fun activities for my students.

I'm a double-searcher now. It's always Google and Naver. How about you?