The Digital Documentation Project: An Update

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.

University of South Carolina Lancaster

During KPK’s early days in 2011, Dr. Anderson and other KPK founders were having quite a difficult time accessing some Kpop entertainment companies’ artist websites.  They kept encountering what they called, “the circle of death,” and then timing out. I wasn’t having this problem and had just discovered the Screencast-O-Matic tool, so I decided to record the sites and send the video links to my KPK colleagues.

Interweb troubles in 2011....DD to the rescue!

Interweb troubles in 2011….DD to the rescue!

And that is how the the KPK Digital Documentation (DD) project was born.

While the original intent of my website recordings was to share the Kpop website love, I quickly realized that recording Kpop websites could be useful in other ways: to track changes in Kpop web design, to understand how Korean entertainment companies use websites to engage Korean and international Kpop fans, and what roles these sites seem to play in the company’s larger business, marketing, and promotional plans  – particularly when it comes to attracting new talent and integrating social media channels and tools.

Process

Recording websites can take between 2 to 15 minutes per site- occasionally more if the website is dense.  I choose to record the websites without sound in order to avoid copyright infringement and so that visitors may enjoy and engage in unbiased viewing or analysis of the website.   In Kpop, many artists and groups release several music projects a year, so I keep up with Kpop news outlets to find out about debuts and comebacks, and I try to record the different websites for each project. In this way, the DD project creates depth not only by seeking out general trends, but also monitoring the evolution of individual groups and artists. Additionally, if artists and groups promote in Japan, I record those websites if they are available.

Recording B1A4's latest website. See Screencast-O-Matic interface (dotted lines, recording control panel).

Recording B1A4’s latest website. See Screencast-O-Matic interface (dotted lines, recording control panel).

Website Differences

One of the first things I noticed is that SM Entertainment was the only company that still gave historical access to websites supporting their early artists (Shinhwa, S.E.S., Yoo Joung Jin, etc.), so I quickly recorded those websites. It’s a good thing that I did, because in 2012, the company completely redesigned their website, removing any content about artists who were not currently on their roster.  SM Entertainment continues to allow access to the older websites of groups who are still on their roster (e.g., Girls Generation, SHINee, TVXQ! etc.); additionally this company provides links to modified liner notes (e.g., lyrics, music publishing information, etc.).  Those sites have been recorded for posterity, as well.

In contrast, other companies like YG Entertainment or FNC Music Entertainment only offer current editions of artists websites – that is, viewers only have access to the current promotional concept of a group or artist, even if some historical information may be available (see below). Additionally, some companies (Starship Entertainment, TS Entertainment) only offer quick profile information about their artists on their websites. Instead they choose to use Cafe Daum’s “internet cafe” sites, which act as a hybrid website/forum, to promote their artists. Since Cafe Daum Official Kpop artist sites are generally designed to reach Korean Kpop fans, I do not record these sites for KPK.

Website Commonalities

Despite these differences, most Kpop artist websites have common elements:

  • Artist profiles (member names, birthdays, blood type, hobbies)
  • Discography lists
  • Photo galleries
  • Music snippets
  • Activity calendars
  • Social media links (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and until mid-2014, Me2day)
  • Links to online music purchasing and downloading sites (e.g., Melon, Olleh, iTunes)
  • Message boards (from the artists, their staff, and for fan-to-fan communication)
  • Official fanclub portals and exclusive content (often password protected)
  • International language options (default language is Korean with some English)
  • Links to the company’s business site, which include audition information

From Collection to Curation

B1A4 Kpopiana exhibit with Digital Documentation links.

B1A4 Kpopiana exhibit with Digital Documentation links.

When this project first began, KPK members were more engaged in collecting information, so DD videos were listed on the KPK website, separately from the artist profiles. As we move on to curation activities, these video links are now included in KPOPIANA artist exhibits.  At press time, KPK has a DD library of almost 500 Kpop artist websites, from all kinds of Korean entertainment companies and encompassing all kinds of artists, Kpop choreographers, some international fansites,  and even Kdrama actors. Currently we are focused on releasing DD items pertaining to Kpop artists, with plans to include other items in the future.   The Library of Congress (n.d.) notes that the average length of a website is about 44 days. Considering the frenetic pace of music production in Kpop, this length may sometimes be shortened, making the DD project a useful tool in the study of Hallyu and its life on the Internet.  

 Click to learn more about the DD project, or you may contact me anytime.

Sources

Library of Congress. (n.d.). Importance of digital preservation: Special presentation. Accessed April 17, 2014, from http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/about/presentation.html.

KDK/Nunee (M.S.L.S.)

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For Your Reading Pleasure: A Hallyu Bibliography, Part 4: GLOBAL IMPACT and GLOBALIZATION

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.

University of South Carolina Lancaster

Welcome to Part 4 of my ongoing series of bibliographic entries about Hallyu.   These entries are listed by year, not by author (TIP: If you know about a title or author and you want to see if it’s included in this listing, use the CTRL +F function).

To learn more about my searching parameters, information-gathering processes, and your ability to access these items, see my earlier essay titledFor Your Reading Pleasure: Introducing A Hallyu Bibliography.”  Click for Part 1 , Part 2, and Part 3 of the bibliography.

This is a working post, so if you would like to submit items to this list or to the bibliography, please contact me directly at kaetrena@mailbox.sc.edu

NOTE:  In order to make it easier to locate authors (and where possible), I’ve modified these APA Style citations by adding full author names where possible.

Global Impact

Dator, Jim. and Yongseok Seo. (2004). Korea as the wave of a future: The emerging dream society of icons
and aesthetic experience. Journal of Futures Studies 9(1): 31–44. Accessed 27 March 2012 from http://www.jfs.tku.edu.tw/9-1/04.pdf?referer=www.clickfind.com.au

Cho, Hae Joang. (2005). Reading the “Korean Wave” as a Sign of Global Shift.  Korea Journal 45: 147–82. Accessed 27 March 2012 from http://www.ekoreajournal.net/issue/view_pop.htm?Idx=3359

Mangliankay, Roald. (2006). When the Korean wave ripples. IIAS Newsletter, 42: 15. Accessed 27 March 2014 from https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/handle/1887/12766/IIAS_NL42_15.pdf?sequence=1

Yang-hwan, Jeong. (2007). Comics soar as new Korean wave. Korea focus on current topics, 15(1):67-69. Accessed 27 March 2014 from http://www.koreafocus.or.kr/images/upload/pdf/101439.pdf

Shin, Hyunjoon. (2009). Have you ever seen the Rain? And who’ll stop the Rain?: the globalizing project of Korean pop (Kpop). Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 10(4): 507-523.

 Globalization

Nederveen Pieterse, Jan. (1995). Globalization as hybridization. In M. Featherstone, S. Lash and R. Robertson (Eds.) Global Modernities. pp.45 – 68. London: Sage.Cho, Uhn. 2005. Positioning the Korean wave in the nexus between globalization and localization. Korea Journal, 45(4): 143-146.

Lee, Hee-Eun. (2005). Othering ourselves: identity and globalization in Korean popular music, 1992-2002. Thesis, University of Iowa.(see also, Identity and Nationalism)

Kim, Youna. (2005). Experiencing globalization. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 8(4): 445-463.

Kim, Ju Young. (2007). Rethinking media flow under globalisation: rising Korean wave and Korean TV and film policy since 1980s. PhD thesis, University of Warwick. Accessed 27 March 2014 from http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/1153/1/WRAP_THESIS_Kim_2007.pdf

Seo, Yongseok. (2006). East Asian response to the globalization of culture: perceptional change and cultural policy. In J. Dator, Dick Pratt and Yongseok Soo (Eds.) Fairness, globalization and public institutions: East Asia and beyond. X: University of Hawai’i Press. pp. 319 – X. (see also, Culture)

Yang, J. (2007). Globalization, nationalism and regionalization: The case of Korean popular culture. Development and Society, 36(2): 177-199.

Sung, Sang Yeon. (2008). Globalization and the regional flow of popular music: the role of the Korean wave (Hanliu) in the construction of Taiwanese identities and Asian values. Thesis, Indiana University, Bloomington.

Le, Lan Xuan. (2009). Imaginaries of the Asian modern: text and context at the juncture of nation and region. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  

Ryoo,  W.   (2009).  Globalization,  or  the  logic  of cultural  hybridization:  The  case  of the  Korean  wave.  Asian Journal  of Communication,  19(2),  137 -15I .

Iwabuchi, Koichi. (2010). Globalization, East Asian media cultures and their politics. Asian Journal of Communication, 20(2): 197-212.

Happy Reading!

KDK/Nunee (M.S.L.S.)

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Communities of Practice in Digital Humanities

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S

University of South Carolina Lancaster

Collaboration is an often-cited characteristic of Digital Humanities (DH) projects (Jӧttkandt 2008, Liu 2009; Honn & Morse 2013); however, does that collaboration signal something more? What kinds of relationships are created due to (or outside of) those projects? What other problems are solved as a result of shared work in DH projects? Perhaps some answers to these questions are found in the idea of communities of practice.

Communities of Practice

A simple graphic illustrating the dynamics of a Community of Practice (CoP). Retrieved October 31, 2013 from http://www.orthopaedicsone.com/display/Main/Community+of+Practice

A simple graphic illustrating the dynamics of a Community of Practice (CoP). Retrieved October 31, 2013 from http://www.orthopaedicsone.com/display/Main/Community+of+Practice

Communities of practice (CoP) are groups of people who share a concern, problem, or passion about a topic and who expand their knowledge in these areas by meeting periodically. When they meet, they discuss these concerns, bring questions to the group for insight, introduce and explore new ideas, and share what they have learned with others in the group (Wenger, McDermott and Synder 2002). The ongoing result of CoP is a process of collective education within the context of a shared goal, and that education helps the group improve and resolve issues within their domain of work (Wenger, n.d.).  CoPs also focus on or engage in:

  • common professional interests

  • problem resolution

  • knowledge discovery and sharing

  • assistance in practice

  • building or recognizing synergy and affinity

  • documentation

  • gap-filling

KPK as CoP

In the literature, CoP examples often are illustrated as belonging to the same profession or engaging in similar regular activities: a group of doctors, car thieves, or auto workers working in a manufacturing plant. In contrast, KPK members practice different professions (English professor vs. academic librarianship), but our shared identity as Kpop fans, common work environments (college campuses), similar professional activities (publishing, teaching and learning, service work) and topical concerns (Hallyu preservation and documentation) move us beyond our desire to collaborate on projects like KPOPIANA and bring us into a CoP.  I have found that the KPK CoP is a dual one: our interactions develop our collaborative KPK projects and positively impact our discrete work as college faculty, too.

What is Digital Humanities? All this and more! Retrieved October 31, 2013 from http://dhpraxisf13.commons.gc.cuny.edu/2013/09/20/defining/

What is Digital Humanities? All this and more! Retrieved October 31, 2013 from http://dhpraxisf13.commons.gc.cuny.edu/2013/09/20/defining/

Since DH is constantly changing, KPK members meet virtually and in-person as often as we can to discuss this evolution and how it affects our Hallyu preservation work. These discussions usually center around technology discovery (e.g, “What tools will help us…?”), protocol documentation (e.g. “How should we deal with…?”), and knowledge creation (e.g., “What should we know about…?”). In equal measure, we also are concerned with professional development, scholarship, and pedagogy. More often than not, we have found that many solutions for KPK concerns have also been applicable to our daily practice of teaching or librarianship.  As an example, Dr. Anderson and I originally used Screencast-O-Matic (a screen capture tool) to train KPK members in virtual environments; however, during many conversations about student engagement, we discovered that we were also using the tool in our independent areas of practice: Dr. Anderson uses Screencast-O-Matic to offer feedback to her students, while I use the tool to record best practices for information-seeking during research consultations with students and other faculty.

The Bigger Picture

As a CoP, KPK does not end with its current members. Because of the nature of our work, we are constantly seeking new insight from others who have lay and formal knowledge of Korean popular culture and best practices in DH. While we are a unique project, we want to learn what others are doing, what challenges they have experienced, and how they have overcome these challenges in the pursuit of scholarship and open access to information. We also are keen to collaborate with passionate individuals and groups who are committed to these principles, regardless of the subject matter.

Big Bang Welcome. Retrieved October 31, 2013 from http://kpoprightnow.tumblr.com/

Big Bang Welcome. Retrieved October 31, 2013 from http://kpoprightnow.tumblr.com/

KPK is more than a DH project: it’s a sounding board for the continuous improvement of higher education, a sandbox for pedagogy improvement, a town hall for voicing big ideas, and a warehouse for scholarly production. Our CoP interactions improve KPK’s operations and give us opportunities to enhance our larger academic networks. We take what we learn in our small group and apply that knowledge to training our colleagues, educating students, and increasing access to scholarly communication. In this way, we become progressive thought leaders on our respective campuses and (hopefully) positive influences on communities unknown to us in the first place.  Doesn’t that make for an improved community overall? I think so.

Sources

Honn, J. & Morse, G. (2013). Digital humanities (101). Retrieved May 11, 2013 from http://acrl.ala.org/dh/2013/03/27/digital-humanities-101/

Jӧttkandt, S. (2008). Free/Libre scholarship: Open humanities press. Retrieved from http://openhumanitiespress.org/Jottkandt-03-april-08-Irvine-talk.pdf

Liu, A. (2009). Digital humanities and academic change. English Language Notes, 47(1), 17 – 35.

Wenger, Etienne, McDermott, Richard A., & Snyder, William. (2002). Cultivating communities of practice: A guide to managing knowledge. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Wenger, Etienne. (n.d.). Communities of practice: a brief introduction. Retrieved October 1, 2013, from https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1794/11736/A%20brief%20introduction%20to%20CoP.pdf?sequence=1

Also of Note: The Journal of Digital Humanities’ latest issue focuses on CoPs in the field.

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More Than Passion: Kpop and the Everyday Work of Digital Humanities

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S

University of South Carolina Lancaster

When you click the “KPK Members” link on our site, our bios’ upbeat language states we have certain skill sets that match well with the work of KPK, and you know that we are Kpop fans. I think our identification as Kpop fans is one of the unique characteristics of our collaboration.

While KPK members approach the work of KPK as people who truly enjoy and participate in Kpop culture and some associated activities, our passion for Kpop is a minimum requirement for the work we do. Our work also requires the courage to forge a path in a niche research area within a discipline that is still developing, a willingness to perform due diligence, and not unlike the most successful Kpop idols, the will to perform seemingly repetitive actions in pursuit of a professional and cohesive body of work for an audience who’d like to consume a quality product.

This past January, KPK marked its second anniversary, and in that time we have improved our artist profiles and expanded our research projects. In the same amount of time, the DH discipline still struggles with its very identity – literally. In a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, William Pannapacker (with KPK’s apologies) pleads:

Stop calling it “digital humanities.” Or worse, “DH,” with a knowing air. The backlash against the field has already arrived. The DH’ers have always known that their work is interdisciplinary (or metadisciplinary), but many academics who are not humanists think they’re excluded from it….it seems more inclusive to call it digital liberal arts (DLA) with the assumption that we’ll lose the “digital” within a few years, once practices that seem innovative today become the ordinary methods of scholarship.

DH (or DLA) labels aside, KPK is performing the unique work of organizing Kpop artist information and Kpop fan activities during a time when DH standards are wide-ranging and many actions that were once considered within the discipline have been challenged as the field evolves. When KPK considers adding new projects or updating current ones, we revisit the evolving rules of DH and work to reconcile them with the KPK educational mission. Because of this evolution, our passion for Kpop (“let’s gather every single photo we can find of Eric because Shinhwa is awesome!”) has always been tempered by the scholastic/research activity of due diligence (“which photos of Shinhwa reflect a certain aspect of the group’s position in/influence on Hallyu’s development”). Burdick et al. assert that one of the characteristics of DH is “an emphasis upon curation as a defining feature of scholarly practice” (2012, 122). KPK’s projects reflect this characteristic because of our ongoing commitment to adhere to the latest standards where we can, and to question any standards that seem exclusionary to scholars who are doing good works in unconventional DH environments.

Hand-in-hand with due diligence is the time it takes to seek, evaluate, master,  train others, and implement new technologies and curate our information so KPK’s work can be made public and is easily disseminated. When we started KPK two years ago, we used two tools for content creation: WordPress and Google Docs. As our work evolved towards curation, we discovered more tools and applied them to our work.  More recently, KPK members have been trained on or exposed to a variety of digital curation platforms, including Omeka, Timeline JS, and Mindomo.

While these technologies make information gathering and presentation easier, it still takes quite a while to get work done. For instance, it takes about 4 hours to gather and curate all the items for the average KPK artist profile, and another 2 hours to input the items into KPOPIANA. That doesn’t take into account how long it takes to set up the artist’s exhibit. Since a lot of Kpop information is strewn all over the Internet (and in some cases, is contradictory or not available at all), this work can be tedious and repetitive – especially if you’re working on an artist that you don’t know well (or know, but who is not your favorite). Add this time to the hours we spend tagging and adding news to our information archive, annotating interesting articles, locating scholarly work, talking to fans, and preparing data for presentations, it becomes quickly apparent that my while my enjoyment of Kpop helps me get the job done,  it isn’t the actual work of KPK.

The interesting thing is this: when I’m looking for information about an artist who I don’t know that much about; watching a music video of a group that makes me wonder how they ever made even one comeback; or analyzing a concept photo that leaves me questioning the entire cordi-noona empire –that is when my passion for Kpop kicks in, melds with my love of scholarship, and stokes my determination to get our work done right for the long-term fulfillment of the KPK mission.

Sources

Burdick, Anne, et al. Digital Humanities. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2012. Web.

Pannapacker, William. “Stop Calling it ‘Digital Humanities’.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. 18 Feb. 2013. Web. 5 Mar 2013.

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“Do Not Re-Upload” and Other Meaningless Phrases Used in Kpop Fan Content Production

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.

University of South Carolina Lancaster

“Do Not Re-Upload! If we found [sic] out that the — clip is re-uploaded, we won’t share a — clip again!” – Seen on YouTube (video uploaded on December 18, 2011).

“Credits and shot by b——y. For foreign fans: Please DO NOT modify the film and DO NOT take out without permission. – Please take out with full credits and don’t add yours [sic] credit  in photo. – Do not modify the film & don’t cut the logo.” – Seen on YouTube (video uploaded on February 9, 2012).

“[Korea Data Blackout] is a movement of support for administrators of Korean fansites as well as fans all around the world who work very hard …to provide pictures and videos of Korean artists.  It is also a movement to make international fans realize just how much these people provide to their fandom experience…and to help them understand how important it is to follow their rules.” – Korean Data Blackout website, September 2012.

Screen capture: Korean Data Blackout logo from KPK’s Digital Documentation of the website. Credit: Kaetrena Davis Kendrick.

Earlier this year KPK published an essay about American law-makers’ attempt to pass a bill that would hinder the free flow of information on the Internet. Described as a piece of legislation that would protect copyright on the World Wide Web – with particular regard to how those protections manifest outside the United States – the bill was deemed too far reaching in its scope, targeting websites who so much as linked to questionable information with severe penalties.

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