Using Social Media (ALL of it) to promote Korean Literature: Pt. III Wikipedia

Social Media: Big Bang Theory

Social Media: Big Bang Theory

Part I: Twitter and Facebook
Part II: Amazon

What about Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is a key form of Social Media for several reasons… the most important being that this is where English speakers go to get information. That perhaps is a simplification – they go to Google to get information, but in the case of something non-commercial, the first responses usually include something from Wikipedia, and it has thus become the de facto first stop for a wide range of information seekers.
So let’s begin our discussion of Wikipedia with a reprise of Google.

Google Stats

Google Rules The World

In the United States, the Google search engine is far and away the preeminent tool for research and popularization, with 63.5% of the market in 2009, a number that was growing as general search numbers increased. And in most cases (A search for the term “Korean Literature” included) the first result for a search query is from Wikipedia. Wikipedia is the ultimate social media, essentially a blog managed by approximately 3-million contributors and visited 23,679,652 times a day. In addition, use of the Wikipedia skews to those who might naturally wish to explore Korean literature:

50% of those with at least a college degree consult the site, compared with 22% of those with a high school diploma. And 46% of those age 18 and older who are current full- or part-time students have used Wikipedia, compared with 36% of the overall Internet population. (Lee)

Therefore, it is unfortunate that there is very little content available on Korean Literature when a Wikipedia search is conducted. A general page for Korean Literature shows up, as well as a page for Korean novelists. Unfortunately, not only were these pages not linked but before the KTLIT Wikipedia Project 80% of the names on the Korean Novelist page were linked to non-existing author pages.

Wikipedia is difficult to quantify, but one way to do it is by categories and pages. This is a blunt tool because it depends on users to accurately tag their pages, but it does reveal general trends (Measured on Friday March 30, 2012).

Wikipedia Categories and Pages

Categories and Pages

This is also unfortunate because getting something on Wikipedia pushes it higher on Google that it would otherwise be, part of the Google algorithm is based on domain impact, and Wikipedia is highly trusted by that algorithm (although Wikipedia has recently been derogated in the algorithm) – it is worth being on Wikipedia just to increase the chance that you will be found early in a search. This is particularly true if the searcher is using a very broad term such as “Asian Literature.”  If Korean pages don’t rank high, particularly including Wikipedia ones, it is unlikely that the will be found.

There are other beneficial effects as well. When other social media sites judge the importance of a site, they frequently include backlinks from Wikipedia as evidence of importance. Wikipedia also serves, through backlinks, as a tool from which searches hop to other pages. It is worth mentioning that Wikipedia links are the second largest identifiable source of visits to KTLIT, after general google searches. While this is only 2% of KTLIT traffic in total, it is still an important contributor.

It’s really the perfect internet platform and I’m a bit surprised that in the few attempts I’ve made to interest Korean translation/culture entities, there has been no response.

The reason for this problem is clear: The English Wikipedia depends upon the existence of pre-existing English text to function. In many cases this does not exist for Korean authors, even translated ones, other than what may be found in blurbs on bookcovers. The answer is obvious – this information needs to be ported from the Korean language to English.

Anyway, this problem is why KTLIT (which mainly means me) has the wikipedia project going… This is a project to put up Wikipedia pages on Korean authors, Korean literature, and related issues.

So far KTLIT ahs put up 29 authors, saved the pages of two others, and created a couple of literary award pages. In the last 90 days these have received over 21 thousand hits. And this is way better than a blog post, since blogs come and go. If I step out of this studio and get hit by a pizza delivery man? KTLIT ceases. But the wikipedia pages are living and breathing – others chime in and polish them up. Theoretically, as interest increases in Korean literature, wiser persons and better writers than KTLIT will continue to add to these pages.

It’s really the perfect internet platform and I’m a bit surprised that in the few attempts I’ve made to interest Korean translation/culture entities, there has been no response.

The good news, as of yesterday, is apparently there is some kind of unnoficial Wikipedia project along those lines, and we are busy chasing it down.^^

2 thoughts on “Using Social Media (ALL of it) to promote Korean Literature: Pt. III Wikipedia

  1. Pingback: Social Media and promoting Korean Literature: Pt. II Amazon

  2. Pingback: Using ALL Social Media to promote Korean Literature Pt. I

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