I am not in a very good mood right now (and I am typing this on my phone because AT&T can’t get their DSL network back to work), so I might say something rash and offend some people. So I’d like to ask for everyone’s understanding beforehand.
I became a fan of SeungGi in August of 2009, and started posting on Soompi in November of 2009. A lot of things have happened in the fandom in these last 2 years, and I have learned a lot of valuable lessons.
When I started out as a fan, I had zero knowledge of the Korean language, so I learned everything about SeungGi through the old posts at China Cafe and Soompi. And I relied on them as my only news sources. When I started sharing news at Soompi, I translated them from the Chinese ones I read at China Cafe. I knew about the Korean sources like DCLSG and Naver back then, but I didn’t even know how to navigate a Korean website.
Then something happened and taught me a big lesson about responsible fan blogging (even though I didn’t consider myself a blogger back then).
It was after the Shadow Repackage Album came out. Many fans were anxiously waiting for some promotional activities. Then I read on China Cafe that SeungGi was going to appear on Chocolate. I was super excited to read the news and I posted it on Soompi to share my excitement. Then a DCLSG fan read it and posted it with a link to Soompi. Everyone was excited. Seriously, I had never seen that many visitors on Soompi before that. But then it turned out that it was a misunderstanding on the Chinese fan’s part. I felt sooo bad to have spread the news and raised false hopes in so many people. And I had to ask everyone for their forgiveness.
After that, I made it a habit to always go to the original sources for verification whenever possible. Even though it was hard, I learned to navigate the Korean news sites and search engines (after I started learning Korean of course). Sure, things were much easier and less time-consuming before when all I had to do was take things from Chinese fan sites and translate them into English. But to be more responsible, I made the decision to take the long-winded road (or can I call it the high road? hehe). It’s just that I’m a working professional with strong work ethics, and trust is very important to me and in my line of work. So I cannot stand myself becoming someone less than trustworthy, even if it’s just online.
As with translations, I also wanted my work to be as accurate and trustworthy as possible. I’m sure everyone knows that things can easily get lost in translations, especially when there are a lot of differences between cultures, and of course more would be lost after more rounds of translations, say from Korean to Chinese then to English. Honestly, translating from Chinese to English is a breeze for me, since I am fluent in both languages (and I actually worked as a Chinese-English translator back in high school). But after I started learning Korean, I decided to take the extra time and effort to translate Korean directly to English (starting with SeungGi’s tweets), hoping to relay the original messages as accurately as possible. That’s why I get annoyed when people claim they are translating from Chinese to English yet their translations end up eerily similar to my Korean-to-English translations. (Seriously, I can read the Chinese they are translating from, and I know how they can be translated. I’m not that stupid.)
Anyway, with all that said, let me go back to what started me on this rant. When I posted the article about SeungGi wanting to leave Strong Heart, I stated very clearly that it was published in Sports Korea, and I credited it to ‘hankooki’. If you cannot find the original source with all those clues given, maybe you should question your own search abilities, rather than accuse other people of ‘unprofessional blogging’. I know it was not confirmed by Hook (and I never said it was official; I was merely reporting what was out there), but when does Hook ever confirm or deny rumors? So from now on, should I wait to report only on Hook’s official announcement? If my memory serves me correctly, Hook has released ONE official statement (with LOTS of unsought help from KBS) during the two years I’ve been a fan. So I guess I can just stop blogging at this point, since I won’t have anything official enough to blog about.
But for those who don’t know how to search properly, here is the link for your verification and approval: hankooki