1 Articles for 'Society 2.0'

  1. 2008/06/10 Web 2.0? No, it's Society 2.0 (4)

Web 2.0? No, it's Society 2.0

Web 2.0 | 2008/06/10 00:43 | Web 2.0 Asia
The whole Korean society is literally in frenzy now. Just look at this picture. We have protests like these every single day in Seoul.

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So what happened? Here's my one paragraph summary for you: The new Korean president Mr Lee hastily signed the US beef import agreement, without paying close attention to banning the kind of beef that might potentially cause mad cow disease. Fitting his nickname "bulldozer", Lee tried to push through his plan despite serious concerns. Amid this, the traditional media tried to play a cover-up game, accusing the public health concerns as unfounded rumors and the protesters as left-wing manipulators.

But the majority of protesters were not political minds - they were average Koreans who were deeply upset by the government and the old media. Given that many Koreans are web-savvy, always-connected, blogging-like-crazy folks, what we had was essentially millions of angry bloggers.

Ouch. You don't really want to imagine what happens when you have millions of angry bloggers.

Behind the massive physical protests, there are even more massive web activities: Protests are organized by mobile messages and broadcast on the internet live at the scene. But the government and traditional media embarrass themselves on a daily basis by not "getting it". The government once mistook Daum's Agora, the massively popular internet discussion forum, as some kind of secret political party. (Duh?)

It used to be so easy - the government could just set up a plan, push through it, let the media do its part. But the web 2.0 turned nearly every single Korean into a media figure. Now everyone ventilates his or her ideas on the internet, to which all others are responding back and forth - the amount of communication taking place grows exponentially. It ain't simple and easy anymore. If you want to lead people, you should do it in a 2.0 way, or you're doomed.

This is what Korean politicians and old media folks are slowly realizing (if they ever are, that is), in a very painful and costly way. Politicians around the world can learn some important lessons from what's happening in Korea - Are you there, Barack Obama?

PS. There's a deeper analysis on this matter on Taewoo's Technokimchi.