[Response] Non-Koreans Online

This is actually a response to my own post from October 2008. For one thing, I’d like to edit some inaccuracies and update the post – the online landscape has changed since then. And frankly, I didn’t quite know what I was doing. I was still pretty new to the community and the post was for myself as much as for anyone else.

For one thing, if I were writing the post now I wouldn’t title it Non-Koreans Online.  The online community I was referring to is more accurately discribed as “English speaking” rather than “non-Korean”. Kpop Culture Online would have been a better title.


Soompi remains the hub for much of the Korean pop culture  community. In the Soompi forums, threads for kpop artists in the music forum are very popular as are the threads for dramas and movies. They’re often a great entry point to larger fan communities. If you’re interested in an actor, a movie, a musician, here’s where you go.


While the Soompi forums maintain a fan-filled atmosphere, allkpop is all about the latest celebrity gossip & news. With its exclusive interviews, lightning-fast updates, and fan-forum network, allkpop has emerged as the no. 1 source for kpop news.


Dramabeans keeps its reputation of a quality blog. Comprehensive recaps, thoughtful reviews and critical discussion makes this one of my favorite Korean pop culture destinations. Check out her post on Western actors on Korean TV or the 2009 Editors Picks.


Other good sources of Korean pop culture & fun:

K Bites – Blog with quality translations from Korean News, mostly centered around Kpop.
Omona They Didn’t – Livejournal community for everything Kculture, known for their sass.


Where to Watch

MySoju is still a useful site for watching Kdramas (and Jdramas and Tdramas and…) but after countless times having to halt watching a series because links are broken, I’ve grown frustrated with it.


Instead I recommend DramaFever, a free and legal video streaming site for Kdramas. There are some downsides –  you have to sit through a couple of 15-second commercials per episode and the site is only available to those in the United States or Canada. However, DramaFever’s selection is wide – from the big hits to the hidden gems – and growing every week.

Other sources of Kdrama:

Dramacrazy.net – Essentially the same as MySoJu through slightly more Jdorama-centered.
aja-aja and WithS2 – These two might have made the list accept for the fact that aja-aja has be shut down. It was a lovely partnership – aja-aja provided the raw videos and WithS2 did the subs. But with one out, the system breaks down (And hamstringing my drama-watching ability!)  However aja-aja may reopen in the future so keep an eye on it.

Sources of other Korean television aren’t so easy to locate. Korean talk shows and variety shows are scattered across YouTube subtitled by various fan subbing teams. Only rarely is a particular show covered by a sub team (ex. RSS for Family Outing).

The best way to find subtitled variety and talk shows is not with a simple search. Since YouTube has gotten faster at suspending copyrighted material, fansubbers have had to become more elusive with their video titles; a search will often not bring up what you’re looking for. Instead, get to know the subtitling teams. Appearances by idol groups or popular actors will be subtitled without fail – just find the corresponding fan teams.

If you know the date of airing, all the better. Simply search with the date format “YYMMDD”. For example January 8th, 2009, you would search “090108”. You’ll be sure to come up with something that way 🙂


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