Hot Girl Hired – Videos Coming Up

A few weeks ago, I was able to hire that hot girl I was talking about (maybe more cute than hot, but I’m down!). It was tough when I was just advertising on craigslist Korea on my own, but my (awesome) college student part-time employee was pretty clever and more resourceful than I. She went on some Naver and Daum cafe’s (essentially, Korean message boards) and went specifically to modeling/acting message boards to post an ad for them. And bam. In less than a week, 43 models and actresses flooded my inbox. Most had modeling/acting experience to some degree, and some were even on major network television shows. The surprising thing was I was only offering 18만원 for the entire day. Not bad at all!

This Sunday is our shoot. I have 1 day to finish all the scripts I wrote for learning Korean. That’s why Seoulistic.com only has 1 post for this week. (I also have a recorded phone call with my mom in the wings I want to post on this site). I’m taking so much time to prep for this shoot because I don’t know what I’m doing in terms of video. This is my first foray into this medium. But just like the Seoulistic.com launch, I’m just doing it and figuring it out from there. It’ll be fine :) I will also be acting in the videos as well. So if this were a movie, the credits would say: “Written by Keith Kim. Directed by Keith Kim. Starring Keith Kim”

That’s a ROFL on so many different levels!

Seoulistic.com Launch – Nothing’s Ever Perfect :)

As many readers of this blog will know, I am working on http://seoulistic.com. I was hoping to have an official launch date of April 16th. I wanted to have a stock of posts, a few videos edited, a number of things ready, tweak a few things here and there. But whatever right? Nothing’s ever going to be perfect. I’m never going to have the perfect website, and I’m always going to look to tweak and redesign everything. So I might as well keep going and try to build up my readership as I go along.

So today is my first official post, Seoul’s 10 Most Famous and Popular Galbi Restaurants. My friend already told me he tried to comment and he got an error. Good that I found out about this asap, rather than later. It would have been the same with an official launch date or not :)

So, help me out folks. Retweet, repost, share, like, stumble, whatever your fancy. For folks who want to visit, live in or is just generally interested in Korea:

http://seoulistic.com

BTW, most of the posts here are written while I’m home in my jammies, really unkempt, drinking a cup of coffee. Nothing’s ever perfect son!!! :D

New Part-time Employee

I need some help working on Seoulistic.com. So I posted on the sites I mentioned in my previous post. I am not offering much as this is coming out of my own pocket, so I went with a student as my first employee.

I love Korean student employees. The younger they are the better (chill, I’m not a creep! just read on). When I was working at KoreanClass101, my first part-time employee was Minkyung. At the time she was a 20 year old college student just looking to make some spending money. It wasn’t a lot of money, but she appreciated it. And she was really sincere and hardworking.

That was in Japan. Now I’m in Korea, and minimum wage in Korea is about 4,600 won an hour. So I know any Korean student would jump at the chance to do easy research work from home for what I’m offering, 8만원 a month (about 70USD). They’ll appreciate anything that doesn’t require serving food in a McDonald’s uniform.

So I picked this 19-year old kid with no job experience at all. When she replied to my ad, she had no resume and said she had no work experience (not exactly the best way to get a job!). When I met her, she seemed lost and it seemed fairly obvious that she had never applied for a job before. But that’s the exact reason I chose her. I know she’ll do what I ask without complaints. She already seems to be hardworking and sincere. And as long as I’m fair to her, I’m sure she’ll keep doing this until she’s got something better going on.

I would like to build my entire team with these college kids. But I mean, that’s not really sustainable nor very smart. But for the time being, these kids are perfect for what I need!

Job sites for Korea – Still a Pain

In my last post I mentioned I was looking to hire Korean natives through craigslist and networking. That didn’t work out too well. I was going to go through the streets and start posting some fliers, but before I could do that I met with a friend who told me about some more online resources for hiring Koreans.

She said that Naver.com and Daum.net both have cafes that are useful for hiring.

Here are the job sites she posted on:
http://cafe.daum.net/breakjob
http://cafe.daum.net/4toeic/

These are exactly what I was looking for: free job postings to a site with tons of people looking for jobs. No stupid Korean business registration number, no fee to pay. Just post and let the applications flood in.

But it’s still not that simple for foreigners, mostly because we’re not used to the whole online “cafe” system. These are essentially online forums with added levels of difficulty. Korean internet is a royal pain in the ass. Here’s a typical example of Korean cafes:

Me -> I want to post so I go to the site.
Site -> Says I must sign up.
Me -> Ok cool. I’m in. I press “write post.”
Site -> Says I must upgrade to a “regular member” to write posts.
Me -> Why? Fine,  how do I do it?
Site -> Request the admin to be upgraded.
Me ->  WTF why??? Fine. Done. Request made. Press “write post” again.
Site -> Your request must be approved by an administrator.
Me -> AHH whatever… fine. I’ll wait.
Site -> (next day). Congratulations, you have been upgraded!
Me -> Finally! Press “write post” again.
Site ->  You must write 5 comments in order to post.
Me -> …. I hate you…

To Koreans it’s normal protocol on the internet. To me, it’s like having an argument with my mom: I don’t understand half the things she says and I never win.

I didn’t even try this time. I asked my friend to post for me, and within 1 hour, I already have about 10 applications. I’m loving that I found these sites. But it still doesn’t change the fact that I freaking hate the Internet in Korea.

Trying to be Scrappy

So as readers of this blog may know, I’m working on a tip site for Korea (seoulistic.com). Check it out if you want, but currently it’s still in development, so there’s not much to look at yet :P

As this is an endeavor that I am going about on my own, I have to be scrappy. I don’t have any seed money, just a few grand that I saved up. So funds are extremely limited, and I have to find ways to get some resources. Currently I’m looking for 2 people. As mentioned previously, I’m looking for an attractive girl for some youtube videos. I’m also looking for someone to help me with quality control. I’m not offering much money, so hiring some help is a challenge. Here’s my approach:

The Internet

Of course I tried the holy grail of human resources, craigslist. I am looking for a native-Korean speaker, and that’s probably why the response was very limited. Craigslist is great for foreigners, but Korean users are next to nil.

Obviously, I would like to post on alba.co.kr (the go-to source for part-time jobs in Korea). That would be the real “craigslist of Korea.” But I am not yet incorporated. And just like any other Korean site, in order to register you need a registration number, in this case a business registration number. But there’s probably a fee that I don’t want to pay anyway.

I’ve also downloaded a few dating apps to see if any internet peeps wanna get up on this, but I’ve gotten lukewarm responses so far. Most of the girls on these apps are looking for flirtatious chatting encounters, and I’m not much of a flirt (damn!). I can’t even run some game for a date. How am I going to run enough game to get up on the internet and ask a girl if she wants to record a “video” for some money? (Creepy!)

Network

My network is extremely small and limited considering I am moving onto my fourth year in Korea. I’m a homebody, so I don’t get to meet too many people. The people that I do meet are mostly from work, so the people I know are pretty much a bunch of Korean-american guys (from my last job).

Networks are indispensable for any business endeavor, and I haven’t really built mine up yet. But I’ll have to see if anyone around them wants to become the next apple girl.

The Next Step

I’m not giving up though. Next on the to-do list is creating a flyer and posting around universities around Seoul. I believe the price is about 30,000원 for you to post for 1 month. That’s too rich for my blood. If you’re careful enough to escape those half-watching building ajeoshis (경비아저씨), you can just do the garage sale route and post on lampposts galore. That’s what I’m going with. It’s old school, but I’m optimistic it will work.

Hiring a Hot Girl Sucks

Alright, so I’ll be 100% honest. I got these videos lined up to teach Korean, and these videos have already been done. Just search “How to say hello in Korean” and you’ll find videos with tons of hits already. So I’ve already got some stiff competition. But I’m confident in the scripts. I think they’re funny, they’re entertaining and they’re educational. I’m good with that. I just want one more thing to put my videos over the top. A hot girl.

Sexist or not, hot girls = clicks on youtube, and that’s what I want. But some of the potential actresses that I’ve come across for this project have been some real sour apples. Case in point, I met an attractive girl last weekend and asked her if she was interested in acting. She gave me a very positive response. So the next day I text her to tell her the details, but turns out she’s backing out. She goes on about how she’s already in media and there’s a certain level of professionalism that she wants. She also busted out the words “make up artist.” Wow. For YouTube? Excuse me but who the hell are you?

Maybe I’m just looking for the wrong people. These high end trophy girls are a pain in the ass. It’s what I get for categorizing people into pretty and not-pretty enough. I get it. I deserve it. I do feel like a jerk just asking some girls and not others about it. I’m just not confident in knowing what white people (a big part of my target audience) will like.

All I’m looking for is an above-average attractive girl with minmal acting ability and ability to speak Korean that white people will like. Is that really too much to ask?

Lunch with TalktomeinKorean.com

Yesterday I visited the talktomeinkorean.com office to discuss an upcoming project. It’s a correction service site similar their other site, harukorean.com, except the site (talktomeinenglish.com - facebook page) is geared towards English learners from Korea. I’ll be helping out with the content and with some videos, and it should be a good time had by all :)

After talking with Hyunwoo about the details, the crew was about ready to eat lunch. I expected everyone to get up, put on their jackets and head out to some good neighborhood restaurant. That’s how it was in most of the companies I was involved with – in Japan, Korea, America. People would get up at lunch time, and if they didn’t have plans, they would discuss what they would go eat for the day. But instead of bringing up menu options, almost everyone in the TTMIK crew busted out their doshiraks (lunch boxes)! They all set their home made banchan (side dishes) on the table and shared what they had, even with the few folks that had ordered their lunch (including me).

I don’t think this is particularly common, but it’s not uncommon either. Eating out in Korea isn’t too expensive, but of course you’ll save money and probably eat healthier by doing this. I felt like I was in an elementary school cafeteria in Korea, everyone sharing what their mom packed them. It was weird that no one packed kimchi though!

Lunch was a good time to get to know the crew better, and even better cause I got to cop some of their food! haha, jk. But it was an unexpected Korean experience that I thought was pretty old school.  And anything old school and Korean, I like! :D

Can’t wait for 홍대 삼거리포차 (Hongdae Samgeori Pocha) to reopen so I can get some of their sick 옛날 도시락 (old school lunch box)!

Script Excerpt for Future Video

I haven’t enjoyed working in a long time. Of course there are good days where I have fun moments, but I haven’t actually enjoyed work in a while. The last time I did enjoy work was when I first starting working for KoreanClass101 (not so much later). The reason I enjoyed it is because I was given creative freedom, and I was learning on the job. Much more enjoyable than teaching the nuances between “the” and “a” (which is really hard btw!).

So working on Seoulistic.com (my new website – not yet up) is an experience that I am enjoying, especially that part about being creative again. I am currently working on scripts for some videos to teach basic Korean. And I find myself giggling at home alone 2AM in the morning, and I think it would only be fair to share my delight :)

Here’s an excerpt from a video script teaching “How to Say ‘Thank You’ in Korean.” You can go the really boring route and just say it in the video, maybe repeat it a few times and have a basic review. It accomplishes what the video is aiming for, but the stickiness and social networking share value is virtually nil. That’s why I like to add a bit of comedy to my work.

[Scene 3] – 감사합니다 (Thank you)
Guy on toilet. Fart sounds. Guy struggles to pop one out.
Looks for toilet paper and sees only one sheet. Knocks on next stall.
Guy: 저기요~ 좀 도와주세요. (Excuse me, a little help please)
- Roll of toilet paper is tossed over the stall.
Guy: 감사합니다… (Thank you)
Simple enough and it teaches the word in a fairly humorous situation. But I wanted to add a repeat scene so the educational value sticks for the viewer.
[Scene 4] – 감사합니다 (Thank you)

Guy on toilet. Fart sounds. Guy struggles to pop one out.
Looks for toilet paper and sees only one sheet. Knocks on next stall.
Guy: 저기요~ 좀 도와주세요. (Excuse me, a little help please)
Dirty sock is thrown over.
Guy: (confused look) 감사합니다…? (Thank you?)
And there it is folks. My contribution to the Korean-learning community. I couldn’t stop laughing at this, and hopefully the world thinks it’s funny too. But even if they don’t, I’m still going to enjoy it :)