Thursday, April 01, 2010

Time to Come Clean About my other Blog

(Video: Jump, by Kriss Kross: the name of the band will make sense soon)

OK, readers. It's time to be a bit more honest over here.

It all started with a bit of an experiment, playing around with anonymity on the Internet... but I really feel like the lie has gotten too big.

See, it started back in 2008, when The Korean from Ask A Korean! (now, with a festive exclamation point!) and I got together to do the "Why Do Expats Complain" series that really put Roboseyo on the map, back when nobody read my blog.

Well, that went so well, that The Korean and I (I even know his real name) have become quite good friends through e-mail correspondence, Skype, and stuff. I even chat online with The Korean Fiance when he's out. (She's really sweet, and hella smart.)

But here's the interesting thing... during the "Expats Complain" thing, one person e-mailed us and said that it seemed like there was an echo going on -- that our writing styles were so similar he suspected we were the same writer. That was amusing to us both, but you know, it's the internet... anything's possible.

So TK and I played around with that idea for a while: it became a running joke between us, and I'd put a phrase into a post that he'd recognize as similar to his style, or he'd do the same to me; nobody else would have noticed if they weren't looking for it, like we were. But then, in December, he asked me if I'd be interested in submitting a post for his site, and seeing if anybody'd spot that it wasn't him writing. So I wrote "Fan Death is Real" in January '09 -- I've always been a fan death believer myself, though deeply closeted, for the sake of the scorn people pour on believers, but I figured everybody's be shaking their heads so much with the "typical of a Korean" prejudice that nobody'd notice it wasn't The Korean's usual writing style.

Well, nobody even noticed a bit -- they just got into the back and forth on the comments, and barely paid attention to the different choice in adjectives.

Emboldened, TK sent me another shocker of a headline: you might not have noticed, but the "I want to Kill the President" post that went up on Roboseyo in March 2009, and discussed free speech in Korea, wasn't written by me at all. Did you notice? I don't know that anybody did.

So it worked... nothing else came of it, and things went on as normal, until a few months ago.

As you know, The Korean got engaged a little while ago, which, along with a promotion at work, left him with no free time to maintain Ask A Korean! at the standard he preferred. So he asked me to step in...

At first I was nervous about taking the extra work on, but honestly, the challenge of writing from a different perspective was so refreshing, I feel like it's been polishing my craft as a writer, so I've been writing both Ask A Korean! and Roboseyo since late January (switching from hotmail to gmail was so that I could manage the mail on an account separate from a few of The Korean's other important, connected online accounts), on the understanding that later, when I'm getting ready for my wedding, he'll take over Roboseyo for a little while.

However, the wheel of fate would turn yet again. Turns out The Korean's promotion led to another, bigger promotion (good for him, I suppose) and this means that, while he has enough time to keep commenting on The Marmot's Hole (that was never me), he's ready to set blogging aside for good.

Given that Ask A Korean! is more popular than Roboseyo ever was by an order of magnitude, and that the question and answer format is so simple the posts practically write themselves, and maintaining two popular, individual blogs is just a little too much, especially now that Hub of Sparkle's back online, I've decided to quit Roboseyo, and devote all my blogging time to Ask A Korean!.

I hope you don't mind, readers: I've really enjoyed doing the Roboseyo blog, and there might still be posts here, more aimed at my close friends and family (more stuff about the rash on my knee than the rash of celebrity suicides: personal, not social commentary), but you'll be happy to know that I'll still be blogging, if you just take the time to switch your bookmarks to Ask A Korean!. To avoid too much confusion, I'll change my own moniker to "The New Korean," to avoid being mistaken with the old Korean. And still feel free to send in translation requests: I have some friends I can farm it out to.

Finally: it's been a great ride. I'm grateful to my readers and especially all the people who left comments and wrote e-mails. I hope for your support at Ask A Korean! as well: Korea remains an inexhaustible topic, and Koreans are an inexhaustibly fascinating people, and i look forward to keeping up the exploration.

All the best, dear readers.

Roboseyo (The New Korean)


The Korean said...

And thank YOU for being such a good sport and helping me out when I was pressed for time, Robo. It was so awesome to have a body double. Now I know the appeal of Avatar.

Dad said...

Is this another one of your April 1 Fool's Day jokes?

Becky said... hard to keep track of people online when it's possible to have so many blogs. I have a few myself. :)

Anyway, I figured now (now that you're quitting your wittily named blog) would be an opportune time to introduce myself as a reader, even though I've only been around for a couple months. Oh, and since I didn't comment on that other post--congrats on getting engaged.

Bonnie Heather said...

I'm with your this an April 1st thing?

Anonymous said...

Obviously and April Fool's prank:
1) Rob isn't Korean
2) This post is labelled under "april fool's pranks"

- Bryan

I'm no Picasso said...

Very clever, you two.

Lee Farrand said...

The best April Fool's would be to actually follow through with it. Then you'd get the last laugh on Dad.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this is real or not being that it is April 1st and all, but if true, I just wanted to take the time to thank you for all the good work you've put into this blog, Rob. It's been awesome coming here to get your take and this blog will be sorely missed.

If this is joke, I take back everything I said and I will hate on you forever! :)

Keith Kim said...

Rob you got me, you cheeky fella you

Chris in South Korea said...

And all this time I thought you didn't write satire... Next thing you're going to tell us is that Dokdo belongs to China or somesuch...

Becky said...

*sigh* I ALWAYS get taken by April Fool's...especially when the jokes are posted on March 31, for all us North American's know. :-p