What must be done to make South Korea’s ICON community as active as the network’s international community?
That was the focus of much of the discussion during the ICON Ecosystem Meetup at the ICONLOOP Lounge in Seoul on Tuesday.
Hosted by ICX Station and the ICON Foundation and attended by major South Korean P-Reps and DApps such as weBloc, Deblock with STAYGE, ICONDao, Blue Baikal, VELIC and ICON Hyperconnect.
Many of the participants pointed to language barriers, unfamiliar communication channels and a general unfamiliarity with community activities.
Hyperconnect’s Markus Jun said that while social media channels such as Twitter and Reddit are widely used by the international crypto community, they remain relatively unpopular in South Korea.
He suggested the ICON community benchmark what other platforms are doing, adding that Hyperconnect is looking at collaborating with universities and operating ambassador programs as a future initiative to attain a more mainstream approach.
Deblock with STAYGE, on the other hand, cited the language barrier, particularly in the current crypto market, when scarce resources make it difficult for teams to dedicate much time to social media, especially in English.
Steve Cho of weBloc pointed to several barriers holding back the South Korean ICON community.
Like Markus, he noted that South Koreans are not active Twitter users. He also noted that ordinary Korean community members are sensitive to the price movement and that South Korea’s community of crypto investors is shrinking.
Just as importantly, Cho pointed to a lack of Korean-language material, a surprising problem given the project’s country of origin.
While helpful Korean-language outlets such as ICONkr (note: we’re big fans of their work) exist, there’s simply not enough announcements and updates in Korean. Even major events such as the IISS update go completely unnoticed in the Korean community until somebody such as ICONkr posts the news in the local language. He said efforts undertaken by the ICON Foundation to improve the ecosystem such as its community grant and delegation programs must be better shared in Korean.
Still, Cho suggested that while ICON’s South Korean community might lack the PR savvy of some international ICONists, that doesn’t necessarily make them any less active. He noted that ICON’s channel on South Korea’s ubiquitous Kakao messenger is just as active as the network’s international channels.
Cho told The Iconist, “Korean ICON dApp are focusing on their businesses, eventually trying to grow the ICON ecosystem while the major communication channel in the global ICON community – Twitter – does not positively impact their services. dApp teams cannot but focus on effective marketing channels for their services in Korea, making them appear lacking in community engagement.”
Additional reporting by Pratibha Joshi