KOREAN CULTURE / SPECIALS

McRoth’s Residence Celebrates its 2nd Birthday!

 

I was too caught up with school, Kpop shenanigans, and other nonsense, that I completely forgot the significance of October 5th. It is the blog’s two-year anniversary!

I am extremely late and I’m slightly ashamed. But what can I do now? Well, the best thing I think I can do is take the time to write a nice celebratory post, regardless of how late it is. Like last year’s anniversary post, I will share the back story of McRoth’s Residence and all the pivotal moments in its two short year existence.

I started my very first blog in the fall of 2008 on Tumblr, entitled McRoth’s Residence. The name McRoth* spawned on a whim as a username for an MMORPG I was playing at the time, and after a few months, close friends began using it as my nickname. For whatever reason, it grew on me and it eventually became my ‘alias’. Hence, the name McRoth’s Residence, “where McRoth resides and blogs about life’s occurrences and mishaps.”

Obviously, Tumblr wasn’t as popular when I used it and it functioned a lot like LiveJournal, in that all I did on it was write actual journal entries and occasionally share pictures. I swear it wasn’t as reblog-y as it is today, so seeing it transform into this ‘trendy-but-not-so-trendy’ social networking platform is interesting. Anyway, by Spring 2009, I continued to document portions of my life, and it wasn’t until the end of the season that I stumbled upon this:

– and life as I knew it would never be the same. It was the first time that Korean Pop music had captured my undivided attention. Well, actually, that’s a lie. BoA’s “Eat You Up” (2008) takes that honor, considering I used it on my MySpace music player! But “Lollipop” was the catalyst that helped change the focus of McRoth’s Residence from being a simple online hideout where I’d been releasing my inhibitions, to a place where I could jot down all my thoughts and opinions on this peculiar thing known as Kpop.

I followed Korean pop music all summer long. I discovered groups like Big Bang, Dong Bang Shin Ki, Super Junior, and FT Island along the way, as well as watched the big 2009 comebacks that stand unmatched to this day. Some of those included Girl’s Generation’s “Genie”, Super Junior’s “Sorry, Sorry”, among so many others (here’s a taste). I was even there when the whole Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun vs. SME brawl happened, which I think was more dramatic than any telenovela I had previously watched. Yeah.

With my incessant obsession, I also grew fond of Korea. I taught myself to read and write Hangul, and I found amazing expat blogs that gave me a good idea of what life was like in Korea from a familiar point of view. I still read some of those blogs.

By the fall, I was pretty much living and breathing Korean pop culture. I could comfortably navigating through the various media outlets and Korean blogs to know where to find all the information that mattered, and with all the new-found knowledge of Kpop, I wanted to spread the love. There was just one thing: Tumblr. At the time, It couldn’t provide me with a proper method of feedback to my posts without being annoying, so I made the decision to close my Tumblog and switch to WordPress. I wanted to feel like I was running something professional and WP offered that and more.

The big move happened a couple days after the Chuseok holiday. I remember posting this dance battle on Tumblr before closing my account:

And just like that, the McRoth’s Residence  you have come to know was born. My very first post went up on October 5th and up to December, all I did was post “You’re Beautiful” episodes, random Kpop news, and other oddities. But it wasn’t until the first days of January 2010 (according to my category history) that I wrote my first ever official review. It was for “Change” by HyunA of 4Minute. I would share it with you, but somewhere along the way I deleted it. I don’t know why, but I did.

It eventually became a habitual thing to write reviews of Kpop releases (my first album/mini-album review was “죽어도 못 보내” by 2AM). My readership grew ever-so-slightly the more reviews I wrote, until it was all that they waited for. By March, I had a slew of reviews tucked under my belt. I hadn’t thought about their importance, but that all changed when http://ningin.com/ contacted me. They liked what I was doing on my own and offered me a position to blog for Ningin. I would have been a fool to pass it up, so just like that, I had my first online gig as a team blogger! I contributed blog articles for the Ningin network, and covered everything from current events in Korean pop media (music shows, TV programs, live events, news, and gossip) to providing original editorials. It was a lot of fun.

click on the blank-faced Spice Girls picture below to read one of my favorite Ningin contributions ever.

I met great people along the way, both through Ningin and the growing audience I had built on McRoth’s Residence. In January 2011, I respectfully bowed out of my position as a Ningin blogger to take up a new writing position with http://www.allkpop.com/. Like with Ningin, allkpop came to me with the opportunity to join their team as a features writer focusing on what I do best: music reviews. They wanted a voice, and I was there to offer it.

With a completely new role, I knew I wouldn’t be capable of handling school, writing reviews for akp, and managing McRoth’s Residence at the same time, at least not as proficiently as I would have liked. Soon after, I announced a hiatus period. It lasted a few months before I decided that I didn’t want to abandon McRoth’s Residence, so I opened the doors to readers/writers who felt they had the goods to write for my blog. By May, Penny (lolpenny) joined the team as a contributing writer, followed by Xtian (drowningn00b), and Anna (blueorchids). They brought great points of views and kept the spirit of McRoth’s Residence alive when I couldn’t. They are still here, and for that, I am grateful.

(if you wish to join this bad-ass team, please read carefully through the guidelines of applying for a voluntary writing position on McRoth’s Residence HERE)

Recently, I’ve begun to blog on a regular basis again. I definitely don’t see myself calling it quits any time soon. It’s too rewarding for me and too much fun. I still write for allkpop.com. The work I’ve produced doesn’t reflect the ideas of the site, but they do reflect my honest opinions, my knowledge of music, and my own point of view to a broader audience, which was the point of joining in the first place.

That being said, I look forward to contributing elsewhere around the net, expanding the site, and meeting new people. A big thanks to everyone who has visiting McRoth’s Residence and an even bigger thank you to those who have stayed with me all this time! Most of my motivation comes from you, so you’re a large contributing factor to why I’m still here.

click here and enjoy all of your favorite Korean pop music videos!

The year is coming to an end, and you know what that means – lots of end-of-year specials! With luck, I’ll remember the blog’s anniversary next time, and hopefully, I will have nice treats for everyone. I have great ideas I want to put into effect and with your support, I know I can make them happen. Here’s to another year of McRoth’s Residence!!

~ x o x o ~

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