metaverse and digital marketing are changing the way we do business, today and tomorrow.
Alex Jensen talks with two leaders working in the digital space. First he talks with Albert Kim, CEO and Founder of Double Me. A company that recently won first prize at the KOCCA StartupCon for its pitch on metaverse applications.
DoubleMe is a leading volumetric capture company focused on bringing the physical and virtual worlds together. They push the boundaries of what’s possible with 3D technology and create simple solutions that improve the lives of real people, in real time. The metaverse awaits for everyone.
Then Alex talks with Stephen Revere . Steve is the Founder and Principle of InterCultural Communications, a digital marketing that has as its tagline, ‘we give small and medium businesses a fighting chance’ #BeScrappy InterCultural Communications delivers a wide range of expertise: website development, digital advertising, social media management, search engine optimization (SEO), remarketing, campaign reporting, etc. It’s aimed at helping those companies that can’t afford to hire a team with all this expertise. They deliver all of it for you. Their multi-lingual team can do it all, they have native English, Korean or Chinese content creators.
metaverse and digital marketing are challenging the way we do business, today and tomorrow.
Alex Jensen: You’re listening to Koreabizcast with the KBLA. I’m Alex Jensen, and it’s Wednesday October 27th, Is the metaverse the new gold rush as recently claimed by the Korea Herald, which cited companies rushing to have something virtual from shopping to staff training even the convenience store CU has been attracting millions of visits to its virtual shopping experience via the 3D avatar metaverse platform run by NAVER.
The government also recently said it will invest 2.6 trillion won by 2025 in hyper connectivity, and other tech use in emerging phenomena, like the metaverse, we’ll dive in today to find out what it’s all about, while also seeking some digital marketing advice that may be helpful, no matter the size of your company, or ambition. And if you want to be represented or otherwise get involved in our Koreabizcast community, a great way to do so is via LinkedIn, just search KBLA.
Alex Jensen: So straight into this metaverse topic as we can welcome Albert Kim, CEO and founder of ‘DoubleMe’, thank you for joining us.
Albert Kim: Thank you for having me.
Alex Jensen: Which version of you, we getting? Is it the real Albert Kim?
Albert Kim: Yeah, the real Albert Kim.
Alex Jensen: Do you have an avatar by the way?
Albert Kim: Yeah, I do in TwinWorld. You know, anyone can be proved 3D avatar. When you log in, log on to our website and you capture your face and where it lets you have your own avatar where it’s going to be the full-bodied life-size avatar because what we do is bringing the metaverse into the real world and we call that as a real world metaverse, and the service name is TwinWorld.
Alex Jensen: Right, I let’s just take a couple of steps back.
Albert Kim: Okay.
Alex Jensen: It’s not quite a term that everyone would have a grip on yet despite its apparent popularity. What exactly is the metaverse?
Albert Kim: I think metaverse actually started out of the post that second life, right?
Alex Jensen: That was a game though.
Albert Kim: Second Life is mostly like the virtual community. And then I think it actually failed to add more gaming aspect. That’s why you know, everyone already forgets about the once popular service called the Second Life, right. And it’s more about like community to socializing virtual space.
Alex Jensen: I remember hearing stories like people falling in love through Second Life. And I guess there is that genuine potential for very, very human reactions and interactions through avatars. That’s one explanation for the metaverse. I don’t know, do we just say metaverse, or the Metaverse? By the way?
Albert Kim: I think that now we have so many different metaverse spaces. So, I think we can we it’s better to say metaverse.
Alex Jensen: Yeah, it’s become something different from a universe as we imagine it with that kind of title. But how does it relate to and rely on the internet and how is it spread out outside of the control of nations boundaries? Organizations?
Albert Kim: I think it’s quite similar to like all the web tool revolution we, so like all the 2000. And, you know, we now are able to create like simple metaverse, but simple technology. It doesn’t really, really need any, like hard technology in order to implement, like smaller size metaverse. So, it’s becoming more like everyday thing that you can encounter and more metaverse services are popping out everywhere. It doesn’t have to be like, you know, full fledge 3D VR experiences, but you know, sometimes you can experience metaverse, some metaverse services on the web browser.
So it’s more like you know, social community and anyone can create and that it’s more about socializing, but it’s gradually moving on to like very specific tasks and goal and now people report that refer that as a you know, next generation internet because used to be it, it’s a flat screen web based interaction but now we’re mostly expecting to see everything is happening inside this space, like 3D space that you have to explore.
Alex Jensen: But a key feature is you would be represented by an avatar. And it could happen a very simple way like Second Life, or it could happen a far more complex way, in a way that your kind of expanding with ‘DoubleMe’ your company. Can you perhaps elaborate a little bit more on your service?
Albert Kim: TwinWorld is a real world metaverse service and used to be you know, metaverse, whenever you think about metaverse. It’s all about like Roblox and Minecraft, which is stuck inside of the computer screen. And we’ve been developing our own proprietary mixed reality platform and leveraging that we are bringing metaverse into the real world, so that you can experience everything in your room or your street or wherever you are still, you know, what we do is basically same as you know, the conventional avatar generation.
So, you can be, you can select your own body and clothes, and body shapes, whatever you want to be. And you can imagine yourself to be like, you know, a different persona. But what we add on top of that is bringing yourself as a live hologram, what we call ‘holoportation’ and would using like simple 3D cameras like Kinect, and you can start broadcasting yourself into the metaverse. So, some are that price range somewhere between $150 to $500. Mostly developed for a gaming interaction like Kinect and other prime senses. And then also latest version of Kinect is Kinect Azure, which is the top of line costings around like $500. So that’s the one thing that you have to have in order to holoport yourself into the virtual space.
We’re working really hard to make that everything available on the mobile phone as long as you have that 3D camera equipped mobile phones. The best experience will be wearing AR, MR headsets like HoloLens. And then you know, when you watch other people inside of the same space, then you can see them as an avatar, they will see me as an avatar, right? And then it’s all happening life size in your room. So, it has a better immersive, immersiveness when it comes to the quality of the experience.
Alex Jensen: I should point out that you recently won 50million on, is that right for a government funded startup pitch competition?
Albert Kim: Yeah, yes, I did.
Alex Jensen: Yeah, so that was all based on what we’re hearing now this reality slash experience, whatever we want to call it. When did the idea first form before going in for that competition?
Albert Kim: the company actually found in around to end up 2014 and aiming, aim to create the volumetric video capture technology, which means, you know, instead of like going through laborious 3D content generation processes, like you know, hiring 3D professionals and 3D professional software and hardware, and it takes long time to generate content, why not just capture multi angle video, and then, you know, somehow come up with the algorithm to fuse all of them together into one 3D model. So, you know, we had a studio and when I push you inside of the studio, your body pop out as a, you know, live moving 3D model. It was, it wasn’t like real time, content generation, but it actually took, like, you know, somewhere between like, five hours to few days, but still, it’s way cheaper then, and then, you know, way cheaper than the conventional 3D content generation processes.
So that that was the original idea. And we had a studio in London in 2016, starting from 2016, and Seoul 2017. And we’ve been providing this sort of like professional services, you know, anyone asked us to capture a hologram instead of our volumetric video capture studio that we capture, capture the content and that we deliver them to, you know, as it is, or sometimes like, you know, packaged with mixed reality applications.
That’s how we started to generate revenues. And because we had a studio in London, and we started to work with several European concourse there and they actually started to say, you know, if we can make this technology real time and mobile, then the telcos can leverage this technology for, like 5G communication, which something we never thought about it because, you know, the whole content generation processes actually, you know, requiring heavy computational power. So, it wasn’t really difficult to make them real time. And for about two years, we’ve been working really hard to make new algorithm, especially based on the machine learning.
And now we have the one camera, one PC version, so that you can start standing in front of the camera, and in real time, we can generate this whole content. So, the content generation as a hologram is it’s now, we have it, but you know, something missing that, we started to realize that, you know, the content generation technology is there, but we still missed the service side. So about, you know, beginning of 2019, we started to come up with few ideas, how do we make this, you know, this whole experiences for especially the users without worrying about, like, you know, finding all these different types of components to putting back together to create a hologram and then, you know, make them make the hologram socializing with other people.
So, you know, we decided to, maybe we are better to, we just create a whole nine yard, you know, from content generation to the community, so that people can start, interacting with other avatar or holograms. So that’s how we started to fuse all the technologies that we’ve been creating together. And finally, last November, we launched the first beta version of the TwinWorld service.
Alex Jensen: This whole metaverse idea, as I suggested before, doesn’t respect borders, but your business is clearly here in Korea. What’s the significance of that? Does it help or hinder obviously helped when you won that money from the startup pitch competition? But generally speaking, are there particular regulations from country to country that make metaverse activities easier or harder?
Albert Kim: I think, you know, when it comes to regulation, or reality of the metaverse skill, we don’t have any anything, you know, clearly written or forced to the startups, because, you know, they never even experienced it yet. And they just expecting to see, this will be the new next, you know, the virtual economy, something like that. So, once we have the old interaction, then the regulator will start imposing more the rules and regulation to control this metaphor spaces, just like the older web tool, you know, the industry. But when it comes to Korea,
I mean, you know, we been really lucky to land it and on the, the pilot, R&D grant, and before we started this service, so, you know, between about for about, like five years, you know, we really, really have luckily landed on, like about around $16 billion research grants, which is generously granted, from the Korean government, as well as some money from the UK Government as well, but mostly from Korean government side.
So, you know, in Korea, I think, you know, not only they’re promoting to have the next generation of virtual space as, you know, kind of like an industry they want to move everyone to be there. But at the same time, they’ve fun small companies to research hard, so that, you know, we can be prepared well enough.
Alex Jensen: Well, I refer to before as a new gold rush, citing the Korea Herald. Is that a fair description? Or is it more of a just a wild west experience where just about anything’s possible right now?
Albert Kim: I think yeah, definitely. It’s anything’s possible. But especially, you know, when you’re integrating this metaverse service with the crypto and blockchain, all the NFT mumbo jumbo, out there, and then people whatever you do inside of the metaverse and that can be directly translated to the monetary value, then you know, it’s going to be the real gold rush people pick on me like users or the developers should be there in order to mine, all the gold that in a digital gold that you can get.
So, I think that for that angle, it definitely, it’s a gold rush. And that I already see it, actually, you know, ourselves also, but already see many metaverse up and coming services are actually integrating into the blockchain and crypto so that they can not only provide this opportunity to the users as a, you know, new newfound monetary opportunity. But you know, for them, you know, it’s a way to attract more customers, and then also way to generating new revenue which cannot be done before.
Alex Jensen: Looking much further ahead. Where do you think this is heading? Can you imagine, for example, a future in which you’ve got a substantial number of people just sitting in dark rooms, with headgear on or whatever it happens to be living out their lives via avatars? I’m very well aware, as I say that, that there are already many people who spend their lives in rooms playing games and that sort of thing. But I’m talking about a more immersive, more substantial level of that, can you see it happening?
Albert Kim: I think that dystopian vision will be something like Matrix. So, everyone just lying down and hooking up with the, you know, giant needle on their head, and then they don’t have to move, you know, it just imagining it. I don’t know that can be happen, you know, depending on how we, we can tap onto the brain signals, and how do we like, you know, decode or the brain signals in detail.
But for now, I mean, you know, people wearing VR glasses, or AR glasses, for that matter, they have to move around, you know, at least inside of the home. And for us, you know, the TwinWorld is all about, you know, you are being in unto the physical space first, in order to experience all the virtual experiences. So still, you know, you need to move like go somewhere and then do something with other people. And then gradually, I’m definitely sure there will be more AR, MR type of metaverse or the immersive experiences.
So, you know like Pokemon GO, although we don’t want to move around too much. But you know, there will be more mixed reality augmented reality type of services so that people have to some somehow move somewhere. That’s my hope. But, you know, you never know what kind of new technology will be, you know, completely changed the whole thing.
Alex Jensen: Right now, for me, I’m just looking on with curiosity, I should say. I’m not ready to plunge yourself into creating an avatar. But you know, who knows? I might regret that decision later on when I’m missing out on this incoming gold rush. I’d like to ask you though, where do you stand in the in the kind of balance between ethics and freedom in metaverse thinking? Metaverse philosophy even?
Albert Kim: I mean, like, you know, as a service provider, and then is still we only have like, about 60,000 users. So, I don’t think we can imagine too much now. But at least what we do is we were giving the power for users to users to generating all the content they can get, especially, you know, this 3D scanning technology. So, when you go out and you can scan like others indoor spaces or other people, instantly, you can generate the contents into the back to the TwinWorld spaces and we can’t even let you sell those contents.
So, you know, how do we make sure the who owns what Right? so although there’s no legal issue now, but you know, we were trying to policing as much as we can, so that you know, people can the rightful owner will get benefit of like having the interior design or the buildings or the actual person themselves. So that’s the level of ethical conduct that we can do here. But you know, gradually when we have more users and interacting with differently, then we will soon face a bunch of different, like, you know, legal or ethical problems, but sub as a platform provider, we definitely need to find and then you know, find the way to provide the best experiences for the users.
Alex Jensen: So, beware the virtual gunslingers in this virtual Wild West of Albert Kim, I wish you all the best anyway, and thank you so much. It is absolutely fascinating. Albert Kim, CEO and founder of DoubleMe,
Albert Kim: thank you guys, bye.
Alex Jensen: Staying in the digital world, but we now change up the pace a little with the story of a long-term career resident whose name may already be familiar to you.
Stephen Revere runs a social media marketing company, ‘InterCultural Communications’, the first of its kind to service bilingual websites and social media advertising in Korea.
But that almost feels like the tip of the iceberg. Steve, thank you very much for speaking with us.
Stephen Revere: Yeah, we do all kinds of digital marketing. Now, it’s my pleasure to be with you, Alex.
Alex Jensen: And it’s also your own story, which is right at the tip of the iceberg to just reflect on one hat because I think I first met you, when you were publishing 10 magazines in print several years ago.
And I know ‘10 magazine’ still has an online presence. But I found out that you had an MA in teaching Korean, your several books out on the language. And you’ve just done so many different things since you first arrived in Korea in the 1990s. Do you have a number for the quantity of different career hats you’ve worn in this country of that time?
Stephen Revere: No, it’s a lot. There’s been. There’s been a couple of major phases, though, you know, from like, 95, I arrived 95. And through 2008, I was probably just, you know, I did, I got to do amazing things. I was able to do some television. I was on EBS and KBS and I did one of those shows where they send you around the country eating, you know, they send the foreigner, and they try different kinds of Korean food and stuff like that and speak Korean.
I got to swim with the Haenyeo in Jeju and I got to go Ojingeo fishing off on Dokdo and Ulleungdo. It was I’ve done amazing stuff. It’s a, it’s been one heck of a 25 years. I’m very happy that I came to Korea a while ago.
Alex Jensen: You did, Ojingeo fishing before Ojingeo or squid were a thing a popular thing in Korea. Apparently, Ojingeo sales have been boosted by ‘Squid game’ even though it’s only very loosely connected to the sea creature. But fast forwarding to where you’re at now.
I think the backbone of what you’ve just said is going to reappear through this conversation, but you are CEO of InterCultural Communications. What was the problem that you identified when that started in 2017 that you thought needed to be addressed?
Stephen Revere: Well, I should have identified it a lot sooner. I think somebody came to me in in 2012 or 2013, and said, could you run our Facebook advertising for us? I said, no, I’m focused on ‘10 magazine’. And then, you know, it was a print magazine. And as we’ve discussed that kind of went downhill.
So, we quit printing in 2016 and then 2017, I went full digital marketing, building on the experience that I had running 10 Magazine, running the social media, the digital ad campaigns running a website. And really, it comes down to the fact that it is complicated.
Digital marketing is a giant ecosystem. That is incredibly difficult to understand. It’s everything from building websites to running digital ad campaigns, you send traffic to your website, you got to capitalize on that traffic, try to get them back again. Email marketing, social media, I mean, there’s so many aspects to it, that it’s really complicated, and small and medium businesses have trouble hiring people who can do it well.
Alex Jensen: So, it’s more than just riding a skateboard with some cranberry juice or something along those lines and sticky it online.
Stephen Revere: You know, these everybody wants to be an influencer and not everybody can be influencers. It’s tough to do. going viral is not easy.
Alex Jensen: It’s not easy. And I’m not even sure that it’s desirable for everybody for all things. I think that probably is actually quite obvious, but still, I hear a lot that people seek virality I mean, for example, for Koreabizcast.
Yes, it would be lovely if an episode took off and we had millions of listeners but that’s not really the goal. It is to have a community related to career and that’s the goal and if the odd interview goes viral for whatever reason, then it is doesn’t really affect the model of what we’re trying to do. It’s just maybe a nice bonus.
Stephen Revere: Absolutely. Yeah, it’s about and that’s what you’re doing. You’re doing what it takes, which is the daily slog, right? You got to go out there and put out good quality content on a regular basis. I can’t believe you’re doing it every day. You guys are nuts. But it’s a serious job to do that. And that’s how you build a community.
Alex Jensen: Well, what’s your general view on the state of digital marketing career? And this is horribly general because it covers all industries, or people every possible avenue that we could think of, but we can maybe narrow down afterwards.
Stephen Revere: Yeah. Well, I mean, just there’s one major aspect, and that is websites. And Korean websites are in general are very poorly made. And, you know, you say, well, why would why would you automatically think that Korean websites are poorly made? Well, it comes down to NAVER is the number one search engine in Korea, there’s no doubting that.
And NAVER doesn’t send people to websites, it sends people to more NAVER, NAVER blogs, NAVER this, NAVER that there’s all kinds of, you know, the NAVER dictionary, the NAVER encyclopedia, the NAVER this, the NAVER that it keeps you inside of NAVER, whereas Google is a source for the web, right? So, what Google does, is they’re kind of the web policeman, you have to have a quality website with quality content that people spend time on. And it’s very fast, and it’s easy to use, and then Google will put you at the top of search.
But that’s not how NAVER works. So, people are not focused on the quality of their websites here, so that they go up in search, they’re focused on their NAVER blog. So that’s why websites themselves in Korea generally are not really well made and not made, at the level that, you know, if you’re targeting Google, you’ve got to make a much better-quality website.
Alex Jensen: And that’s also true, even actually of some of the conglomerates. It’s surprising when you go on some big household names that will be known well outside of Korea, and even their Korean content, that there are some issues with the websites, but then you enter the realm of English language translation, and it starts to go downhill very quickly quite often. Are those problems that you’ve been able to tackle already?
Stephen Revere: But yeah, for our clients, sure. But you know, so many people are like, oh, well, we don’t get clients from our website. So, it doesn’t matter.
So, we don’t care. And then you’re like, well, there’s a reason you don’t get clients for your website. It’s because you don’t care about your website. So, like the, you know, the chicken and egg problem is it’s interesting trying to persuade people that you’re their website matters in Korea, because generally they’re like, oh, we don’t get our clients from our website. Well, that’s because you haven’t set up conversion tracking you haven’t your website slow. Nobody likes it. It’s hard to find the information, blah, blah, blah.
Alex Jensen: But are there particular platforms of greater or surprising value here in Korea? You mentioned NAVER blogs. So that would be one. Sure. Like is Instagram, for example, much more important than Twitter in Korea? Compared with some other countries?
Stephen Revere: Yeah, well, we both know it is. I mean, we both know that Instagram is the juggernaut in Korea, especially for the younger generation, Facebook is still there. And of course, the giant advantage with Facebook and Instagram is that you can target people based on their interests, right?
The advantage with Google is that you can target people based on their motivation to purchase later looking for your what you’re trying to sell if you get the right search term. But you know, if you’re trying to target people based on their interests, and just get their attention and build your brand, Facebook and Instagram are just they’re almost unbeatable right now. Yeah.
Alex Jensen: So, what would your advice be for beginners on a budget who have a message to get out there? They’re facing this atmosphere where websites are taken less seriously, they might be tempted to launch a social media campaign, and they sit in your office, what would you tell them?
Stephen Revere: Well, you know, small time people like restaurants and bars, they might not want to bother with their own website. But there’s a million other things that they have to get done. If they want to have a decent digital marketing presence. You know, the first thing they have to do is get on Google My Business, then NAVER place, then Kakao maps, and then T-map, right?
There’re three different sets of maps in this country that everybody uses. And if you’re a brick-and-mortar business, and nobody can find you then you’re in trouble, right? So, you’ve got to make sure, and I think a lot of people skip the T-map, but why would you like it 15, 20% of people use T-map for their map in this country. Why would you ignore 15 or 20% of the market? So, I think it’s really important to get on all the maps. And then if you’re a restaurant, you got to get on TripAdvisor.
Now here, right? Mango Plate is another one. So, it depends on your industry a lot. If you’re a restaurant or bar, you definitely want to be on all the things that people go to looking for restaurants and bars and then obviously, you’ve got to have your Facebook page and your Instagram. And then when you get to Instagram, you’ve got to create the location on Instagram, blah, blah, blah, I think I’m getting in a little bit too much detail. But yeah, it’s it. Like I said, this is why I saw a market for this. Because it’s a lot of work. It takes a lot of time. And it’s complicated. And if you’ve got a little bit more money than time, if you’ve already got income, it’s much easier to just hire someone else to take care of this.
Alex Jensen: What if your product is not immediately as graspable as, say a restaurant or a bar, but you still are seeking to reach out to consumers? Would it be better to perhaps consider alternatives? In other words, it wouldn’t necessarily be something that you would visit, but perhaps you would either digitally purchase or do so through e-commerce or you’d seek services online. In those cases, what kind of approach would be best?
Stephen Revere: I think you absolutely need to grow your get your own website and grow your own audience. Because you can lose your Facebook presence at any time, you can lose your Google My Business, anytime they NAVER, all of them. If you’re on someone else’s platform, they could just cut you off.
So, I think it’s crucial to have your own website where you can follow your own traffic. I mean, I saw something just the other day, you know how Facebook last month, they had the big traffic outage. And these people had 25,000 people following them on Facebook on their page, and their page disappeared during the traffic outage.
And then the traffic outage was over and they’re like, where’s our page and they’re like, sorry, your page is gone. We don’t you can’t have it back again. They’re like we had 25,000 followers. So, you don’t want to be dependent on someone else’s infrastructure and systems. If you’re trying to build something like that. And I that’s, that’s the one thing I would say is get your own website and track your own traffic, drive people there and figure out how you can drive traffic to your own website.
And I haven’t, we haven’t even mentioned LinkedIn yet, which is where I see you and all the great stuff KBLA is doing all the time. And LinkedIn is probably one of the easiest places to go viral right now. Because LinkedIn is trying to grow its base. So, you’ll notice sometimes you will see that one of your friends or somebody you’re connected to like to something.
And you know, on Facebook, if somebody clicks on like, you’re never gonna see nobody, Facebook would never show you the fact that somebody else clicked like on something. So, it’s much easier to get something to go viral on LinkedIn nowadays, quote, viral, it’s still never gonna go to the scale that Facebook used to, but you can get stuff that’s seen by hundreds of, thousands of people if it goes viral on LinkedIn.
Alex Jensen: What about language side with your interesting Korean? I’ve got to ask you, do you think it’s important that people are making more of an effort to post in different languages at least in English and Korean, whether it be social media and through their own website? Or do you feel that the translation apps that are out there now mean, you just pick one or the other?
Stephen Revere: Ah, interesting. It depends on the network you’re using, right? So, Facebook has a really cool feature where you can just put up the post in whatever language you want, and the only language people see is the language setting that they have set in Facebook. So, you can post in both languages are multiple languages, 345 languages, and people will never see that it’s been posted.
I’m not a fan of the double posting in two languages thing. I would focus on one language and on one audience rather than have two posts with two languages where people have to pick and choose between languages. I’m not a huge fan of that. It’s kind of like spreading out your targeting audience. You know, if you’re targeting everyone, you’re targeting no one, running my philosophy with that.
Alex Jensen: Well, we’ve also got Google Translate and Papago, and I think the latter has an advantage only as much as it doesn’t have the character limitation that Google Translate has. But aside from that, are you impressed, do you feel we can trust them? You’ve got the language ability to be able to judge. But if there are many of us who don’t have that luxury, or that capacity, can we go ahead and just trust those apps?
Stephen Revere: Well, we all know you got to take it with a grain of salt. You got to wonder how perfect the translation is. I mean, it’s obviously sometimes it’s bubble. In general, it’s pretty good. And you can kind of get the gist and then you’re like, Okay, I kind of get it. Sometimes you’re like, Wait, I don’t I’m not sure I understood this. And then you got to go refer, maybe run it through the other one, right. If you got it out of Papago, go run it through Google Translate, and vice versa. Um, but you know, mostly it’s what’s again, what is your goal? Is your goal to understand this precisely? Or is your goal to just kind of get the knack of what they’re trying to say? And you gotta you got to do what you need done not worry about other stuff.
Alex Jensen: Well, for some people, they get told a lot, you know, you’ve been living in Korea, you should learn Korean, you should be using Korean on a daily basis, but then you find English being used in almost every professional setting. So, it’s kind of a mixed message there. What’s your view on long term stays here in Korea attempting to learn the language?
Stephen Revere: Oh, don’t bother. It’s, look, it is an okay, so the Defense Language Institute in America did it. They have some basic numbers. And they say that learning a romance language like Spanish or French requires about 780 hours of study. They call that a level 1 language, Korea is what they call a level 4 language.
And that takes about 2,200 to 2,400 hours of study to become fluent, which is what over three times right about three times as much. And it is a challenging language to learn.
As we all know, I was lucky I came over and I dedicated a ridiculous amount of my first few years here, to studying the language and a lot of money. And so, I now speak it fluently, but really, and I’ve forgotten a lot of it myself.
Because I’m not using it as much as I used to. But when I was getting my master’s in teaching Korean, obviously, I was much more fluent, much more capable. Um, but what I would say is, again, get to where you want to be, the great thing about Koreans is they appreciate any effort to learn their language.
So, if you just put in a little effort and try to be able to communicate, basically, they will treat you so much more nicely than if you don’t even bother. So, I highly recommend that you do try to get to a certain level. But if you’ve already got a job, and you’re, you know, you’re working 40, 50, 60 hours a week, it is going to be hard to become fluent in Korean.
Alex Jensen: Well, this is coming from the man who has an MA in teaching Korean, Stephen Revere, as well as being CEO of InterCultural Communications and a million other things, at least based on the conversation that we’ve only just had in the last few minutes.
We’ve got to have you on again to talk about some more of the social media campaigns. I think you’ve given us a great overview and introduction, though. And do you have any final message for how people can find you, presumably on just about every platform out there?
Stephen Revere: Yeah, we’re intcultcom.com is our website and they can just search for Steve Revere or Stephen Revere, on pretty much every platform. I’m not frankly, totally active. You might find some of the platforms are a little I haven’t posted in a long time. And that’s because, you know, it’s kind of like a chef. They don’t like to cook at home and cooking all day at work. So, we’re a little behind on that. But yeah, no, are you talking to you to Alex.
Alex Jensen: Yeah, I know the feeling.
Thanks very much, Stephen Revere and before that we heard from Albert Kim,
let me also say thanks again to everyone who’s made today’s episode possible even those who have not heard from today, the whole KBLA team and you as a valued listener, you can connect with us by emailing, firstname.lastname@example.org. And we’d love to hear from you if you have any feedback questions, ideas for engagement. You can even find us on LinkedIn as we just discussed if you search KBLA there. See you again tomorrow from 7am Korea time.