It’s almost two weeks into 2015 and already some strong albums have released. You Could Imagine by From The Airport and Norwegian Wood‘s Lost are on continuous repeats right now even as I write this. LudiSTELO and Love X Stereo have upcoming releases that I’m looking forward to as well.
If this is any indication, 2015 might be a stronger year for music. But what does this mean for Korean Indie? I thought it’d be good to take a look back on 2014 and what the plans are for 2015.
The second half of 2014 was definitely a transition year. The site went through many changes, the first being the formation of Korean Indie, LLC. As the sole owner of KoreanIndie.com, I took a lot of time to think and ask people if it would be worth trying to pursue Korean Indie as a company to do something more with the site rather than just be a blog.
One of the biggest challenges is that the formation of a company, specifically in California is a big task. It required a lot of communication, lawyers, and time. But it was an amazing feeling seeing the notice that Korean Indie, LLC was an official thing.
The main reason behind making Korean Indie, LLC was to be able to sell merchandise. With various legal requirements, I wanted to make sure that Korean Indie was following the proper steps. That required a seller’s permit, a business license, and hours of preparation. If you followed the whole journey, the store was delayed a few months because of paperwork. But once everything was set, then things went pretty smoothly.
I built the store, tested the checkout process with readers, and the store finally went live. At the same time, I was working with contributing writers, people who I wanted to help develop the site and add their own personal voices. The contributing writer positions are volunteer only.
If anyone thinks that Korean Indie makes a profit from the store or ads, we don’t or more specifically – I don’t. 2014 is an operating loss year. I can accept that though because the project that I had in mind was going to cost a lot of money.
Every time I have to dismiss a writer, I get disappointed. Partially because it doesn’t take that much to remain a writer. Mainly it’s communication, which I take the blame for. I think I had unrealistic expectations for the original enthusiasm that potential writers had. At the end of the year, I opened applications for new contributing writers and I think I have a strong team in place to move forward in 2015. One thing I think is missing from the site is more editorials, something I want to improve on this year.
But what about 2015?
It’s likely you’ve seen the Indiegogo campaign for SXSW. It’s a big gamble to ask for $15,000. Since it’s my first time every trying this, I hope it works out because it would make the SXSW trip really special.
I imagine Seoulsonic will have another tour this year around SXSW and I’ll be in San Francisco while Xtian will likely attend New York. I think they’ll hit Los Angeles too as the final stop and maybe I’ll head down for the show.
One main thing with the Indiegogo campaign is that the trip is going to be expensive so a lot of money is going into lodging, travel, and perks. But any additional funds that we don’t use will go back into the site.
Whether it’s to buy more merchandise, improve the website, or let us fund a band to record a demo, I plan on using it to fuel the company’s growth.
There are other plans in the works, some are collaborations and others are site specific. One thing that I want to ask readers is if you are interested in livestreams. Whether it be us playing music or answering questions. Please let me know.
2014 was the year for setting up the elements necessary. 2015 will be the year for implementation.
The first big change was changing the layout of the site to be more customization and more visual. While I thought the old site worked, it didn’t really grab anyone’s attention. The current layout is much more useful because I can change the entire layout in about 20 minutes. It’s still a work in progress so sections might change, but it’s not going to be drastic. There are a couple goals with the site – make sure it runs/loads quickly and keep it interesting.
[Update] After almost breaking the site, there are two formats available. If you want a blog style layout in order of the most recent posts go to KoreanIndie.com. If you want a more visual layout with sections use our new Home page.
There’s still a learning curve with the new layout, I’m not a developer by any means so there’s a lot of trial and error and adjusting code. If you have any feedback, please send it over.
I’ve said before, I want to be transparent to the readers. You support the site simply by coming to visit and reading the words that everyone writes. If you can help in other ways, by sharing our posts or contributing to the Indiegogo campaign, it helps in ways you might not know.
I want Korean Indie to be a source for Korean music. I want our writers to be experts on the music they enjoy. But mainly, I want the bands we cover to get more exposure to audiences that will enjoy their music. The site started in 2011, but I feel like 2015 is a new era.
Please keep reading while it happens.