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Running on a Paved Road – My Journey as a Sone

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Running on a Paved Road – My Journey as a Sone

It’s really funny how fast things can change in a span of a year.  Just last July, I had never even heard of So Nyuh Shi Dae(소녀시대) and laughed at the idea of KPOP. The whole concept of boy and girl bands felt like a distant past for me, a reminder of my adolescent years, when Backstreet Boys, and Spice Girls were the most popular singers on the radio. Fast-forward to the present, and my thoughts have changed dramatically.

Within a span of a year, I have become a real SONE and a serious fan of Korean pop music. In fact, just last week I purchased my first big SNSD product, their latest Photobook and DVD release, “Paradise in Phuket”. The transaction holds significance for me, since I am a typically shrewd consumer.

After clicking the Pay Now button, I actually reflected on how I got to this point as a fan. How did a non-korean Canadian get into this craze?  Why did my opinions change so rapidly?  True, the girls are universally gorgeous, pretty and cute.  Yes, their music is catchy, and they can sing with the best of them.  Their dance moves are addictive to watch, and their performances are full of energy.  In terms of personality, the girls are the best variety idols out there with a knack for entertaining viewers with stories and humour. Separate, the girls are each unique and talented, but together, they form a one-of-a-kind formula that attracts and appeals to millions of people worldwide.

Upon further contemplation I actually had an epiphany about what was responsible for getting me to this point.  Especially in such a short amount of time. I had discovered the Catalyst behind SNSDs international popularity and how they managed to appeal to many foreign SONEs like myself.  Ironically it has little to do with the girls at all.

While some of you might be wondering what the heck it is, it’s actually who. No it isn’t the hardworking managers, instructors, coaches, choreographers and trainers that whip the girls into shape, nor is it Lee Soo Man or the producers, that create the tracks and MVs for their songs. Actually the secret behind their success is actually you. That’s right; you’re the reason why SNSD has become popular across the globe.

While some of you might disagree, from my perspective it’s absolutely true. Without the great and established fan base for the girls I wouldnt have been able to call myself a SONE at all. Furthermore, I wouldnt have been able to become a SONE so easily within a span of only a year.  After all, it was this great community that managed to break down the barriers of distance, and language that allowed me (and many others) to become the fan that I am today.

For me  it started with Gee, the YouTube video that has captured nearly 47 million views since it was uploaded approximately 2 years to this day. Without the fans repeatedly hitting that replay button, and spamming it all over the web, I certainly never would have stumbled upon it. From there I was captivated by SNSD, and their cute catchiness.  Immediately I was redirected to the Run Devil Run MV and was impressed by their charisma and talent while performing the song.  Their ability to change their personas surprised me.  Soon I found myself searching for “SNSD” while I was bored at my computer. These were my first steps on my journey of becoming a SONE.

While browsing online, it didn’t take long for me to discover user created videos provided by a wide range of SNSD fans across the globe. These clips varied from fan made tributes to factual videos that usually showcased how smart/funny/gorgeous ‘X’ member is. In fact you could probably type in any adjective you want with an SNSD member, and a fanmade video would most likely pop-up. Many of these clips on YouTube were also filled with hilarious comments which provided me with a good laugh. Immediately I appreciated the SONE humour and spazzing. This open enthusiasm for the girls amazed me at the time.  Never before had I seen so many fans go absolutely crazy over things like smiles, dorkiness and winking.  This outspokenness also made it easier for me to be a fan.  I didnt feel an urge to slow my interest in the girls.

More often than not, the comments also contained great information for new fans on what shows, videos or performances to watch. I remember specifically reading a comment that suggested watching “Hello Baby” and the fans guided me in the right direction. Soon I found myself watching Korean variety shows, with English subtitles. As a result I was exposed to a plethora of stories and experiences that the members shared with the Korean audience on these shows.  I learned about the members as people rather than singers, and was able to connect with them on a personal level.

While I watched these videos leisurely, in the back of my mind I also appreciated the contribution of the SNSD fans for making it all possible.  They allowed me to understand the girls, and acted as the personal translator and guide for any foreign fan.  After viewing a ridiculous amount of video content, I finally found various SNSD online communities thanks to user comments. Needless to say, I became a member of these sites instantly, made a bunch of posts, and dabbled in the fandom. Finally I had a place to chat and read about the girls, with fans around the world.  I didn’t feel as awkward being a Canadian SONE.  It was as if I now had supporters that propelled me forward on my path to Soshi fandom.

Becoming a part of the SoShi community was actually easy, fun, and rewarding. Instead of watching videos, I could now read a whole bunch of the fan submitted content that was readily available on sites around the web. I was also able to become more actively engaged by entering responses to threads and posts. Admittedly I was shy when it came to posting, but eventually I got into it after I forced myself to hit the Post Comment button. It didnt take long to discover that many others shared the same views that I had of the girls, and at the same time, I was able to hear different perspectives that altered my opinions.  Initially I underappreciated specific members of the group. However reading up on the thoughts of other outspoken SONEs, I soon began to appreciate those members on a greater level.  Right now I can say that Im a fan of all 9 of them, and wish them all the best (although I might be still a little more biased towards some of them).  Likewise, the community did a great job of filling-in-the-gaps of knowledge for a newbie fan like me.  So even though I came to the SNSD party late, it felt like I was actually there the whole time.

It took me a while to get into the whole “Soshi Pairings” idea, but I realized that a lot of it was amusing and entertaining. People found ways to put together members, and then found proof that they were real.  It sparked debate, and made some fans create whole entire YouTube channels and websites dedicated to certain pairings. Most of which were actually cute and fun (a few naughty). Not only do we have videos, but there are also countless fan fictions posted online by SONEs for the fans. Unfortunately most of them creep me out, but this is further proof of the community’s dedication (and obsession) to share their ideas and thoughts on the girls with the world.

Even today, the SoShi Fan base continues to impress and surprise me with their initiatives for every SONE fan.  The most obvious example would be our very own SNSDKorean podcast!  I suggest everyone check it out if you havent already.  As a Soshi fan its another neat way to stay connected and  up-to-date with the SNSD news, in a commuter friendly format.  I actually discovered the site by searching for SNSD Podcast on google.  Not only do you hear news, but you also get some of that fun and entertaining conversation that always comes up whenever a bunch of fans get together to talk about their interests.

While surfing YouTube for SNSD over the past few months I also found many individuals who now make video blogs (vlogs) talking about the girls, a growing trend. Generally, these vlogs contain opinions, news and reviews about their activities or promotions.  A perfect example would be “TheChannelofDylan” a 16 year old Soshi fanboy from Missouri, USA, who actually has a SONE journey that is glaringly similiar to my own.  What makes him special, is his ability to put out content consistently, and his overall bubbly personality.  Combine that with an outspoken attitude and a real love for the girls, and you get an entertaining vlog, that fans can appreciate.

Even more impressive are the countless members of the SNSD community that engage in the now popular Flash Mobs, to encourage SM Entertainment to bring the girls around the world. The Europeans fans were able to convince them to have a second concert date, an impressive feat. Fans in South America also organized a similar rally to show their love and support, while also displaying their hopes for a future concert date.  Just recently in my lovely city of Toronto, hundreds of KPOP enthusiasts performed in front of our city hall, unafraid to express their fan spirit and desire to see the girls and other SM entertainment acts live.

As always SNSD fans across the globe continue to share high quality fan cams and photos from events that the girls attend. Nowadays this type of activity is growing, and concerts are now filled with fans holding electronic devices, hoping to keep their own memory of the girls, while sharing it with the community afterwards.  How great is it that SNSD can have a concert halfway around the world, and most of us can see them perform, almost as if we were there (but still very far away).  I know for me Ive watched my fair share of fancams, and while I wish the girls could come to Toronto, at least I didnt feel totally left out of the loop.

Therefore, while the girls are all attractive and interesting, it was the fans and their ability to share and create content that allowed me to truly become a fan of all 9 of them. Without this extraordinary community, I never would have been able to get to know the girls on a personal level, since they eliminated the big barrier of language.  Furthermore, this fanbase was able to close the distance between me and the girls by sharing every tidbit they collected of the girls online.  This allowed me to enjoy their music, performances, and various other activities despite being half a world away. By taking away these hurdles, the community paved my path to becoming a true fan of SNSD.

In a way my journey as a SONE has come full circle.  After being on the receiving end of most of the communitys hard work, I finally decided to take on a bigger role and be a part of this catalyst for other fans.  I sent in my application to the SK team, and now I find myself as a writer on the site.  At this point I hope to be able to support other fans positively,  just like the other SONEs before me. Of course I do not have the same practical talents, that previously dedicated SONEs have, but I have enthusiasm.  I can only hope that the continued efforts of the community can continue to provide a smooth journey for all new SNSD fans as they transition from fan to SONE.  This type of communal growth and support for such fans will be essential for SNSD if they wish to extend their fan base to the largely untapped foreign audience abroad.

Feel free to share your journey as a SONE with SK in the Comments Below! 

P.S. For those interested, SK is always looking for enthusiastic and talented new members feel free to apply to the SNSDKorean team.  

image credits; namstars@daum, soshified, tumblr #yulti

video credits; SoShiSubs team, TheChannelofDylan, SMTown Toronto Flash Mob July

Spoiler Added episode 6 captures for the Korean drama 'One More Satisfied Ending'

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Added episode 6 captures for the Korean drama "One More Satisfied Ending" (2015)Directed through Kwon Seong-changWritten by Heo Seong-heeNetwork : MBCWith Jang Nara, Jeong Kyeong-ho, Kwon Yul, Yoo In-na, Yoo Da-in, Seo In-young,...16 episodes - Wed, Thu 22:00Also referred to as "Happy Finishing Once Again"SynopsisAt times like this when getting divorced and remarried isn'ta large deal, ladies and men who would like tofeel free once again get married, divorced and remarried.Broadcast beginning date in Korea : 2016/01/20

Yook Sungjae Asks Joy If She Thinks He’s Horny on “We Were given Married”

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Yook Sungjae Asks Joy If She Thinks He’s Horny on “We Were given Married”

Yook Sungjae Asks Joy If She Thinks Hes Horny on We Were given Marriedan0ya February 6, 2016 0 At the February 6 broadcast of MBCs We Got Married, Yook Sungjae gets a little playful when discussing his maturing looks with his virtual wife Joy.

While in the car, Joy unearths that she enjoys listening to BTOBs 2d Confession, and then says to Yook Sungjae, You glance so young and blameless in the track video.

Joy responds, laughs, You appear to be a Christmas tree, proving that she has mastered the art of responding to her on-screen husbands adorable yet sneaky questions.

SM Entertainment musical 'School Oz' items 'One Day One Chance' MV!

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SM Entertainment musical 'School Oz' items 'One Day One Chance' MV!

The song is a track from'School Oz', in reaction to 'Wizard of Oz', which tells the tale about an adventure to look for Dorothy earlier than the day of the 'Great Knight' championship. For enthusiasts who cannottake a glance at the musical in person, this MV is indubitably a treat.

Millions in tears as they wait the triplet’s upcoming final episode on “Superman Returns”

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Millions in tears as they wait the triplet’s upcoming final episode on “Superman Returns”

Superman Returns wereenjoyedby potential of millions of audience in Korea for their authenticthoughtof dad taking care in their children. The triplets with their father and actor Song Il Gook have been probably the mosthottestcircle of relativesat the program.

After practically 19 months of being loved by fanatics and viewers now notmost effective from Korea yeteverywhere the world, Superman Returns unearthsthat they're going to air the last episode with the triplets this upcoming February 7th.

With a teaser photo of the triplets mom being revealed in the following episode, fans are expecting how the triplets will say just right bye to their viewers and fans.

Netizens react to special BANG’s newest accomplishment

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Netizens react to special BANG’s newest accomplishment

Topping the Oricon charts, groups BIG BANG, GOT7 and Supernova are ranked from 1st to third in that order for their recent albums. And becausehere'sthe primary fourth dimension Hallyu has once back influenced Japan very muchbecause thetechnology of TVXQ, Kara and women Generation, netizens and enthusiasts cant assistyetcompliment large BANG for their accomplishment.

Koreaboo has amassed reactions from Netizens who commented at thefashioned article from our Korean source. The beneath comments are the maximumsmartly liked comments at the time of this text being published.

These two best feminine idols published to be angels of donation

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These two best  feminine idols published to be angels of donation

The 2d angel became revealed to be Suzy who was already known for her sort and beneficiant acts. She has been continually making donations to cure sicknessesakin to leukemia and other cancers. It was revealed that she also made a donation of 50 million Won ($42,000 USD) to the sufferers of the Sewol Ferry incident.

As those two height idols were already being called the maximuma hit in year 2015 and most expected in 2016, netizens and loversalso are calling them angels of donation.

Koreaboo has gathered reactions from Netizens who commented at thelong-established article from our Korean source. The beneath comments are the most smartly liked comments at the time of this newsletter being published.

Netizens react to this Chanmi revealing she can have been in Girls’ Generation

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Netizens react to this Chanmi revealing she can have been in Girls’ Generation

Each team the opportunity to choose their own song in which they'llcarry outin combination with group choreography. On this episode of Produce 101, trainee Heo Chanmis neighborhooddecided onLadies Generations Into the recentGlobal for their performance.

Chanmi said during the interview It is a new feeling that I have and masses ofmind wonder in my head making a song this song since I'll accept been one of the most members of ladies Generation.

Koreaboo has gathered reactions from Netizens who commented at thecustomary article from our Korean source. The under comments are the preferred comments at the time of this text being published.

BIG BANG to REIGNITE Hallyu firestorm in Japan once again

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BIG BANG to REIGNITE Hallyu firestorm in Japan once again

Although after the technology of TVXQ, Kara, and women Generation dominating Japans music industry has ended and other people believed Hallyu used to be slowly loss of life in Japan, Enormous BANG has reignited the Hallyu firestorm once again.

Not handiestroutinevoters of Japan are being proud that they'refanatics of Japan yet celebrities werespeaking on methods claiming that they are big fans of huge BANG as well.

Competition Heats Up as “Produce 101″ Unearths Its Week 3 Rankings

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Competition Heats Up as “Produce 101″ Unearths Its Week 3 Rankings

Competition Heats Up as Produce 101 Finds Its Week 3 Scores hellohalcyon February 6, 2016 0 At the February five broadcast of Mnets Produce 101, the contestants had to shapegroups of five consisting of trainees from other agencies to moveviaa collectionoverview mission.

Ahead of the mission, actor Jang Geun Suk announced, Via this review, 37 of 101 trainees ranked after the 62nd positioncan be eliminated. The marvel created a feeling of urgency a few of the contestants, and they each and every put ahead all their talents and effort to positionin combination a staffthat willreach success.

Also all through the broadcast, Produce 101 published its 3rd week rating for contestants. JYPs Jun Somi maintained her spot at #1 from remaining week, narrowly beating Jellyfish Entertainments Kim Se Jung who also maintained her 2nd place spot. The variation between first and momentused to bebest 249 votes out of the full of 400,299 votes between the head two.

Spoiler Added episode 37 captures for the Korean drama 'The Merchant: Gaekju 2015'

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Added episode 37 captures for the Korean drama "The Merchant: Gaekju 2015" (2015)Directed through Kim Jong-seonWritten by Jeong Seong-hee, Lee Han-hoNetwork : KBSWith Jang Hyeok, Yoo Oh-seong, Kim Min-jeong, Han Chae-ah, Park Eun-hye, Lim Hyeong-joon,...Wed, Thu 22:00Formerly referred to as "God of Industry - Innkeeper 2015" on HanCinemaSynopsisCheon Bong-sam, the descendant of a merchant family, starts off in the marketplace every bit a barker and makes his way up to transform a rich merchant.Broadcast beginning date in Korea : 2015/09/23