The Network Structure of the Korean Blogosphere



This paper examines Koreans' protests against U.S. beef imports by deconstructing online dynamics of news diffusion using data comprised of widely read blog entries created by Daum blog reporters between May and June 2008. The results indicate that Korean bloggers' political positions on U.S. beef imports were polarized, which ultimately influenced their network positions and the way news was diffused to them. Using a qualitative examination of bloggers' profiles, we found that bloggers who formed an independent group in order to run a collective blog, and journalists who worked in smaller media organizations contributed to enhancing citizen engagement with the issues at stake. Furthermore, we observed that there was a structural change in the online network between May and June.