ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on March 26th, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Marmot’s Hole Recognized for 10 Years of Blogging About Korea

I would be remiss if I did not wish Robert Koehler of the Marmot’s Hole a happy 10 year anniversary of blogging.  The Joong Ang Ilbo took notice of this anniversary and has an article featuring Robert as well as two other well known bloggers:

“What do you do in Seoul?”

“Oh, I blog.”

So goes the response of a few lucky expat souls.

To write about what you want, when you want, from the comfort of your own home, while also making money is a dream shared by many yet achieved by few.

The odds are stacked against blogging full time for a living, but there are some expats who have nearly made it there. The longest-surviving expat blog in Korea, The Marmot’s Hole, just reached the decade milestone this year. So to mark the occasion, the Korea JoongAng Daily talked to three opinion leaders in the field who created some of the go-to blogs people access when looking for information on Korea.

Blogging still isn’t their only source of income, but as these three individuals testify, there are other ways to make money and set yourself on a new career path if you’re able to drive up the hits.

The three Americans began life in Korea as English teachers and found more than a hobby in their blogs, proving that the sky’s the limit in the blogosphere.   [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read the rest of the article at the link, but the article also features two other well known K-Bloggers Zen Kimchi’s Joe McPherson and Mimsie Ladner from Seoul Searching.

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  • tbonetylr
    10:12 pm on March 26th, 2013 1

    The Joong Ang Ilbo must be desperate for news.

  • Robert Koehler
    12:45 am on March 27th, 2013 2

    Not sure if “celebrating” is exactly the word I’d use.

    Thanks, though. Your blog must be getting up there in years, too.

  • tbonetylr
    8:26 am on March 27th, 2013 3

    This is a fair way to describe @ 2 “Uptight”
    Depending on the day, questioning the title of a post could get you banned :!:

  • Smokes
    8:34 am on March 27th, 2013 4

    Well thanks for blowing my image of RK by posting his real photo. Not that it’s a bad photo; it’s just that prefer my imaginary ones. :cool:

    Oh and by the way I now imagine you GI with horns and a pitchfork. :twisted:

  • tbonetylr
    8:44 am on March 27th, 2013 5

    @ 4,
    “Not that it’s a bad photo”


  • Smokes
    9:48 am on March 27th, 2013 6

    5: As far as photos of white guys in Asian gear go it’s not. There’s always the Mickey Mouse hat ones…

    …although for some reason I always picture him with like a Sherlock Holmes pipe typing away on his typewriter passing it off to an errand boy for uploading to the blog…

  • tbonetylr
    9:52 am on March 27th, 2013 7

    The Marmot’s Hole is known to side with the careless American Embassy attitude toward American human resources and more importantly the Korean media’s(hence Joongang Ilbo’s article) dislike for Eng. teachers. I doubt the Marmot ever titled a post about the fact that English teacher crime rate is 0.2% in S. Korea? Instead, he seems to think the most important thing is to get website hits by reporting any supposed crime by Eng. teachers(E-2 visa holders) while he is somehow different or better.

    In America, those who rely on the government to save them from a mountain hike(my glasses and my arm, Oh My!) are frowned upon because the tax payer has to pay but that was a reason the Marmot used for a positive S. Korea(did he have a brain fart? – Wow, Korea saved me, what a wonderful place!) Did the Marmot pay up for the emergency effort? If an Eng. teacher had been saved or used Korean tax payer Won, I’d guess the Marmot would’ve used that to get hits on his website by demeaning Eng. teachers regardless of who reported it first.

    GI Korea doesn’t seem to relish in Eng. teacher/foreigner crimes like the Marmot, which is probably why he wasn’t part of the Joong Ang Ilbo’s Human Centipede.

  • tbonetylr
    10:34 am on March 27th, 2013 8

    @ 6,
    Smokes, he majored in English if I’m not mistaken. What does that tell you?
    “Sherlock Holmes” good godness, I don’t think the Korean gov’t supports anything other than his mountain hikes or automatic tourism/business hollers/indirect garbage sorting therefore wouldn’t qualify him for detective status, but who knows?

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    2:15 pm on March 27th, 2013 9

    @2- You are right probably ‘recognized’ would be a better. Regardless congrats on 10 years of blogging. June will be the 9 year anniversary for this site.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    2:18 pm on March 27th, 2013 10

    @7 & 8- If you are going to complain about Robert I would appreciate that you take your criticisms to his site and not mine. Thanks.

  • Maxie
    4:57 pm on March 27th, 2013 11

    The article claims that these three bloggers should be lauded for figuring out how tomake money from a blog. It’s an easy formula- get paid to love everything, especially mediocre Itaewon restaurants that pay for positive reviews. We could all be making money from blogs if we compromised our integrity and were willing to lie to everyone about restaurants.

  • keyinjpop
    7:09 pm on March 27th, 2013 12

    Happy Anniversary, Robert. Nice pic, I figured you’d have grey hair. :lol:

  • Denny
    10:38 pm on March 27th, 2013 13

    Don’t all expats look like that?

  • Former Marmot's Holer
    6:45 am on March 28th, 2013 14

    @10 GI Korea wrote, “@7 & 8- If you are going to complain about Robert I would appreciate that you take your criticisms to his site and not mine. Thanks.”

    In fairness to OP, the thread is about Robert and his blog. OP wrote about the bias against ex-pats that readers of Robert’s blog perceive. I used to post at the MH, but I found that Robert protects the gyopos/Korean netizenry in some of their outlandish claims and posts while openly siding against Americans when they rip the netizenry for their posts. For example, Robert allowing The_Korean to continue to post on his site is one thing even if I don’t agree with and despise his lying posts, but Robert’s defense of and protection for The_Korean while The_Korean unjustifyably hammers everyone else makes his blog worse than Dave’s ESL Cafe.

    I understand that you want to extend him some professional courtesy, and posts that criticize Robert and The Marmot’s Hole that are not in threads about either are unwarranted and should be unwelcome. But as you noted by your act of noting, he is kind of a public figure in Korea and his blog gets notice on its 10th anniversary.

    Would you admonish a poster, in a thread about the Korea Times, to take his criticisms of the KT to the KT website?

  • Denny
    8:38 am on March 28th, 2013 15

    The only escape expats have is blogs.

  • Maxie
    8:16 pm on March 28th, 2013 16

    #14, The bloggers listed in that article have figured out who butters their bread and they will never criticize their masters.

  • Kangaji
    10:13 pm on March 28th, 2013 17

    #15: ’cause they don’t have enough Soju and REAL Korean friends?

  • Flunky Brewster
    3:58 am on March 29th, 2013 18

    I wish the newspaper would profile three expats, including soldiers, who are volunteering and making a positive difference in Korea instead of publicizing three people just because they figured out how to pad their bank accounts. That’s just weak “journalism.”

  • D.H.M.J
    8:40 am on March 31st, 2013 19

    Wow, I can’t believe how much Koehler actually looks like a guy who would be upset over multicuturalism and stopping racism against mixed-race kids.

    Here’s to another ten years of hypocritical multicultural bashing while being married to Mongolian lady in Korea!

  • tbonetylr
    3:51 pm on March 31st, 2013 20

    @ 10,
    “@7 & 8- If you are going to complain about Robert I would appreciate that you take your criticisms to his site and not mine.”

    If anyone is critical in anyway of R.K. you’ll likely be banned on his site. He was critical of your post title yet if someone is critical of his or anything he writes then you could be banned.

    @ 14,
    “makes his blog worse than Dave’s ESL Cafe.”


  • tbonetylr
    6:48 pm on April 11th, 2013 21

    Gerry’s comments are usually worthwhile reading :!:
    “Wikipedia describes “The Marmot’s Hole” as a popular weblog by American Robert J. Koehler that focuses on topics dealing with Korean politics and society. Wikipedia also writes that the blog “can serve as a good introduction to Korea, but the neutrality of the content is debatable.”
    “Notice that Robert refers to the Japanese man who is selling sticks with “Takeshima is Japanese territory” on them as an “asshat,” but refers to a Korean man who rams his 1-ton, “Dokdo-is-Korean-Territory” truck into the Japanese Embassy as “the guy.”
    By the way, Robert did not even mention the incident of the Korean man ramming his truck into the Japanese Embassy until this post of the Japanese man selling his Takeshima sticks.”

    It’s a short post but click on the link above to read it all. Gerry ends it like this…
    “So, is the neutrality of The Marmot’s Hole really debatable, especially when the man behind the blog wanders Korea wearing the traditional Korean clothing hanbok and brags about his eating of dogmeat?”

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    5:28 am on April 12th, 2013 22

    @21- You obviously have some kind of personal conflict with Robert because who cares if he is pro-Korea or not? The fact Gerry went through all that trouble to make that blog post shows that his feud with Robert is personal. If you do not like what he blogs than do not read it instead of coming over here to complain about it.

  • tbonetylr
    9:30 pm on April 12th, 2013 23

    GI Korea wrote: “You obviously have some kind of personal conflict with Robert”

    Your idea of “obvious” and “personal conflict” differs from mine. You admonished me and I followed your instruction and you’re still admonishing me. What about comments #14 “Former Marmot’s Holer,“ and #16 “Maxie,“ and #18 “Flunky Brewster,“ and #19 “D.H.M.J,” etc… Do they “obviously have some kind of personal conflict with Robert”?

    #14 kind of supported me, does he/she have an “obvious personal conflict” with Marmot? His/her support came in the question asked which you never answered.

    GI Korea wrote: “Who cares…?”

    There must be someone, I don’t know them by name but don’t I count? If you really want to know who or how many people might care I suppose Gerry could look at how many hits he possibly got from the link. You could’ve asked “who cares?” to # 14 “Former Marmot’s Holer,“ and # 16 “Maxie,“ and # 18 “Flunky Brewster,“ and # 19 “D.H.M.J,” as well and I could do the same to almost anyone who makes a comment but that wouldn’t get anyone very far now would it?

    GI Korea wrote: “…instead of coming over here to complain about it.”

    Since you told me to “take MY criticisms to his site” I didn’t include “MY” criticisms. But I did coincidentally run across Gerry’s post and shared what I found here. You know I make similar and regular comments on your blog, but “who cares” right?

    I thought comment #14 Former Marmot’s Holer’s question was fair but you didn’t answer it so I’ll ask it of you…?

    “Would you admonish a poster, in a thread about the Korea Times, to take his criticisms of the KT to the KT website?”

    BTW, I don’t have a “personal conflict” with you even if you think I “obviously” do. I don’t know if Gerry has a “personal conflict” with the Marmot’s Hole either but I still thought his post/link was interesting.


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