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The networked cultural diffusion of Korean wave

Weiai Wayne Xu (Department of Communication, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, USA)
Ji Young Park (Department of East Asian Cultural Studies, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, Republic of Korea)
Han Woo Park (Department of Media and Communication, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, Republic of Korea)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 9 February 2015




The purpose of this paper is to examine the diffusion of a popular Korean music video on the video-sharing web site YouTube. It applies a webometric approach in the diffusion of innovations framework to study three elements of diffusion in a Web 2.0 environment: users, user-to-user relationship and user-generated comment.


The webometric approach combines profile analyses, social network analyses, semantic and sentiment analyses.


The results show that male users in the US played a dominant role in the early-stage diffusion. The dominant users represented the innovators and early adopters in the evaluation stage of the diffusion, and they engaged in continuous discussions about the cultural origin of the video and expressed criticisms. Overall, the discussion between users varied according to their gender, age, and cultural background. Specifically, male users were more interactive than female users, and users in countries culturally similar to Korea were more likely to express favourable attitudes toward the video.


The study provides a webometric approach to examine the Web 2.0-based social system in the early-stage global diffusion of cultural offerings. This approach connects the diffusion of innovations framework to the new context of Web 2.0-based diffusion.



Xu, W.W., Park, J.Y. and Park, H.W. (2015), "The networked cultural diffusion of Korean wave", Online Information Review, Vol. 39 No. 1, pp. 43-60.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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