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Happy Birthday! Key To Korean is 2~

Key To Korean : Happy Birthday Year ONE

Although it’s been about 2 months since I posted ANYTHING on the Key To Korean site, that doesn’t mean I’ve been slacking off. My summer was quite busy as you can see from my list below:

TOP TEN Summer Activities

  1. Worked 4 summer camps
  2. Built 2 websites with an Extensive Reading (Learning With Texts) program like our website has
  3. Reviewed/edited a 200+ page book for publication (twice)
  4. Completed a 100-hour online Korean course (and accompanying 200+ page textbook) – this was the 사회통합프로그램 and is FREE to all foreigners residing in Korea
  5. Coded a new WordPress Theme (that needs touch-ups)
  6. Completed 3-4 video courses
  7. Took 2 summer trips:
    1. Buan: a family retreat to the beach with some friends from church
    2. Seoul: to the US Embassy to start registering my daughter as a US citizen
  8. Went to a family reunion with my in-laws
    1. Also, harvested 1 metric ton of onions with them
    2. And 1 metric ton of potatoes (that I loaded onto the truck for them)
  9. Took the 35th TOPIK test (and didn’t pass ㅠㅠ) – more on this in an upcoming blog post
  10. Began the process of getting my workspaces (at home, the office, online, and in my head) organized (trying to do the Getting Things Done method)

Last Year (2013) vs. This Year (2014)

And since August 27th is “officially” Key To Korean’s birthday (we’re turning 2 this year!^^), I thought it would be interesting to see how things have changed over the past year. So, below, you can see a table with stats from 2013 and from 2014 to compare:

Number of on-site students~40~10
TOPIK prep7 students / 3 passed2 students / 1 dropped
Facebook Likes142642
Blog Subscriptions27 blog / 4 comments123 blog / 7 comments
Tumblr Subscriptions0237
Daily Website Views (Average)288951
Daily Views (High)699 (Aug 21, 2013)1,780 (Apr 12, 2014)
Monthly Views (High)8,569 (Aug 2013)25,200 (July 2014)
Total View (Lifetime)22,486218,614
Total Comments<50331

And just for fun, here’s a look at the graph that shows our growth stats since the creation of this site back in August 2012:


Reasons for the Changes

As you can see, the number of students we taught in person in physical locations within the city has decreased dramatically. That is primarily due to the fact that our daughter, Jenna, was born last November 18, 2013. My wife has taken a good part of the last year off to focus on raising the baby. She’s only gone out to work when I’ve been home to watch Jenna.


Facebook Likes have increased by 500 and we started gaining quite a following on Tumblr. This is mostly due to the visual nature and Sharing aspects of Tumblr. I started publishing daily Expressions on Tumblr (using their Scheduler) and as people started “stumbling upon” and discovering the Korean Expressions, they Shared them. This helped to increase traffic to all aspects of our website and helped increase the number of Facebook Likes dramatically as well.

Additionally, I became a Worldwide Korea Blogger, and though I’ve not posted a lot thus far (due to my excessively busy summer schedule), I’m looking forward to getting more content online there. That is a HUGE community of people and great exposure for this site. After writing just a few articles, I noticed a slight “bump” in our traffic.

Last Year’s GOALS vs. This Year’s GOALS

2013 TOP TEN Goals

  1. Start a monthly Language Cast type event at a local cafe : PARTIAL SUCCESS – this has now morphed into a weekly meet up though I personally don’t oversee it
  2. Launch Learning With Texts on our site : SUCCESS – I’ve personally studied 22 TTMIK Iyagi texts on it since the launch. Additionally, it was due to this experience that I was able to launch 2 MORE websites with this service on it. I’ve got some ideas for customization of LWT in the future (since it’s open source software) so stay tuned!
  3. Daughter : SUCCESS – born November 18, 2013, Jenna Grace Snowberger (국제나 in the Korean registers)
  4. Mobile web app : ON HOLD – I’m still interested in this, but working on other projects at the moment. I need to LEARN mobile development yet in order to make this a reality. Right now, I’m focusing on WordPress development
  5. Update the home page : PARTIAL SUCCESS – I updated some of the home page widgets and the introductory text, but that’s all
  6. Send Sarah “back to school” : ON HOLD – My wife is still interested in getting her “Teaching Korean to Foreigners” certificate, but other things in life (like a daughter) have taken priority at the moment
  7. Weekly Videos of myself practicing/speaking Korean : BACK BURNER – This is something I’d like to revisit this year. I’m still interested in doing this, but haven’t organized everything like I want yet. Still, it may be better to just START
  8. Make Grammar videos : MODIFIED SUCCESS – I started posting (as regular as humanly possible) grammar lessons and sentences using each grammar point for the Intermediate class. I’ll continue that in the upcoming year, add the Beginning and Low Intermediate books’ grammar, and get started on High Intermediate as well (depending on how far I personally can study)
  9. Hangul-based Designs : ON HOLD – I want to focus on other things at the moment. I have created ONE hangul-based design for my father-in-law’s chokeberry farm, but rather than try to make this a habit, I’ve decided to just wait until opportunities present themselves – as the one for my father-in-law did
  10. Create lessons/tutorials in web/graphic design in Korean : MODIFIED PARTIAL SUCCESS – this has only been a recent development – and mostly in the context of my day job – but I’ve started preparing some tutorials on my personal (needs updated) website (in English)

2014 TOP TEN Goals

  1. Completely REBRAND the site by the New Year (including logo and website Theme)
  2. Launch our first eBook in various packages (including extras and audiobook)
  3. Launch a SECOND eBook (I know, I know, get the first one done first – I’m working on it, but already have a second one in the works too)
  4. Make the site “self-sustaining” (i.e. at least profitable enough to pay for its own hosting so I don’t have to pay out of pocket every year)
  5. Finish posting Expressions from “How Koreans Talk”
  6. Finish posting Grammar & sentences from “Korean Grammar in Use: Beginning & Intermediate
  7. Weekly Videos of myself practicing/speaking Korean
  8. Create the MOST comprehensive walkthrough of the KIIP (사회통합프로그램) Program
  9. Create a NEW Series of Posts on Accelerated Learning – and particularly focus on Vocabulary
  10. Start a Podcast

And as for my PERSONAL Korean learning goals:

  1. Finish Korean Grammar in Use: Intermediate
  2. Finish TOPIK 150 Intermediate Grammar
  3. Retake (and ACE) the TOPIK Level 3 by the New Year – Level 4 by the next New Year
  4. Complete the ENTIRE 141 set series of TTMIK Iyagi in our LWT installation
  5. Give a SPEECH in Korean

How about you?

What do you think of these new Goals for Year 3 of K2K (Key to Korean)? Anything else you’d like to see us do? What are your PERSONAL Korean learning goals for the rest of this year and the beginning of next year?

Let us know in the Comments below.

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