chapter  16
13 Pages

Affi liation in Political Blogs in South Korea: Comparing Online and Offl ine Social Networks

ByHAN WOO PARK AND RANDY KLUVER

While it is a true to say that the Internet has become an important repository of political information, it is also true that, because of the power of relational networking, the voices of a few individuals quickly become amplifi ed. A frequently heard phrase in a networked society is, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” This is particularly true when it comes to a political culture where a politician’s effi cacy relies, to a large extent, on the ability to draw upon political relationships. In South Korean politics, personal and organizational ties (based on a shared regional, party, and gender backgrounds) have been critically important, as in contrast to many Western nations, where political effi cacy is typically centered upon individual characteristics of candidates, in addition to party and regional affi liation. Previous studies of hyperlink networks demonstrate that online relationships expressed through hyperlinks between offi cial websites are more or less associated with information fl ows among websites, as well as demonstrating linkages between the website producers.1