Why Naver is the Worst Food Blogging Platform

Outside of Korea, you may not have heard of Naver. Inside Korea, it dominates the internet. Seventy percent of it. It’s like Google–but evil.

A recent article came out on how Naver’s business model is not to acquire innovative start-ups but to blatantly copy their innovations. Also, unlike Google, in order to get higher in search results you need to pay money.

I know that Korean language bloggers usually don’t read this blog, but a few do. I personally read a ton of Korean language food blogs daily. My subway commute is long. But I’ve grown so frustrated with Naver blogs that I’ve eliminated them from my feeds. Here’s why.

First, a few examples.

Pat2Bach (one of Korea’s biggest food bloggers)

Coffee Love Cure

New Space

Barbie & Maru’s Mom

Naver blogs are ugly

Don’t they have templates or anything to make them look unique? They all look like hacked-together AOL pages from the 1990s. Maybe a header gets put up there, but that’s it. It’s just blocks of text with pictures.

Naver blogs lock down text

I don’t know if this is automatic or that all the users opt for this. Since copying is widespread–as in I see the exact same blog post on four different blogs at times–all Naver blogs I’ve looked at have locked down their text. You can’t highlight and copy any of the test. The stupid thing is that it doesn’t deter copying from the determined. But it makes it difficult for food blogs writing about restaurants because you can’t copy and paste the restaurant’s address to your mapping app. You have to depend on the postage stamp sized Naver map–when the blogger bothers to add it. You can’t copy and paste it into a translator, and Google Translate just shrugs and gives up when trying to translate the page.

Naver blogs don’t work with social media

Back to the locking down thing. The pictures are locked down too. That means that when you post on Facebook, no nifty thumbnail goes with it. If you want to post on Pinterest, forget it. It’s impossible. Tumblr? Nope. So if I find a really cool restaurant or recipe, I can’t share it on Pinterest or Tumblr. And it looks incomplete when I post it on Facebook. Naver is living in its 1997 bubble. The outside world doesn’t exist. Only the Korean snowglobe.

Sadly, the only advantage to having a blog on Naver is that it helps you on the skewed Naver search results. Other than that, using Naver as a blogging platform shows lazy thinking and flippant attitudes towards readers. They’re aimed at Korean audiences, but they’re even difficult for Korean readers to use. There are many better blogging platforms in Korea. Even Daum’s is better–well, because it bought Tistory, which was a good innovative homegrown service. And WordPress has been thoroughly translated into Korean.


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5 thoughts on “Why Naver is the Worst Food Blogging Platform”

  1. I feel you on the locked down text. Until my company’s web site was updated earlier this year, nothing could be highlighted and copied, even our press release section.

    And the Korean snowglobe was also one of the reasons mini hompy never really took off outside Korea, since Korean mini hompy pages were kept separate from those in other languages. Walled garden indeed

  2. Thank you for posting this. I was just trying to find a way to leave a comment on a Naver blog without signing up for a Naver account. I don’t read or speak any Korean, so I was hoping to be able to use my Google account (like I did here) or FB or WordPress or Disqus or anything else. I had encountered the javascript protection when trying to copy & paste text into Google Translate. I notice the Google Translate function in Chrome often cannot find the text on Naver blogs in order to translate it. Thankfully all browsers have the F12 debugging option now, so I can still copy & paste things through that back door, but it is very time consuming.

    Do you have any suggestions regarding how to get around Naver’s outdated system? At this point, I think I’ll just try finding the blogger on some other social media platform and ask my question that way.


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