‘Orbi (KOREA)’ and ‘*Reddit : SAT (USA)’ are examples of those communities. Even if they are only online, they reflect the culture of their own country and overcame geographical limitations and information gap. So I asked several questions about Orbi and Reddit : SAT to each communities’ users, and recognized there are some similarities and differences between those communities.
|[Byung Hun Jeon, Seo Gang University Student, photo taken by Kim Yeon Su]|
|[A-Yeong Lee, UP International Academy Student, photo taken by Kim Yeon Su]|
Second, both sites’ users get help from Q&A tags by advising each other and sharing information through uploading studying materials. As they are similarly aged, users can explain on their level and share other ideas not only about the standard test but also about other concerns. The users sympathize with each other and share their thoughts which could not easily be revealed offline. Those make possible to build a strong bond within communities and fulfill the needs that cannot be resolved within the limited scope of offline contact.
|[Rules of Reddit and University logos of Orbi. Photo courtesy of Reddit and Orbi. ]|
The first noticeable difference is the user number of private institution instructors. Unlike Reddit, Orbi has instructor’s postings with their real name, not for mere advertising but for free offline lessons. Despite the fact that Orbi is mainly categorized as a teen community, the posts about studying tips and corrected misconception on specific subjects are often written by instructors. This characteristic could actually have the base on the nationality of those users, as Orbi members are mostly Korean but Reddit’s are composed of many international students.
The second difference is the atmosphere of the communities. In Reddit, the rules are listed on the right side of pages and moderators actively work on regulating some off-topic posts, while Orbi is more casual. Orbi has playful characteristics such as their own emoticons ㅡ the duck character ‘Oribi’ and other characters that resemble the official instructors of Orbi. Also, Orbi users call themselves an ‘Orbian’ and sometimes hold Orbi meetings to strengthen bonds among others.
Though some people are concerned about the effects of teenagers using the internet for this, citing the fact that it causes negative effects and blurs the line between offline and online, those college preparation communities lessen the information gap and offer an opportunity to create a better online cultural space for teenagers. Communities for teen college preparation are now a big digital agora of a convergent space, which encourages teen participation to resolve issues and construct identity in another way.
Kim Yeon Su
Kim Yeon Su email@example.com
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