|▲Naver Headquarters building located in Gyeonggi, South Korea|
Naver organized an “Everyday Diary Challenge”, which is an event awarding 16,000 won in Naver Pay points to people uploading diaries daily from May 1st to May 14th. Participants just need to upload diaries in the form of a blog at least once daily, and to leave a hashtag for the Naver Diary Challenge to participate in the event.
However, on the 3rd of May, three days after the event started, Naver announced the early termination of the event due to users abusing the system by copying and pasting the same content on multiple accounts. Although this was the official reason given by Naver, many participants reckon that the real reason is that Naver was going to have to award over 10 billion won after the event because of the unexpectedly large numbers of participants. Bloggers who participated in the event are raging because of Naver’s unexpected decision to end the event early.
Naver didn’t set clear terms and conditions of participation, and did not even ban the participation of multi-account users, and blaming users who have multiple accounts is being seen as an excuse to end the event early. The abrupt termination of the event made it hard to believe that the event was held by one of the leading IT companies in South Korea. Ten thousand people even signed a Blue House Petition, the petition angrily stating, “Please punish Naver for not keeping its promise”. Moreover, people are resenting that Naver actually succeeded in promoting blogs and Naver Pay service thanks to the increased number of visitors, without offering any rewards to the users.
The Campus Journal conducted a survey of students about the “Naver Diary Challenge”. 87.5% of the respondents were interested enough to know about the event. 75% of them said they were willing to participate in the event, which will resume on the 24th of May. Still, 25% of respondents had no intention of participating. Most of the students who wanted to participate again wanted to receive rewards, because they believe that Naver will have prepared and clarified better standards and conditions because of the previous event’s failure. Some participants answered that they actually had enjoyed uploading and sharing their lives with others. In terms of Naver’s response against abusing users, 75% of participants said that Naver should only penalize the users who abused the rules, and the event should be continued for the rest of the users. 25% insisted that the failure was the fault of the company for its lack of preparation, so Naver should continue with the event to maintain trust with users.
As the results of the survey show, the students of Changwon University are interested in the “Naver Everyday Diary Challenge”, and they are highly willing to participate in the event again despite Naver disappointing users with the abrupt cancellation of the event. Respondents also said that Naver should prepare the event so it runs smoothly and set solid terms and conditions of participation before the event starts, preventing the unexpected suspension from taking place.
Participatory events to attract user’s attention are held by many companies for promotional purposes. And the number of potential participants relative to the budget should always be carefully calculated. Moreover, customers and users also need to be responsible not to abuse or break the terms of the event. Through well-planned events and responsible users, both Naver and its users can build win-win relationships.
By Park Hyun-jong, reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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