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From us at HallyuLife, thank you for supporting the first-ever HallyuLife Awards!

It had received support and attention WAY BEYOND we expected.

A letter from the editor-in-chief to all of HallyuLife readers and Hallyu fans who have participated in the first-ever HallyuLife Awards!

The voting for the first-ever HallyuLife Awards (#HLA2021) now had come to wrap up – after days of voting from the global K-pop community, HallyuLife readers, and everyone else who participated in it.

Now that we’ve started counting the winners – rest assured that we’ll do these fairly and sincerely, adhering to our ethics as an entertainment news outfit and our passion for K-pop and Hallyu as a team. As we said earlier, the points and the decisions that mattered in the selection of the winners will be made public, in order to promote transparency across the community, especially on the part of the HallyuLife Panel.

Initially, we plan to have the voting period for a month, but since HLA had received support and attention WAY BEYOND we expected, we decided that it was already enough to accumulate votes from the fans, since we made the voting available on a daily basis as well. The shortening of the voting period will also make the small team have more time to count, compute and check the results enough for us to have the winners announced by January 30th, with the production of trophies/prizes and shipment to the winning artists’ agencies to follow either weeks or months after. It may be further delayed due to the on-going COVID pandemic but we’ll continue to provide updates until the last of the prizes were delivered to the artists, and we’ll make sure to secure a confirmatory photo or even video to justify fans’ participation efforts.

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Regarding the loading issues surrounding our Awards voting site, our site server is actually running on a dedicated Amazon Web Services EC2 instance since last year, with high computing power such as an 8-core Xeon Platinum CPU, 16GB of RAM, and SSD storage, as well as 10Gbps of networking. We have upgraded it to the current spec by December 25, when we first deployed site maintenance in an attempt to find a solution to the issues. We’ve also added a CAPTCHA in order to attempt to block possible spambots casting multiple votes in our polling system, bypassing the security and quota features we’ve implemented.

As found out, it appears that due to the heavy amount of data surrounding the online voting poll plugin that we’ve used, it affected the responsiveness of the whole server in terms of disk and network activity, affecting even our main website. A dedicated team is now dispatched in order to rectify the issue and improve the site’s performance so this won’t happen in the future. We’ve also checked and saved snapshots of the polling results every hour, so that we can monitor if a drastic amount of votes was cast abnormally mainly due to bots or similar mechanisms, and found out that nothing like that had affected the final results. Since we haven’t required any account for voting, there is no personally identifiable information (PII) that we are holding, aside from the anonymous IP addresses that were automatically recorded when you cast your vote on the polls, which will be disposed of 3 months after the winners have been announced.

Originally, our intention for the HallyuLife Awards is like any small year-end award-giving thing out there on behalf of our publication – announce the winners, and that’s it – but we thought of something special – so we introduced our special trophies and initially crowdfunding in order to make it custom and special, but that was apparently misinterpreted so we explained that donating wasn’t required in order to vote or it may affect the results, that’s why we also ultimately scrapped the idea.

As said, HallyuLife is only a small outfit that focuses on delivering the hot stories of Hallyu from Korea to the world, which is operated by AstPro Media and is currently based in the Philippines. While it may sound like we are irrelevant when it comes to giving awards due to our small margin, this first-ever HLA was made special with fans’ actually participating in the picking of the results on a global scale, making some of our hashtags trend worldwide within the voting period, in which in itself we call an enormous achievement in terms of relevance on the K-pop and Hallyu community as a whole – we couldn’t have done this without all of you, despite all things happened within.

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In fact, the HallyuLife Awards is one of our ways to celebrate our third year anniversary this month as HallyuLife. And for all the Hallyu fans, K-pop fandoms and artists who are in this, kamsahabnida (감사합니다) [Thank you] very much! -HallyuLife.com

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