Lack of Vietnamese American online resources

What is with the lack of websites with Vietnamese American content? In the past I’ve tried to find current sites that offer Vietnamese American content but have been uncessful doing so. So lets see why its so hard to find anything about Vietnamese Americans online.

Normally when I need to find something I google it. So in this case I’m looking for some Vietnamese American news. Out of the top 20 results, 3 sites refer to some news that might interest me. The rest refer to directories or commitees – nothing I want right now.

So I look back at the results – the three sites that contained some Vietnamese American news are

http://www.asianweek.com/2000_04_27/news_pollvietam.html, JapanToday, and Free Republic. Not one site was primarily Vietnamese American oriented.

Maybe I need to click further in google’s search to find some relevant links. But starting from page 3 of the results, google is giving me links from 1999. Five years ago is not news to me.

Now I’m thinking maybe my search terms suck. So I google Vietnamese news. I quickly skim over the results and all I get are links from Vietnam – thats definetly not what I want. I’ll say no to the communist propaganda now. The closest thing to what I’m looking for is a link to VietMagazine. I click it and I get a link to a magazine issue covering Nobel Prize winners. Great the only thing I’ve been successful in is travelling back in time.

Searching for “vietnamese american” “vietnamese american media” “current vietnamese” “vietnamese american magazine” “vietnamese community” “vietnamese american community” ends up with basically nothing. I can’t find a single site with some current Vietnamese American news even though I’ve been trying every term I can think of. Sure I can search for “vietnamese american john kerry” or “vietnamese american killed in japan” to get some current news about those topics – but if I didn’t know about those topics in the first place, I wouldn’t of been able to find a site that offered me up to date Vietnamese American news.

Ok, so maybe I just really really suck at searching. I guess I can’t go wrong with looking through a directory to find some Vietnamese American sites. I head over to the world’s largest human edited directory.

Awesome I get a list of 56 sites with relation to Vietnamese Americans!

So as I’m looking through and clicking everything that says it has Vietnamese news or community – I realize something…almost everything is in Vietnamese. Now I can read Vietnamese – but not well enough that I would prefer to reading Vietnamese over English.

Eventually I reach the end of the list and not one is current enough or offers news. Most of the websites in the directory are old and dead.

I hop over to the media and news section for Asian Americans and hope I find something interesting there. But nope, nothing about Vietnamese Americans here either.

So after all this search and directory crawling, I’ve come to the conclusion that Vietnamese Americans are severly underepresented online. Sure I can find sites that tell me about the Vietnam disaster fund or Vietnam human rights. But why can’t I find sites with issues pertaining to Vietnamese Americans?

It’s not like Vietnamese Americans don’t have publications – NHA magazine, Viet Weekly, Nguoi Viet all cover Vietnamese American topics. But finding them online is a whole different matter. NHA magazine’s offerings online are meager at best. Viet Weekly can’t be found online. The only way to find Nguoi Viet online is to search for “Nguoi Viet” in google. Not great accessibility for any of these.

I went back to google to check one more time – maybe I was doing something wrong, so I typed in “korean american news”. Starting from page one I find KoreAm journal and a couple links to lists of korean american media.

So whats the problem here?

The Vietnamese American population needs more web savy individuals. We need more webmasters, bloggers, information architects, SEOs – anything that has to do with a web page. Vietnamese Americans need to propagate information through the internet just like every other population does.

There needs to be more webpages geared towards Vietnamese American users. Sure all the pages about the Vietnam War and organizations supporting a free Vietnam all serve their purpose, but there is an obvious need for online resources aimed towards Vietnamese American usage.

In an effort to help spread the presence of Vietnamese Americans online, every issue of Tieng Magazine will feature guides to creating your own webpage.