And thus closes another chapter in the development of social media in the community.
At its height Salingsilang.com showed lots of promise and had the potential of becoming a nucleus of the online community in Indonesia. It had a stable of big names in the Indonesian online community either directly involved or supporting their activities: Enda Nasution, Paman Tyo, Ndoro Kakung and others.
In a feat of great imagination they also came up with Obsat, Obrolan Langsat (obrolan = conversations; Langsat = the street in Gandaria where they had their offices). The concept was brilliant: create a place where the online community could hang out and invite interesting prominent people to come speak to these bloggers, buzzers and other social media practitioners who had the power to amplify their messages to literally millions of Indonesians.
As a result they attracted many prominent Indonesian figures including Jokowi, Boediono and Anies Baswedan made pilgrimages to Jalan Langsat to propitiate the virtual gods of the new new order. (Obsat still takes place and is organized by the group headed by Pak Didi but the buzz around the event isn’t as vibrant as it used to be).
In the past two years they also branched into event organisation, organizing Social Media Fest in 2011 and 2012. The first event was a huge success and caused Pesta Blogger, until then the main platform for onliners to get together, to postpone its event by a couple of months to avoid over-saturating the online community with a similar event. The second event, however, was much less well organised, perhaps reflecting the waning fortunes of Salingsilang.
They also tried moving into social media monitoring, aggregating blogs, creating portals such as Politikana etc but throughout it all was the nagging question of how their business models would actually make money.
Then over the past few months came rumours of a breakdown in Salingsilang, with some names going to another enterprise backed by their investor while the rest were left to fend for themselves. Today’s official announcement (below) confirms the end of Salingsilang.
Salingsilang’s passage is a little sad because it also coincides with how the Indonesia social media scene had shifted. Once it was a tight-knit community with bloggers knowing and bouncing ideas and conversations off each other. There were rants and flames but it was on the whole a congenial community where people cared about what was said, which then became conversations off and online. There was also a certain respect, probably because there was a greater effort and thinking involved in blogging.
Then things evolved. Facebook and Twitter came into the picture and opened the floodgates to everyman and his dog. In with them came the snake oil salesmen who used the new medium to become overnight social media rockstars by doing what it takes to win as many friends and fans as well as followers on Facebook and Twitter.
Twitter especially allowed those obsessed enough, ambitious enough, or one-minded enough to build up followings, often by the sheer frequency of their Tweets. Then also came mercenaries who made a career of leveraging their insider status in journalism, politics or other professions to tar people; while simultaneously running consultancies aimed at solving the very problems they create via their tweets and blog posts.
Schadenfreude and churlishness also became the new currency for a Twittering population seeking to gratify themselves gorging on twitwars and scandals. In short the Indonesian social mediasphere, at least to Unspun, has become a much less attractive place to hang out in.
So it is sad to see Salingsilang’s demise as it marks the closing of a chapter.
Situs Salingsilang.com, yang sebelumnya dikenal merangkum peristiwa di media sosial Indonesia, menyatakan secara resmi menutup seluruh layanannya, setelah berjalan sejak 2011. Hal itu ditegaskan dalam rilis media, yang juga dimuat dalam blog.salingsilang.com.
Berikut isi surat resmi dari Salingsilang.com:
Jakarta, 9 Januari 2013
Kepada yang kami hormati,
Pembaca, penikmat, dan pengguna Salingsilang.com, serta jejaring, maupun keluarga Salingsilang.
Dengan sangat menyesal, kami memberitahukan dan menegaskan bahwa Salingsilang.com, serta jejaring, dan keluarganya berhenti beroperasi, setelah berjalan sejak 2011.
Penyebabnya adalah fokus pada bidang yang berbeda satu sama lain, yang sebelumnya dilakukan di bawah bendera Salingsilang secara keseluruhan; mulai dari pengumpulan dan layanan data media sosial, pembuatan dan rangkuman peristiwa media sosial, dukungan dan aktivasi komunitas online, konsultasi kampanye media sosial, hingga penyelenggaraan acara seperti Social Media Fest. (2011, 2012), PictFest, dan Ngerumpi Days Out.
Kini, tim yang sebelumnya tergabung di Salingsilang, sudah berpencar mengerjakan project berbeda: di bidang consulting, media dan content, hingga mobile project.
Kami mohon maaf atas ketidaknyamanan ini. Terutama pada komunitas-komunitas yang sudah bergabung, dan mendukung kami sejauh ini. Kami menyayangkan Salingsilang tidak dapat berjalan lagi. Tapi apa boleh buat, itu yang terjadi.
Kami masih percaya pada kekuatan dunia digital untuk mengubah Indonesia jadi lebih baik, melalui media sosial yang masih akan terus berpengaruh di tahun-tahun ke depan.
Kami bangga atas apa yang sudah kami kerjakan, pada tim yang sudah terbentuk, dan seluruh pihak yang sudah bekerja bersama. We had fun!
Perjuangan belum selesai, dan tidak perlu berhenti sampai di sini. Mari terus berkarya, dan bersama-sama creating something awesome!
Kami, tim Salingsilang.com pamit undur.