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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.
Never look down on a dangdut star. You never know what’s beneath him.
Though it is difficult for many to conceive what could possibly be beneath Dangdut star Rhoma Irama, he of the gushing tear ducts, there is apparently plenty of j-ingo-ism to bouy his candidacy for the No.#1 job in Indonesia.
His “supporters” have apparently taken to Facebook. In social media you never know if these supporters are genuine but hey, this is Indonesia and all things are possible (a bit like Herman Hesse’s the Theatre of the Absurd).
What’s equally possible is that these genuine supporters have come up with a very unique name with an even more unique acronym. Check out their Facebook page.
Unspun was conducting a social media workshop recently when the topic settled on KPIs – Key Performance Indicators. The answer was simple but I could tell it was unsatisfying to the audience: it depends.
The audience wanted definite answers to tell them when they were getting their money’s worth if they poured money and resources into using social media to connect with their audiences. It would have been easy to pull one of the metrics suggested by off-the-shelf social media monitoring systems and tell them that that was it; or, try to convince them that hashtags and followers/fans are an indication; or even the by-now-ubiquitious “engagement” metrics mainly of comments to a Facebook posting.
The problem, however, was that we had decided to embark on the road less taken by many communications consultants: to tell the truth even when it can be inconvenient.
And the truth is simple. If you subject an organization or brand’s social media efforts to the question: “What is the end game of getting into social media?” the long-term answer must be “to build belief in the organization/brand.”
This is because on the Net, the audience has an overabundance of choice. The audience is also skeptical and yet prone to what behavioral and cognitive scientists call System 1 Thinking. In less than a blink of an eye, if you are less than “trustworthy” you would have lost them, perhaps forever.
What this means for organizations and brands, more than ever, is for them to develop a distinct point of view — and, if you are old-fashioned, you could call it character — and use this as a compass to navigate themselves through the virtual sea.
Will this result in the organizations and brands increasing their sales? Not necessary. And this is the scary part for most business entities – to contemplate investing in social media that may not yield immediate bottom line results.
Yet what choice is there in a world dominated by the the Net where social media levels the playing field like never before and overwhelms its denizens with so much choice they have difficulty picking one from the other. Should trust be the new metric for social media?
OK admit it. You make derisive remarks about PSY and his music video Oppan Gangnam Style because you’re afraid to look silly, but secretly inside you love the infectious and whacky beat of the music.
You’ve probably checked out his video several times on YouTube, contributing to the 10 million hits he’s had so far and the seemingly unstoppable viral craze he’s started.
But because you don’t understand Korean and probably don’t know much about South Korea you have no idea what Gangnam is or what the song is about.
Well, sit bak and relax. Click on PSY’s Oppan Gangnam Stule and check out the infographic below prepared by British design firm Neo Mammalian Studios (via Masable) that will enlighten you.
Oppan Gangnam Style!
How far would a comunications consultancy go to find good people?
In the case of Maverick, the place where I work, plenty far. So far that we actually created a new position of Community Curator this year where one of the main tasks of that job is to organize The Recruit.
What is The Recruit? It is several things. On one level it is our response to the dozens of requests we get each year from final year or newly graduated students for a chance at internship. In speaking to the students, some of whom had interned in other places before we realised that in many workplaces internship is a horrendous experience. Interns go to work but are treated more like gophers than anything else. The work they get to do, if they are, lucky are the leftovers from the staff, usually routine and mundane.
Usually they don’t have any choice as the number of students entering the workforce outnumber the number of internship places in companies. As a result many of them face the daunting prospect of trying to find work without the advantage of an internship experience.
At Maverick we’ve always believed that there is some great talent out there, especially among the final year or newly graduated students. We also believe that it is our obligation to make the work experience of anyone we’ve taken on board a meaningful, educational and fun one. The reasoning is that even if the intern decides to go elsewhere or into another profession when they enter the workforce, they would have been all the richer in life for the experience they’ve had.
So we combined all those thoughts and came up with The Recruit, where we will run a contest for final year and newly graduated students for an internship position at Maverick. The best of them will get a chance to intern at Maverick, where they will be involved in working for some of the huge brands that we handle. At the same time, we’ll involve then in some of the cool events Maverick organizes such as Pecha Kucha where they’ll get to meet influential and interesting people.
And if they are really good they’ll win themselves a permanent position with us. A permananet position with Maverick unlocks some of the unumsual but fun and gratifying perks we provide to our staff. Some of these perks include the Personal Development Fund, where if you work at Maverick for a year, you’ll be entitled for the Personal Development Fund of up to a month’s salary worth. You can use the fund to take a course that you’ve always wanted to help you develop personally (the course should have nothing directly to do with sork so some Mavericks in the past have taken it for learning belly dancing, diving, getting a drivers’ licence, Reiki etc). Of you can use the fund to travel to somewhere that you’ve not been before. Mavericks have used this fund to go to Santorini, Greece, Australia (to watch U2), Hong Kong and lots of other exotic places.
And we do all this because we recognize that the most crucial element in our business is talent. We are after the best talents and The Recruit, we think, is a great way to discover the best of the best talents coming into the market. So if you know of someone or is a final year communications student, then check out our website about the The Recruit
and give it a shot.
The video below that is well produced and catchy with a huge dose of humor is yet another reason why the incumbent Jakarta Mayor Fauzi Bowo is losing out big time in the popularity stakes to challenger Jokowi and his running mate Ahok.
Joakowi supporters and his camp are proving very adept at using social media to boost their popularity and to answer the allegations and slurs from the opposing camp in their Facebook account and the many support groups and pages surrounding them.
Is this the election that will change the way Indonesian politicians use social media? It all depends on whether the Jokowi-Ahok team can win at the gubernatorial runoff elections against the money and influence of the Golkar machine backing Foke.
If they do it may make the politicians sit up and realize that the old ways of politicking using traditional means of communications – such as billboards, newspaper ads, TV commercials – have had their day. It may also send the message that ad hominem attacks, smear campaigns and playing the bogeyman with race and religion are no longer effective.
It may or the politicians from the entrenched parties may be so pig headed that they persist in their ways. But a Jokowi-Ahok victory will point the way for others without the backing of huge money to follow.
Been traveling so much lately that this is the first time I’ve had to update this blog.
The posting below is from my company blog Talking Points that I wrote on the fly to commemorate our 10th anniversary. I suppose it is a good sign that all of us in Maverick are so busy that we’ve hardly had time to commemorate our 10th anniversary, but there will be a time for partying soon.
When Maverick first set out on its journey exactly 10 years ago this month, we had an audacious ambition: to be the most respected communications consultancy in Indonesia.
We weren’t content to be a Public Relations agency as Public Relations mostly meant media relations; we also didn’t want to be an agency, doing the bidding of clients who may not necessarily know better on what’s good for their brands.
So we set out to play in the field of communications and to be consultants first and foremost, with agency work as the support for our consultancy services.
A decade has passed. How have we done?
Let’s look at the desire to be “most respected” first. On a scale of 10 I’d say we have hit an 8 or even a 9. The client list we have is nothing to scoff at with the likes of Acer, Airbus, Airbus Military, Brand A, Coca-Cola, Nestle, HM Sampoerna and SMAX.
Then there is the Crisis and Issues Management practice which makes Maverick the go-to firm for many of the nation’s largest and most established law firms needing litigation support, multinationals facing labor unrest or consumer food companies having problems with their products. The client list is equally impressive but the nature of the work precludes us disclosing their names.
Where social media is concerned, we officially set up Raconteur, our digital storytelling division, a year ago and already it is making a name for itself as the digital consultancy that delivers results, not hype. In the beginning of this year it won a huge account in SMAX snacks. It has also handled the launch of a Google Chrome campaign, just introduced Evernote to the Indonesian online community and is working to help the Taiwan Trade Office (TAITRA) promote the island-nation.
There is also Gauge, our media monitoring and analysis division that continues to establish itself as the most comprehensive and high quality service of its kind in Indonesia, in spite of newcomers to the industry. It’s addition of social media monitoring and analysis as a service has also been a hit to our clients.
And last but not least, we have Brio our newest division that leverages Maverick and Raconteur’s experiences and knowledge as practitioners to provide training to corporations in need of communications and crisis management skills. It was set up this year and already it has hit all the financial targets we have set for it.
Together these divisions add up to an offering greater than the sum of themselves. This is good news for clients who may need and want a full spectrum of communications advice and service.
All, this, however has been possible because of two things. The culture and the people in Maverick.
We like to think that we have a culture that is unique and un-replicable by other competitors. It is a culture where individuals are continuously challenged to produce their best, and then go one step further. At the same time it is a nurturing culture where each and every Maverick has the responsibility to support and encourage their co-workers to greater heights and successes.
Let me start this blogpost with a confession: when i was first invited to be a trainer at the Tech Forum Central Asia in Almaty, I had to Google the place up.
I had never heard of it before and when I discovered that it was the old capital of Khazakstan, thought that I at least knew something of the country, but for all the wrong reasons, as it was confined only to Borat, him of the repulsive Slingshot costume.
The other facet of the trip was also as monumentally confounding to me – I was to join a group of technologists to help train the youth in Central Asia about social media and its uses. What did I – who grew up with a typewriter in my first job – know about technology to teach the digitally savvy youth of today?
But not being one to pass up a challenge and a hint of adventure (think Mongols, think Silk Road, think of vast plains and the Soviet system) I signed up and that was how I found myself in Almaty last Friday and Saturday (June 15 and 16).
The Tech Forum Central Asia was the first of its kind to gather youth form Central Asia to discuss how they can use social media to benefit their societies. It was organized by the Civil Alliance and sponsored by the US Embassy in Kazakhstan as well as several corporations such as Chevron.
It was apparently a feat to gather the participants from all the “-stan” counties – Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgistan, Pakistan and, of course, Kazakhstan – because the governments in some of these countries are suspicious and fear the combination of youth and the internet. Although some delegates had a hard time of getting a passage out of the country they all managed to come to the forum.
The result is a very eclectic and spirited Tech Forum Central Asia where the curiousity and passion of Central Asian youth came into contact with the more exposed and savvy use of social media of the trainers who came from Britain, the US, Pakistan, India and Indonesia – represented by the very talented Hanny Kusumawati and myself.
The format of the forum was based in the Tech Camps run by the US State Department, where participants were first exposed to a speed geeking session – think speed dating but for geeks. Essentially, the trainers have five minutes to share a story or a case history, where social media has been used to great effect on behalf of an organization, to a small grpup pf participants. St the end pf 5minutes a whistle is blown and the trainers tell the story Again to them. They are allowed to ask questions.
I shared the story of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, a NGO that works to release captured Bornean orangutan into their natural habitats and how its foray into social media allowed it to be more searchable on the Net. It also allowed the BOS to become the primary source of information on the state of orangutan capture, treatment and release after a SCTV documentary put the topic on the national news agenda.
The participants were then given free reign to join groups for discussions ranging from crowdsourcing and crowdfunding to mapping, the use of video on the Net, gender issues and Net strategy. There were several discussions sessions, each one designed to sharpen their focus on their areas of concern, culminating in problem solving sessions.
Some of the problems they raised gave us a glimpse of issues important to the youth of Central Asia, namely women’s rights in male dominated societies, how to raise funds for causes, racism against Asiatic-looking central Asians in Russia and other Caucasian-dominated countries and how to help the disabled more.
What surprised Unspun was the extent of English being used in what was once a Russian-dominated region. What delighted Unspun was the warmth and curiousity of the delegates and the many volunteer helpers and translators that made the TFCA a success, at least as the begining of a discourse among the caring young Central Asians who want to do something for their societies and see the internet as a potential tool for making their missions easier and more effective.
Indonesia’s Twitterverse and the Liberal-minded are aghast.
In today’s editorial (below) The Jakarta Globe, seen by some as being until lately a progressive force in Indonesia, seemingly condoned the decision to nix Lady Gaga’s controversial would-be concert in Indonesia.
The editorial begins by saying that the organizers made the right decision to cancel Lady Gaga’s show because of security concerns. Fair enough. It then says the paper does not condone violence or threats to forward an agenda. Good point.
Then it gets interesting: “It is not about how she dresses, which is needlessly provocative, but about what she sings and the lyrics of her songs. It is about the lack of morality in what she represents. Youth will typically be rebellious and anti-establishment.“
This is puzzling. Lady Gaga sings a lot of shit that typically appeal to youth. Rebellious, anti-establishment, aimed to shock. The same type of music that horrified the morals of the parent generation in the time of the Sex Pistols and Marilyn Manson. Go a bit further back and Elvis Presley, with his obscene gyrations, was considered a devil spawn by the Establishment then.
So if you take Lady Gaga in a historical perspective, she is as dangerous – or not – as the Sex Pistols, Marilyn Manson and Elvis in leading our youth to Hell and damnation. Surprisingly, may of these youth are in positions of responsibility and frowning on lady Gaga these days.
The Globe editorial then becomes a bit confusing: ”But it is also important that we inculcate in them the proper Indonesian values that will put them in good standing when they enter into adulthood. Given the divisiveness and the controversy created, the decision to cancel Lady Gaga’s show was the correct one.”
Why canceling Lady Gaga’s show was the correct one when it comes to putting these youth on the correct path of Proper Indonesian Values is never quite explained.
And finally, the very interesting denoument which is actually composed of two half formed thoughts 1: “We must all show maturity and understanding about the cultural sensitivities in our communities.” and 2: “We must accept that Indonesian society is different and that we cannot be expected to be as liberal as other societies” juxtaposed to give the illusion of proper reasoning.
Thought #1 is a truism. Nobody can argue against the fact that we all should show maturity and understanding about the cultural sensitivities in our communities. You can make that argument even in America, homeland of Lady Gaga and no one can disagree with you on this.
Thought #2 is a combination of a truism: “We must accept that Indonesian society is different” and a fallacious conclusion “we cannot be expected to be as liberal as other societies.”
Which societies are we talking about. Saudi Arabia, Puritan America, The Mormons, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, China? It would be helpful if The Globe were to elaborate on that. (And let’s not have the tired argument that you have only so many words to write an editorial. A journalistic rule is also that if a story or opinion is that important you should be creative and find space for it).
This editorial has, naturally, stirred up controversy and criticism in Indonesia’s Twitterverse, the current cool hangout for Indonesia’s chattering classes and liberal sentiment. One of them is a string of criticisms against The Globe by @AubreyBelford, the Asia Correspondent for http://www.theglobalmail.org.
But enough of what Unspun, Aubrey and The Globe says. What do readers really think? (and if you’re not satisfied with the poll, you can always leave a comment)
The saga over Lady Gaga’s concert is finally over now that the pop star decided to cancel her Jakarta show. The reason was security concerns and, given the public controversy, it was definitely the right decision. Certainly her large fan base in Indonesia will be disappointed. It is also unfortunate that the concert was called off due to security concerns. The country’s police had assured both fans and organizers that it would be possible for the show to proceed. There are larger issues at play, though. Indonesia is a vibrant, diverse democracy and as such the authorities had to take into consideration all voices. It is their job to ensure that all segments of society have their voices heard. We do not condone the use of violence and threats to allegedly push an agenda. We do not condone breaking the law and damaging property just to make a point, as some groups have allegedly done recently. Such behavior is unwelcome in a democratic, civilized society. There are, however, many justifiable reasons for opposing acts like Lady Gaga, such as the messages these supposed artists project. It is not about how she dresses, which is needlessly provocative, but about what she sings and the lyrics of her songs. It is about the lack of morality in what she represents. Youth will typically be rebellious and anti-establishment. But it is also important that we inculcate in them the proper Indonesian values that will put them in good standing when they enter into adulthood. Given the divisiveness and the controversy created, the decision to cancel Lady Gaga’s show was the correct one. We must all show maturity and understanding about the cultural sensitivities in our communities. We must accept that Indonesian society is different and that we cannot be expected to be as liberal as other societies.
Unspun’s very proud of his co-workers because they kick ass every so often. The latest ass kicking lies in the publication of Maverick’s Indonesian Journalists’ Technographic Report.
It was a team effort, spearheaded by Raconteur and Mabverick’s media relation’s team and they’ve done a superb job capturing how journalists consume and use the media. More importantly they telly why it is important for anyone interested in marketing, branding and corporate reputation building or protection.
Is Unspun blowing his horn as usual? Well, not according to Slideshare where we posted the report. Here’s the message:
If you’re interested in the results of this survey, the second one in two years, then click here.
If you want to know more you can always write to firstname.lastname@example.org.