Pesta Blogger is under way!

Indonesia’s first large scale bloggers gathering is under way.The steering committee today held a press briefing to announce details of the gathering, Pesta Blogger, on October 27. They aim to attract 200 bloggers from throughout Indonesia and so far, judging from some of the comments in the site bloggers from Solo, Bandung, Yogjakarta and Kalimantan. Some commentators have also asked for the event to have a video streaming/chat facility.

Present at the press briefing today were big names in the Indonesian blogging community, such as Enda Nasution (who is also chairman of the steering committee), Budi Putra, Wimar Witoelar, Nukman Luthfie, Shinta Dhanuwardoyo, Lita Mariana, Priyadi, Ratna Arianti. (see photo below from the Flickr account of Satya Witoelar (Wimar Jr.)

For more details go to You can also find more information in the following links here, here, here and here for instance.

The Steering Committee will invite 100 bloggers to ensure that there is a spread of different interest groups. It will then open the next 100 places to bloggers on a first-come-first-served basis.

(Disclosure: Maverick, the company Unspun works in, is helping to organize the Pesta Blogger)

clipped from

Konperensi Pers Pesta Blogger

Suasana konperensi pers Pesta Blogger 2007 di Anomali Kafe, Jalan Senopati, Jakarta. Duduk di depan adalah [dari kiri] Enda Nasution, Wimar Witoelar, Nukman Luthfie, dan Sinta (Bubunet).

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13 thoughts on “Pesta Blogger is under way!

  1. Ong,
    Keep rocking, but i dont think Hard Rock is appropriate place to held such important gathering. Looks like a party there..or are u making a party ? i had a dream that i just posted in my blog ( kindly your staff to translate he he ). U guys have to put this blogging media as equal as other journalist profession…instead of ceremonial stuff like blog celeb, etc. And most important blogging has to give any contribution to its community, nation, …have more sense of crisis of the nations..So the this suara baru will comes from Hard Rock ?


  2. @iman: Hello my diving professor 🙂 Thanks for your comment. Your raised two relevant and important points about the Pesta blogger and I’ll try to address them as best as I can.
    1. Location: Hard Rock Cafe was chosen because of many factors – we needed some place that can accommodate 200 or more participants, with preferably a large screen to project blog images or even to do a video or streaming conference, and also provide lunch. And we had to choose a place which fit the budget.We thought of XXI but that was not affordable. If you or anyone else has a better alternative venue we in the Steering Committee would certainly like to know and to explore the possibility.

    2. Seriousness of the occassion. We deliberated on this, whether to hold a conference, seminar or convention. At the end we decided to call it a Pesta because we felt that the main purpose of this event was to get things started, without getting too serious about it. There has never been a large-scale gathering of bloggers we thought it would be good to keep it informal, and more of a celebration of people with like interests getting together, hence Pesta.

    Again, I must stress that this event is meant to be a start of something bigger and better. When we went around looking for sponsors for this Pesta only Microsoft and Nokia were the only ones really interested and immediately agreed to show us the money. The Jakarta Post, Koran Tempo and Kompas Cyber Media also got it and agreed to be media partners. The rest either did not understand the importance of blogging or were too bureaucracy-bound to act fast to respond to our request.

    Since our announcement a main Telco has written to our Steering Committee Chairman Enda saying they would like to support the Pesta, so it looks like we are building an interest there. Hopefully this Pesta will pave the way for other bloggers to organize a bigger and better bloggers gathering in the future.

    On blogging being equal to journalism: Understand the argument but I think Marshall McLuhan was right in saying that the medium is the message. I think good blogs complement good journalism and vice versa. Journalism, when done right, can’t be beat when it comes to fact gathering. And blogs can’t be beat for their ability to present things through a very transparent point of view. So each has its place, even though blogging to the rest of us non journalists is more fun and gratifying.


  3. Sounds great about this event… honestly first time I heard about Party Blogger, same like Iman think, Party sounds too much fun, then I know this is just like a good “Tags”, more “friendly” and acceptable for many blogger especially because it’s the first time event right?!

    About the sponsorship, we must have a good value exchange if we want to get more clients, and of course good network with good relationship… and I think there is should be no problem since the committee it self is very dominant leader on their field, just try we still have a time…

    Good luck for the “party”, hope we can meet at there…

    “Andy OrangeMood is Online Advertising Consultant & Motivational Blogger”


  4. This sounds like a terrific event. In light of the recent situation in Burma, blogging and cyberspace are the true, unstoppable defenders of truth. What a great time to be living in. I hope you don’t mind me posting this, Pak Ong but I have really been angered by what some individuals are trying to do to you and Pesta Blogger, out of pure spite.

    It is with regret that certain “expats” living in Jakarta have tried, rather pathetically, to put some kind of racial discrimination spin on the event, due to perhaps jealousy. These expat blogger English teachers; who all hide under pseudonyms, unknown outside their Jalan Jaksa circle, seem to think it funny and radical to insult Islam and promote prostitution, but are are now, unbelievably, trying to play some kind of race card and are currently circling emails around in an attempt to defame the organizers of the Pesta Blogger event and are complaining about how they are victims of racism, all because they weren’t asked to take central roles in the the launch of Pesta Blogger. Can you believe it? These are the same people behind the likes of jakchat and Indonesia Matters, i.e hate mongers.

    Expats are guests in this country, who choose to live here or are posted here, presumably because they benefit the country in some way, but they are not participants, which is what the Pesta Blogger event is trying to promote, by bringing Indonesian bloggers together as a movement, to perhaps make a difference in some way. Do these poor, persecuted Jalan Jaksa expats really see themselves victims of racism and discrimination or are they merely trying to create another cause celebre during Ramadan, which they seem to enjoy mocking on “jakchat” by bragging about how many drug discos are open. Ramadan is personal guys, haven’t you learn’t anything about the country and culture outside of Jalan Jaksa?

    Laughably, one man, called Rich; who spends his entire time insulting Muslims and Islam on his Jalan Jaksa based Riccardo at jakchat blog/thread; claimed to be victim of “skin” discrimination. This is form a guy who likes to sign his rants “Allah f***ing Akbar”. What a wonderful “guest” to have here in this country! In addition to the hateful bile on jakchat; has anyone read the Indonesia Matters site? How can expats, who are supposed to be here with in a beneficial/professional capacity, produce such hateful stuff?

    (Unspun’s note: Rich wrote to me to say that some of what hasan said were what he termed lies. Here’s what he has to say about some of the points raised by Hasan.

    –I HAVE NEVER said or written “Allah f***ing Akbar”!! Absolute lie!

    –I don’t spend my “entire time insulting Muslims” but I DO frequently speak boldly against terrorists and their apologists — which, as you know, is a tiny percentage of Muslims.

    –I find it absurd for him to say “jakchat is anti-Muslim”. Only my blog on Jakchat (aka, GRSB) discusses issues about Islam that affect the world, and 99% of the other Jakchat members vehemently disagree with me on those.

    Readers are advised to weigh the claims and counter claims carefully before they make any conclusions. Unspun has also asked Rich to post a comment here if he still feels that he needs to clarify anything.)

    Let’s hope that the Pesta Blogger event is a great success and that Rich or riccardo, Jakartass, the reveler, Gary, Ross et al, stay way. Since it is in the Hard Rock cafe in EX and not a cheap Jalan Jaksa dive; you can be assured that they will; since these guys are as cheap and as they come.

    One expat “blogger” even demanded a rewording of the invitation as he was so offended and insulted. LOL!

    Basically; the world of business, corporate entertainment, media and sponsorship is beyond the comprehension of these wretched, unambitious English teachers and improvised Jakasa types, who were unsuccessful losers at home, even before they came out here; years and years ago. Why does Ong of Unspun give them a perceived status by responding to their insignificant emailing and threads? Does Pak Ong not realize that he is arguing with the absolute bottom feeders of the expat community? Why does he, a successful professional; bother to inflate egos that have long been deflated with life long failure and bitterness?

    Jakartass, an anonymous “expat blogger” tells us that he:

    “Will continue to rail against bigotry, nationalism based on jingoism and ethnocentrism, and exploitation of individuals and/or groups for any personal or commercial gain which has little to no communal benefit”.

    But do you contribute to the neo Nazi Indonesia Matters blog/site? Plenty of bigotry and ethnocentrism there.

    “Maverick is organizing the shebang and that the aim is to introduce sponsors to a potential market – Indonesian bloggers.’

    Is this guy for real? Is he really so jealous and upset that Indonesian bloggers in Indonesia may have an opportunity to do something or make something; despite the fact that they don’t know as many big English words as he does?

    “So why did you shoot your big mouth off? Until you did, that expat bloggers weren’t a separate category indicates that the steering committee was being inclusive. It does seem to be you fostering a non-pluralistic outlook, an attitude which is unbefitting a ‘guest’ in this country.”

    Oh, these poor (and rude) Expats in Indonesia…they’re all suffering like the victims of apartheid! Where’s Amnesty International? Solidarity with the people of Burma!

    More comedy:

    “You and your committee are ‘self-appointed’ and in wishing to give direction to something which is essentially organic you are displaying Suhartoist tendencies. Why on earth would you wish to control something when you don’t even understand its power?”

    LOL! Oh, those evil dictators of the corporate world, eh? This jerk is actually comparing Pak Ong to Suharto

    Finally, this from a jakchat person:

    “ to sum up, those of us who have been criticizing Ong for his invitation to us to attend Pesta Blogger as (mere) observers are the very people who have attended the three Blogfests held so far, four if we include Roy’s farewell. We are in favour of bloggers gathering, socializing and, hey ~ it would be nice if ~ agreeing on a campaign issue.

    And that is what this thread has become ~ a campaign in favour of self-administered responsible expression, with no moral arbiters determining who can say what and to whom. We do not deny the rights of anyone to seek commercial sponsorship or to seek to make an income from using a blog template. But that is not blogging.”

    Not blogging? You mean you are jealous of people who have the energy and will to actually do something with their life and the possibility of financial gain, using talents that you don’t have.

    All this whining and self pity from silly, unfulfilled English teachers, filled with bitterness, is hilarious and unprecedented. If these expat bloggers are really keen to get together with other bloggers, journalists and professionals; then they are going have to realize that most people don’t want to meet in an unpleasant Jakan Jaksa low budget dive/bar. Sorry!

    It is important to clarify that the Jaksa “Clackety-Clique” were very politely invited to the event; as non Indonesian guests, but they decided to enliven their pitiful lives by making a “thing” out of it; convincing themselves that “these Asians” can’t do anything without “us”. But who’ll be in the Hard Rock cafe for an exciting new launch/get together, discussing issues in today’s Indonesia and who’ll be in Jalan Jaksa arguing over the cost of a cheap bar bill.

    Let’s finish with another hilarious statement from another anonymous asshole on jakchat:

    “You are dead right Tel – you English-language bloggers are the link to the outside world – that’s recognition with a capital R”

    I hope you’re laughing as hard as I am at these jerk offs; just laugh rather than reply. It’s the only way to deal with these sad, sad men

    To conclude; it’s astounding to reiterate that there are currently two expatriate blog threads/sites that specialize in pure hate. One is jakchat, that is almost solely hell bent on attacking Islam and Muslims and the other is Indonesia Matters. Why would these awful people, who publish such hate, want to reside in Indonesia?

    Best of luck with Pesta Blogger and let’s get the Indonesian blogersphere galvanized to really make a difference! Thank you for taking the initiative and for the opportunity to use your blog as a forum.


    1. hasan, only saw your comments today (3years late!) having worked in Jakarta I agree with you 100%. im not exactly from the west but have asian roots also. i am trying to encourage Indonesians to believe they are as good or BETTER than all these idiots from the west. interested to see how your pestablogger venture is doing now


  5. @Lita: Sure. I think there is a lot of encouraging responses there. Some of them have very good suggestions but we may not be able to accommodate all of them. Please help to set expectations that what we are doing is merely to get things started with bloggers. From there the movement may grow to be a jamboree as some of them suggested.

    @mina: finally caught on camera. Normally too malu to show the photo apart from the stylized black and white (at least you don’t see the grey hair!) 🙂

    @ Andy Orangemood: Just because you have fun doesn’t mean you can’t achieve something serious. We thought we’d just keep it informal and friendly, so a party to celebrate people coming together is best for this first time. Hopefully you and others will continue to support this event.


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