Minister for Communications and Information Mohammad Nuh declared today National Bloggers’ Day when he opened the Pesta Blogger 2007 at Blitz Megaplex in Jakarta.
Communications and Information Minister Muhammad Nuh (blue shirt, center) and Director-General of Telematics Applications Cahyana Ahmadjayadi (batik shirt) together with the Steering Committee members of Pesta Blogger 2007 Photo takn from fistoriza‘s Flickr account where you can see more photos.
He said this was to motivate bloggers to keep on improving their content and even offered a special prize if the bloggers could come up with the lyrics and songs which could reflect the theme of Pesta Blogger 2007, “The New Voice of Indonesia.”
The Minister was so supportive that on his way out, after delivering his speech and staying on for a talkshop-format discussion, he donated, on behalf of his ministry, an Asus laptop for the Best of the Best Blog award at the gathering.
Throughout the event Unspun could not help but marvel at the contrast in relationships between Government and bloggers in Indonesia and Malaysia. If only the Malaysia Government could learn how to engage this vocal segment of the population, its job could be so much easier. Then again, can one imagine Malaysian Ministers saying that they have much to learn from Indonesia? NOT.
Today’s gathering attracted over 480 participants. Some were observers and non-bloggers but the majority, at least about 400 of them, were bloggers, not only from Jakarta but from as far away as Poso.
Such was the spontaneity of the moment that when the Poso participant said that he and his friends blew their budget coming to the Pesta and did not have their passage back, XL Business Solutions jumped in and said they would spring for the return airfares. XL Business Solution, together with Microsoft and Nokia are the sponsors of the event.
Many of the bloggers, especially those from the provinces and other cities came in groups with their T-shirts of their own design. There were bloggers from Bandung, Jogja, Surabaya and even Makassar.
Preetam Rai from Global Voices Online and a colleague flew down from Singapore to attend the event. There were also representatives from the US embassy. One Indonesian blogger flew back from Kuala Lumpur to attend the event.
Everyone seemed to have had a good time and the photowall was a favorite as bloggers tried to capture the moment with their friends and blogging idols. The only drawback of the event was perhaps the food which went faster than anyone expected.
But everyone went home seemingly contented and feeling special for they had had a hand in making history – being participants in the first nationwide gathering of bloggers in Indonesia.
Hidup Bloggers Indonesia!