More Indonesians needed for bridge blogging

Global Voices Online‘s Preetam Rai and Unspun facilitated the Bridge Blogging discussion group at the Pesta Blogger 2007.

Blogger Indonesia‘s Fatih Syuhud, who was one of Indonesia’s first bridge bloggers and an excellent chap who encouraged other Indonesians to bridge blog more, was originally supposed to be one of the facilitartors but unfortunately he couldn’t make it.

Bridge blogging is writing your blog in English or some language other than Indonesian so that the world outside has another window with which to peer into your country. Most blogs in Indonesia provide fascinating insights and information on various aspects of Indonesia, but are mostly written in Indonesian. They are therefore inaccessible to someone who does not read Indonesian.

As a result, perceptions of Indonesia from the outside are skewered since they have to rely on the traditional media like CNN and other non-Indonesian sources to render information in English for them. Unfortunately, however, CNN is interested in Indonesia only when it comes to terrorists, bombs, riots and other mayhem. So lots of positive things about Indonesia do not get reported and people outside think that Indonesia’s a basket case.

Traditionally, the other source of news in English that comes out of Indonesia are blogs kept by expats (disclosure: Unspun is an expat, of sorts, who’s been living in indonesia for 10 years or more). There are some good blogs among the expats but most of them are droll and comprise of grouses about the country they live in, deprecating remarks about local women and mutual masturbation among unattractive expat men.

This picture is compounded by the fact that some of these expats were the only ones who blogged when blogging was stil a new phenomenon, so even though time has passed and the world has changed, they think they are still center for the action where Englsi-language blogs are concerned.

Fortunately for Indonesia, this picture has been changing, although perhaps not fast enough. In the past few years we have seen many Indonesian blogs written in English spring up and over a variety of subjects. Some are very good. Some are penned by Indonesians living abroad. Others are written by Indonesians living here. They are from all walks of life. Some even blog as groups. Many have great content if not grammar. Still some, lke blogs in any language, are downright bad. But that’s the beauty of it; together they provide a rich mosaic of Indonesian life, insights and outlook.

But they are growing and as a result they may yet be the best hope for Indonesia to change its image abroad. as more Indonesians blog in English they form a bridge to other countries and worlds. Sometimes it provokes disagreements and arguments but that’s just great because with conversation comes understanding.

Unspun‘s come across some interesting Indonesian bridge blogs and would like to start a comprehensive list of Indonesian bridge bloggers, so the list below is a start. If any of you know of Indonesian bridge blogs please let me know by posting a comment here.

Some Indonesian Bridge Blogs( Unspun is sure this list is not comprehensive so help me fill it up):

Angga’s Personal Blog

Batik Antik

Bits of Life

Blogger Indonesia


Cafe Salemba

Chipping In

Enda Quicklinks

Harry on Things

Indi + Rani = Noe

Indonesia Anonymus

Journal by Marisa Duma

Juwono Sudarsono

Life is Beautiful

Martin Manurung

Maverick Indonesia (disclosure: Unspun works there)i


My Busy Brain

Opinion Counts

Precious Moments

Shisy Kozzy

The Absent-Minded Cook


Wazeen’s Blog

Witch Doctor

(more disclosure: some of these blogs belong to my work colleagues but, hey, I can’t help it if my office are full of bloggers)

52 thoughts on “More Indonesians needed for bridge blogging

  1. This is indeed a great initiative, as I know there’s a whole heckuva lot more positives to Indonesia than the negatives… nice post, and good job putting up these links. I’ll definitely be checking them out pretty darn soon!


  2. I wish that I can share more with you regarding to this matter since it was so quick time at the bridge blogging session at pesta blogger 2007, it’s very nice to know you Pak Ong.


  3. It is a nice way to polish Indonesia’s brand (read “soft power” in politics), yet the image portrayed should include both the yin and the yang, so it would be credible. Especially in this information era, it’s very easy to cross check and we certainly don’t want to create a notion of “too parochial a culture” for any reason. Great job indeed and thanks you guys listed above.


  4. @ Walski69 – Pertamax and thanks. Hope this increases understanding between our countrymen/women and Indonesians
    @Fistonista – blog kamu udah mantap dalam Bahasa Indonesia, so now time to try blogging in English?
    @ Wazeen – yeah, a pity the time was so short. If we organize it next year we’ll have to make more time for bloggers to talk to each other and connect. Good meeting you though and I’ve included your blog in the Bridge Blogger’s list
    @Marissa Duma – Sipp! Have added your blog on the list as well and I’ll try to behave myself since you’re keeping my actions in view πŸ˜‰
    @Nadia – I think your grammar is better than mine and you’re being too modest. Great Rocking Girls Awards. You rock too.

    @Jennie – As always, thanks for your support and kind words and once more you’re saved from the clutches of Akismet. I do think, however, that you have a criminal record with the Akismet police πŸ˜‰
    I also saw your posting in your blog on why you do not bridge blog and I think you might have misunderstood me a little. I do not mean that bridge bloggers have to be positive about Indonesia or their home countries. They can be as critical or skeptical as they want, so long as they keep it real and wear their hearts on their sleeves. Critical expressions also provide an invaluable insight into the mosaic that is a country. The only caveat I would proffer is that skepticism should never cross over to cynicism. Skepticism is good as it asks why of anything, cynicism, however, is destructive as cynics, as Oscar Wilde said, is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    All: I was wondering if we should have an informal grouping of Indonesian Bridge Bloggers where we can meet occasionally and trade stories/information/tech know how etc? I am also thinking of starting a Facebook group if people are keen.


  5. I hope my blog hasn’t been filed as one of those who, “droll and comprise of grouses about the country they live in”.

    It’s truly too bad that there has been friction lately amongst the indo/expat blogging community as a whole. I suppose it bolsters my reasoning for moving more towards viewing life in Indonesia though photography and less writing.


  6. Unspun,


    Traditionally, the other source of news in English that comes out of Indonesia are blogs kept by expats (disclosure: Unspun is an expat, of sorts, who’s been living in indonesia for 10 years or more). There are some good blogs among the expats but most of them are droll and comprise of grouses about the country they live in, deprecating remarks about local women and mutual masturbation among unattractive expat men.

    Brutal, but true. I’m looking forward to seeing what shit this stirs up. I’m thinking that maximum shit-stirring potential is reached when the shit-stirrer has some credibility or the appearance of being serious. Anyway, congrats on this and the Blogger conference. πŸ™‚


  7. I don’t know much about bridge blogging, but if the criteria is to write in English, I may be one of them already.

    True, Indonesians need to blog more in more popular languages such as English, Mandarin or even French. This truly will bring the world’s perception of Indonesians to a new light (other than as terrorists).


  8. @javajive: On the contrary, I enjoy your blog very much and the photos are great. I think you are the smarter one to express yourself with photos. The written word is so plebian that any monkey who can quote a dead thinker or writer thinks they are the next Hunter S. Thompson.

    @Achmad: glad to see you on best behavior.

    @a0z0ra: i guess you do and I’ll include you in the list soon. πŸ™‚


  9. Have to say unspun that I do take exception to your statement “but most of them are droll and comprise of grouses about the country they live in, deprecating remarks about local women and mutual masturbation among unattractive expat men.”
    Not sure which blogs you are referring to but I find the remarks somewhat cavalier, not to mention extraordinarily judgmental.
    While I respect your right to say what you like, I believe you need to take a step back and consider just what you are saying.
    By setting yourself up as judge and jury, posting “approved” blogs and trying to set alight the bloggers that are, by virtue of birth, expats yet are as deeply involved within Indonesian society as the next bloke, there is a touch more than irrationality at work here.
    Your laborious points on cynicism as opposed to skepticism and their associated connotations reflect poorly on your understanding of philosophy in general. May I suggest you do a quick google on their meanings, it should prove to be illuminating.
    While you are correct in saying that bridging bloggers are important, if not critical, in revealing the multiplicities of Indonesian culture, there is equally a strong argument for the input of those who view society from different cultural backgrounds, thus exposing what may be missed or indeed accepted as ‘normal’ by those inculcated within its cultural paradigm.
    It may be that you have succumbed to the pitfalls of pragmatic cross-cultural failure, where sensitivity to intra-cultural interpretations is lacking. If this is indeed the case, so be it. However, if it is not, then one could see your remarks as being both intolerant and ethnocentric, revealing a failure in understanding cultural diversity. In turn, this leads to the marginalisation of alternative views, reminiscent of the actions of notably infamous characters responsible for excesses in the suppression of free speech.
    I’m not interested in getting into a slanging match over this, and trust you will take these words with some seriousness and reflection.


  10. Ong, we have different opinions on what “bridge blogging” is. One thing that I notice from guys listed above is their using Indonesia as point of reference. I don’t always do so.

    Sorry for sounding like a dosen, but I think if the only requisite for “bridge blogging” is using “other language other than Indonesian” is somewhat simplistic as it would include “those cynics.” I would suggest a more specific definition.


  11. @expat blogger: Thank you for your posting. Some of the points you raised are interesting. Like you I have no desire to get into a slanging match but I do relish a good discussion where differences of opinion can be hashed out civilly and rationally. To answer some of the points you raised:

    All and some – it seems that every time I write something about SOME expats, it always gets “misconstrued” that I am generalizing about ALL expats. This is argument by diversion. In my listing, for instance, are also included some expat blogs that I think are worth the time of day and contribute to providing worthwhile insights about Indonesia. Like you I think that there are many, many expats who contribute positively to Indonesia. Unfortunately few of them blog. I would be interested in your opinion as to which are the better expat blogs and which are the not so good ones in Indonesia, expat and local.

    Cavalier and judgemental – Cavalier, I would contest. Judgemental, guilty as charged. That’s what blogs are about and if you disagree, as you do, you can post a comment, as you have done.

    Also, why is it that I always have expats joining in the conversation as anonymous entities with yahoo or other free accounts? In a society as free as Indonesia, what is there to hide? My ideas may be objectionable to you but at least I take responsibility for them by writing under my own name. I would like to see you and other detractors being more responsible, lest the readers here begin to suspect that its the same usual suspects writing in under different guises.

    @Jennie: So bridge bloggers have to confine themselves to writing only poitie aspects about Indonesia? I thought the purpose of blogs, and bridge blogs, is to keep things real and that means to write about the good things but also about the warts and all.


  12. I never really understand the importance of bridge blogging. I too has started to blog recently, but I do it in Indonesian, because I am not confident enough to write it in english. Beside, my blog is just full of personal, silly stories of everyday life. So I don’t think it would give a different perspective for foreigners about Indonesia.

    Nevertheless, I will try to write in english in the future, maybe it can help someone out there πŸ˜€ to have another point of view about Indonesia, good or bad. Thanks Unspun, for writing about bridge blogging.


  13. I wonder about what your expectation is towards bridge blogging. So far I could see your general purpose is to provide another type of journalism about Indonesia which is written by Indonesians, who live in this entire world, in different languages (other than Bahasa Indonesia). It appears that the idea comes out as your reaction towards international mass media and other English written blogs of some expats in Indonesia which are not satisfying you (but others).

    Be honest, I (as Indonesian) enjoy those expat’s blogs you might consider as “droll and comprise of grouses about the country they live in, deprecating remarks about local women and mutual masturbation among unattractive expat men”.

    As Jakartass says, “droll is a very positive attribute even whilst he makes gross generalisations about the group he is part of.” I do think and feel the same…

    However, this idea is motivating me to write more about Indonesia on a new blog. I will see…


  14. Oh dear, Ong, you are so full of contradictions. You define bridge blogging as when “. Indonesians blog in English they form a bridge to other countries and worlds.

    So why have you included Brandon’s Java Jive? He’s not Indonesian, although he is one of Indonesia’s pioneer bloggers at a smidgen over five years. Oigal isn’t a bridge blogger either by your definition ~ he’s a proud Aussie. For some reason you exclude most expat bloggers, from your list, yet I’m sure that the majority of Brandon’s readers, like mine, Indcoup’s and the others, are from outside this country. Surely, with our global reach, we are the true bridge bloggers.

    Folk may find my list of ‘bridging’ links more comprehensive than Ong’s, but then Jakartass has always been about the duality, schizophrenia perhaps, of co-existence.within a community one wasn’t groomed for. Apart from those expats who are provided with all mod cons and are generally mollycoddled for the duration of their company sponsored existence here, the rest of us have to learn to find our own way.

    However much we try, we will never become ‘true’ natives, but then, why should we? In our own ways, because there is a degree of permanence about our lives here, we do our bit to ensure better lives for our descendants.

    Indcoup and myself are therefore amused rather than disappointed that you have removed links to our sites, but then it’s obvious to us all that you can’t take criticism and are averse to apologising. However, whatever you think of us, we certainly don’t fit the clichΓ©d stereotype you portray, and nor do any expat bloggers that I have come across, and least of all the anonymous expat blogger who commented above.

    You wonder why many of us adopt pen names. Perhaps you should stop blowing your own trumpet so loudly ~ yes, we do know that you’re in the PR business ~ and consider that we have lives outside, lives that are embedded in our local, Indonesian, communities. That we blog is an opportunity to let off steam at the not so occasional “what-the-expletive” moments that surprise us all, including, I’m sure you’ll agree, you.

    That you, a non-Indonesian, should provide so many of those moments is really bizarre.

    Being judgmental is not what blogging is about. Having an opinion which can be backed up with verifiable information much more valid. So, please do take a step back as ‘expat blogger’ suggests, or you will continue to be a very poor example of a bridge blogger.

    (Oh, and this is my first comment in this thread, and you do know my real name and phone number.)


  15. Terry @Jakartass: First off. Good spot on my misuse of the word “droll.” I was under the impression that it meant something else and you are absolutely correct.

    On the rest of your argument: There is a technique of argument by diversion called fastening on a trivial point. Let’s say A makes five assertions to argue his case. B proves his fourth assertion is wrong and implies his whole argument i invalid.

    So for the interest getting everyone on the same understanding let me repeat my central argument: That more Indonesians should blog in English so that the world can know more about Indonesia through Indonesian eyes.

    The secondary argument that more Indonesians should bridge blog is that so far, in English, views of Indonesia are dominated by foreign media and expatriate bloggers. So some balance is called for, especially when the media focuses on only disasters and mayhem and many, I would say most of the expat blogs I’ve seen, are rather unsavory and whiny. One needs only to look at some of the threads in Jakchat, for instance, to see how low expats can go.

    The fact is that there are many blogs out there that ar bad, no matter what the nationality. When it comes to blogs written out of Indonesia that are in English, there are also many bad blogs and many of them are manned by expats, partly because not that many Indonesians blog in English.

    That does not mean that there are no good expat blogs that are insightful and rewarding to visit. I, for instance, enjoy Greenstump because he makes a lot of sense in between the occasional rant (an I forgot to put his link above) and I also enjoy Brandon’s JavaJive. I think his photos are superb and says much about Indonesia with great sensitivity. I would say JavaJive, in my eyes, has earned the the right to be called a bridge blogger who is Indonesian, not of nationality but of where he resides.

    I am amused to see you speaking up for Indcoup as I think he’s a big boy and can speak for himself. Ditto other expat bloggers. They are big boys and do not need a self appointed sheriff to champion their cause. I am also very intrigued by your passion in this matter. Perhaps you felt it cut too close to the bone?

    @ Ally: It’s Ok if you disagree with me. What matters is you saying that you are being motivated to write more about Indonesia in a new blog and surely that’s a good thing, no? πŸ™‚


  16. Thanks for your comment above, Unspun. Now I can see much more clearly what you meant by “bridge blogging.” It’s clear now that it is not merely writing in English. It’s great to see how you have done some serious contemplation on the term “bridge blogging.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong. The essence of the term “bridge blogging” you’ve just coined is “providing some balance, especially when the media focuses on only disasters and mayhem.”

    That, exactly, is what publicity stands for. Quoted from Wikipedia, “Publicity is the deliberate attempt to manage the public’s perception of a subject. The subjects of publicity include people (for example, politicians and performing artists), goods and services, organizations of all kinds, and works of art or entertainment.”

    I understand where you’re coming from, Unspun, and I respect that. Too bad that we’re not on the same page in this arena. I’m on the other side of the fence (the 4th estate or the 5the element’s side).

    Journalists and publicists have the so-called love-hate relationship. We love each other and we need each other. It’s a mutually symbiotic one. Sometimes we annoy each other, but most of the time we shake each others’ hands.

    That’s the beauty of blogging. It is a chameleon. It can be anything one wants it to be. I’ve written about it for JP a while ago.

    We, blog readers, need to be extra cautious on what to read, how to chew information, and how to react. Interests, interests, interests. πŸ™‚

    I’m glad that I have solved this “bridge blogging” issue. Case is closed, Unspun, and of course you’re still one of my dearest friends. πŸ™‚

    And I thank you for trying to be different.


  17. @Jennie: I’m afraid you overestimate my abilities. I did not coin the word bridge blogging. I first came across the word in Global Voices Online and then, if I’m not mistaken, in Fatih Syuhud’s Blogger Indonesia.

    The concept was already there. I was merely reexplaining it. The concept, as I understood it and as explained to me by Global Voices Preetam Rai at the Pesta Blogger, was anyone from a country that blogs in a language apart from their native language.

    So conceivably a Brit blogging in Japanese is a bridge blogger. As I understand it, the term does not refer to the content of the bloggers so much as the fact that they blog in a language that “bridges” to another culture.

    The concept of a “native” point of view in reporting is also not new. It has been around since, I think the ’40s or ’50s. This was a time when nationalism was very much in the minds of many and thinkers like Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth) was in fashion. They posited the question of why almost of the influential mass media of the day were owned by the West and reflecting what they felt were only “colonial” view points. Couldn’t the natives of the developing world then control their own mass media which reported the news from their viewpoint?

    I think it is an interesting line of thinking, that different cultures spawn different points of view that informs our actions and even our notions of objectivity, but many people have misinterpreted it to be a form of Anti-Western chauvinism.


  18. Unspun, you can see how I’m not that into blogging. πŸ™‚ I need to learn a lot from you and our bro Fatih.

    A blog is merely a platform (or “turn-key software application”), at this time and age. It can be filled with anything. Diamonds or junks.

    I merely think the term “bridge blogging” is overly simplistic, an oversimplification. Merely using another language other than one’s own doesn’t automatically earn a blogger the so-called “bridging” emblem on his or her sleeves.

    “Native” or “non-native” is a matter of perspective, that I agree. As long as the content is balanced, it is acceptable.

    What I don’t agree is using the term “bridge blogging” to foster a specific perspective that would overturn whatever grim into a rosy picture.

    One thing about Indonesian perspective that I’ve been noticing from aboard is that Indonesians need to be more conscious about their existence among the greater humankind. The world doesn’t revolve around Indonesia.

    Acknowledging international standards would propel Indonesia to equal stance among peoples and nations. This must be taken into account when “bridge blogging.”

    Ideally, this so-called “bridge blogging” doesn’t only bring the world’s attention to Indonesia, but also Indonesia’s attention to how to compete internationally using international standards. This way, we can heighten the quality of Indonesia’s human capital.

    PS. So, you’re on both sides of the fence, Unspun? A journalist and a publicist? Hmmm. πŸ™‚


  19. “a bridge blogger who is Indonesian, not of nationality but of where he resides.”

    I’m quite concerned about your comments, one is copied above. So deeply concerned that makes me afraid of your intention to ask more Indonesians talk about Indonesia on internet (blog). What will happen when you find an Indonesian’s (by nationality) blog is not an Indonesian by “where (th)he(y) reside(s)” (as “good” as Javajive)? I put this into question because you seem to dislike (by calling them bad blogs) them which then mean that the writters are not to Indonesians because they are not Indonesians by where they reside, although they do talk much about Indonesia.

    Anyway, I do like Javajive’s blog, but at some points I get bored by his Disneyworld-like photos. (sorry Brandon…. hahahhaa)


  20. “I put this into question because you seem to dislike (by calling them bad blogs) them which then mean that the writters are not to Indonesians because they are not Indonesians by where they reside, although they do talk much about Indonesia.”

    I put this into question because you seem to dislike some expat’s blogs which then mean that the writers are not Indonesians for the reason that you think they are not at the side of all Indonesians although they do talk much about Indonesia (whatever topics they like to write).


  21. @Ally: You know what? I think you have a point there. I did not put together a well-constructed argument where this is concerned. So here goes another (hopefully not too clumsy) attempt at fleshing out the point.

    What I meant here is that many expat blogs, to me, seems rather unempathetic (a much better word than the value-laden good or bad) to Indonesia and Indonesians. Having empathy for a place or its people does not mean that you do not criticize. You can praise or be critical but you empathize. In the bad old days the expats would have termed an expat with empathy for the local population as having “one native”.

    Expat blogs are being used as the example here because they are probably most vocall if you are blogwalking in the English language in Indonesia. Hope that clears things somewhat and thanks for keeping me honest. πŸ™‚


  22. what a bitch fest!!!

    There are some good blogs among the expats but most of them are droll and comprise of grouses about the country they live in, deprecating remarks about local women and mutual masturbation among unattractive expat men.

    my first time on this blog and having seen that generalisation my last. governments do a good enough job of trying to keep people divided without keyboard warriors helping them.

    why can t the net be a place where nationality and ethnicity be irrelevant?


  23. Ong. I agree that more Indonesians should be blogging in languages other than Indonesian. On the other hand, I also think that more Indonesians should be blogging in Indonesian. The greatest encouragement that the Minister of Communications could have given at Pesta Blogger was definitely not a National Bloggers Day: it should have been a declaration that the 50% of Indonesia’s population who do not have access to a phone, would get one soon, and that those of us in Jakarta denied broadband because we don’t live in an upscale sector would be included.

    Giving wide access to the tools of communication would do wonders for literacy rates, leading to heightened creativity and entrepreneurship. Tokenism only benefits a few.

    That you, as a Malaysian, have a greater ‘world view’ to bolster your opinion gives you a greater literacy. The same goes for all expats here and all Indonesians abroad – there is a wider appreciation of differences, so there is more to say. I venture that the majority of your list of bloggers above have lived and/or studied abroad.

    Jennie’s perspective on the Indonesian blogging scene is spot on, it is parochial. But then, there’s nought wrong with that, surely? That is true for every country. Not many of us crave a wide audience because few of us look beyond our own fairly limited horizons. However, mutual understanding has to start at the personal level; understand individuals before lumping them together as “mutual masturbators” or as “human capital” ~ a particularly dehumanising bit of jargon.

    Most blogs are set up as a means of keeping in touch with friends and family, and/or a means of finding our whether we have the self-discipline to write. Several of us have discovered that we do and in fact at least four of the expat bloggers commenting in this thread have earned an income, albeit small if published in the Jakarta Post, from our writing elsewhere.

    And that, I believe, is the crux of this “philosophical” thread: it’s not bridge blogging that needs promoting – it’s blogging per se. Free speech, self expression, call it whatever, but it doesn’t need controlling as we are our own censors.

    As a journalist, you will recognise the chasm of difference between, say, Kompass and Pos Kota You can’t say one is good and the other bad – each serves a purpose and generally separate readerships. We read what we want to read.

    As bloggers, we too have our niche readership because they are attracted by what we write. Whether we are judged to be good or bad is therefore also immaterial. There is a market for both.

    PS. Was the word you were looking for ‘drool’?


  24. @Jakartass:

    Honestly, your and Ong’s views on Bridge Blogging are too sophisticated for me. Nevertheless, I think I want to say something about this (in the spirit of free speech and self expression).

    I don’t see anything wrong with Ong’s proposal about bridging Indonesia with other countries through blogging in English.

    True, blogging needs more promotion, but it doesn’t mean we can’t promote bridge blogging as well.

    Blogging per se may serve a larger audience (more general), but bridge blogging, in my opinion, is an alternative way of utilizing blogs to help improve, if not restoring Indonesia’s reputation. This is because blogs can’t longer be seen only as “private journals” but it also needs to be seen as a a vehicle that has the power to change.

    … each serves a purpose and generally separate readerships. We read what we want to read.

    As an Indonesian I see this idea (bridge blogging) as a goodwill and it does, serves a purpose for separate readerships.


  25. @Jakartass: To say that more Indonesians should bridge blog is not to say that more people shouldn’t blog. And your point is?

    The word I was looking for was drab.

    @Adit: Spot on. Only I hope I don’t sound sophisticated. That would be a failure to communicate and if I have transgressed I would have to do penance πŸ™‚


  26. unspun, think it’s a good idea to make a group in facebook (or other tools than facebook, maybe?) on this bridge blogging thing to just share thoughts. Living here in africa i more and more feel a need to explain to the outer world about Indonesia (-its good or bad side-). It is just quite frustating how most people only know very little! So it is good if we can form a joint-forces like you suggested.. πŸ™‚ Looking forward!

    Ah ya, thanks for adding me to the list! Just a little correction, it’s, not, hehe… πŸ™‚


  27. Thanks for adding me on the list. I just realized that I’ve got lots of hits since my blog is on your list.

    I remember back then you told me that blogging would be crucial for communication. I wasn’t into blogging at that time, insecure of my writing skills. But then as I started to blog and read other people’s blog I feel that it is important to get an Indonesians view on what is going on in Indonesia. I have come across good Indonesian blogs in which the purpose is to educate the public (in my case, educate Indonesian geology matters to people). In this case, if it was done in English it won’t be effective, but I suppose if it was touched in a different way, it would also be informative in English. Hmmh, one thought.

    I do hope dual language speaking Indonesians blog more to get different perspective of Indonesia. Especially those who has lived and studied abroad, they sure have different eyes in seeing things. Only Indonesians can write for Indonesians because they will always represent one real Indonesian segment. It is encouraging to see Indonesian bridge blogger grow. And fun to watch the pros and cons between the expats, bule and inpats (is this a word???).



  28. Jakartass sent me this article. I don’t know how many expat blogs which “are droll and comprise of grouses about the country they live in, deprecating remarks about local women and mutual masturbation among unattractive expat men.”

    But if that’s the case, the stories actually open up our (or let’s say my) eyes that there is a different side of Indonesia we’ve never known it exists. If no-one writes that, I wouldn’t know. Even from a rubbish story we always could get something from it.

    Bartele Santema, the writer of “Bule Gila” always writes everything that has happened surround him, and even though some are very silly and most of them, if I think twice, are rather insulting Indonesian people’s intelligence level and pointed out how bad the corruption here is (as his bar is a constant target of people asking money for ‘protection’), those are sadly true!! know because I know most of the people he wrote about, and I actually witnessed one incident which inspired him to write. But even when he wrote about an old bule guy who has sock fetish, I merely would say it’s a funny story, it shows how sad people can be but who we are to judge, feel that we are better than everyone else to put the label that it’s about “deprecating remarks about local women and mutual masturbation among unattractive expat men.”

    Writing is very subjective. And the reader will take subjective stand too.

    Adit says about bridge bloggings: “It Is an alternative way of utilizing blogs to help improve, if not restoring Indonesia’s reputation”. Geez I don’t know about that, I just simply want my other family members, who can’t speak Indonesian and live in other countries, to read and understand what I’m talking about. To say that we are able to restore our beloved country’s reputation takes much more actions. And I don’t think all of us have the intention to ‘restore Indonesia’s reputation’ when we write, most of us probably just love to write and have ideas and opinions to express. Why put so much burden on our own shoulders?


  29. @Nadia: Facebook sounds good because I know of nothing at the moment more effective. If anyone knows, please tell. You can start it and I’ll join or vice versa:) Also spelling corrected.

    @Parvita: πŸ™‚

    @Anita: I guess you should think twice more often.


  30. I’ve been blogging for three years and ’tis all in English, check it out πŸ™‚

    “Bridge-blogging” is definitely a new vocabulary for me, but thanks very much for pointing out a new potential meaning and perhaps more noble purpose to my daily rants and raves.

    (er, that is, would like to make that list and get more hits!)


  31. Never thought that a blog can be a bridge blogging, I started this blog simply because I need medium to accommodate my thought, my feeling, my anger, my perspective towards everything around me, but hey.. who knows if my personal blog can be bridge blogging to all people outside Indonesia, then I will welcome you

    Pardon for my poor English πŸ™‚


  32. @ecky: Well, the point I was trying to make before people got all grown up and serious about debating about bridge blogging is that so long as you blog in another language you become a bridge between Indonesia and another part of the world. It doesn’t matter what you intended or write, so long as you express it in a language others can understand, you’re a bridge blogger.

    I’ve checked out your blog and your English bagus lah. No need to be so modest. And do invite the rest of us the next time you go for Friday drinks. Unspun has an affinity for fermented grape juice. πŸ™‚


  33. hahaha dont be so offended pasarayamen/women, we indonesians have been too busy blogging in english since the dawn of man that we have no time to sit on our arses and think up useless epithets like bridge bloggingβ€”only one thing to do, burn it!β€”and still most of our blogs ‘are droll and comprise of [sicβ€”its consists of … and comprises …, hahaha so much for being a native speaker!] grouses about the country they live in, deprecating remarks about local women and mutual masturbation among unattractive … men.’ check em out:,,,,,,, et al et al et al


  34. Pingback: On Bridge Blogging

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