Its now official, although a few bloggers have got wind of this earlier on. Malaysia’s most prominent blogger and parliamentarian Jeff Ooi of Screenshots and satirist Mr Brown of Singapore will be among the five bloggers who will attend Pesta Blogger.
Prior to attending the Pesta Blogger itself they will go on a blogging trip to Bali, Jogkakarta and Jakarta where they will meet with local blogging communities, exchange views with them and do some sightseeing as well. They will then attend Pesta Blogger on November 22 where they will share their impressions with the 1,000 participants. So far over 800 people have resigstered to attend the event and over 500 have verified their attendance( those registering will be sent an email for them to verify to precent spam and other online shennigans).
The retinue of foreign bloggers will also be spiced up (yes, agree: bad pun) with the inclusion of a culinary blogger, Mark Tafoya.
Pesta Blogger is being supported by three Indonesian ministries – those belonging to Culture and Tourism, Communication and Informatics, and Research and Technology – and is likely to have all three ministers attend the event. The support comes in many forms – easing the bureaucracy, making available the BPPT auditiorium as a venue for Pesta Blogger and, in the case of the Communications and Informatics Minister, a pledge to donate 10 laptops to encourage participation form as many bloggers or would-be bloggers as possible, among other forms of support.
The event is also sponsored by the US Embassy, Viva News, Microsoft, Toyota, Kompas and Detik.com among others.
The most heartening part about this event is that all the supporters and sponsors “get it” when it comes to bloggers and blogging. They have supported the event to encourage blogging as a voice in society. If one were to attribute any selfish motives there, then it is perhaps to gain visibility and goodwill to a potentially influential group of stakeholders. Unspun says “potentially” because although conventional wisdom says they should be an influential grouping, to date he’s not known of anyone with any hard numbers showing extent of influence and in what ways.
Below is the Pesta Blogger Media Release
MEDIA RELEASE: PESTA BLOGGER 2008
Malaysia’s top blogger and Parliamentarian and Singapore’s top satirist blogger to attend Blogging Tour
Jakarta, 3 November 2008— Malaysia’s top news blogger Jeff Ooi and Singapore’s top blogging satirist Mr Brown are among the four foreign bloggers who will take part in the Blogging Tour of covering Bali, Yogjakarta and Jakarta in the run up to Pesta Blogger 2008.
The bloggers from Malaysia, Singapore, the United States and Australia will on November 17 embark on an all expenses paid Blogging Trip of these cities, where they will meet the local blogging communities and sample some of the sights that Indoensia has to offer to traverlers and tourists.
Perhaps the most well-known of the bloggers on this trip, that is supported by the Ministry of Cultural and Tourism, is Jeff Ooi who runs the blog Screenshots.
Jeff Ooi is Malaysia’s most prominent news-blogger, a status he achieved by being one of the first to use a blog to fearlessly break the Malaysian Government’s stranglehold on newspapers and other traditional media. He also made history as perhaps the first individual to blog his way into a political career. Leveraging his reputation as an uberblogger in Malaysia Jeff entered politics and as a member of the Opposition DAP won a parliamentary seat in Malaysia’s General Elections in March 2008.
His blog gets over 200,000 unique visitors and over a quarter of a million page views per month. He’s won the Reporters sans Frontières’ Freedom Blog Award for Asia. He’s been invited to give talks at Harvard University and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
The blogger from Singapore Lee Kin Mun is more popularly known by his blog name Mr Brown. Sometimes referred to as the Father of Blogging in Singapore, but he prefers to dub himself as L’infantile Tterrible of Singapore, Lee uses his acerbic wit and comedy to make trenchant remarks about the politics in straight-laced and control-oriented Singapore.
In contrast, Mark Tafoya from the United States eschews politics and writes about the food. In his blog Culinary Media Network. A chef from New York, Tafoya is the executive produce of his blog that posts videocasts discussing food from all around the world.
The fourth participant is Anthony Bianco from Australia who blogs about traveling. He is an avid traveller, having traversed 40 countries in 6 continents. He delights in exploring different lifestyles, tasting the local cuisine and meeting with the local residents and posting his impressions in his blog.
Plans are being finalized A fifth blogger from China or HongKong will yang akan turut berpartisipasi dalam blogging trip ini.
“We have a great line up of prominent bloggers with an eclectic range of intersts who will go on the Blogging Trip and join Pesta Blogger to discuss their impressions about the local blogging communities and of Indonesia,” said pesta Blogger Chairman.
“ There should be a fascinating exchange of ideas between the foreign bloggers and their indonesian counterparts,” he said. “I also think that many bloggers would be interested in heaing Jeff ooi’s account of how he managed to transform himself from a blogger into a national politician.”
Pester Blogger is supported by the Department of Culture and Tourism, the Department of Communication and Informatics, and the Ministry of Research and Technology. It is organized by Maverick and Bubu.com and is sponsored by Vivanews and the US Embassy among other institutions.