Pesta Blogger 2008 – a retrospective

It is always good to have views from the outside looking in and the five foreign bloggers who went on a Blogging Trip through Bali, Jogjakarta and Jakarta before attending Pesta Blogger 2008 on Saturday were a great source of information.

Road Trip 2: Jakarta Day 10, Pesta Blogger 2008! from mrbrown on Vimeo.

All of them, to a man (we’ll try to get some women next year. We tried to get some women but it was difficult to get them to commit for the trip) were impressed with the Indonesian blogging community. What they saw was a great espirit de corps and a sense of unity among bloggers of great diversity, backgrounds and ethnic groups that made Pesta Blogger a success.

Bloggers from neighboring countries, Malaysian  Jeff Ooi and Singaporean Mr Brown, both admitted that it would be quite impossible to hold an event of such scale and with such support from government, institutions and businesses such as Pesta Blogger. Indoensians indeed should be proud of this event. Unspun himelf, a Malaysian who’s chosen to live in Indonesia, is very honored to have beenpart of such an event, and to have a great group at Maverick, especially, Hanny, to organize the event. Thanks guys.

But apart from the fun of bloggers meeting each other, speeches being made and sponsors getting to show some of their stuff, what have we acheived?

Unspun‘d say quite a lot. Some of the achievements may bear fruit immediately, others will take a bit of time to mature. These, Unspun feels, are some of the achievements.

  1. Showing the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and, hopefully, other companies (and potential sponsors), that there are new ways of communicating to their audiences via New Media instead of the traditional advertisement, advertorial, spanduk an other expensive forms of promptions that yield dubious results. US blogger Mark Tafoya‘s message throughout this trip was that Indonesia had so much to offer that his coutrymen hardly knows about. Aussie blogger Anthony Blanco and Philippine blogger Mike Aquino said they had hardly known about Prambanan and Borobodur before they were taken there. Now anyone with internet access and thinking of visiting Indonesia can know about these places through the videos, podcasts, photos and blog postings of these bloggers. What’s more, once they upload it on the Net, the information is there forever. Just think about this: over time if we have more of such postings, how they will change the perception of Indonesia over time.
  2. Demonstrated, with the theme “Blogging for Society”, that bloggers in indonesia are not an army of pyjama clad nerds hunched over their computers day and night. They are active members of the community, with active participation in their communities and society. The ifference is that they are extremely networked use their blogs to connect, inform an communicate with each other and anyone out there who’s interested. Hopfully the more prescient would also rcognize that blogging is an emerging force within Indonesia.
  3. Introduced Indonesia’s first Bloggerships. Think of them as scholarships for bloggers where a blogger will receive a grant for writing things that they are passionate in. The conditions of the grant are only that they should agree to write a certain number of postings about an agreed field of interest. The bloggers are totally free to express themselves, including being critial of the sponsor. Anything less and there would be no credibility in it. The Bloggerships on offer this year are from Microsoft and it woul be intersting to see how they pan out. If successful Unspun hops it would open the way for more Bloggerships – and avenues for bloggers and New Media enthusiasts to monetize their passions. These could help create new jobs, new careers and help Indonesia face the Web 2.0 world.
  4. Hopefully sparked some meaningful discussions. Unspun was flitting around but managed to sit in for some time at the breakout session on Socio-Political Blogging that was facilitated by Martin Manurung. One of the questions posed by a blogger was why is there so little interest in socio-political blogging. Was it because Indonesians only wanted to talk about themselves  (as most Indonesian blogs are apparently about)? Was it because those blogging about socio-politics take themselves too seriously and are too dry and boring, rather than entertaining their audiences with wit and satire? or are Indonesians generally not intersted in politics inspite of the political freedom they had? No quick answers but, hopefully, the start of a fruitful discussion.
  5. Perhaps poineered a new term, Blog Diplomacy or Angkringan Diplomacy. For references please see here, here and here.
  6. Demonstrated what could happen if Government, Civil Society and Business could come together with a common sense of purpose and vision. The Government helped smoothen the bureaucracy, amde avaliable to BPPT Auditorium and got some GLCs to support Pesta Blogger; insitutions like the US Embassy, Oxfam and British Council helped our with sponsorship; businesses helped by sponsoring and
  7. Generated a whole lot of coverage in the traditional media and in the blogs. Here are some of them:

Pesta Blogger 2008
Pre Pesta Blogger 2008 And All The Buzz
NavinoT Hadir di Pesta Blogger 2008!
Postingan Pesta
Terpikir Hadir di PestaBlogger 2008
Pesta Blogger dan Google Alert
Pesta Blogger 2008
Usai Sudah Pesta Blogger 2008
Bye-bye Pesta Blogger
Blogging For Society
Pestablogger 08,… Pemerintah dukung, tinggal blogger nya aza…!!!
Indah Sitepu Niat Hadir Di Pesta Blogger 2008
Besta Plogger 2008 (Biar rada beda sama judul yang laen) *kumpulan postingan*
Blogger Party 2008 Report
Arus Media dan Ruang Freelance di Pesta Blogger 2008
PestaBlogger 2008 : Ramai & Sukses Meski Terlalu Formal -)
Syukuran Pecas Ndahe
Streaming Pesta Blogger 2008 sayang ga lancar
Sebuah Cerita Pesta Blogger 2008

(Post in the comments section here if you’re posting has not been listed)

Unspun thinks that these are some of the accomplishments of Pesta Blogger 2008. I’d be interested to hear other views, criticisms and suggestions about Pesta Blogger and how we could improve it for 2009. Sp post your comments.

12 thoughts on “Pesta Blogger 2008 – a retrospective

Add yours

  1. The way I see it, the speech from our ministry were looking blogger as a tool and not partner. The way they say “that blogger must”, and not “we need help” is rather hurting me. I meant whose side being helped here. It is not blogger that requires the minister to come, it’s the other way around.

    I don’t know how everybody else is feeling. That’s my two cents.


  2. army of pyjama clad nerds hunched over their computers day and night

    wow, im quite offended. LoL.
    …but then, im not an active blogger anyway.


  3. I think next edition of Pesta Blogger will need sessions for blogger communities. They can use the time for sharing their program and how they do it.

    And keep up the foreign blogger program for next year! 😀


  4. Great recap. It was a fun event, and also sparked alot of discussion. I was so honored to have been invited, and shown so many facets of your society. It was not simply the good things, but I got to see how people live, what they are interested in, and the challenges you face as a society.

    I think that if harnessed, the energy generated from this event will serve to move the ball forward for young Indonesian people interested in taking a more active role in society, and will encourage the government to take you all more seriously.

    Terimah Kasih!


  5. @Mark: It was our pleasure to have you and the foreign bloggers here and we learned a lot from you guys too, not least that some of your guys are Karaoke fiends!

    I hope you come back again to Indonesia. This place has lets to offer everyone. Spread the word!


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