Last night Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who’s taken to blogging in Kompasiana.com, called for a meet up (kopdar as they say in Indonesia) with bloggers.
In the meantime, his handlers have invited Enda Nasution, one of Indonesia’s top bloggers who sometimes is also called the father of Blogging in Indonesia, to “cover” his electoral campaigning in Makassar and Palembang. Good one Enda, you’re blazing a new trail here for Twitters, Plurkers and bloggers.
Some businesses have also begun using New Media to help them reach and connect with their audience. One example is AXIS (disclosure: Unspun‘s company worked with them for their New Media effort). In the lead up, during and post-AXIS Java Jazz, AXIS used Facebook, Twitter and Plurk to connect with its fans and jazz lovers. The results have been quite good, as AXIS managed to get close to 5,000 fans within only two to three weeks after starting the initiative.
Other companies like Toyota had begun engaging with New Media even earlier. Last year when they were launching a new generation of Corolla Altis the company called for probably the first blogger’s conference (think Press Conference but with bloggers instead of journalists).
This seems like a long way from 2006 when we had the first Pesta Blogger in Jakarta and most businesses shied away from sponsoring because they did not understand the New Media at all.
The latest developments are good news for New Media types – those that Twitter, Plurk, blog, post videocasts, podcasts etc. It paves the way for more serious and even professional self-publishing (reluctant to use the term citizen journalism as Unspun thinks it is a misnomer).
If more politicians and eventually businesses see the benefit of engaging prominent Web Presences to talk about them, the situation that emerges is one in which the New media types can turn professional.
But if this happens then things get a bit tricky. New Media in Indonesia has so far been rather halcyon. Bloggers etc are individuals posting their personal rants, passions and opinions. Once they start to do it on behalf of others then it starts to get confusing unless they disclose clearly and constantly who they are acting for.
It’s not a problem that is intractable though, only that Netters should be mindful of the principle of total transparency required in the Web.
It promises to be year where there will be a lot of action for New Media and those trying to monetize it.