You gotta laugh at this article (below from PR Weeek) as you no longer wonder why traditional media is on such a steep decline.
To make the claim in the headline that “Malaysia is rapidly becoming he psoter-child for the transformative power of social media” has got to be as preposterous as saying that the Super Corridor is a flaming success because all the tolerance in the country has unleashed vast quantities of creativity among the Malaysian populace and all foreign IT companies are rushing to invest there.
And to make such an inference on so few and paltry successes such as the one that derailed the lobbying for a low-cost terminal seems to be trying to make mountains of molehills.
For a poster boy on the transformative power of social media, PR Week might want to get off its ass, do some real howework and interview real bloggers and other social media users instead. If they di, they would soon learn that there is no stronger condidate for a poster boy than Indonesia.
This is a country where bloggers and social media users, among other things:
- forced Omni International Hospital off its high hospital bed when it tried to sue housewife Prita Mulyasari for daring to complain about their services; but before that raised nearly US$20,000 from the public as a warchest against the hospital
- turned public opinion against the national Police when they tried to fabricate charges against Chandra and Bibit, the commissioners in the nation’s Anti Corruption Agency. The force of the public opinion was so unrelenting that the police dropped all charges
- pushed #indonesiaunite with its message that “we are not afraid”as the top trending topic in Twitter worldwide in the aftermath of the twin bombings of the Ritz-Carlton and Marriott bombings in Jakarta
- got President SBY to rap the Minister of Information Tifatul Sembiring on the knuckles when his ministry tried to get a piece of legislation on multimedia content (known locally as RPM Konten) passed. The law is offensive to onliners as it makes the carrier or provider of the infrastructure, rather than the content generator, liable to prosecution. The onliners mounted such a campaign that the President chided Tifatul who slunked away to tweet another day (Imagine Najib rapping Rais Yatim)
- come together in a big way when it comes time for Pesta Blogger. Last year about 1,500 bloggers from all over Indonesia went to the event, the third annual event of its kind. Pesta Blogger also was preceeded by blogshops (workshops teaching people how to blog) in 10 cities throughout Indonesia (disclosure: Unspun’s company organizes Pesta Blogger)
These are only some examples of how transformative Indonesia has been when it comes to social media. So please, PR Week, do your homework and talk to people who actually know the social media scene before erecting any oster boys.
Focus On…MalaysiaArun Sudhaman, prweek.com, 12 March 2010, 12:10pm
Malaysia is rapidly becoming the poster-child for the transformative power of social media.
Malaysia has endured its fair share of political upheaval during its 47-year history. Recent months, though, have raised eyebrows a notch higher thanks to escalating religious and racial tensions.
That the political stakes have risen so sharply is due in large part to the success of Anwar Ibrahim in galvanising opposition to the ruling Barisian National coalition. In this, Ibrahim has been able to circumvent state-influenced traditional media by appealing directly to an increasingly raucous blogosphere.
Ibrahim’s success has had consequences. He faces a second trial for sodomy, 10 years after he entered prison for a six-year stretch, following a high-profile rift with former Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohammad.
The influence of social media in sparking public opposition cannot be underplayed. In many respects, Malaysia perfectly illustrates the medium’s ability to galvanise change, best illustrated by the election of prominent blogger Jeff Ooi to Parliament in 2008. Ibrahim himself is also an active blogger.
Bloggers are now also turning their attention towards corporates, as Fleishman-Hillard Malaysia GM Ku Kok Peng.
Ku points to a campaign by various socio-political bloggers, led by Sime Darby Watch and Rocky’s Bru, which successfully derailed low-cost airline Air Asia’s plans to lobby for a new carrier terminal some distance away from the capital city’s main airport.