Najib’s March of Folly

In 1985 Pulitzer prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman wrote the book The March of Folly  which was a fascinating study of why leaders from Troy to Vietnam acted against their own self-interest. If she were updating the book today, Unspun thinks she would certainly consider not only adding Malaysian Premier Najib Razak but perhaps promote him…

The Blogger, the Crowd, and the Prime Minister

One of the early promises of the Net was its ability to democratise, to level the playing field. Then the Net became ubiquitious, Facebook and others let the barbarians and trolls in to play and many of us got disenchanted with it. So it is particularly heartening then to read about the power of the…

A cautionary tale for expats in Asia

Don’t shit where you live and work sounds like common sense. We all now, however, that common sense is not common. But when this surfeit is combined with the sensitivity of a prat, the mixture is disastrous. Take the case of Anton Casey, a well-heeled expat banker in Singapore, who has been raising heckles in…

Indonesian kids don’t know how stupid they are. Really?

Has the ever fascinating Elizabeth Pisani bitten more than she can chew in her latest posting in Portrait Indonesia?  In a provocative headline she posits that Indonesian kids don’t know how stupid they are and the supporters and detractors are piling up in the comments section. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Pisani’s…

Jilbab Hitam and Waiting for Godot

Regular readers of Unspun will know that this blog takes interest in journalistic developments in Indonesia and elsewhere.  The interest comes from Unspun having been a journalist for many years before he “sublimated” into a communications consultant. Readers will know from the two previous posts that Unspun found the Jilbab Hitam issue fascinating since it involves…

Jilbab Hitam Unveiled?

It appears that the identity of Jilbab Hitam, the nom de plume of a putative ex-Tempo reporter who caused an uproar  in the Indonesian online and journalism communities when he accused Tempo and its editors of trying to shake down Mandiri in a posting in Kompasiana.com. That posting has been taken down long ago but…

Strange things on the Net: Jilbab Hitam, Tempo, Abraham Samad, SBY

Strange things are happening on the Net in Indonesia. The latest is the kerfuffle on Twitter yesterday after a putative ex-Tempo journalist with the nom de plume Jilbab Hitam wrote in a blogpost accusing Tempo and the other large newspapers of systematically extorting money and being in collusion with vested powers. The post was taken…

Today – Jakarta Marathon Day, but also Hari Blogger Nasional

It is a sign of the times, I suppose. Today is a big day for Jakarta’s fashionable crowd because it is Jakarta Marathon Day. And since running is now the flavour of the year, it is getting all the attention from the hip crowd who, all of a sudden, have discovered the joys of running….

On the @misbahkun vs @benhan case

Unspun’s reminded of the Gandhi witticism: “Those who engage in mudslinging often lose ground” in the unfolding case between Twitterati Benny Handoko (@benhan) and Golkar politician Misbahkun (@misbakhun). For the current development of the case  see here. As things stand, Benny is now under detention for allegedly slandering Misbahkun over the Bank Century case, after…

The Buzz about Buzzers in Indonesia

So here we have it, the widespread use of buzzers in Indonesia to push the products or brands of companies. The questions marketers need to ask before they embark on their next foray with buzzers are these: What competitive advantage is there for their brand when their competitors are all also doing the same –…

Pesta Blogger and Muktamar Blogger

In fad conscious Indonesia, blogging has somewhat lost its glister among the online community. It was very big about 8 years ago when a whole group of us including Ndorokakung, Enda Nasution, Shinta Bubu, Priyadi, fatih Syuhud, Budi Putra got together and created the first Pesta Blogger in 2007. It attracted about 500 bloggers from…

Those behind all the stupid advice Najib gets?

Unspun’s often wondered where Malaysian Premier Najib Abdul Razak gets all the awful PR advice here and here. Now we know. The article below was in the March 9th edition of The Wall Street Journal. Should Malaysian citizens file a class action suit for wholesale incompetence while spending the taxpayers’ money? Malaysia’s U.S. Propaganda – WSJ.com…