A more reliable Indonesia blog ranking system?

Following some discussions in Media-ide and Talking Points about Indonesia’s blog rankings, Patung promised that he would address some of the criticisms in Indonesia Matters‘ blog rankings, which, imperfect as it was, was still the best indicator of a blog’s influence in the Indonesian blogosphere.

Patung‘s made good his promise and the main difference seems to be that he now uses Feedburner rather than Bloglines as one of the parameters. It also adds back Tweets and although it still includes Technorati, the information is not computed in (which is about right since Technorati is on the decline and not relied on much by bloggers to get an indication of a blog’s influence)

Unspun doesn’t know the technicalities of all those ranking stuff but the new list (in which Unspun‘s ranked 10th overall and 2nd in the English blog rankings. woohoo) seems to be more reliable than the last one, which was a bit suss because people who rarely updated the blogs for month still stood quite high in its ranking system.

So the current top 10 are: Indonesia Matters, Anang, Raditya Dika, Ndoro Kakung, Budi Rahardjo, Media-ide, Chicken Strip, Enda NasutionBlog Doctor, and yours truly, Unspun.

Unspun‘s sure that there will be many who will quibble with Patung but as in a recent conversation with some bloggers one of the things we discovered was how difficult it is to set the parameters for blog influence. Do you count the number of visitors, the number of links, the number of conversations, the level of engagements or what. We concluded that perhaps the best system would be a combination of objective parameters and a subjective decision, perhaps by a panel of prominent bloggers, on who’s influential and who not. Even then the garrulous would find grounds to quarrel with the outcome.

Speaking of garrulous, Unspun‘s sure that the new rankings, especially where the English blogs are concerned, would certainly put some noses out of joint. Said persons would then likely profess to the world that they really, really place no importance on such superfluous things in life as blog rankings as they write for themselves and not for some online popularity sweepstakes. LOL if you should hear such protestations as methinks such bloggers protest too much. They are as vain as any of us (yes, Unspun included) bloggers when it comes to rankings. Even when we do not take such things too seriously we gotta admit that some sort of recognition feels good, even if we labor for love.

A rupiah for Superman’s thoughts

What Unspun loves about the bloggersphere is that no matter how crazy the world gets and no matter what bandwagon everyone else gets on there is someone out there skeptical enough, prescient enough and with enough cojone to call things as they see them.

Such a bloggers are gems because they validate those of us who sometimes begin to doubt our own perceptions of the world because it seems so at odds with everyone else, even people we socialize and respect. One such gem is ManusiaSuper.

Prior to reading his latest posting (below) Unspun was looking at the whole Coins for Prita (Mulyasari) movement with some visceeal unease. There is something amiss about the whole thing and thoughts were percolating in Unspun’s mind, waiting for the time it spills over into a blog posting.

Then, after reading the blogpost and ManusiaSuper’s take on the movement, things began to fall into place for Unspun, so here’s some thought’s that’s gone through Unspun’s mind on the Coins for Prita and other online movement.

1. The Net has made it very easy, perhaps too easy, for people to get on a cause bandwagon.

In the old days you had to have the kind of commitment to go out on the hot dusty (or wet, rain-drenched and muddy) streets to make yourself heard. These days all it takes is to set up a website, blog, Facebook page or Tweet with a catchy hashtag and voila! you have a cause. The ease with which others can join in also makes it almost, and often, an unthinking exercise, more on the league of keeping up with the Joneses than fighting for something heartfelt, which leads me to the next point…

2. Is it the cause or is the cause something else?

What are the supporters of Coins for Prita actually supporting or fighting for? Are they against the draconian aspects of the UU ITE,at which case wouldn’t it make more sense to camapign for an amendment or repeal of the law? Or are they against the perceived obtuseness and arrogance of Omni International Hospital, at which case organizing a boycott of the hospital would make more sense?

As Unspun sees it, it was excessive for the prosecutors to jail Prita for her complaints that probably originated from bad customer service from Omni Hospital in addressing her grouses in the first place. But for the hospital to sue her for defamation is fair game. Organizations and businesses have a duty to protect their reputations too. This is not saying that Omni is right; this is recognizing that Omni has the right to protect its reputation through legal means. It is now up to the court to make that decision. If it makes an asinine one then the protestors can make common cause against the law being an ass.

Unspun suspects that the real reason behind the Coins for Prita movement is more a manifestation of a sense of frustration at the general injustice of the entire Indonesian legal system. This is a system in which a grandmother that stole three cocoa pods and a grandfather that didn’t even steal a bunch of bananas can be convicted and punished when the rich and powerful not only get away scot free but parade their ill gotten wealth with impunity; a system where policemen on meager salaries can wear luxury watches and drive cars costing several years of their salaries, and get away with it.

This is a system that is dysfunctional and needs to be forced to change, yet the agitators, fomentors and activists are not tackling the causes but the symptoms, such as Ibu Prita’s high-profile persecution, instead.

3. At the end of the day, are the online activists doing a favor to Indonesia or doing it a disservice?

It is difficult to argue against motherhood, apple pie, koalas and good intentions for seemingly worthwhile causes. But what if the ease in which to take up causes on the Net and misplaced good intentions are resulting in a lot of sound and fury that achieves little, rather than focussed campaigns that make a lasting impact on society?

When the double bombing of the Ritz Carlton and Marriott hotels took place it spawned the #indonesiaunite movement. Unspun then wondered whether all that energy and earnestness to do something for Indonesia would amount to anything if it was not channeled to something more focused (What comes after #indonesiaunite?). Many in the movement objected to this line of thought but where is the movement now?

Koin Untuk Prita, Apakah?

Desember 6, 2009 at 9:54 am | In Uncategorized | 25 Comments

Keadilan telah direcehkan!

Keadilan telah direcehkan!

Sebagai awal, marilah saya tegaskan dulu satu hal; saya menolak segala bentuk ketidak adilan dengan alasan apapun.

Dan satu lagi; saya percaya Ibu Prita Mulyasari adalah korban ketidak adilan dan perlu mendapat dukungan.

Masalahnya adalah, dukungan seperti apa?

Seperti diketahui sebagian besar aktivis online, kasus hukum pencemaran nama baik yang dituduhkan Rumah Sakit OMNI International kepada mantan pasiennya Ibu Prita Mulyasari terus berlanjut.

Berita terakhir, Pengadilan Tinggi Banten memutuskan Ibu Prita Mulyasari harus membayar ganti rugi sebesar 240 juta rupiah atas pencemaran nama baik yang konon dilakukannya lewat email.

Sebuah angka yang fantastis hanya karena mengirimkan email bukan?

Ya, logika awam menyatakan ini adalah ketidak adilan.

Lalu secara spontan (term spontan mungkin tidak tepat, mungkin memang terencana, mungkin tidak), para seleb aktivis dunia maya bergerak, menyampaikan pesan berantai, dan akhirnya tercipta sebuah gerakan untuk mengumpulkan koin recehan untuk membantu Ibu Prita Mulyasari membayar dendanya.

Nah, mulai dari sini, mari kita bersinis-sinis ria…


Continue reading Koin Untuk Prita, Apakah?…

via A Journal of A Not-Superman Human.

The decline of the Twittering Minister?

Back in November Unspun wrote about Tifatul Sembiring the new “plugged -in, Twittering Information Minister” and wondered where his savvy tech skills would lead him.

Since then he’s Twittered regularly and daily, engaged his supporters and critics, Twitted his muse in the form of #Tweetun and even offered prizes to those who responded to his Tweets.

He’s done what many people would generally think someone who wants to build a following on Twitter should do yet he’s come under lots of criticism and skeptical remarks from the Twittersphere in Indonesia.

Why is this. Hanny grapples with the question in Talking Points below:

Tifatul Sembiring

The Erosion of Tifatul’s Mystique

December 7th, 2009 | 1 Comment »

Tifatul SembiringTifatul Sembiring impressed many people in Indonesia’s online community when he first ascended to the post of Minister of Communications and Informatics.

Each day he would start his mornings, shortly after subuh, Twittering away on what inspires him, and answering questions or complains Twittered to @tifsembiring. He even created #tweettun (a play on the words Twitter and pantun) that he, and many people from Palembang, are partial to.

He also gave away prizes to the most interesting tweets addressed to him and even had some fun by participating in Twitter’s equivalent of trivial pursuit under the topic #TebakBandTranslate (a mass-riddle to guess the name of a certain band; but you need to “free-translate” the clue from Indonesian to English. For instance, “tidak bernada” is beat-less. So the answer to the riddle is “The Beatles”).

via admin | Maverick Indonesia.

Karim on why race is not so stifling an issue in Indonesia

This is an interesting perspective of the question of Malayness from Malaysian writer Karim Raslan.

His last paragraph is especially sobering for ketuanan Melayu types:

“History’s record is cruel and unforgiving. Winners shape history and erase the achievements, even the existence of the losers. For many Malaysian Malays it is eye-opening to come to Indonesia only to discover that their community — their people — have long been on the receiving end of history’s lessons, suffering and losing out to more dynamic, driven people.”

It must be tough being a Malaysian Malay in such transparent times that give the lie to the totally ersatz view of Malayhood, as Umno would have them believe.

Karim Raslan: Tale of Two Malays

From the viewpoint of race, Indonesia is a liberating, even intoxicating place, especially for Malaysians like me who’ve been conditioned to view people in cultural and religious “silos” — Malay, Chinese and Indian. The Indonesian approach to race is infinitely more fluid. Distinctions are relatively unimportant.

These contrasting ways of perceiving the world lie at the heart of many of the squabbles that arise between Indonesia and Malaysia. These emanate from a sense that we really ought to understand each other better when in fact history and politics have long intervened to create two very different polities.

On the one hand, there is Malaysia, where political power is in the hands of the Malay-Muslim community. Indeed, Malay identity has been very broadly defined. People of Arab, Javanese and even Turkish descent are considered Malay, thereby consolidating power in the face of a large and dynamic non-Malay population.

In Indonesia, however, the challenge has always been how to unify this archipelagic nation and prevent its fracturing. As a result, there’s the uniting and all-embracing rhetoric enshrined in the phrase, “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika,” unity in diversity. People seem to be able to shift between boundaries easily. Javanese, Muslim, Christian, Batak, Hindu and Balinese merge into one another.

via Karim Raslan: Tale of Two Malays – The Jakarta Globe.

Twitter journalism on suicide deaths a danger?

Unspun is forever amazed and amused by how incessantly journalists maintain that social media is journalism 2.0.

Except in a very limited number of cases social media publishers – the Twitterers and bloggers – are adding context to existing information. Rarely do they go out, find and verify the information before reporting it.

This has been and will be the nature of social media for some time to come. Those who recognise the beast for what it is will find it extremely informative and helpful. These are the people that may use it as a tip to what’s happening and consume the information with huge grains of salt, using what’ published more as a general indicator than an instrument of truth.

Those who fail to see this will forever be left pronouncing biased opinions about how inaccurate and misleading social media can be, thereby upholding the status quo of mainstream journalism.

Piece of Mind: Two Jakarta Mall Suicides Demonstrate The Dangers of Twitter Journalism

Armando Siahaan

It was on Monday, around 4:30 p.m. I was in the newsroom working on an article when my BlackBerry vibrated, indicating an incoming message, which was grim news.

A friend messaged me that an unidentified person had plunged from the fifth floor of Grand Indonesia mall, and landed on the railing of an escalator in front of Forever 21 clothing store. No further explanation was given.

I looked for details on online news portals, but found limited information. In what is now a natural reaction, I checked on Twitter but was even more perplexed by the bits of information being fed through the microblogging site.

It started with mismatching details over the person’s identity: A boy or a girl, a shopper or a waitress, the victim’s age and so on. The reason for the death was also a topic of dispute. Some wrote the victim fell accidentally while posing for photos, while others wrote it had been a suicide.

I soon learned from traditional news providers that the victim was a 24-year-old woman from Palembang, and she had committed suicide.

Even more disturbing, people posted real-time pictures of the victim on Twitter. The photos showed the deceased woman from different angles.

As if one alleged suicide wasn’t enough for one day, at around 9 p.m. I received a message from a friend that a 25-year-old man had jumped from the fifth floor of another mall, Senayan City, along with photos of the victim.

via Piece of Mind: Two Jakarta Mall Suicides Demonstrate The Dangers of Twitter Journalism – The Jakarta Globe.

The Indonesian social media gold rush

Wrote this posting below for Talking Points. Tried detailing the development of Indonesia’s social media scene from about a decade ago until today when every huckster in town, their cousin and their dog, is repositioning themselves as social media experts and consultants. It is as if there’s a social media gold rush in Indonesia.

All of a sudden everyone’s woken up to the fact that social media is where the action is in communications but few people really understand how it works. If you are a marketing executive, how would you be able to tell the difference between a sham social media consultant and the Real McCoy?

Read the article below to find out.

The Indonesian Social Media Bandwagon

November 30th, 2009 | No Comments »

Posted in English, Ideas, PR & Communications, Social Media, Trends | Edit |

The ever entertaining Wicaksono, aka Ndoro Kakung, has written a post (below) that captures the gold-rush fever atmosphere among marketing communications purveyors, including advertising and PR consultants, to cash in on the Social Media craze in Indonesia.

Indonesia began embracing social media in the form of blogs more than 10 years ago with a few pioneers such as Enda Nasution, Priyadi, Josef Ardi, Paman Tyo and Fatih Syuhud….

via admin | Maverick Indonesia.

White tiger mauls man, caught on video, says Detik.com

Note: apparently the video was taken some time ago, probably overseas, but someone somehow picked it up and attributed it to Safari Park Indonesia. Things like this can happen anytime and misinformation can be construed as news. How would you innoculate yourself against such incidents?


Reader Hendra has just informed Unspun that detik.com has run a story saying that someone’s captured on video a white tiger mauling a man.

He says:  “I haven’t seen the video myself, but Detik.com description about the video’s content left little doubt that this is indeed really happening. The park’s owner has issued a denial[2], but I strongly suspect this situation will grow into in a major PR brouhaha.”

Thanks for the tipoff Hendra. Let’s see how this case unravels. A bit difficult to deny or sweep under the carpet if a white tiger has actually mauled someone, what more if its caught on video.

Video Harimau Putih Makan Manusia Gegerkan Warga Bogor

Anwar Hidayat – detikNews


Bogor – Video berisi rekamanan seekor harimau putih sedang memangsa manusia menggegerkan warga Bogor, Jawa Barat. Peristiwa tersebut diduga terjadi di kebun bintang di Indonesia.

Pengamatan detikcom, Sabtu (28/11/2009), dalam video berformat 3GP dengan durasi 2 menit 45 detik itu, tampak seekor harimau sedang memangsa manusia. Korban diduga pria berpakaian mirip seragam satpam berwarna biru donker dengan sepatu boot. Sementara seekor harimau lainnya hanya berdiam diri di sekitarnya.

Pada menit pertama di video itu juga terdengar teriakan sejumlah orang saat harimau tersebut beraksi. “Pergi…pergi…tolong…tolong,” demikian suara yang terekam dalam video tersebut.

Suasana di lokasi kejadian yang terekam dalam video tersebut mirip kebun binatang Taman Safari, Cisarua Bogor. Kedua harimau tersebut tidak dikurung dalam sebuah kandang besar, tetapi tampak bebas berkeliaran.

Pada menit kedua, video menampilkan rekaman gambar di sebuah ruangan yang mirip kamar jenazah sebuah Rumah Sakit (RS). Tampak seseorang berkaos polisi dan sejumlah petugas melakukan identifikasi terhadap mayat yang diletakan di atas sebuah meja. Mayat tersebut hanya mengenakan celana panjang berwarna biru donker. Tubuh bagian atasnya mengalami luka yang cukup parah, terutama pada bagian lehernya.

Di video tersebut juga terdengar percakapan sejumlah orang. Sayangnya rekaman percakapan tersebut tidak terdengar jelas. Namun yang pasti, pembicaraan tersebut dilakukan dalam bahasa Indonesia.

'Ini nih…jadinya begini,” ujar seseorang dalam pembicaraan yang terekam itu.


via detikNews : Video Harimau Putih Makan Manusia Gegerkan Warga Bogor.