SBY to launch Viva News next Wednesday

President SBY will launch Indonesia’s news portal Viva News next Wednesday.

The news portal is  Bakrie concern with son Anindya as the Direktur Utama of Viva, presumably the holding company of Viva news. It also seems to be big on family ties, Rizal Mallarangeng, brother of Andi, the spokesperson for SBY, is also the Direktur Utama of Vivanews.



On Tuesday this week they had a discussion session on Media Convergence at Harum Manis. Invited were the Brahmins of Indonesia’s budding online community. Unspun, ever the impostor, managed to wrangle an invite and marveled at how generous the guys at Viva were, especially to their main competitor.

At a loss because Information Minister Muhamad Nuh could not make it as a panel speaker during the discussion, they invited Budiyono Darsono, the CEO of Detik to share some thoughts. Budi is an excellent and very funny speaker and had the whole floor laughing and applauding him. So it was a very strange promotion event for Viva news indeed, where you allow your main rival to steal the show. Maust be the techniques of Marketing 2.0 that Unspun is not familar with.

How future oriented is your country?

This was pointed by Jennie Bev in one of her comments in this blog and Unspun thinks it provides a fascinating insight into why some countries do better, and others fall by the wayside. It is a short article from a Harvard Business Review article by Mansour Javidan. It is based on a larger global study Javidan has been conducting on culture and leadership.

The common complaint in Indonesia is that the government and some businesses engage only in short term thinking. The axis on “forward orientation” seems to bear this out. Indonesia is, of course hit also by low ratings in its “competitiveness,” and that’s perhaps why we’re not doing as well as we could be.

clipped from

By surveying over 17,000 middle managers in 61 societies, we have been able to discern clear differences in nine key areas. One of these is what we call “future orientation,” or the extent to which a culture encourages and rewards such behavior as delaying gratification, planning, and investing in the future….We found that societies vary greatly in how oriented they actually are to the long term, but in most cultures people’s personal values and aspirations are similar and quite future oriented. What’s more, most people feel their cultures aren’t as forward thinking as they should be.

JavidanSource: Mansour Javidan, “Forward-Thinking Cultures,” Harvard Business Review (July/August 2007)

  blog it

But how do you make money with blogs?

To the Doubting Thomasses who have often cast aspersons on how someting as inane as a blog can make money, here’s a prediction from Oon Yeoh of The Edge, Malaysia’s most reputable business publication, on his predictions for 2007:

1. Jeff Ooi makes big bucks
Hot on the tracks of LG and Intel, two companies that have dared to promote their products via Jeff’s (in)famous blog, other international corporations decide to try out non-traditional promotion and marketing (the local companies still shy away though).

This development is disruptive in two ways. One is that it starts to break up the traditional media’s grip on advertising as companies begin to search for new ways to reach out to target demographics. We’re not talking about old-school, 20th century banner ads but innovative approaches where the advertisement becomes part of the content and vice versa.

The other great impact is that traditional media placement companies will be at a loss on how to deal with this development. They are experts at dealing with traditional media but don’t have a clue on how to deal with bloggers, who are mavericks by definition (well, the popular and infamous ones are). Neither are they familiar with the out-of-the-box approaches that are needed for this kind of New Media advertising to work.

Jeff Ooi, Malaysia’s most popular blogger, is one of the few who havedared to experiment with using his blog to make money. So far there does not seem to be any negative repercussions with him going commercial. All good signs for bloggers.

And bad signs for traditional media. One if finally dawns on marketers that blogs could be a much more effective and credible medium of advertisement/public relations/promotions they will be gravitating to the new media. And all of this is happening in neighboring Malaysia, not some high-tech, IT culture in the Western hemisphere. Should be an inspiration for bloggers and mud in the eye for traditional mediapeople.

Today’s journos tomorrow’s dinosaurs?

The Economist this week has an has an interesting cover piece on Who Killed The Newspaper. What is says resonate, especially, when one talks to print journalists, in spite of how even the most prestigious newspapers have been reducing their journalists and the revenue in all but a handful of publications are plummeting.
It is fair to say that few of us know how the industry would change, but change it must and the best way to face this is to have an open mind to the new technologies that have been bucking at the periphery of journalism. Hence blogs, wikis and other stuff.

I don’t think citizen journalism is the way to go. But then, the current offerings by even the established printed publications are meagre and unsatisfactory (don’t get me started on the Wall Street Journal’s coverage of Asia, just read an earlier post on this blog, Where have all the good reads gone?). Maybe something along the lines of Chris Anderson’s “Long Tail”?

It’s there out there and the publication that finds it will be on to the New New Thing of journalism/. In the meantime, less sanctimony on the part of printed journalists about the so called new media might help them be less bewildered when their jobs get harder and harder to maintain.

The Defense Minister’s Blog: Has the conversation started?

In an earlier posting, I wrote about how Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono became the first Indonesian Minister to blog. One of his postings takes on the Human Rights Watch’s report Too High a Price: The Human Rights Cost of the Indonesian Military’s Economic Activities.

The posting attracted quite some attention from Shel Israel of Naked Conversations, Jeremy Wagstaff of Loose Wire and Pablo Halkyard of The World Bank.

Then, I said that this was a great development as a real conversation can take place if Human Rights Watch enters into a discussion with the Defense Minister in his blog. Well, Lisa Misol, the Business and Human Rights Researcher at HRW has responded to Juwono’s posting. Her posting on his site is similiar to a letter to an editor which she sent to the Jakarta Post and published on July 3, 2006.

The ball is now back to Jowono’s court. Will the Minister engage in a conversation with HRW? Or will he let the chance for Indonesia to demonstrate that it can communicate openly, frankly and candidly about important issues slip by?
The matter has now become more timely than ever with the discovery of a large cache of arms at the home of the recently deceased Brigadier General Koesyamadi.

Continue reading “The Defense Minister’s Blog: Has the conversation started?”

Richard Branson meets Deepak Chopra

deviWhat happens when East meets West, Maverick Businessman meets New Age Guru and Richard Branson meets Deepak Chopra?

They come up with Indian comics for a global audience that is a reworked take on Ramayana and Mahabarata. Imagine that, Indian gods, devils and avatars roaming the earth. Pretty wild stuff this. Especially if you used to be a FOOM like me.
Here’s part of an e-mail a friend set to me:

Virgin Comics, a new media company between Sir Richard Branson, Deepak Chopra, Shekhar Kapur and Gotham Entertainment Group, just released the first issues under its “SHAKTI” Indian comic line, which taps a ew wave of Indian creators to publish comics for a global audience.

The first Virgin Comic, entitled DEVI was created by acclaimed filmmaker
Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth, Four Feathers) with new comic magazines such as RAMAYAN REBORN by Deepak Chopra also on the way. The initial reaction amongst comic book shops across America has been extremely exciting with the first issue selling out in many stores already.