One Stop ‘Shop’ for All Indonesia Blogs
Theodore M. Hesburgh, considered one of the most influential figures in higher education in the 20th century, once said “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”
A leadership vision must be behind this idea, that what I thought when for the first time I visited Blog Indonesia a few weeks ago.
An Indonesia blog directory which emerges quietly and clandestinely. Soundless. There’s no sign-up menu outthere; no control panel. At first glance it looks like Technorati. In the main page, you can see around 12 Indonesian blogs in brief coming in and out randomly. In the side bar, you can find statistic data about blogs registered (listed to be precise), the most active blog today and during one month time, etc.Also, you can see Indonesia blogs based on language (English or Bahasa Indonesia or both). This makes things a lot easier for anyone who want to read some blog on particular theme or language. To sum it up, it’s the finest and the most visionary blog directory an Indonesian IT geek ever made so far. The greatness is not on the technology, mind you. It’s on the vision in creating a directory for all Indonesia blogs.
Who’s the person behind this great blog Indonesia directory (BIR) anyway? Out of curiosity and amazement, I wrote an email to the webmaster. I got reply the following day. It’s the founder email, not the email you see in the contact address of the site. Interesting to hear that the guys (founder and the crew) outthere are the regular readers of Blogger Indonesia of the Week (BOW); that this blog has been added by them the first time the BIR starts running. And to my amazement, the founder offered to give BOW special space in BID which I gladly and gratefully accepted.
Again, who’s the founder? He’s an IT & Management consultant living somewhere in Indonesia. He along with several of his “online students” (he prefers to say so) create the BIR. Apart from training all his “students” how to code and program things (mainly php), he also would like to inculcate a sense of leadership and vision to them: that in creating something, there should be a clear intention that everything we create or do should be for the larger interest; not only for the interest of ourselves.
So, when BIR was created (the hosting and domain are coming from his own pocket), the idea and the vision were clear i.e. to bring all Indonesia blogs to the World. That’s why, no registration, no password and no rules: simply submit your blog. And, no body behind the BIR want to take any credits. Amazing.
Are you still curious about the founder? Do you want to know his name or at least his email? Well, “Please don’t mention my name and my email,” he said. And that’s one reason, among others, why I like him and agree to cooperate with him. His honesty, dedication to educate his long distance juniors, generosity, sacrifices and vision are the kind of personality I’d like to voluntarily admire without any apology.
A Few Indonesian Men in Silicon Valley
Rahardjo Mustadjab, a senior Indonesian diplomat and former Consul General in KJRI (Konsulat Jenderal Republik Indonesia) Mumbai wrote in The Jakarta Post recently(16/02/2006) about why India, a developing countries, could produce an IT human resources in such a massive scale in relatively such a sort of time and why Indonesia could not:
“…India’s great leader, Jawaharlal Nehru, posed the question: What will make a future independent India free from poverty? Sir Ardeshir Dalal, a council member of the viceroy gave the answer.
First, he said, they needed to establish world-class centers of higher technical education.
Second, India had to establish equally world-class research institutes. Acting on this advice, India established its Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in Kharagpur, Bombay, Madras, Kanpur, Delhi, Guwahati and Roorkey.”
Well, with due respect to our founding fathers (Sukarno-Hatta), both elements India had done since independence in terms of education was not there in Indonesia.
Therefore, no wonder if the country still needs to learn about IT-related institution to India as was reiterated by Presiden SBY during his visit to India a few months back.
And that’s also the answer why not many Indonesian IT geeks are there in silicon valley, unlike Indians graduated from the famous IITs many of whom already got the call from some big IT companies in Silicon Valley (SV) even before they finish their last exam. Indeed, there’s a few Indonesian in SV, but many of them are not the product of Indonesia technological institution.
Among the few Indonesians in SV, there’s a man called Carlos Patriawan, graduated from University of California, he then continues working in SV uptill now.
He’s not actively updating his blog. Instead, he spend most of his spare time to interact with other Indonesian IT-geek through teknologia (googlegroups) mailing list (milis); talking about IT-related stuff.
From the on-going discussion in teknologia, he feels that his juniors need a kind of guidance and help to enable them to get a proper job abroad. And for that purpose, he creates a specific mailing list called http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/indo-svjobs. Any Indonesian with IT-related qualification and with serious intention and willingness to get a job abroad can join it. Carlos will give you a proper guidance as to what kind of program you should prepare and mostly needed based on the latest information he got from SV and, also, the latest job vacancy from there.
To me, his leadership initiative is another proof among many others, how important it’s to have our men abroad. As Rahardjo Mustadjab reiterated at the same article,
The concept of the “brain-drain” is history, and Indians are now talking about “brain gain”. Two million Indians who reside in the U.S., including 35,000 graduates of the famed IIT, earned $60,000 per person a year, nearly as much as Japanese who reside in the U.S. make. The amount that is earned by the Indian diaspora is far above the U.S. median income of $35,000.
…Many have returned to Bangalore, Mumbai or Delhi to establish enterprises or teach in the new India.
For Indonesians who still cannot accept the concept of Indonesian staying abroad, you need to memorize the above figures given by Mr. Mustadjab.
A Writer, Bookwormer and full time Householder
How many books should you read in a month in order to be a writer? Judging from what Primadonna Angela does, at least you should read 24 books a month. Well, that’s too much, you might think. Not only too much in terms of time to spend; but also too much from economical point of view.
Book for many Indonesians is a luxury stuff. Even a newspaper is too costly to subscribe. That may explain one of the reasons behind the lack of reading habit of many Indonesians, including some academicians.Indonesia’s biggest selling newspaper like Kompas, for example, costs around IDR (rupiah) 2500, by comparison, India’s best selling newspaper The Times of India–with more number of pages– costs only Rupees 2,00 or IDR 400. That’s why, not many Indonesians could afford to read and buy daily newspaper from their own pockets; on the contrary, every morning I can see almost every average Indians have their morning breakfast of a cup of chai (tea-milk) with a morning newspaper. I, myself, used to subscribe to only one newspaper in Indonesia; while I got two or three (specially for weekend) newspapers here in India.
And that’s why I’m very surprised to see Donna can afford to read (which means buy) at least 24 books a month. That’s a rarity for an Indonesian lives in Indonesia and is not attached to any educational institution which will give her an opportunity to read as many as free books available at office.
She could be regarded as a prolific writer by any standard. Despite she’s just published four books, but all are published almost simultaneously. Have a look at her four publication (published by Gramedia, the biggest Indonesia publication network): Quarter Life Fear (July, 2005), Belanglicious (Januari,2006), Love at First Fall (February, 2006), Jangan Berkedip (April, 2006).
Her career as a teacher, copy writer and editor all are in the past. Now, she’d prefer to be a freelance writer, so as to enable her to be always close to her hero called Aza and enjoys, as she herself put it, “the bittersweet experience of motherhood!”.
A kind of enjoyment many Indonesian good mothers would prefer to choose above anything else, if given the choice and opportunity.