When I walked through the blogosphere the other day, I found a link the title of which caught my attention and stopped me from surfing further: Being a Civil Servant. The writer, Budi Saraswati, seems to have more prudent way than I am in discussing thing. For her, being civil servant (PNS in local parley) or working in a private company does not really matter.
What really matters for her is how far your job position enable you to do more for the welfare of the disadvantage people:
…the options of being a civil servant or working in a private company, you still have the chance to help others in both conditions. but, the higher your position in the organization, the better your opportunity to influence others in achieving better condition … i think, as long as your choice is the way to help others as well as to help yourself –in a proper manner, of course–, God will like your choice. […]
I wrote similar topic a few months ago but from different angle that–despite written with sincere concern and intention– might displease my PNS friends.
Budi Saraswati is as good as anyone in discussing or reporting thing. When Tsunami part 2 struck Java island on July 2006, for example, she made a brief yet good report in her blog. Enough for those who want to know a glimpse of the natural disaster story.
Apart from a DVD collector and a vivid movie watcher which makes her a right person to ask anything on film-related thing, she’s also a spirited book reader, a bookaholic so to speak. So much so that she creates a specific book review blog–in Bahasa Indonesia, unfortunately–to review any book she’s just read.
When someone writes thing nicely in a blog and makes a well-said argument in a debate or discussion, we tend to just admire him/her. Yet, we often forget the reason behind such capability and skill.
Many people keep asking and searching on how to make a good blog which might attract potential readers. Some forget the old wisdom which does not only confine to blogosphere but also applies to any field you are interested in: quality. Quality content certainly is a prerequisite as far as blogging goes and anything else will follow.
Another question, however, comes up: how to make a quality content. Budi Saraswati indirectly tells us: read a lot and write even more!
One thing worth considering as far her blog is concerned is her blog would be much better exposed to the search engine if she spares a little time to maximize her blog functionality. She can read here to start with, for basic tutorial to make her blog more Google friendly.
yusuf asy’ari Reaching out to people through Blog
“With this blog, I hope to be able to reach out and get in touch with our people, and
establish good communications by enabling dialogue between the government and its people.” This intro word is what you’ll find when you visit the blog of Yusuf Asy’ari, the Housing Minister of Indonesia.
I made an introductory remark earlier once I knew that another minister of current government had started blogging a few months ago, wishing him well and congratulating him for his courage to blog in between his hectic job activities. Some other respected non-Indonesian blogger like Asia Pundit also announced the emergence of yet another Indonesian minister blogger. I also wrote about Mr Yusuf’s blog  on Global Voices Online.
Some other Indonesian bloggers like Budi Putra, Harry Sufehmi and Agusti Anwar also made special mention on it; a strong sign that people love those on the ruling elite who really want to “talk to and communicate with” his people. And as far online communication goes, just tell me what more effective tools to do that other than blogging? Not only does he reach out his own people, by blogging in English his messages will also echo accross continents.Although in other parts of whorld blogging culture among high level establishments and intellectuals is a common phenomenon, in Indonesia it’s still a new trend. Indeed, there are some other prominent figures who have already had a conventional website (usually managed by their assistants), but blogging is still not popular.
That’s why, Indonesian bloggers always celebrate any important Indonesian dignitary who starts blogging. What’s more interesting, so far as Mr Yusuf’s blog goes, is that he’s himself occasionally responding back to any feedback or comment in his blog; a strong indication that he’s really meant what he said: to reach out and get in touch with his people; and on top of it all, it’s a real departure from the culture of feudalism of Suharto’s era towards egalitarianism and populism.***
Note:  I deliberately mention Mr Yusuf or Pak Yusuf, using the first name, not his last name (Asyari). This is what Indonesian used to prefer to be called even in formal situation; contrary to that of western custom in calling the last name for formal occasion. When we call president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, we call him Pak Susilo (Mr. Susilo) instead of Mr. Yudhoyono.
MaylaffayzaA brainy Celebrity, a down-to-earth blogger
I’ve spent a long enough time in India to complete the whole levels of studies during which I never pulang kampung (go home) to see my family and friends. If you ask why, well, it’s something to do with my early “promise” I made to myself before I went to this country.
At the same time to keep in touch with many Indonesian, particularly Indonesian student and intellectual in Indonesia and around the world and get updated with current events and development in my Tanah Air (homeland), I make use of any free services the internet technology has offered.
First, from about five years ago where mailing list becomes a new online trend to communicate and discuss things I started joining any mailing list of significant before I, along with my friends, founded our own discussion forum that turns out to be one of major and most active current-events Indonesian mailing list (milis, in local acronym); its members are mostly Indonesian students from around the world as well as many big guys of Indonesian analysts, journalists and academia.Second, and then came the blog technology and its exraordinary phenomenon and growth. Unlike mailing list, it’s more personal in nature; yet, the impact is no less significant, if not more.
If mailing list enables me to be always in close contact with many important individuals from intellectuals, journalists, editors to current-event anthusiasts, blog enables me to be in closer relationship and friendship with everyone. I know every single individuals–almost personally: those whose blogs I’ve visited and those who’ve visited mine. They come from various educational background and various career preferences; something I don’t get in mailing list. This new experience certainly enhance a new vista and expand my horizon of seeing things. Seeing many different things will make you think differently, in more positive and prudent way.
Contrary to mailing list where a member are not necessarily talking or responding to a certain topic of discussion– he/she could be just a quite reader–a blogger is a certain writer for his/her own blog. One cannot be called a blogger if his/her blog is empty, no?. And that’s the reason why I said earlier that I know every single blogger ‘almost’ personally just by visiting his/her blog.
I admire many of those bloggers for various reasons, including Maylaffayza and her blog.
For non-Indonesian readers, let the “introductory” remark from the Jakarta Post give you a clue:
Award-winning violinist Maylaffayza is very busy these days preparing her first solo album. On the album, she will not only play the four-string instrument but will also sing…
…Fayza is often seen performing at the launch of a service or product for the elite in Jakarta. However, the management said it hoped Fayza’s performance would be acceptable to everyone, regardless of economic background.
Born in Jakarta on July 10, 1976, Fayza received her musical training from violinist Idris Sardi and music expert Sharon Eng.
Fayza is not a new figure in the country’s entertainment industry. As a solo performer, she has been able to develop her own image…
She and her blog are among factors that makes me looking at things differently as I said earlier. The way she’s expressing what she feels, her active blogging in between her hectic schedule and –most imprtantly– her warm and active responses to any comments from readers of her blog really impress me.
To be honest, I live my whole life in a background that totally different with hers. Two persons who live in totally different environment will have a certain “assumption” on what the “other” life looks like. Sometimes it’s in positive way, but more often than not it’s called prejudice. It’s a common thing and it’s humane as well.
So, it’s the duty of each other to introduce him/herself to others as to make closer understanding, and hence less misconception. Blogging technology and all its great impacts and nitty-gritty have enabled us to be closer and wiser. And fortunately, a brainy, humbled, congenial and knowledge thirsty Maylaffayza has made use of blog to maximum result for her own (positive) personal purposes and the world she represents.