140

140 characters. Instant gratification. What’s not to like?

That is what has been happening in this so-called era of ‘Social Media’. Whatever that is.

Short burst, concise words, perfect choice of words.

Continuous flow of quick snack, tasteless but informative (enough) and hopefully healthy.

Here we are now, 140 characters or less, streaming our life.

Ironically

140 characters. With number in front of it. Like this:

  1. The importance of these 140 characters (or less) is to make sure that it is important.

  2. These next 140 characters (or less) add the importance of the previous 140 characters.

  3. And the next 140 characters (or less) continue…

  4. 140 characters (or less)

Until

  1. The last 140 characters (or less).
140

The Story So Far

It’s been a while. Life moved so fast, it wasn’t always easy to sit down and wrote more than occasional banter in 140 characters

2010

End of 2010 marked the beginning of my 3rd year living in New York City. It also celebrated as my 1st year of marriage. 2010 was pretty much a challenging year, it was filled with things that occupied me personally and professionally. This was the major reason of this journal’s neglectful state.

The Attack of Short Span Attention

The other reason of ‘abandoning’ this journal was for most of the time, I found 140 characters or some photos were enough for me to share my thought & opinion about something. In the age of short span attention, writing (and reading) more than a couple of paragraphs slowly become a lost art.

But at the end of the day, I am a story teller. I told stories based on my experience and I love to share those stories in an eloquent writing. I am not a fan of the short attention seeker method known as “KulTwit”1. I prefer writing a decently concise article even thought it probably took me forever to write it (FYI, this entry took more than a week to finish).

So expect less but longer stories here in the future. For occasional 140 characters banters, follow me on Twitter, we will have much fun there.

Evolution Happened, Really

It happened here too, within this journal. Two major things happened:

1. Movable Type to WordPress

First, the change from Movable Type to WordPress. Yes, I was a staunch user (and defender) of Movable Type but as time passed, I found WordPress to be matured enough and has strong (not to mention fanatic) support right now. So, when WordPress 3.0 came out, I decided it was the right time to move to WordPress. It wasn’t as easy as I want it to be but with some tweaks here and there, I finally pull it off. The content import process from Movablet Type to WordPress was not perfect (the classic problem was “from ‘_’ to ‘-‘), you might notice a bit of article’s artefact, cut down entries, 404 errors, weird notation and more; here and there – mostly old articles, but in general the process went quite painless.

After some tries to create new design, I postponed it and decided to make a child theme for now. I found an excellent existing theme called Oulipo designed by pnts suited my needs and modified it. For now it is enough for my needs. For now.

2. From “home” to “journal”

I could not even remember why I picked “home” as subdomain name for this journal. So, long overdue, I change the subdomain to a more appropriate name “journal”, from now on the official address is http://journal.avianto.com. The nice thing about technology is, for those who still used or accessed the old address, you don’t even have to do anything, I did my best to take care of that issue. With the magic of .htaccess2 to redirect things around, most of those old links would magically transformed itself into new links. Some probably would still fail, just let me know, I’ll fix it ASAP.

2011

What’s next then?

Plenty of things. Those will have to wait for another post. And if it takes a while for another post… find me on Twitter 😉


  1. “Kultwit” stands for “Kuliah Twitter” aka. “Twitter Lecture”. It is a tweet method commonly used by Indonesian Twitter ‘celebrities’. The practice is basically splitting a long entry (or what they so profoundly called ‘lecture’ hence the name) into multiple tweets – sometime accompanied by ordered number list. The irony is most of the time the “KulTwit” is so long, it actually save time (and not to mention easier to read) to write a blog entry instead. This phenomenon is uniquely Indonesian, CMIIW
  2. .htaccess is a magical being on the level of unicorn… if you read this and believe it then you need to get out more ;). Here’s a wikipedia article about .htaccess. 
The Story So Far

Abuse

Law existed to protect people. Law created to make people feel safe. But somehow, it worked the other way around in Indonesia. Law was used to shackle people, to keep people on the leash and to shut down the voice of freedom.

The story so far

This was the case of a mother of two children against the all mighty private hospital with divine and majestic name, Omni International Hospital. The mother wrote an email about her dissatisfaction of the hospital treatment to her, which she claimed was bad and horrendously unsatisfactory. The email, naturally, spread around certain mailing list and published on a couple of website including this one (It’s in Indonesian). Reasonable enough since she said the hospital was not really paid attention to her previous complain. Or not.

Update: The English translation of Mrs. Prita’s email are available; credits goes to Ryan Koesuma for translation and Unspun blog for republishing it outside Facebook.

Somehow, the all mighty hospital felt insulted and sued the mother base on defamation/libel. So, they treated patients like cash cows, which unfortunately a common practice in Indonesia’s medical field, and when the patient complained and wrote the complain so the whole world could see, they felt insulted and sued the patient. Well, as if holding up a body of a deceased person because the family could not paid the bill or holding up a newborn baby because the parents could not afford the bill right away were not enough, now the hospital felt insulted when somebody told the world about their misdemeanor and sued that somebody. What was it? A joke? It wasn’t even funny.

What striked me actually, this fiasco probably would not happened, still probably – there were many way to twist the law in Indonesia, if you had the power and money, if one particular law was not exists. Introducing, the famous Information and Electronic Transaction Law aka. UU ITE (Undang-undang Informasi dan Transaksi Elektronik).

Armed with this law, the hospital sued the mother and the court pointed the mother as the suspect and she has been in jail for 3 weeks, as of today (Source: Koran Tempo in Indonesian). The trial will be held on June 4, 2009.

Information and Electronic Transaction Law aka. UU ITE

When this law was signed more or less a year ago, I was cringed. I was afraid, not because I could be punished by this draconian law but because some of the points were obscure, unclear and could be interpreted in some twisted way. I won’t go far to explain the law, use Google and read it yourself. Some items in that law were actually good and fulfill their purpose to protect the people, but those items, especially those parts about “defamation and/or libel” were so draconian and easily manipulated especially to those who got the power and money. Added the corrupt justice system, which again unfortunately a common knowledge in Indonesia, to the mix then we had a recipe to disaster.

I am one of the biggest opponent of this law, as many of my respected colleague, but as you might remember my writing titled “Commander” around last year – it was a different case but it lead into this law being signed, the department who were somehow responsible for the creation of this law was ignorant. Now, to add the absurdity of the current situation, the Director General of that department, Mr. Cahyana who hold the Master of Law degree, told one of the prominent blogger, Enda Nasution that the court actually misinterpreted the law. Where have you been, Sir? Did we said this law could easily misinterpreted more than a year ago? And your department defiantly went into deaf mode and said this law was for the good of the people? The truth, Sir, your department were plain ignorant at that time and now it’s time to feel the wake up slap in your face.

That comment also made me wondered; so if the law was misinterpreted, did it because the law was not clear enough or the court was not smart enough to interpret the law? Or even worse, the law was not clear enough and the court was not smart enough too. Again, the recipe to bigger disaster then.

Cowards

Added insult to the injury was the response of some people related to this case. Some said, it mean everybody, Indonesian especially, should be careful of what they were writing online (email, blogs, tweet, whatever), even if it was the truth. Sounds pathetic, wasn’t it? I called them cowards. When the bush was beaten, they were cowering down under, afraid to speak the truth and even stigmatize those who told the truth.

These people were the reason Indonesia never soar as a great country it supposed to be. These people put a blind eye to the corruption of power those institutions above showed. These people chose, deliberately, to stigmatize the people who brave enough to tell the truth. These people were the traitor to free speech, democracy and humanity.

Critics

So, by writing this, I directly and indirectly criticized the medical institution, justice system, a government department and a bunch of cowards. Will I get sued for defamation and libel? It possible. Even though I am just stating the truth, I am not fabricated any facts, known facts, about the corrupt system of justice, the money seeking practice of medical institution and the ignorance of a government department. So if the worse thing happened then all I can say is the country I always love is going back to the way it used to be, a repressive, totalitarian and draconian one. What a step back and for that I am feeling very sorry…

While waiting for the hammer to fall, these are some call to action links (all in Indonesian):

Abuse

25

I am following the herd, some people tagged or asked me to do this, so I comply. Here they are:

  1. I’d been living in 4 countries until now; Indonesia (most of the time), Germany, Canada and United States (currently) and visited more than a dozen countries.
  2. I hold a bachelor in Architecture but never worked as an architect, I prefer architecture as a way of life not as a work for living.
  3. I used to smoke a lot, not anymore right now except for an occasionally collapse of good judgement.
  4. Despite used to be a heavy smoker, I never use drugs in my life and not planned to do so in my life time.
  5. I don’t care about races and sexual preferences, it doesn’t matter if you are black, white, yellow or even green and while I am a strictly straight guy, it doesn’t matter if you are straight, gay or bisexual. What matters is that you are a good person and act like one.
  6. I used to be very emotional but I think growing older make me more patience.
  7. I love to cook, while my cooking ability is about average I think I am improving every day.
  8. Movies, books, museums, galleries and live music hall were the things and places I spend my free time, mostly.
  9. As a digital person, I still keep my plan and notes using a paper notebook, Moleskine preferably.
  10. I care much with those who I consider as friends, sometimes too much to the point it annoyed them.
  11. I prefer walking and taking public transportation than driving but I love to drive as fast as I could if condition allowed.
  12. I always afraid of getting fat to the point of nearly an obsession.
  13. My passion lies in creating something useful for people to use, that’s why I am in user experience business.
  14. People think I am a perfectionist but I am not, I just want to be the best in everything I do.
  15. I prefer being a generalist than a specialist, specialization is for insect.
  16. I can be extremely cynical, it doesn’t happened so much, but when it happened, you will noticed.
  17. I am starting to develop a fashion sense awareness, used to not care about how I dressed but now I put some thought when I am dressing.
  18. I have a really bad set of teeth, been thinking to fix them up but it will cost me a fortune, but I’ll do it anyway soon.
  19. I used to think life was suck but now I think life is as good as I want it to be.
  20. I love pets but I am allergic to the hair… Bummer. I also allergic to dust so I prefer clean places.
  21. I can play any kind musical instruments except bowing and blowing instruments.
  22. I am an Apple geek; currently owned a white Macbook, a white iPhone and silver iPod nano, but currently using ASP.NET and Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 for work.
  23. I owned avianto.com since 1998 and planned to keep it for the rest of my life.
  24. I am stubborn but always open to a reasonable argument and with decent delivery.
  25. While I am enjoy being online, there always be a day or two in a month I prefer to be disconnected. Talking about taking the time out.

Well, I did it. Hope you know me better now.

25

Decision

Some of you asked me, why given up a good living in Jakarta with managerial position, good salary and good reputation to go to New York with middle position, decent but minimal salary and no reputation? On top of that, why made a move when I already in my 30s and still not married. Well, sometime I also asked myself, why?

Career

Career-wise, my decision was a step back in career point of view. I was already in managerial position, 8 digits salary (in Rupiah, of course) and had a huge network among multiple disciplines and industries. It was a good career and I was on my way to the top. Here in New York, I was working as a middle position knowledge worker, slightly above standard rates salary and no network at all. In other words, I was pressing a reset button in my career path.

I left my career and the opportunity to climb the higher ladder of position. I even abandoned my 3 years of teaching career.

Rent and Commute

Living in New York is very expensive, especially the rent. Most people were paying around 30%, even 50%, of their salary for rent only. Another 25-30% went into tax. At the end, people were getting 40-50% of their total salary to pay bills, food, entertainment and saving (or investing). That was not much and it would take a good judgement to spend the money wisely. Living like the girls (and boys) in Sex and the City and Friends TV series was a myth. Unless you were born or stayed in Manhattan for more than 20 years, I did not think those TV series lifestyle would be affordable for most New Yorkers. That would be another story, I was still surveying and writing about the reality of rent price in New York.

Commuting was another story. Currently it took me around 45 minutes to commute every working days to the office using bus and subway. Almost the same when I was living in Jakarta. The different was I did not need to drive and fight with the traffic. Hopped in the bus/subway, found a good spot, read or sleep during the commute. Less stressful and more opportunity to rest or read.

Living Standard

Other than rent, New York is actually quite cheap for living, if you know the right place to get what you need. Lunch for $3-$5 was not unheard of, dinner for less than $10 was possible and for sure it would be cheaper to cook on your own. Groceries were cheap, again if you know the place, and there were a lot of bargain shopping around the city. Especially in this bad economy, almost all stores were cutting their prices so people could afford to buy their stuffs. If people could not buy anything then the economy would halt and it would cost more damage than it already was. It would take some experiences, experiments and street smart skill to live as comfortable as possible without sacrificing too much.

Sure, living in Jakarta was way cheaper than living in New York. Rent price was affordable for a start. Lunch for less than $1 was still available, right? Transportation was also cheap, around 30¢ for one busway trip (it used to have a monthly ticket without discount rate but somehow that convenience was eliminated). Phone and cellphone rate, electricity, water were cheaper too and no need to pay for heating.

On the other hand, according to my ‘Starbucks Economy’ point of view, living in Jakarta was also expensive. Using my standard not-so-scientific comparison for the price of a single cup of Starbucks coffee it would goes like this: It was $1.65 for a tall black coffee here and it was Rp. 18.000 in Jakarta. It was practically the same price! Lunch/dinner in the restaurants could cost around Rp. 50.000++ per person; which translated into around $4.5++ here; which of course a bit cheaper. Car price was enormous with or without insurance. Clothing price were varied, branded clothes practically had the same price as here. Electronic price was a bit cheaper but not much, especially computers. Books were on the same ground and most of the time, even more expensive than the original printed price in US dollar (of course to be fair, add around 8-9% of sales tax in here).

Dropped the rent price and suddenly living in Jakarta was as expensive as living in New York. To be fair, it was not exactly the same but I was just trying to share my view.

Decision

Combining all of the factors above, the question raised again: Why the move? Why bargained everything I had for something uncertain? Why now?

There were no easy answer to that questions. The only thing I could think of was; I want change. Three years living back in Jakarta was teaching me a lot about how low people expectation of good quality of life could be. “It’s Jakarta, traffic is always packed, police are always corrupt, raining always means flooding, what do you want? It’s Jakarta”. Was it? Or was it because people did not know any better?

Maybe that was my main reason, I wanted to know more about the world. I wanted to grow, I wanted to experience something new, something great and something different. Even if it meant to throw my current comfort away, I would do it anyway. No regret, no remorse and embraced the unexplored.

Now I really understood the deep meaning of Frank Sinatra’s song, New York, New York:

I’ll make a brand new start of it – in old New York
If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you – New york, New york!
It’s New York, the city that never sleep and I am living in it.

Welcome to a brand new life!

Decision

New Yorker

Things I notice after living and working for around two weeks in New York:

  • On the street and public transportation, English was not the major language. Almost everybody was talking with their own language here; Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Germans, Polish, Yiddish, Tagalog, Indonesian, Malay, French and others are just a fraction of multi cultural reality in New York.
  • Everybody was jaywalking. I mean EVERYBODY. If you were not jaywalking than you better step aside because New Yorker would push you anyway.
  • iPod and/or iPhone was ubiquitous, in the subway, bus and even the street. Most New Yorker were listening to song, watching videos, playing games or even browsing the Internet from their iPod/iPhone.
  • The public transportation (Subway and Bus) was superb. As a public transportation lover, I finally found my heaven. It’s not as clean and time-concerned like Germany but still, it’s so reliable and it’s 24 hours. Who could complain about that?
  • Most New Yorker are courteous. Maybe you heard differently but from my own experience, they were quite nice to each other.
  • Food were abundant. Eating out was not a big deal, you could had from $1 hotdog to $20 pizza or even $100 cuisine. Halal food was not a problem here, they were everywhere.
  • New York was very dynamic in every sense. The people were diverse, their movement were just amazing to watch and their behavior were varied.
  • New York also full of strange people. Almost every time I was using subway, I encountered strange people. There was a lady who keep on running inside the subway muttered strange thing like she’s being hunted down. Another lady was reading a newspaper and for every 3 minutes look at herself into her reflection in the subway’s window and talking in strange language. Those two were just a small sample of strange people I’d encountered and I bet there would be more.
  • All and all, New York was a fun place to live. Yes, it was very busy and very crowded but it also so dynamic and diverse it made me feel very comfortable and falling in love with the city instantly.

Living in New York was an adventure. I did not even seen half of the city, maybe only 20% of it, so I might be wrong about my feeling for this city. But so far, it’s been a very good experience and it made me feel so much alive absorbing the vibe of this great city.

I’ll write more about this city and once I got my paycheck, I would buy a new camera so I could share the visual of New York. So until then, keep on reading because there will be more stories to share.

New Yorker

From Jakarta to New York

This entry is overdue a couple of days. I was moving to New York City and will be working with Research Foundation of City University of New York. It will be a new adventure to start a whole new year.

This entry is about my long travel from Jakarta to New York. Some of you were keep asking me about this, so here it is. Enjoy.

SQ 967, Jakarta – Singapore

My first flight was using Singapore Airlines. Not much happening during the flight, it was a short flight, around 1 hour. Landed at Terminal 3, Changi Airport around 10 PM and had to wait for the next flight at 6.50 AM. Terminal 3, Changi was a relatively new transit airport (opened at January 2008) and its amenities were first class. It was amazing how Singaporean serviced their transit visitors. On the first floor it had a huge shopping mall, standard for every transit airport, since it was better if the transit visitors spent some money while they were there, right? The surprising feature of this floor was the Butterfly Garden. It had a huge area filled with butterfly where visitors could get in and enjoy the beauty of hundreds beautiful butterflies flying around. Too bad since I arrived there at night, almost no flying butterflies in sight. Well, maybe some other time.

The second floor hold more surprises, it had small free movie theater, it was showing August Rush when I was there, transit hotel, visitors lounge and a huge eating area. I was looking for a place to spend the night since I need to wait for another 7 hours or so for my next flight so I went to the transit hotel and asked for a room. Unfortunately, it was full and since I only need a place to lie down for a couple of hours, the friendly staff recommended me to get a nap room at the visitors lounge. So I did, a nap room was a very small room, 2×2 m with bed, small credenza and blind (no door). It cost 30 SGD for 3 hours plus a couple of SGD for an access to shower. It was not bad at all, so I took the time to lie down, get some rest and taking a shower before checking in at the transfer counter around 4 AM.

Everything was cleared, my passport and visa checked out all right and I was ready to board my next flight to O’Hare International Airport, Chicago with a short stop at Hong Kong International Airport.

UA 896, Singapore – Chicago, via Hong Kong

Next flight was with United Airlines and although it counted as one flight, it actually required the passenger to change plane once at Hong Kong, so it was quite a short trip from Singapore to Hong Kong, around 2 hours, and not much happening. Once the flight landed in Hong Kong, I did not had the luxury to look around the airport since it was a really tight schedule changing from one plane to another so I just went to the boarding gate and get in on the next flight, the longest one.

The flight from Hong Kong to Chicago was long, really long, around 18 hours, and to my surprise, I’d got an Economy Plus seating which mean more leg room and my seat was a front seat so I did not had any other seat in front of me. It also mean I sat in front of the screen which was always good. I did not remember all of the movie but some of them were: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (I slept halfway of the movie, too tired I guess), The Longshots (also slept in the beginning but wide awake for the ending), Bottle Shock (which was actually a good based-on-true-story movie) and City of Ember (which I loved since it had steampunk elements on it). It was a relatively good flight, I mean my body was sore all over the place but what could I expect from sitting (and small walking) inside a Boeing 747-400?

The real adventure started in Chicago…

O’Hare International Airport, Chicago

I landed at O’Hare around 4 PM and since I need to change my flight to domestic flight, O’Hare was my point of entry to United States. So when I presented my passport and visa to the Custom and Border Protection officer, he asked if this was my first visit to the US and since I answered yes… the adventure began. The officer asked me to follow him to another room to process my documents. Well, some of my friends already warned me that this process could take at least 2 hours and they were not joking. My problem was, I need to catch my next flight to New York in 1.5 hours…

So there I was, inside a room with a dozen or so people waiting for my document to be processed. Then, another officer called my name and 4 other people and we were moving to another area. Just my luck, I was number 5 behind 4 middle-eastern looking guy… So while my documents were processed in less than 30 minutes, 21 minutes to be exact, I had to wait around 3 hours before my documents were actually processed. That was a very long wait in a not so comfortable waiting area. Was it worth it? At least, it trained my patience… But to my delight, most officers were courteous and polite, of course there are some rude officers but fortunately I did not had to deal with them. That was a little incident happened with the first person in my line, he was a Pakistani and he was standing because he said he was tired sitting for hours in the plane and in the waiting room. The officer was asking him to sit, he said no and somehow the officer was irritated and push him to sit, he was yelling and telling that he was being treated unfair and impolite. It was quite a scene, more officers came into the scene and there were a yelling contest for quite a while. Fortunately, the incident was not escalated to an arrest and it was solved quite nicely and the Pakistani guy was finally passed the process. Other than that, not so much happening, for 2 hours or so before finally, after the airline staff told me that my two baggages were left at the carousel 6 and I should picked them up before I continue my travel, my documents were processed and I was finally allowed to enter United States.

I supposed to miss my next flight because of the custom procedure. While the custom officer assured me that the airline will definitely replace my flight with another flight, I was still worried and irritated about the fact I was missing my flight and had to trouble myself with rechecking with the airline. So I brought my two large baggages and walked to the transfer baggage check-in. A friendly Philippine baggage officer checked my baggage tags and to my surprise, told me I had not missed my flight since my flight was delayed for 2 hours 47 minutes! My good luck but bad luck for others. So I checked my baggages and walked happily to the boarding gate.

O’Hare airport was so crowded and the security were really tight. And so I waited for the delayed flight, getting some lunch and coffee and waited… Until finally, after waiting for almost an hour, I finally boarded the plane. On the runway, the pilot announced the plane would had to wait 27 minutes before the tower allowed it to depart, well, great… another delay. Well, at least 27 minutes was true and the plane finally leave Chicago after the long delay. Great!

UA 646, Chicago – New York/New Jersey

The plane went to Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey. It’s actually one of the three airport servicing New York, the others are La Guardia (mostly local flights) and JFK. I went to Newark because my new boss could only picked me there since it was the nearest airport to his place. So, Newark was my destination of choice. The flight was uneventful, except for the 27 minutes of delay, again I had an Economy Plus seating at the window side and there was no movie on the 2 hours flight. It was practically a night flight.

Uneventful as it was, at the end of the flight, as the plane dived toward Newark Airport, my eyes caught a view that I will never forget for the rest of my life. It was Manhattan, glowing with thousands of lights and it was so beautiful and so grand, it almost brought the tears to my eyes. This was the first time I laid my eyes upon New York and I was staring at the main city glorified lights. Paris could take the title as “The City of Lights”, but I’d seen Paris and I think Manhattan could took that title now. It was amazing. I was so amazed, I made a mental note to recommend everybody who would visit New York to land on Newark at night time, it was an unforgettable experience.

Newark Liberty International Airport

Get off my plane, straight to the Baggage Claim area, waiting for my bags and while waiting, my new boss greeted me and finally, after communicating back and forth using email, instant text and video messaging, we finally met. I was tired, the total travel time was almost (or more?) than 36 hours, but I also happy because this was a start of a new beginning. So after collected my baggages, me and my boss walked outside to the parking lot and there I was greeted by the winter weather. It was quite a shock, since just a couple of days ago I was living in the tropic and suddenly the temperature drops to almost 0° Celsius, reminder to self: started to get used with the Fahrenheit system in this country. So we entered the car and drove away from Newark to his house, somewhere in New Jersey…

Epilogue

The story ends here. For now. Next will be about my first trip to NYC… I hope all of you, especially those who keep asking me to write this, enjoy the story as much as I enjoy experiencing it. Always have faith that things will get better, as long as we tried hard and harder.

Happy New Year 2009! Time to make our life better!

From Jakarta to New York

Leaving

Last Tuesday was my last day at Carat. I will take another leap of faith to another venture and building a new kind of life. It’s been only a year I worked with Carat but it felt like a long time because there were so many things happened during my time there. Starting a new division was not an easy task and one year was a really short time to get things going really well. I hope what I did was sufficiently enough for that new division to keep rolling without me. After all, it was practically a one man show during my time.

Media Approach

One thing I love about working with Carat was the experience and the challenge. I never had a stint with a media agency before so I was quite thrilling to learn a different way of seeing and approaching “interactive media”.

I came from an interactive production background, I saw things base on user experience, I did things accordingly to user’s requirement and needs and trying to make user could finished their tasks or goals. It was purely a user centric approach to get things done. It was a basic “how”.

However, media approach was quite different. In the end it still back to the “how” but the approach added another layer on top of it, the “why” layer. Interactive media was all about usage, there was no point of building an “interactivity” nobody use. Media was all about marketing effort to reach people.

Traditional media like television, newspaper, magazine, radio, billboard and others were channels to deliver the message from the advertiser (commercial or non-commercial) to people. Traditional campaign relied on one way communication and using media as its loudspeaker. Interactive (or digital) media like internet, mobile and digital installation had the ability to “interact” with people, which means multiple way communication and both or more parties were using the loudspeaker both way. That particular character brought every parties on a equal footing. Good news for customers and advertisers who care for the customers but bad news for most advertisers since most of them were not ready, even prepared, to deal with the reduce of power. To make things worse, there is a common understanding that if you need to advertise heavily then your product (whatever that is) is not good enough.

People used interactive media to achieve something, to get things done or just to have fun. The advertisers want people to aware of their message, to make people at least tried their products or to boost their sales. So the basic question was “Why people want to use interactive media which actually a part of a marketing effort?”.

Different Ball-game

In the near future, as near as next year, it will be a different ball-game for the advertisers. Of course it will be so naive to predict the death of traditional media, especially in Indonesia where traditional media still hold the biggest influence but it also very naive to ignore the rise of interactive (digital) media to influence the people especially those who had digital access privilege.

Advertisers just not had to listen, they also had to respond. It may help to has a dedicated ‘digital media task team’ in the company to handle this new and growing level of interactivity. It will not be easy since the current economy situation forced most advertisers to cut down the budget or even the employee. Although, doing it correctly and elegantly will has its own reward when the economy started to recover again.

A simple magic mantra would be “Join the conversation”. It was an easy things to say but in reality it was not easy to do.

Epilogue

I was leaving Carat. I was leaving a simple legacy, an Interactive Division (which is now part of the Diversified Division) and its network in the media provider and partner. I was learning a lot of things related to the media industry and business. I was happy and grateful to be a part of an exciting and challenging company like Carat. Now it’s my time to move on. New company, new challenge and new country.

It’s about time.

Leaving

Media is Life

It’s been a while, isn’t it? It is not because real life™ is taking over but there are many exciting things happened around the online environment too.

Microblogging

Twitter, Plurk, Pownce, Jaiku and even Facebook‘s status are becoming my main vent of online presence. Writing in those so-called microblog platform is so convenient and easy, so writing a long article in this blog seems like a very challenging task.

Not to mention nowadays I rarely had time to think and analyze things thoughtfully. Instead of writing a half-thought entry, I rather wrote a simple and direct thought about… well, everything in those platform.

Of course keeping all of those microblogs is a challenge itself. Using Ping.fm really helped me with updating my entries but not really helping in keeping my conversation with others. Basically, I paid more attention to Plurk’s conversation than any other services. So if you want to catch me, check my Plurk.

Work

Practically, I am swamped. It is not easy to become one man show army supporting the entire office. Not to mention the regional requests and inquiries as a consequences working within a multinational company.

Especially during these late of year months where all the pitches for next year strategies on media are happening. My work lately had been rotating between one pitch to another and another. Working on Saturday and Sunday is becoming a routine. And that’s not entirely agreeable. At least with me.

Life

What life? Really, for the last couple of months, my life had been reduced into work and rest. Thankfully I still have teaching activity which I put as a ‘break and charge’ activity. I am not complaining because despite all of this and that, my life is quite satisfactory.

Of course I missed a lot of things. I rarely watched cinema, barely played games on my PSP, painfully missed hangout with friends and any others non working activity. But I guess that was the risk I had to take when I accepted this job and I had to do it until I am tired of this and ready to move on.

For now, I let myself become a corporate drone.

Others

There are many things to share, many thoughts to write and many experiences to tell. Maybe later. I am not giving any promise.

Until then, I am still be around and post my small and simple thought on those microblogging platform.

Media is Life