It’s the time of the year again. End of year. I’d been overwhelmed with Real Life™ lately and the end of year phase was not really helping me to slow down either. So yeah, sorry for the lack of update lately. There were many issues need to be resolved before the new year comes.

2007 Recap

For me, 2007 was a decent year. Not too great but not too terrible. Meet dozens new interesting people, some actually played a great deal in my life now. Doing dozens of projects, some of them were great and interesting while the rest could be categorized as ‘pain in the neck but I need the money’ type of project. Well, to sum it up, I’d seen better years.

Although things were not all glitters and golds, 2007 was the year I will definitely miss. It was a year when I finally barely coped living in Jakarta. Jakarta is still hell, of course. Floods, traffic jams, crazy drivers, arrogant governor, corrupted local government, unpredictable cost of living were only small fractions of Jakarta’s problem. And it was getting worse. I was less frustrated not because the situation was getting better, I just get used to it right now. I wish I will not too comfortable with this situation and getting numb because of it.

Starting 2007 as a semi-permanent lecturer at Binus University International, I am still teaching there now. While teaching I’d been doing favors to dozens of companies, either as a consultant or involved directly in their companies or projects. It was exciting time unless the amount of time wasted in the traffic really tired me down.

Not much happening tho. Most of the time, it was all about surviving. Getting the projects when the saving was low, relaxing after all the bills were paid, looking for project again when the saving was starting to deplete, wash, rinse and repeat. While this kind of living giving me a lot of free time, this level of ‘excitement’ sometimes felt too much.

The Challenge

Then the unexpected came. Somehow, my resume got a particular company’s attention. We talked and after couple of months back and forth, things started to materialized. I generally turned off the possibility of working within a particular company in Jakarta but the challenge I’ll have to deal with this one was just too good to pass. It was a position where I believe I could make a difference in the world that I generally thought as clueless, ignorant and aimless when it came to the ‘digital life’.

So, starting January 2008 – as early as 2 January, I will work as manager for Carat Digital, a business unit of Carat, an international media company and part of Aegis Media, in Jakarta. As the spearhead of this business unit, my main responsibilities will be to expand the business of Carat Indonesia into the digital world by introducing, educating, implementing and utilizing “digital” in the communication and marketing strategy that Carat will employ for its current and prospect clients.

It was a tall order since most of Indonesian media and advertising agency (including Carat Indonesia) are still working within their traditional mindset. Almost everybody who know me already knew my almost pessimistic attitude about this issue. Some agency tried to ‘adopt’ digital and most of them failed miserably. Most of their problem were based on their hesitation (or arrogance?) to understand about digital completely. They thought they could treated digital media as the same as their treated traditional media. Of course, for some cases, they were right but what they didn’t realize was -“digital media was more than everything we already know and learn from traditional media”-.

When they treated digital media as traditional media, they were actually trapping themselves inside their traditional box. While many traditional practices still valid when translated into digital, there were many possibilities outside traditional practices. Of course they were untested as vigorously as the traditional practice but that was the exciting and challenging part. Name one of Indonesian media or advertising agency creation related to implementation of digital media as a communication and marketing strategy that actually worked or at least had some major impact. It was a common knowledge that a website (a very basic implementation of digital media for communication and marketing purpose) built by an Indonesian media or advertising agency would normally unusable, inaccessible, not compliance with web standards and fail to meet its purpose. For some of the time, the strategy was great but something went wrong when it came into the implementation phase. So yeah, definitely there must be a better way for media and advertising agency in Indonesia to adopt digital as part of its arsenal.

I am not saying that I have a magic pill that could cure all of those problem. But as a person growing up half of my life with digital and taking formal education specifically in digital media, I believe I can make the difference. The challenge is too great to pass and I am not the person who let go the formidable challenge. I am talking about interactivity, connectivity, immersivity and subtlety. It will all about people oriented website or digital media, viral communication, alternate reality game, mobile devices, digital installation and dozens of exciting things in the digital world.

I still maintain my teaching schedule at Binus, my new company allowed me to do it and I was very glad and thankful for it, but maybe I need to adjust the hours. Currently I still had to finish the current semester and I will need to readjust the hours for the next semester.

Resolutions?

I didn’t had the habit of resolutions. Not that I didn’t had any dreams or ambitions, I have a lot of those, it’s just I put things into a flexible box. While there were many pointers in that box, those pointers merely served as reminders than targets. But for 2008 I think I will emphasize one red thread to highlight 2008:

To learn, educate, think, create, implement, utilize, bring to the new level, explore, communicate, popularize and promote digital as an additional framework of thought for a better and enjoyable life.

All right, it was very vague and I’d been doing that since many years ago but I will make 2008 the year I will dedicate to achieve those goals exclusively.

Happy New Year 2008!

So, happy New Year everyone. I wish all of you the best and the greatest year. The journey will be hard but the learning experience will be valuable. Have a great new year eve and see you in 2008. It will be a very exciting year.