Blogger Indonesia of the Week (60): Bunyamin Najmi

Blogger IndonesiaReporting Indonesia to the World through Picture

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” (Aaron Siskind).

Photography is an activity I am not at all good at. I used to have two cameras, conventional and digital, most of the time both are at my friend hands; a strong indication that I’m not so interested at this stuff. Finally I sold the digital camera half the original price. Having said that, photography is one of most important activity as far as journalism goes. News report in print media will be less spicy without it. Yet hardly any photographer gets sufficient appreciation.

Just imagine how you can fully enjoy a recently long reports on blogging in Tempo Magazine–the first of its kind by any Indonesian news magazine– without any photograph in it; imagine how boring it would be without the pretty picture of Tiara Lestari, or without the circle beard, Andre Agassi style, photo of Enda Nasution. 🙂

Photography, therefore, is a must to make any analysis or news report more interesting and more colorful to the readers and more importantly more credible and look more ‘trustworthy.’

Yet, not many people are interested to it which suggests, among other reasons, the lack of appreciation in this profession. In the blogger world, especially in Indonesia, that tendency is not different. Not many Indonesian bloggers dedicate themselves to photoblogging unless photography really are their passion. And among those few are Bunyamnin Najmi who posts his photography activity almost on daily basis. His blog also attracts many English-speaking viewers from around the world. The reason is obvious: he makes commentary on any posted picture in English.

Bunyamin seems to be able to capture many interesting daily events in his surrounding with a very good sense of photographer. Well, I’m not authoritative to judge what good and bad sense in photography. I just take that conclusion from the commenters of his blog which seems excited and sometimes surprised.

I hope he’ll keep up his photograph blogging passion, his own unique way to tell the world about Indonesia in general and about Bandung, West Java, in particular to the world.

PS: Comments are welcome in any of the following languages: English, Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Jawa & Madura.
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Blog: short of weblog is a web page containing structured data that is updated on a regular basis. RSS: An RSS feed is a regularly updated XML document that contains metadata about a web source and the content in it. Courtesy: blogs.MIT.edu

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Blogger Indonesia of the Week (59): Harry Sufehmi

The beauty or being human, compared to animal, is that we always want to do more. For the better or the worst. So, we see this world grows, develops, progresses and at the same time deteriorates. The invention and the amazing findings in various sphere of lifes, especially in science, has benefitted humanity as much as it create destruction. See the result of atomic now nuclear bomb which devastated, nay annihilated, two beautiful cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima along with hundreds of thousands of their population.

But world is not only occupied by the evils. The angels are also here to stay. And these two contradictory things are the permanent resident of the earth, of community, and of individual. Pessimism and optimism, selfish and altruist, coward and brave-heart, etc. At times we make mistakes and then regret it. Every now and then we do a good thing only to find we are no more than villain another day. Again, that is the beauty of being human who always wants to do more, and fortunately in most cases, for the better of our individuality and/or for our community, nation and to some extend, humanity

The seeking after the truth might differ from person to person which depends much on what field you are interested in. And as an IT programmer with very high qualification, Harry Sufehmi, has his own way as to how he finds his “angel” within himself.

It’s important to note though that the so-called “truth” should not be confined as belong to one particular community. Truth is everywhere for you to find. As far as it’d make you the better person, so be it. And that’s what really matters. As the great Chinese leader Deng Ziao Peng, once said, “It’s not important what color of the cat is as far it can catch the mouse.” I purposely emphasize this word to avoid some misunderstanding on this very sensitive “truth-claim” issue as the readers of this page is not only from one faith.

When you feel you’ve found the truth you’re looking for and stick to it with its entirety the first phase of your self-reformed process has just begun. And from that point, as mentioned above, you’d be eager to do more for the benefit of others outside your surrounding in accordance with your skill and capability. And that’s what Harry Sufehim is exactly doing.

Just to mention a few, in the blogosphere for example, he’s just founded an IndonesiaUpdate.Org last month, the purpose of which according to him is to make Indonesian voices heard louder to the world. The content of this blog actually aggregated from Indonesian sons and daughters blog in which I also contribute. The salient feature of Indonesia Update is all contributors should use their true identity; no anonymity is alowed. Something that I fully and strongly support all along for many reasons. I also would like to urge all Indonesian blogger with sufficient proficiency in English–not necessarily perfect, of course– to contribute to it or at least giving some feedback.

There are many “angel things” Harry Sufehmi has done and is doing like creating bloglines like aggregator called Aggregator @ groups. or. id, contributing to metroblogging to highlight Jakarta life the Indonesian way and many other stuffs you’d know it by regularly visiting his bilingual blog.

If many of us Indonesians, as individuals, are as eager as Harry Sufehmi to contribute more to this country with our own respective skills instead of asking more, Indonesia will look much better. It’s not about how much or less we contribute. It’s about the mindset of being a giver rather than a beggar.

PS: Comments are welcome in any of the following languages: English, Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Jawa & Madura.
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Blog: short of weblog is a web page containing structured data that is updated on a regular basis. RSS: An RSS feed is a regularly updated XML document that contains metadata about a web source and the content in it. Courtesy: blogs.MIT.edu

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Blogger Indonesia of the Week (58): Riana Ambarsari

indonesian foodIndonesian Chef Blog for Indonesian Food Fans

Riana Ambarsari is a name I should put in my post when I quoted her tribute to the demise of Bunda Zidan aka Inong. I was in the rush then, as usual. And just comes to know her true name days after the post when I surfed through some links in her blog. Like me, she seems to have several experimenting blogs: from personal blog, to cooking and recipe blog; both in blogspot and blogsome.

I dont know what the different between the two blogs, I’m very bad “chef” who can only cook rice and fry telor mata sapi and omlette. But if my early and rush assesment is right, the blogspot one seems to be for any “heavy” food recipes from all over the world. While in the blogsome is more dedicated for “lighter” one ie dessert.

Despite her blogs are not specifically dedicated for Indonesian food recipes, it should answer Indra Pramana’s friend queries and satisfy their needs as her food blogs are written in a good grammatically correct English.

Some recipe which is typically Indonesian way i.e. from mother to daughter can be seen, for example, in this post:

My Mom used to make this every Ramadhan. She simply called it Es Buah (fruit cocktail). But in fact, she never made it with any other fruits. It was always only mango. At times, she threw in some kolang-kaling (sugar palm fruit) only because I asked her to. And it was by far the best refreshment I’ve ever had…

Blogging in English will create larger audience beyond the Malay speaking readers, and hence larger appreciation for you. And no wonder then if she’s got mentioned in an influential food website.

It’s important to note though, that my urge to Indonesian blogger to blog in English is only for those who have sufficient proficiency in English, meaning your words can be understood by English speaking readers. Not necessarily the native speakers. So, those who don’t meet the minimum requirement doesn’t have to be upset with my statements regarding this matter, nor should they feel unappreciated. Bahasa Indonesia can still be understood by large audience of around 250 million people of different nationalities: Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Malay Singaporean, south Thailand, beside Indonesians themselves.

Speaking of food, Ramadhan fasting time is approaching. When I was at home during Ramadhan, my late mom used to cook various foods available to satisfy her kids to take “revenge” when time to break our fast on sunset has come. I imagine how sweet it’d be if Riana Lagarde cooks her best recipe to break my first day fasting due hopefully on three or four days time from now. 🙂

For all Muslims around the world, Happy Ramadhan! Ramadhan Mubarak for all Urdu/Hindi speaking Muslims.

And Selamat Menyambut Ibadah Puasa Ramadan buat seluruh rekan-rekan Muslim di Tanah Air dan di manapun berada. Maafkan segala salah dan khilaf saya sebagai pribadi.
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Blogger Indonesia of the Week (57): Mulya Amri

mulya amriFrom the time I started blogging about a year ago, I reminded Indonesian blogger to blog “for the cause” and hence, one should try to make quality content every now and then. By “quality content” it doesn’t mean a merely thoughtful-philosophical kind of content as not everyone has the capacity to do that. Quality content also include reporting what you see around you. Sort of “investigative” reporting in journalism world with, of course, much lighter sense of the term.

For example, I elaborated further in another post:

What I propose you (and me) to do is we should be an alternative information, beside the established indonesian media toward the outside world. To be another window of information and reality of Indonesia for the rest of the world.

For that purpose, what we need to do is not so complicated: just try to tell the world about what’s happening (of social and cultural values) around you. About poverty, corruption of LURAH (sub-district head), Camat (district head), or any officials you were facing with. By telling all daily cultural-social stories and dynamism regarding the wrong-doings and good things of our officials, our religious figures, etc, we’d give more lights to other people in indonesia as well as in the world about the raw reality on the grass root level. Something which every now and then is missing from the established media, either because of space limit or face value of the news.

At the time I wrote those two posts, someone reminded me in the comment box that there’re some quality-content Indonesian blogs outthere which I need to visit and look at. Hence the start of my blogwalking; a new activity that led me to this weekly blog review feature.

Yet, after so long time–one year sounds very long enough to me–travelling throughout the Indonesian blogosphere, it still amazes and upsets me that I fail to find a good quality-content blog owned by Mulya Amri, known in the blogosphere as Muli who started blogging three months before me. I found his blog only after he commented on my post here.

Mulya Amri’s blog content is as good as it can get. He seems trying hard to make clarity and unbias as his niche in making opinion; and for that, first of all, he makes it clear who who is:

I’m an independent consultant working on & interested in topics as shown below. To acknowledge possible biases, let me admit that I’m male, early 30’s, brown skin, Indonesian, Muslim, married, educated in urban planning, travels between Jogja, Bandung, and Jakarta.

I strongly agree with his implicit statement that clarity of identity will lead you to clarity of intention behind the topics of any interests. Especially when you’re interested in discussing issues where clarity of identity is needed: socio-cultural-religious-political issues.

That’s where people who read your opinion (in your blog) will know whether (a) you’re an insider who’s trying to be self-critical for the betterment of your own self and community or an outsider who just want to make a fun or a bashing to prove that you are a much holier and much more “civilized” entity than others; whether you are a person with strong universal values who’d like to protest against injustices done by anyone from any nation, regardless of faith of preference, culture or civilization or (b) are just a cheap individual who’d want to satisfy his/her lust by criticising and/or attacking others all the time and dont bother to appreciate the positive things done by THEM, while at the same time praising anything WITHIN and ruling out to criticise the wrong things in it.

I believe Muli is one of those who fall to the first category and therefore deserve accolade and respect from all of us.
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Blogger Indonesia of the Week (56): William Pramana

So far as traffic and Technorati ranking go, among the top ten Indonesian bloggers who got mentioned in the Tempo magazine a few weeks back, William Pramana is certainly the most deservedly blogger to have such honor. Long before Tempo magazine made the long report on Indonesian blogosphere, Priyadi has made a Technorati-based survey and William came out as the numero uno. I was amazed and surprised to know how he very humbly responded to the honor and honestly wrote:

I am honored to be on that list but I don’t think I deserve it because there are so many Indonesian blogs with better content and better user discussion. The reason why I came on the top of the list is because I generate so many incoming links.

I generate so much incoming links NOT because people recommended me or they refer to one of my blog entries, but because of my contribution to the WordPress Theme Competition Blog. The Golden Grey is used by so many wordpress powered blog.

Priyadi’s effort in making the survey is now followed in a better way by Heri Susanto. In Heri’s blog, you can see live–dynamically changed ranking in accordance with Technorati–the top 100 Indonesian blogs. You can see William’s blog is always on top and is even number 15 on overall Technorati ranking out of 51 millions blogs listed in Technorati!

Of course, William achievement doesn’t confine to that of Technorati. He’s what we call the product of techno geek prodigy who has a taste of and was playing around with anything computer since his childhood when he was just a 12-year old kid. And as internet necessity is zooming by the day, it’s not surprising that he has achieved now what “conventional profession” can achieve years after. Just take a look at his brief CV:

William is a small business owner providing IT services to Australian small businesses. He has been experimenting with various operating systems, computer networking, programming, and designing websites since he was only 12 years old.

I always admire any achiever, Indonesian achiever in particular, in his/her own field or beyond. To know that he/she deals with all his/her achievement in a humble way just manifold my admiration. William Pramana is among those guys I admire for both his achievement and humility. Two things that we hardly find in a single person.
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