Four Years Ago Today
I started Jakartass with some of the following words.Some of you may wonder what kind of egomaniac I am to put my thoughts out there for all and sundry to read.
Like many expat bloggers in Indonesia, I've a local family to support. I also have an interest in the Internet and its power to communicate and it's potential to educate. Potential ~ ah. Now that's the one positive word we all use to describe the country we call home?
Above all, I hope this diary gives a flavour of life here in Indonesia. There are some good online information resources for intending expats and for those who are what my mother termed lotus eaters. (There are also a few links which indicate my recreational interests.)
I can only be an observer; there’s little scope for involvement but there’s certainly potential to initiate ideas. We’d be arrogant, even colonial, to impose change.
So, there’s my theme.
This post is the 1,143rd which means that I've written and posted something every 26 hours or so. A look at my stats
does not give the full picture because there are over 80 subscribers through Bloglines
. Therefore my readership runs at about 200 a day. The following figures, however, do not take into account those of you who are accessing this from your inbox.
45% of you have bookmarked this site, for which I thank you. Some 54% of the rest of you are referred here from links on other websites, whose owners, again, I thank.
Asia accounts for 50% of the visits, with a third in Indonesia. The UK and the USA account for 20% each, which leaves the likes of Kyrgyzstan, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Cayman Islands, Iraq, Equatorial Guinea, Tajikistan, Aruba and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to supply a visitor or two (literally). You, or they, may have arrived via a search engine, Google being the most popular with 75% of the enquiries and 25% of the visitors to the site.
However, 'Jakartass' has accounted for 4.5% of those enquiries, presumably because this site isn't bookmarked. But I have no idea why seekers of 'Paul Scholes penis' should end up here, nor the relevance of '3A'.
The referrer with the mostest remains Indcoup, alas no longer with us online. Thankfully, I now have another sparring partner in Oigal
who has crept into my Top Thirteen.My most popular post
concerned Adam Air, with 3,264 referrals from other sites, and 1689 on one day alone, January 2nd 2007 - the day after an AdamAir flight disappeared off the coast of Sulawesi. This week it is reported that the airline has been grounded, naturally with thousands of passengers stranded for the long weekend of Waisak and Good Friday. Their corporate investors have pulled out their minority stake citing financial malfeasance, so there isn't sufficient funding available to insure any flights.
I didn't start this site to win any popularity polls. However, back in 2004, the Asia Blog Awards - Indonesia category
were run by Simon's World. After a voting period of, I think, a month, Jakartass emerged the winner with a grand total of (only) 188 votes. Of the other blogs in the running, only Isman's The Fool Has Landed
and Expiration Date
are still updated. Deliciously Disgusting
is now NSFW and Indo Ian
and Batik Baby
have returned to the States, with their young family.
Their former colleague, Brandon, continues to develop his photography prowess at Java Jive
which, although it predates Jakartass by over a year, was then only an also-ran in the Photoblog category
. Fabian, whose Macam Macam
ran Jakartass close, now also has a photography site.
The Indonesian blogosphere has certainly 'exploded' in the intervening years, with perhaps as many as 100,000 regularly posting, but it has yet to develop as a cohesive force for change as elsewhere in the region. For example, at least two prominent bloggers, including Jeff Ooi
, were candidates in the recent Malaysian general election.
Here the bloggers who last year gained official government approval for their Pesta Blogger, from which Jakartass and other expatriate bloggers were provocatively excluded, seem to be more pre-occupied with monetarising their musings than defending the emergent democracy, or campaigning for basic human rights and the environment.
As it is only ten years since the 'abdication' of President-Dictator Suharto, we have a ready-made excuse for the immaturity of the Indonesian blogosphere. There are few Indonesian literary figures to emulate and reading as an activity for idle moments has yet to become a habit. Those who do write are by and large pre-occupied with family matters and gossiping about the lives of others. This is, at least, a start.
That there are few opinion makers is a topic I intend to explore in a few weeks, when some will commemorate but most will celebrate May 98. Until then, once again, thanks for sticking with Jakartass.
Two of my main reasons for starting to blog were a. to keep in touch with my family back home in Blighty and b. to improve my writing.
Because of Jakartass I was invited to rewrite Culture Shock-Jakarta. Given that neither my father nor sister have regular internet access so don't actually read this page, I'm happy that they gave each other copies of the book for Xmas.