When I started it was because I rarely got to meet other expats and wanted an outlet for various thoughts giving, as I put it in my opening post, a flavour of life here in Indonesia in post-Suharto Indonesia.
I have always kept a diary of sorts about my time out of England, but snail mail was generally my medium. An example can be found here, the letter I started writing to Son No.1 in England in May 1998 when the hell erupted which only subsided with Suharto's abdication.
We're all still at it and loads of others have joined us and stayed their course. Do explore my blogroll to the right for more of the flavour.
After May 98, the next major disaster to hit was the tsunami at Christmas 2004. I posted immewdiare reactions and thoughts of lost friends, but perhaps a more important initiative was the Indonesia Help blog set up by Enda, to which I contributed. It was an indication that the blogosphere had a hitherto unrecognised role to play in communal activism, although I had recognised this back in 98 when I'd wished I had an internet connection.
Unfortunately, apart from the the Yogya earthquake in May 2006 and the publication of student details on the net by Indonesia's Education Department last year, I don't think the Indonesian blogosphere has been as politically active as, say, in neighbouring Malaysia.
Jakartass was voted the Best Indonesia Blog 2004 with a grand total of 188 votes. Now that is less than my daily readership, the majority of whom are subscribers. Although, according to my archives, I've posted roughly 2 posts every three days - this is post number 1385, statistics don't matter*, although I am more than grateful that I have a readership beyond family and friends.
I'm also grateful that my writing has become more professional so that being Jakartass led to a commission to rewrite Culture Shock-Jakarta, originally put together by my good friend Derek Bacon who is now gainfully self-employed with his exceptional graphic skills.
Comments on my musings have generally been to the point; there have been few malignant trolls and about the same number of spammers, which I suppose is a measure of respect.
I hope I can maintain this for a while longer, so again, thanks for your coming.