Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bloggers make noise - and it's getting bigger all the time

Mustaqim Adamrah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

At least 358 bloggers plan to take part in the country's first national blog meeting on Saturday.

Speaking to The Jakarta Post on the development and prospects of blogs, particularly in Indonesia, Budi Putra of the Asia Blogging Network said Friday he invited anyone interested in blogging or "citizen journalism" to attend Pesta Blogger.

The Asia Blogging Network is a Jakarta-based world media network providing technology, sports, lifestyle, and entertainment-based postings in more than 70 blogs.

"We invite not only bloggers, but also those who do and will have connections with blogs to come to the gathering, which will take place on Saturday," Budi said.

The gathering will start at 10:30 a.m. at the country's biggest movie theater, the Blitz Megaplex in Grand Indonesia, Central Jakarta.

"We're also expecting representatives of Linux and Microsoft to come but still hoping it will be as casual as possible," said Budi, also a member of the event's organizing committee.

The initial response of the country's bloggers was so enthusiastic that the committee doubled the number of invites to 400.

"Many bloggers are so interested to come they... are willing to spend money on airplane tickets and hotel rooms," said Budi.

In addition, committee chairperson Enda Nasution said in a press statement: "We also have to move the location from the previous Hard Rock Cafe (in Plaza Indonesia, Central Jakarta) to Blitz Megaplex because of the huge number of potential participants."

According to Budi, not only will the gathering be a common ground for bloggers to meet on, but also a place for discussions on successful blogging.

"We'll set up discussions through which people will hopefully learn about the kinds of opportunities they can have in blogging," said the former Tempo journalist who is now a full-time blogger.

"Indonesia has so much potential to grow its blogs and make themglobally popular," he said.

Budi said that the blog industry in the country, which "supposedly can create business profits, is still silent although the number of active players is quite huge".

There are more than 150,000 Indonesian bloggers, at least 60 percent of whom are "active bloggers". That number doubles every six months, according to Budi.

He also says the Indonesian language ranks in the top 10 most active language used in blogs and that Jakartan bloggers rank second among the most active commentators in the world.

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