ON|OFF 2011: Ideas Meet Opportunities [INTERVIEW]
With all the attention surrounding social media in Indonesiathese days, it’s no wonder that we’re seeing lots of blogging going on. Last month, two events related to social media and the internet were announced. Indonesia’s Social Media Festival is one that we told you about last week. Another is ON|OFF 2011.
ON|OFF, with its tagline ‘Ideas Meet Opportunities’ is a new version of Pesta Blogger — or in English, ‘Blogger Party.’ Pesta Blogger is a yearly event that was started back in 2007, aiming to bring the online blogger community to an offline meetup. But this year the concept is changing a little.
We interviewed Aulia Halimatussadiah, the chairwoman for the event, and Enda Nasution, the chairman of the first Pesta Blogger and the founder of SalingSilang. First here’s the interview with Aulia, and our talk with Enda is below.
1. Can you explain to us in your own words, what is ON|OFF? Will there will be more events before the big one in October?
ON|OFF is a series of events with two days in October as its focal point. It caters to a wide spectrum of people from those who are simply curious about social media to those who want to gain knowledge, share ideas, network, find opportunities for partnerships, or simply have a good time meeting people with the same interests.
In August, we’ll start our roadshow in 10 cities, starting off in Solo, a historical city in Central Java. We’ll invite local community leaders and student activists; those who act as “agents of change” in their city, and get some speakers to share how social media can be utilized to empower them. Two weeks before the ON|OFF event, we’re also planning to have series of talks and competitions. We’re also working on a program that might involve ASEAN social media users that we hope to announce soon. Details will be updated on our website onoffevent.org.
2. Pesta Blogger was held annually since 2007. Why did you change the concept?
It’s not so much of a change, but an evolution. How people have used social media since 2007 has also evolved. Then, blogging was the main platform, but since then we’ve seen other platforms coming into play. Social media networks enable people to do more things, which they have. In Indonesia, social media users have started using these platforms for purposes that range from creative collaboration, social movements, knowledge sharing, disaster response to entrepreneurship. Our social media users are very vibrant and dynamic, we need to embrace them and create a bigger impact with ON|OFF.
We’d like to help in connecting “Ideas” with “Opportunities”, that’s exactly our tagline: “Ideas Meet Opportunities”.
Apart from connecting social media users with other social media users, ON|OFF would also like to open up the opportunity for social media users to connect and network with future partners, business entities, government bodies and potential investors. Day 1 would be about this; where online communities meet offline communities and seek for synergy. For those who are interested only in meeting up with fellow bloggers and other social media users, they can come to Day 2, which would be the Pesta Blogger+ itself. Here, participants can celebrate the national meet-up of Indonesia’s digerati in a festive atmosphere, complete with food festivals, music performances, community exhibitions, and other fun activities.
3. There are some who say this is more of a start-up event than a community event. What are your thoughts?
Essentially, we cater to wide range of interests. Those who are interested in collaborations and business opportunities would be interested in Day 1′s activities which has been described above. While those that just want to have fun and meet up with fellow digerati can come to Day 2. On Day 1, the basic idea is to give space for collaboration, which is not confined only to business relationship, but also to relationships between bloggers to start movements, between writer-wanna-bes and publishers and between creative people and brands. More details on Day 1 and Day 2 can be seen in our website.
4. As the chairwoman for this event, what is your expectation for this event? What can you bring to the table?
I hope millions of Indonesian youth already using the Internet and social media can be inspired to use the technology as the catalyst of their success and self-development. With my experience in blogging, writing, and doing business for many years, I hope I can spread my insights, knowledge, experience, and networks as well as sharing my vision and message to fellow bloggers and social media enthusiasts.
1. You are the first chairman of Pesta Blogger, and now Pesta Blogger is the part of ON|OFF 2011. Can you elaborate on the event’s expansion?
I think bloggers as group (and the blog as a platform) are in a much more mature state right now. [They’re] a part of something bigger — which to say a part of other social media users. We tried with Pesta Blogger+ last year (we started with the ‘plus’ even before Google!) but it’s just better to move and grow with another name that is all-inclusive now, but without forgetting where we came from.
2. There has been some talk that it will not be the same Pesta Blogger. What’s your opinion?
Yes, there will be many improvements. For one thing the event was previously only one full day will be extended to two full days, giving a lot more room to discuss many things that were previously overlooked.
And as with the name ‘Online and Offline,’ we realized that there’s a need to actually let the two world meet. This can mean a lot of things.
It was a great event, I was there and I think in overall, I am quite satisfied with the contents offered in the event. The event was held from morning to evening, and there were many booths opened. Most of the booths are companies that are related with social media and groups/organization. From this event, you can see how serious Indonesia with the growth in the online business and using internet as a tool to develop businesses and economy. One of the talks was conducted by Satya Witoelar, co-founder of Koprol which was bought by Yahoo recently, Steven Vanada, an Investment Manager from CyberAgent Ventures, and also one of the co-counder of Tokobagus and I think it was very insightful, though the time is very limited to an hour.
Such events will only encourage more people to be technopreneurs or entrepreneurs and I am very excited to see what different organizations in Indonesia have in store for such purpose. Would you like to participate in such events? What kind of event do you think would be good to encourage startups in Indonesia?
PS: I prepared some photos I took myself from yesterday’s event, mind you, am not a professional photographer.