Archive for December, 2011

Post 2: Using the Blog

Posted: December 15, 2011 in Web Culture

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As a journalist, writing is part of my job. I was working for Republika, one of Indonesian newspaper, for 4 years. I tackled various issues, start to criminal, politic, economy, until lifestyle. In 2008 my friend introduced me to WordPress blog. He said that a blog with articles in it can be used as portfolio. If someone is interested to some of my article, maybe he/she can over me a job. So come up with that idea, I made my blog, www.rosyidhakiim.wordpress.com.

For the first time, to make my blog looks active, I posted my articles which were published in the newspaper. Surprisingly, I got some feedback for some of my articles. I did not expect a feedback, because in my experiences, if you write on newspaper you do not know what the readers think about your article, but in the blog the readers can directly give their comment. In my blog, the most comment I got is from my health article. The readers sometime asked me more detail about the topic I had wrote or they asked for contact information of medical institution which can help their health problem. That interaction has been encouraging me to keep writing on my blog. ‘Blogging offers a way for individuals to publicly express their own opinions and to affiliate with like-minded individuals’ (Kaye, 2005: 90).

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It has been 3 years for me to maintain my blog and I notice that actually we can post any content we want to our blog. ‘Blog content was equally diverse, ranging from journals of daily activities to serious commentaries on important issues. Blogging is an unusually versatile medium, employed for everything from spontaneous release of emotion to archivable support of group collaboration and community’ (Nardi et al, 2004: 46). So the content of the blog is depends on the users. It can show how the user point of view. As Kaye (2005) argues that the content of the blog is a combination between news, information and self-expression.

From Kaye point of view, I can say that being blogger is almost the same as being journalist. As a blogger we gather information and write it down on our post, so do the journalist. But I said ‘almost’ means that there are differences between those two activities. If one actual event are happened, as a journalist the information you gathered must be based on real fact, while as blogger, it over us freedom to construct our writing. We can be as rigid as journalist in term of journalism code of conduct or we can just write our opinion about the event without worrying whether it based on fact or not. Another issue is as journalist we have newspaper behind us, so when our writing are being published, we don’t have to worry, whether people read it or not, but as a blogger you need to attract people to read your blog post. It’s not an easy task, because in the internet world, people can easily change from one website to another. So as a blogger, it is important to think about the content of the blog post and the design of the web blog.
Reference

Kaye, B. (2005) It’s a Blog, Blog, Blog World: Users and Uses of Weblogs. Atlantic Journal of Communication, 13 (2), pp 73-95.

Nardi, B. et al (2004) Why we blog. Communication of the ACM, 47 (12).

Image 1 was retrieved from http://jasonrenshaw.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83452d45869e2015438246251970c-800wi

Image 2 was retrieved from in http://itc.blogs.com/photos/uncategorized/blogging_by_eddie.jpg

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For some technology’s experts, web 2.0 is actually web 1.0. The web 2.0 is re-using the key concept of web 1.0.  The inventor of the Web itself, Tim Berners-Lee, as cited from Paul Anderson (2007) state that:

‘[…] Web 1.0 was all about connecting people. It was an interactive space, and I think Web 2.0 is of course a piece of jargon, nobody even knows what it means. If Web 2.0 for you is blogs and wikis, then that is people to people. But that was what the Web was supposed to be all along. And in fact, you know, this ‘Web 2.0’, it means using the standards which have been produced by all these people working on Web 1.0’. 

If I pull the extract from Berners-Lee argument, the nature of the Web which we are using now is interactive space that everyone can take a part in it. Web 2.0 allows the user to edit or add the content of the web. Rather than one way of communication, the Web 2.0 is open the opportunity to have two way of communication or on the other word is the interaction.

The capability of Web 2.0 to build the interaction between people to people or people and the Web is changing the face of communication world. People have another alternative to communicate with one and another through the Web. We are no longer depending on real life meeting or real life talk. Furthermore, the Web 2.0 gave birth to the social network sites, such as Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and many more. These kinds of websites are connecting people around the world and allow them to spread and share information.

In my perspective, the social network site is not only connecting people, but now it is tends to shape the journalism world. That particular websites allow people to post or share almost everything they want, from the food they want to eat for dinner to photograph of car accident. The information is spread out in the count of second. Realize to the power of social network site, some media companies try to harness it, so they can have the update of certain information or news faster. Mark Deuze (2007) state that the consumer nowadays is getting more involved into the process of making media content including in journalism industry. He calls that consumer as co-creator.

The clear examples of how the media using co-creator through social network site are when The Guardian (online version) published minutes to minutes update of student tuition fees protest, 9 November 2011. To cover that news, reporters gather the information through twitter, email and youtube. The journalists are no longer relying on actual interviews. The content of what people posted in social network sites may become the tip of big news. That is way, nowadays many reporter cannot ignore what the trending topic in social network site.

References

Anderson, P. (2007) What is Web 2.0? Ideas, technologies and implication for education. JISC Technology and Standards Watch.

Deuze, M. (2007) Media Work. Cambridge: Polity.

The news of student tuition fees protest can be seen at http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/blog/2011/nov/09/student-tuition-fees-protests-live-blog#history-link-box

Video 1 retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4vLrsEtyfk0

Video 2 retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=copw-W-IfvY

London Day 78

Posted: December 1, 2011 in Kim's Journey

1 Desember 2011, Sisi Lain Kota London yang Megah

Hari semakin sore di Oxford Street, London. Suasana semakin ramai di sekitaran Selfridges, salah satu mall papan atas di kota metropolitan itu. Orang lalu lalang dengan menenteng tas belanjaan bertuliskan merk-merk terkenal sudah lumrah di temui di daerah ini.

Oxfrod street menjadi semacam Malioboronya kota London. Baik wisatawan maupun orang lokal pasti menyempatkan diri untuk berbelanja di kawasan elit tersebut. Tidak hanya Selfridges saja yang bisa ditemui di jalan itu, tetapi beberapa toko-toko yang menjual merek-merek terkenal berjejer di sepanjang jalan. Seperti Adidas, Massimo Dutti, H&M, Disney, dan yang lainnya.

Tapi ditengah hiruk pikuk gemerlapnya pusat perbelanjaan London, tampak dari kejauhan seorang wanita paruh baya berjalan tertatih dengan bantuan tongkat besinya. Semakin lama, sosok wanita tua itu terlihat jelas. Dia menggunakan jaket kulit imitasi dengan baju dan rok yang sudah lusuh. Kepalanya ditutup kudung yang masih menyisakan bagian depan rambutnya. Tanganya menengadah sambil mulutnya komat kamit mengatakan sederet kata yang tidak jelas pada beberapa pengunjung Coffee Shop yang identik dengan logonya yang dominan warna hijau.

Tidak harus berpikir keras untuk mengetahui bahwa sedang berusaha meminta sepeser uang kepada para pengunjung yang sedang meneguk kopi seharga 3 Pounds itu. Beginilah setidaknya sosok pengemis di kota yang katanya masuk dalam kategori termahal di dunia.

Selain dalam wujud wanita tua, kadang ada yang beroperasi dengan menggunakan keranjang belanja yang justru digunakan untuk menaruh barang-barang dan anak mereka. Permintaan mereka banyak. Tidak hanya meminta uang untuk makan, alasan lain yang diberikan adalah untuk membeli tiket pulang.

“Ticket…..ticket…,” ujar wanita tua itu saat ditanyakan asalnya. Saat diminta menyebutkan nama, jawaban yang sama meluncur dari mulutnya keriput. Sambil disusul dengan rentetan kata yang jelas bukan bahasa Inggris. Pengemis tua itu, akhirnya duduk diam di sekitaran stasiun tube (kereta bawah tanah), sambil terus menengadahkan tangan. Tampak di genggamannya, recehan-recehan yang sudah dikumpulkannya sejak tadi.

Agus Tantang, seorang supervisor sebuah perusahaan catering di London, menyebut mereka ini sebagai kaum gipsy. Mereka adalah kelompok nomaden yang dahulu sebenarnya ingin mencari perlindungan di Inggris karena menjadi korban perang di negaranya. “Si Gipsy ini rata-rata refugee (pengungsi),” kata pria yang sudah 20 tahun tinggal di Inggris tersebut, Senin (26/11).

Mereka sebenarnya sudah disediakan tempat tinggal oleh pemerintah Inggris. Namun, kemungkinan karena kesulitan untuk mencari uang, akhirnya pilihannya adalah menjadi pengemis. Lalu lama kelamaan justru mengemis sudah menjadi pekerjaan tetap mereka.

Selain Gipsy menurut Agus, pengemis di London sebenarnya terdiri dari berbagai macam jenis. Tapi setidaknya bisa dimasukkan dalam dua kategori besar. Yaitu pengemis pendatang seperti kaum Gipsy itu dan pengemis lokal. Pengemis pendatang cenderung memaksa dan terus menempel targetnya hingga akhirnya memberikan sepeser uang. Bahasa Inggris yang digunakan terbata-bata, cukup kata-kata yang langsung merujuk pada permintaan untuk diberi uang.

 

Sedangkan pengemis lokal cukup sopan dalam meminta. “Pengemis lokal mereka cukup sopan dengan hanya bilang ‘spare change please!’ atau hanya duduk di salah satu sudut jalan dengan kertas besar bertuliskan ‘Homeless – I am hungry’, “ jelas Agus.  Jumlah pengemis lokal ini jauh lebih sedikit dari mereka yang pendatang.

Pengemis lokal ini memiliki banyak tujuan dalam melakukan aksinya. Selain ada yang benar-benar membutuhkan uang untuk makan. Ada pula yang menggunakan uang hasil meminta-minta itu untuk mabuk. Seperti yang diungkapkan oleh Robby Salamun, salah seorang mahasiswa Indonesia di London.

Sering pada malam hari, ada pria atau wanita lokal meminta-minta kepada mahasiswa yang kebetulan sedang keluar dari asrama untuk membeli beberapa kebutuhan di toko terdekat. Ada banyak alasan yang dilontarkan agar uang bisa didapatkan. Mulai dari untuk membeli tiket pulang hingga untuk menelepon keluarga karena sedang dia terlibat sebuah masalah.

“Tapi paling untuk mabuk, orang rumahnya Cuma daerah sini,” kata Robby sambil menunjuk ke daerah yang dia maksud. Dia menyarankan untuk tidak memberikan sepeser pun pada peminta-minta model seperti ini.

Pengemis memang menjadi masalah social yang harus dikendalikan. Di Indonesia mungkin menjadi sangat lumrah melihat ada pengemis di perempatan lampu merah atau di kawasan pusat perbelanjaan. Tetapi siapa sangka, ternyata London juga memiliki masalah yang sama. Kondisi dan situasi yang kurang menguntungkan memang bisa mendorong seseorang untuk melakukan apa saja, termasuk menjadi peminta-minta.