Friday, 16 December 2011

I Want to Keep Swimming

How did you find this blog? Blogwalking? Link from a friend? Or from my Facebook wall? I don't always post my link in my Facebook wall. Part of me still value these blogs as my diary, a hidden aspect of my life. Some postings are private, some others are public. I shared those which I considered public, and let the other posts called for their own readers. It's a bit quiet here, but it doesn't make me feel like drowning. Yet, my hobby to go blogwalking sometimes made me feel that I'm drowning in a sea of blogs. There are so many nice to read blogs out there. To improve citizen journalism means that we need to encourage people to write. The more successful we promote writing the merrier the blogosphere will be. I'll be blogwalking even more, and drowning myself there...neglecting my own blogs.

My token from a recent blogwalking is from a post in Jeff Goins' blog. The title attracted me, "What to Do When You're Drowning in a Sea of a Million Blogs". It is something that I relate to my feeling of being drowned when I lost my time in blogwalking. Surprisingly the writer contributor, Don McAllister, who has his own Linchpin Bloggers presented a swimming analogy. To me, the analogy is more into a drowning analogy because I knew the feeling of being drowned. When I was a little girl (may be I was a third grader then), I had an unforgettable experience. I shared about it in a post about guardian angel in my blog Journey to His Words, a religious reflective blog in Bahasa Indonesia. I was walking beside the swimming pool with my little brother. I saw a teenager who cried because her father persisted on making her swim in that very cold water (in a resort area in the mountain). I remember that I bragged to my brother that if I were that girl I'd be brave to try that cold water. It wouldn't cross my mind that my little brother would push me into that pool even when I wasn't finish laughing. The only thing I remember is the cold water, and that I kept on trying to reach the nearest side of the pool. We weren't accompany by any adult, so I knew my survival was on my own struggle and God. I prayed, I swam...and I survived. This experience kept haunting me when I was tired and had my feet cramped while swimming, or when darkness came around me while swimming in a late afternoon. So the swimming analogy astonishingly attract my senses to keep floating, to keep swimming. I know that I've got to focus on the act of swimming!

I suddenly realized that I was focusing on the feeling of being drowned instead of continue swimming. When I felt that I'm drowning in a sea of a million blogs because I lost my precious time reading others' posts or comments, I should remember to set my focus on swimming like an athlete. Time is also precious for competing athletes. So, I need to focus on my writing first before taking a rest by blogwalking. Priority becomes important. I realized that lately I didn't write as much as before. Excuses could be invented (although it's true that my schedule offline was so hectic) but I should be the master of my time...and I want to keep on swimming writing. Thank you Jeff and Don for the inspiration!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Citizen Journalism: Sharing in a Professional Way

When writing the title of this posting I don't mean that citizen journalism should make citizen share their stories as professional reporters. I'm actually trying to say that we share stories by handling it professionally. Our main goal should be for the benefit of our public readers, without sacrificing others (including our own professional oaths).

An article was published in Kompasiana about a mother who was chatting with her Blackberry, neglecting her baby, and didn't realize that her baby was suffocated by the baby's own pillow. I was first got the message through my chatting group, before I saw it through Facebook from Kompasiana's wall. It seemed that this article attracted a lot of people, especially those who are involved in Blackberry Group Chatting, so it was spreaded very quickly. Even the author herself was a bit taken aback of the number of people who read her article. She became afraid when her superior in the medical clinic called her to ask her explanation of her writing and made a formal meeting to evaluate that article. Actually she wasn't giving any name in the article, not the name of the baby, the family, nor the name of the medical clinic. For that, she was also accused by some readers as giving a hoax information. Her only intention is to share that sad news so that people could make a self-reflection, to know the bad effect of the techie gadget which is now very popular in Indonesia.

She's lucky because her superior thought that she was not doing anything wrong, but warned her to keep remembering the medical oath to keep the secret of their patients. This is why I said that citizen reporters do need to handle their writings professionally. Citizen who writes in his/her own professional topic should remember how to handle the news with their professional ethics. Even for those who aren't in the professional life, we should also use our own conscience in writing out news like that.

Prita Mulyasari's case should be a way to learn something. It's not about being in prison (although it's enough to scare people to write out their cries), but about the high need to have an editor who will help those writers who aren't familiar with journalism ethics. Without the name of the hospital, it could sounded as a hoax, but to open it clearly could also end one's career. For me, Prita's letter is an important letter to be printed out for public. By hiding that fact, those who work in the medical institution which should make hospitality as their first tool (considering that the name is Hospital) could act as they like, neglecting the right of a patient to be treated professionally and to receive a real information about his/her illness. The problem came from the way that private letter publicized for public consumption without editing it with journalistic ethic in mind.

In the case of Kompasiana's writer, Titi, there were questions about how fast she uploaded her news. One important aspect for journalist in this internet era is the rapidity. However, our daily schedule, our daily responsibilities might not always in cooperation with the time needed to write some news as soon as it happened. Citizen journalism is one aspect, have the need to encourage people to write up his/her story and share it with public. Yet, another writer also questioned the way handling the case. should be able to handle the case as the way professional journalism should react. I agree with this writer. The only way to build a good partnership between citizen journalism and professional journalism is by giving a good example in working. Check and recheck should be the priority. Language chosen should also be very careful to give an objective news for the public.

I think this is the learning process. How a citizen can join as a part of citizen journalism, and how the journalistic world can be improved by the process of learning together between citizen and professionals. This way we can have better professionals in their own specific professions, plus... the ability to share out a bit of their professions for the sake of the profession itself and the benefit for public.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Meeting Kierkegaard

After meeting Heidegger (thanks to my online friends) now I'm being introduced to Kierkegaard. I've come to him through the books written by a Jesuit priest, Thomas Hidya Tjaya. His book "Peziarahan HATI" is really inspiring for me. It's like written to help me arrange my mind and heart. It confirms some of my thoughts, and it helps me to look for a better way into my arrangement of life. Being taken by his book, I googled and found out that he had written a book titled "Kierkegaard dan Pergulatan Menjadi Diri Sendiri" (Kierkegaard and The Struggle of Being One's Self). Fortunately, the writer's sister is my neighbour, so I don't need to look into shelves in the book stores. I only need to e-mail, and to knock on my neighbour's door to borrow the book from the family library.

It is the title that attracted me. Being online (and being a part of social media activities) made me realized a lot of things. There are those which are real, and there are also others that are actually unreal. I once prayed that I don't want to loose myself, my being "me". Yet, now I'm uncertain if I've ever had myself. Do I really realize who am I? What am I doing here in this world? What should I do here? Those questions were playing around in my head and that was the reason behind my being attracted to the book about Kierkegaard. I don't even know Kierkegaard, but the title of that book attracts me. How can I possibly loose myself if I've never have it since the beginning? Or may be not that extreme, may be it's just that I've never realized who is the real me? And actually I have the same question like him, “What am I supposed to do?”

This book introduce me to Kierkegaard's opinion, "I choose, therefore, I exist." To this moment I was always in the same boat as Descartes, "I think, therefore, I am". Being introduced into silent meditation made "my being" struggled. During this Christian Meditation I shouldn't think. Without thinking I was least that's how I felt at first. Then, I choose to manage myself. I tried to work on my silent relation with Him... At first I was lost because I used to meditate with the Bible in my mind, and I feel free to travel with my mind into His words (which was really meaningful for me and my friends). Without my wandering mind I felt nothing... Yet, within the process I didn't want to get myself attached too much into methods. I would like to feel free to absorb His presence without a special bond to a certain method. So, now I understand the real meaning of "I choose, therefore, I exist."

Kierkegaard had concentrated on the choice made in every step of human's life. I'm struggling with that. If we're facing the good and evil, it wouldn't be difficult for me to choose. Yet, when facing two good reasons, I don't really know which one should I choose. Which choice is according to God's will and it shouldn't be affected by my own preferences.

Just as Adam and Eve have chosen to eat the forbidden fruit, our being are also depending on choices that we've made. Yet, there's always a mystery of His Being, the mystery which was called by our ancestors as destiny. In certain moments we need to surrender ourselves to the Absolute Being, as there are certain moments when logic isn't working and there's no way of choosing your own path.

As for the Church, I've chosen to see the Church as a symbol. These days there are a lot of priests humiliate their own sacred promises. We shouldn't see them as the Church. I've seen them as individuals who are responsible for their own actions. I won't make it as an obstacle for my being with Him. The relation between His Being and my being is really personal, I hope I can manage to keep it that way. I do not want to make others' deceptive actions made me ruin my own relation with Him.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Citizen Journalism, Blogging, or Private Diary

Time is the most valuable thing right now. My activities in citizen journalism made me realized how much time we should spent in order to achieve a professional output. At the same time I also tried hard to manage balancing my activities, giving a proportional time for family, for my spiritual life in the church, and for my country and the society.

Yesterday night I went to a book discussion. A friend whom I've known through has his first book published. It's kind of a diary writing style. Yet, it's not really as private as personal diary. The publisher got in touch with him by searching for his private contact after reading his private blog.

My own blog is still in a gado-gado style, some are personal, some are sharing (generalities) through blogging, and some other are news in a high citizen journalism awareness. Loosing OhMyNews International as my outlet made me a bit stuck in producing citizen journalism news in English. Actually my productivity in writing is now very low. These days I wrote more in Indonesian language, and most of them are actually for my meditation blog.

While not having any household assistant at home, it will be difficult for me to gain back my writing productivity as in 2007 when I had two assistants to help me manage the house. I might be less productive in writing for citizen journalism news, but I do gain a lot of lessons from those period of being very active. I learned to make a priority in life....

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Is MyBlogLog worth saving?

Lately I'm busy to live my "real life" with my family and friends. I rarely got time to write for my blogs. My meditation blog is a bit luckier as I've tried my best to keep posting in it. I checked my facebook wall, but not really going around the cyber neighborhood. A letter from BlogCatalog informed me about the closure of MyBlogLog. In the letter which used a title "The Power of Bloggers", Antony Berkman explained about the closure and the intention to keep MyBlogLog alive by spreading out bloggers voices supporting the tag line: "A combination of BloggersUnite + MyBlogLog + BlogCatalog is The Right Thing". This tag line attracts me as I do like BloggersUnite, and I was also connecting to friends through MyBlogLog.

I joined MyBlogLog on June 2007. In my early joining days I enjoyed some new friends and tried to find communities that would suit my passions. Then years gone by...I don't look in MyBlogLog anymore. Why should I care about it? Actually I'm not really aware of what was happening in those big corporations. I was disappointed when Yahoo! Photos was terminated. I didn't have time to gather back all my pictures, so I just let it go... Perhaps photos are different with blogs. If we don't trust that a cyber photo album will last, we might have kept another back-up file. In the memory of my photos I agree to a point raised in the letter "The Power of Bloggers": "The closure of MyBlogLog represents a lack of respect to bloggers who have built tens of thousands of communities on the network and spent countless hours adding MyBlogLog widgets to their blogs."

MyBlogLog is a bit different with photo sharing. It is more into building a network, or a community within our passions. Topics can help us to look into writings that were written by others who share the same or similar passion to us. I always think that MyBlogLog is useful, yet it wasn't really working for me. Why? Because I didn't really know how to optimized its function. Perhaps it's true that Yahoo! abandones MyBlogLog. If Yahoo! gave me more information on how to optimize MyBlogLog's home, I'm sure it's going to be something that I'll really miss.

I can't (or I wouldn't) think about loosing the content of my blogs, but I didn't have time to make a back-up. Yet, creating a good community with inspirational conversations would be a greater loss than loosing a blog. Sometimes I knew people only through their blogs. Loosing a door into their blogs is like loosing your cell phone with all those telephone numbers and no back up list.

I like BloggersUnite because it gave me a chance to share ideas with friends all over the world. Uniting our voices can make a big difference. Voices from the social media are now taken into account. At least, it gave us a chance to have some point of views. One topic can be described from different way of seeing problems, and that would really be enriching our minds.

I don't really know what is BlogCatalog, but it seems to give you doors of topics in which you can find popular blogs. If you don't have lots of time, then it would save your browsing time.

Some of my friends who wrote for OhmyNews International (OMNI) missed the old site. The conversations that came out of it were worth the time spent on it. Off course there was always the plus and minus in a system, but people need a place to come and meet and have a conversation. A site like OMNI gave us a place to look for credible news. It's true that citizen journalism websites can't guarantee the credibility of their writers, but experienced editors or administrators can be a big help. Not to mention the input from loyal readers. (A communcation like this is needed.)

So, back to the main MyBlogLog worth saving? Should we stop Yahoo! from shutting down MyBlogLog? I think we should give it a try! We do need to build a better blogger community. The world become more global, issues are now mixed between local and global. One local problem can affect others as well, and it can be snowballing into a global issue. So, why don't we try to give MyBlogLog, together with BlogCatalog and BloggersUnite, a chance to give us a better door to communicate?

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Time Management

I can't deny that time management is the most important aspect that I do need to master right now! Writing online blog made me produced some writings that might not be written if I wasn't involved in citizen journalism. Yet, the more I write for citizen journalism, the more I realized how important it is to keep active in the real life. What is really matter in citizen journalism community? It's not about the writing, but it's about the real action. Real action need time. A person like me who like variety of activities should make myself alert of the time management of any commitment. Priority should always be put forward, and I should also balance the need for self satisfaction with the real service for others.

I'd like to invest my time in a valuable actions, that was the reason I came into citizen journalism...but that's also my reason to slow down in my participation in citizen journalism activities right now. I'm still in search of a balancing life, and in that case I really need a good time management. I'm learning right now, trying to manage my given time as wisely as I can....