Thursday, October 19, 2006

A new JAKARTA "AREA" Blog

It's very nice to find another resource or reference on our beloved city of Jakarta on the blogosphere. It's also nice to know that this blog is written by professionals (no, not the DKI Jakarta city officials) whose job is to find out everything about this city, with emphasis on lifestyle and entertainment, and also on some current issues like the monorail.

So, we'd like to welcome AREA magazine as they have emerged in the blogosphere, complete with the tagline "I AM JAKARTA".


AREA Magazine is a free Jakarta community magazine that has actually run for 3 years. In fact, the launch of their blog is also to celebrate this achievement. Why do I call it an achievement? Well, as you already know, after the SIUPP was no longer in effect, the number of publications in Indonesia went really high, much higher than the actual number of readers.

Free magazines are just one of the publications that seemed to have sprung up and filled the racks of coffee shops and restaurants, free for anyone to pick up, take home, and then totally forget about it.... because... well... it's free.

In its first edition in October 2004, AREA came out with 40 pages of what it called "the obsessive guide to jakarta's impulsive lifestyle and entertainment". I guess one of the first tasks of the owners is to prove to the public that setting up this magazine was not just an impulsive thing that they did.

Their move to go into the blogosphere is actually nice. I hope to find some useful information about my city in there. I am sure that soon when I google a topic or a place in Jakarta, that it’s most likely to show up in their page.

However, I'm actually quite bothered by the main page of the blog that looks like it's one whole magazine crammed into one space. That's just too much scrolling up and down effort. There's also a blog entry on recommendation for food joints in Tebet, which is one of the main columns of AREA print magazine, and is a copy of their September issue.

I think they should figure out what they wanna achieve through this blog. We hope they don't just copy paste everything from the magazine into webspace because that'll be redundant.

Another question is whether a blog is the right format that they wanna use (in this case, the friendliest for internet users). Do they really want to create conversations or do they just want to have an existence in the cyber world (just because everyone else is blogging)?

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