Sayonara, Facebook and Twitter! Welcome, Sebangsa!

I remember writing about Sebangsa four years ago [read on: New Indonesian-Flavored Social Media Tries to Gain Traction]. It was a new service still and not many people knew its existence. Sebangsa was later on supported by ATSI (Asosiasi Penyelenggara Telekomunikasi Seluruh Indonesia/ Indonesia’s National Telecommunication Service Providers Association), which enables it to survive to its very second.

In 2014, the service launched after Enda Nasution and Indira B. Widjonarko made it. It was far from popularity. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were still widely used. In terms of functions, it had a lot in common with the first two social media services aforementioned. It presented a timeline with multimedia content.

One thing the service has tried to facilitate is the spirit of ‘gotong royong’ or communal solidarity. It accomodated Indonesian migrant workers so its content was uniquely ‘Indonesia’. Group is its best feature. Linguistically, it was also designed to provide more ease of communication among Indonesians. So you’ll find bahasa gaul or Indonesian slang there.

Fast forward four years later, I still know Sebangsa but I am hardly on it. I have been too engrossed with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And thank God, it still exists.

After the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook shameful scandal, I came back to it once again. I gained my access to my already existing Sebangsa account (which is by now 4 years old). As of today I start to be on it more especially after I deleted my Facebook and Twitter private account.

The app cofounder Enda said [as cited by] that their strategy was never about getting head-to-head against the giants [read: Facebook and Twitter]. “We are here not to drag netizens out of Twitter or Facebook. It doesn’t matter if they are still on both social media services as our features are different from theirs.”

But if I had been Enda, I would have been more assertive in stating my ambition and proactively acquiring more users in the Indonesian market. Especially in the time of Indonesian public disgust over the scandal involving Facebook. We Indonesians now know more that trusting our data to foreign entities costs us a lot more than mere privacy leak and damage of trust.

It costs us our sovereignty and freedom to determine our own fate [through supposedly intervention-free democracy processes].

Now I know the reason why Facebook and Twitter are strictly banned in China and the country only approves of local social media networks.

If there is a perfect time for Indonesia to reclaim its digital sovereignty in this 21st century [read on: The Indonesian Government Threatens to Ban Facebook in Indonesia] then NOW IS THE TIME FOR SEBANGSA TO SHOW UP.

Leaving Facebook and using Sebangsa sounds more feasible to me because I hate to say that I hate it when people say proudly:”Indonesia is one the biggest Facebook users number in the world.” Indonesians should not feel proud of it because it shows the nation dependency on another nation’s products. And to me, that is a flaw to fix, instead of an achievement to show off. (*/)

New Indonesian-Flavored Social Media Tries to Gain Traction

The fact that American social media Twitter is set to open its new branch office in Jakarta and the strong interest of Bakrie Global showed in investing in Path (despite all the outcry and condemnation) indicates how promising our market has become to anyone who is willing to make money from social media niche. After Koprol emerged and got acquired by Yahoo years ago and wilted afterwards after Yahoo decided to let it go, a new social media startup once again emerges to attract the never-bored young (or young in spirit) consumers in Indonesia. is another digital platform launched recently trying to blend the staple features of social media platforms (those we find on Facebook and Twitter) with local cultures. By default, you won’t see English is used in the iOS and Android apps of Sebangsa, because it’s aimed for Indonesians, which is great! But for those who preferr English, there’s an option of Eglish as well.

Founded by all Indonesian founders (Enda Nasution and Adi P. Widjonarko), Sebangsa could be the real Indonesia substitute for Facebook and Twitter.

As I explored the platform, I found I can post a bit longer than a tweet but not as long as a Facebook status, which confuses me. As a blogger who gets used to write longer than tweets, this is a ‘flaw’. But the concept of Sebangsa is more like Twitter than Facebook in my opinion. There are groups like what you can find on Facebook but there’s a follow button and timeline and hashtags.

But what sets Sebangsa apart from the rest of the social media services is two features called “Sebangsa 911” and “Sebangsa 1800”. In Sebangsa 911, you’ll find a panic message and precautionary message feature when emergency strikes or you’re under risky circumstances. Meanwhile, Sebangsa 1800 is very much like fanpages on Facebook or verified Twitter accounts of famous brands and public figures. You’re encouraged to ask information about service providers or corporates or small medium enterprises you wish to know more or think too cool to miss.

Like Path, Sebangsa also enables you to cross-update your thoughts and content on Facebook and Twitter, but not on Tumblr, WordPress or Foursquare.

Like I said on my first update on my Sebangsa account, I’m wondering whether this social media platform would become the next big thing or just vanish in a matter of years like Koprol. Time will tell.

From #tweetsfromthetop Event in Jakarta


This is my first second post on this blog in April. I can’t tell you how busy I have gotten these past weeks. I lost my paternal grandmother fortnight ago. And I’m sure she is resting in utter and complete peace now. No pain, no strain.

Life goes on no matter what…

So tonight I intended to show her I’m living my life to the fullest, by following my passion: writing, social media and yoga. It’s the best life ever for me now and while it lasts, I want to enjoy it the best I could.

And this #tweetsfromthetop project is actually ‎about the celebration of life itself. The event was hosted by Punang at Ogilvy’s Kino Cafe. It’s about how to inspire more people out there with tweets that matter most. Because tweets that matter most are sometimes not the ones which get talked about most (meaningfulness versus virality). That’s why Twitter needs us, any Twitter users whether it be avid or occasional ones, to serve as crowdsourced curators. From oceans of tweets on the web, we are to collect and sort the best tweets of the Twitter accounts we think worth-following. Go to the official webpage of #tweetsfromthetop and fill out the nomination electronic form, said Mr. Singh of Twitter (@parrysingh). That easy.IMG_20140416_193252[1]

Some prominent social media figures and bloggers were present, just like Enda Nasution (@enda) and @ndorokakung. These two are among few Indonesians who first started to blog years ago.





Stephanie Wiriahardja of Hootsuite gave me these notebooks. Meanwhile, Twitter gave me the previous edition of #tweetsfromthetop.

Enda Nasution: "Blog adalah Pilar Kelima Demokrasi"

Blogging sambil belai-belai kucing kesayangan. Nikmat!

Sebenarnya ini postingan pertama aku setelah blogku (  sudah ‘almarhum’ (gara-gara salah teknis saat update ke WordPress versi terbaru). Daripada aku bermuram durja dan tidak tahu harus menulis di mana, akhirnya kuputuskan membuat blog ini. Sengaja memilih karena jika suatu saat mau buat blog yang ‘beneran’ bisa langsung diekspor ke sana.

Memang benar, menulis itu bukan hanya membutuhkan keahlian mengetik dan ketekunan. Menulis juga butuh membaca! Tanpa membaca, kering rasanya otak dari ide untuk dituang dalam posting.

Sore ini saat selesai salat Asar tak sengaja ingin sekali membaca sebuah koran yang tergeletak di meja musholla. Entah sebuah divine coincidence atau apa, pas di halaman tengah koran itu kutemukan foto Enda Nasution memegang erat sebuah laptop, sebuah TV layar datar di belakangnya yang memamerkan beranda blognya dan tulisan headline “ENDA NASUTION-MENGAWAL PILAR KELIMA DEMOKRASI”. Wow! Seketika langsung kuputuskan membawa koran itu ke meja jadi maaf buat yang punya koran. Korannya aku bawa untuk referensi dulu ya.

Continue reading “Enda Nasution: "Blog adalah Pilar Kelima Demokrasi"”