Friday, 19 April 2013

Indonesian Gen Y ready for change

ELIZABETH JACKSON: In Indonesia, people under 30 years of age account for around half the population. 

A huge demographic in a country that is enjoying freedoms unlike any generation before. 

Helen Brown reports on a generation ready for change.

HELEN BROWN: A few weeks ago I went to a concert by the Canadian indie singer and songwriter Feist. 

It was her first trip to Jakarta. The crowd adored her and she adored them back. 

(sound of concern)

HELEN BROWN: And at one point the singer divided her fans into sections to sing in harmony. She gave the fourth section to a small group of people; the rich ones in the balcony up the back with the great view and their own private bar - she joked.

But the sustained chorus of boos she got from the audience quickly made the singer realise she had tapped into a deeper vein and a group of young people who are not afraid to let their feelings show.

(young people talking)

HELEN BROWN: Achiko Juliano (phonetic) is 25-years-old and has lived in Jakarta all his life. 

Known as Chiko, he's also a producer at the ABC bureau. 

ACHIKO JULIANO: I can say that it's really good to be young in Indonesia. I mean with the growing democracy, with the growing enthusiasm in all aspects basically in politics, in culture, in social life and everything is growing and it's good to be part of it. 

HELEN BROWN: Indonesia is a young country - the median age is 28. There are also many Australians who count themselves fortunate to be a part of it's growing vibrancy.

Shannon Smith has been living here for seven years. He studied at a university on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi 20 years ago and says the changes have been enormous.

SHANNON SMITH: Kids today have grown up under democracy and that's all they've ever known. Their outlook on life is very, very different than the earlier generation. And the other is that the financial crisis of 1998 is sort of forgotten by this current generation. Economic times are great, the middle class is growing and kids have a very different economic outlook. 

HELEN BROWN: Many of the stories here are about the trends being set by young people.

(sound of staff greeting patrons)

HELEN BROWN: ‘Coffee. Fresh boiled coffee, it tastes really good’ the staff yell out at this brand named convenience store which has become a popular hang out place. They chat and use their computers; they ride their push bikes at two in the morning when traffic has died down.

A young Australian blogger who goes by the name Suara Clara describes her friends in Jakarta as some of the coolest people she's ever met. 

SUARA CLARA: Within Jakarta this is so much diversity and a real trend of young, well educated, interesting, enthusiastic and energetic young Jakartans just taking every opportunity they can in Indonesia and around the world.

HELEN BROWN: Young Indonesians are also prolific users of social media. They’re among the top three global users of Facebook and Twitter and that's in a country where internet access is still quite low.

ACHIKO JULIANO: I think because it's new to Indonesians, we can freely talk now, we can freely express our ideas, we can freely express our thoughts. And now that we have a new media which allows us to basically express the idea directly to the person himself or herself and it is really good. 

(sound of police directly traffic and large group of people)

HELEN BROWN: A recent rally to demonstrate against the tactics of a hardline Islamic group was organised through social media. In the end though turnout was low. 

SHANNON SMITH: There's a lot of commentators who say that Indonesian's engagement with social media means that young people have more power than ever before. Well if they do, and they're bringing in international lock bans every week because of the power of Twitter, but I'm not seeing it politically.

HELEN BROWN: There's also a fear that what has been given can also be taken away, especially with current talk about laws covering internet content. 

ACHIKO JULIANO: I think we have that fear of the government will take it away again from us. Well I personally have that fear also which we don't want this freedom to be misused. 

HELEN BROWN: Life is different too for those who live outside Jakarta. A group of young punks in Aceh have had their hair cut or their heads shaved, were given a communal bath and sent to a camp for re-education. 

And a 30-year-old man who posted on Facebook that God didn't exist is now in jail for promoting atheism.

The question is if the future is in their hands, can they make the progress required. It's a question Shannon smith, who also runs a PR business and a restaurant with Indonesian friends, is grappling with.

SHANNON SMITH: There are young people working at a political level, trying to change things politically, but I don't see a lot of engagement at sort of a parliamentary level. 

HELEN BROWN: It has to be said the parliamentary level is hardly inspiring. Every day there are tales of corruption and money politics; according to Chiko, the older generation needs to set a better example about civic duty. 

ACHIKO JULIANO: We realise actually that it is actually up to us whether or not we reach that destination. You know the possibility is always there but the problem is our people, can they really give us that chance? 

HELEN BROWN: Indonesia's young people have a freedom and a visibility that makes them hard to ignore; but will they be able to forge ahead and shape the nation or simply use their power to lure their favourite pop bands.

This is Helen Brown for Correspondents Report in Jakarta, Indonesia

5 Biggest Social Media Trends for 2013 – Ryan Holmes in Fast Company

fast company 150An article by HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes was featured in Fast Company yesterday. Holmes looks at the fast-changing social media landscape and lays out the biggest trends to watch in the coming year here.

5 Biggest Social Media Trends

2012 will be remembered as the year businesses officially took the social media plunge, embracing Twitter, Facebook and other networks as an integral part of strategy. In 2013, these companies can look forward to expanded returns on their investment, as social technologies improve and functionality extends beyond just marketing and community building.
Here’s a peek at five trends that will remake social media in the year to come:

1) More mobile social media usage

Mobile Internet use in the US is set to overtake wired use by 2015 – but this shift is happening even faster for social media. Facebook has already acknowledged that growth on mobile outstrips growth on PCs.
So what? Well, networks designed from the ground up for mobile – like Instagram – are at a big advantage. This year, the traditional players must work increasingly hard to differentiate desktop and mobile experiences and give mobile users more bang for their buck, with streamlined interfaces, NFC, GPS, ambient location and other functions.

2) Mobile advertising becomes more viable

Finding ways to squeeze traditional ads onto tiny mobile screens has been a significant headache for Facebook and other networks. But innovative solutions like Promoted Tweets and Sponsored Stories are offering an increasingly viable workaround. These “native ads” look just like user-generated content, apart from small disclaimers. By integrating directly into home streams, they offer a way for brands to reach clients on their own turf. It’s all part of the new “convergence” revolution, with ads and content fast becoming interchangeable.

3) International and niche networks boomGlobal Social Media Growth

While social media growth in North America has slowed dramatically, growth is just taking off other parts of the world. 2013 will see growth of 21.1 percent in Asia-Pacific (China, India and Indonesia); 23.3 percent in the Middle East and Africa; and 12.6 percent in Latin America. And many of those users will be flocking to localized networks you may not have heard of. Examples include China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo, which doubled its base to 400 million users in just one year.
Closer to home, one area that will experience dramatic growth is niche networks, which offer deep, specific functionality overlooked by the social titans. Stay tuned to see who will follow in the footsteps of Instagram and Pinterest in 2013 – emerging from relative obscurity to capture huge market share.
For businesses that engage on social media, the bottom line is that social networks are multiplying rapidly. To stay on top and engage customers, a sophisticated social media management system (you know, like HootSuite), is essential.

4) Social media transcends marketing

Last year, McKinsey published a report saying that social technologies stand to unlock $1.3 trillion in business value. Even more shocking: most of those savings come from boosting office productivity.
In other words, social media isn’t a time-waster in the office – it’s a potential productivity tool. HR departments can use social to streamline the application process. Sales teams can identify clients and pursue leads. R&D can brainstorm in collaborative ways that are simply not possible via email. The key lies in next-generation internal social networks, where entire companies can interact and engage behind the firewall. Our own product, HootSuite Conversations, has emerged as a pioneer, allowing companies to free up expertise trapped in departmental silos.

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