Week 3 – Roundup

Three weeks now since my arrival in Jakarta! The shockwave of being transplanted has passed, and I am starting to grow new little roots.

Here are some of the topics that have kept me busy:

Apartment Search

In the past, whenever I visited Jakarta I always had a place to go to, either my mom’s house or my sister’s. Now that both of them no longer live here, I have to establish my own homebase. Which is easier said then done. None of my friends are currently looking for a shared-house situation, and none of them had a spare room to rent out. Just bad luck.

Apartments, as it turns out, are pretty expensive. Everything is expensive after living in Berlin. Of course there are many people here who earn MUCH less than I do. And how do they get by? Surely there must be an affordable lifestyle? Yea there is. But this involves staying in the house of your family, having a two hour commute to work – one way – and not being able to participate in much of what the city has to offer. Being poor here is damn tough. And if you want to keep up a lifestyle of barhopping, visiting friends in other neighborhoods on a regular basis, living close to work and eating well, this is costly.

Back to the apartment search. In the end, I found a little place, not much more than 30m2, in an apartment complex. I will pay more rent than for my 135m2 (shared) flat in Berlin. But I will have the luxury of having access to a large pool area, sauna, tennis courts and gym and a marble lobby with 24hr security. That’s the thing. Glamorous or poor (the real poor, not the Berlin coquettish kind of poor) The in-between is there, but hard to find.

I call it rat´s nest - my new home

Work

Work has been a wild ride, so far! Goethe-Instiut Indonesia is buzzing with action. There’s exhibitions, concerts, movie screenings and other events going on several times a week. Add a number of web-products such as a jazz community, a comic platform, the house-own facebook page and web pages into the equation, some of them requiring coordination with other countries in the region, and you can tell I will be very busy. As “PR coordinator” my job is to help the team to make what’s going on at the GI visible and tangible, with a special focus on strengthening that part of PR which is interactive, networked, and community-driven.

I will dedicate separate posts to what I experience and learn at my workplace. For now, all I can say is: truly awesome colleagues, exiting topics and a huge challenge ahead.

News

The fun part about moving is being exposed to different set of news and discourses. This is a rough rundown of some of the headlines and quirky news items that have been floating around as sort of ambient information:

Traffic, traffic, traffic. Jakartans talk about traffic like others about the weather. The hopeless congestions have made life in the capital extremely stressful. There´s a mayorship election coming up, and for sure a new mayor will have to address this. Newspapers are dedicating whole series to the subject of (failed) transportation- and city-planning.

Related to that has been a news item of viral qualities: Minister for “State-Owned Enterprises” Dahlan, angered by the fact that he was waiting in a long queue to enter the toll road, while only two of the toll booths were operational, got out of his car and ushered cars through the gates – without paying – himself.

And I don’s know it it’s just coincidence, I find the news strangely gruesome here. For instance the case of 3 Indonesian workers killed in Malaysia. Apparently they were shot by Malaysian police for unclear reasons, trespassing of some sort. As if that’s not enough, it was suggested that the bodies may have had organs removed, implying that this may have been a case of intentional murder for organs. I haven’t really followed up on this story and have not yet heard a conclusion or fact clearance. The whole story was all speculation and hair-raising quasi-facts.

Another crazy random news item was that a Dutch man set himself on fire in front of the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta. Another minister (or rather the deputy-minster for energy natural resources) died mysteriously on a trekking tour. There has been a series of deadly shoot-outs in Bandung (the city my mom lives in). Two Russian men (one of them a yoga teacher in Bali) were caught at the airport with a couple of dozen capsules with hash (!) in their stomachs.

On a more serious note: the book presentation by a canadian author, invited to talk about her book on (liberal) Islam at cultural centre Salihara, was stopped by the police because a protesting mob was getting out of control. The main cause of protest was the fact that the author is a lesbian. Ugh. Shouldn’t the police have protected her rather than stopping the event?

And, of course, there was the Sukhoi place crash. This has pretty much dominated all TV channels the past days.

Before I moved into my new place, I took the train to work. Lucky I did not have to get into this one, mine was never quite a crowded.

Events and People

In my spare time, between work and apartment search, there’s even been time to check out a few things. I was at the small gallery of panna foto for a talk about photography and social media. I went to watch a special avengers screening organized by the Indonesian Marvel community. Full costume!

I went to the Jakarta edition of Pecha Kucha (which still lives on after I introduced it here in 2008!!). There I encountered Jakarta’s graffiti and street art hero Darbotz, was introduced to the Indonesian Spreadshirt and learned that there will soon be an Indonesian kickstarter. And so many more cool initiatives.

To my (and my spine’s) relief, there’s a pretty good yoga studio not far from my office with classes after work hours almost every day. So even that’s taken care of. I have managed to to 1-2 times a week.

And of course I went to some parties and bars, locations and friends I already know well from previous visits. All in all, 3 exciting and action packed weeks.

Night market at Fatahila

 

Berlin, I still love you but I have to move on

Wow – it’s finally official! In just two short weeks, my relationship with Berlin will come to an end.

Or, to make it sound less dramatic: I am going to relocate my physical operating range to… South East Asia, with my future homebase in Jakarta.

CC license by Dennis Lee

Now Jakarta isn’t exactly foreign territory. I was born by a beach just outside of the city and eventually went to school there. The prospect of returning now feels like bumping into a highschool crush: More than a decade later, both grown up and matured, you realize you still have a lot in common. You feel infinitely giddy about all the stories you have to catch up on.

meatspace, mindspace

I suppose “moving” in this connected world isn’t such a big deal. From my twitter stream I get the impression that half the world is constantly on the move, traveling from Europe to the US to Asia and back with the same ease as people on a daily commute from the suburbs into town.

CC license by Shreyans Bhansali

And maybe that’s all it is.

Who cares where someone ‘lives’, as long as their mind is istantly available. Our permanent connectedness has made being physically somewhere else much less frightening and strange.

CC license by Azizul Ameir

Mindspace knows no borders, but the lagging behind of meatspace in this matter is obvious. Visas, languages, timezones, jet lags, incompatible mobile phone carriers. And then the actual meatspace comes crashing in, taking the form of noise, smells, humidity, and the lack or overabundance of certain infrastructures we have grown to take for granted.

CC license by joe71102

Are those just annoying, ridiculous little artefacts of the past in an otherwise seamless rendering of the self?

In perfect mindspace, we live fluid lives, detached from time and surroundings. But I believe that for now, the artefacts of meatspace will impact me, and little by little, I may find myself  changed by my new environment.

choices, branches

Why is it necessary to make choices? Try to imagine the possibility of simply creating an instance of yourself, whenever difficult decisions come up, and simply walking down both paths at once, as is suggested in Charles Stross’ novel Accelerando. Each instance could explore the option, soak up the experience and reunite with the main branch at any point. How would this affect identity construction, I wonder. Instead of being “spoiled by choice” – surely one of the sicknesses common to the generation growing up with endless options and opportunities – living each choice to the fullest. Could possibly drive us even further into insanity.

CC license by sqala

goodbyes

For now, the choice is made, the promise of opportunities weighed one against the other. Who knows where this will lead to, but I’m definitely looking forward to the exciting times ahead!

Thanks to all the nice people who have made my time in Berlin worthwhile. Flatmates, friends, colleagues from work and uni, the twitterverse, random party folk!

I’ll see you all online, with just 5 hours of head start in the summer. I can now spend more time exploring and writing about what interests me in art, technology, and science  from a new Southern-Hemisphere angle.

And I’ll keep you updated about my new job, which is to help the Goethe Institute Jakarta transition its online communication to become more dialogue-oriented and community-driven.

 

Bird-Dog-Human-Horse

Just had a chat with my flatmate who told me about his sister’s new dog, Kadu. Kadu is a Vizsla, a sporting dog commonly used for hunting, with genetic origins in Hungaria.

Source: WIkipedia

Vizslas are bred to near-perfection for their hunting job: they are well mannered, loyal, extremely intelligent, have extremely good sense of smell and direction and practically thrive on being trained and executing tasks. In Kadu’s case, he will be trained to be a falconer’s dog – and this is where me and my flatmate started to get confused. What exactly is a dog’s role in falconry? Heck, how does falcon hunting work anyway?

point, hover, scare, hit and retrieve

Turns out, falconry is a complex collaboration effort between bird, dog, and human. The dog’s job is to sniff out and locate the prey, typically a pheasant or other fowl. The dog then “points” in the direction of the prey, letting the human know it is time to get the falcon (or hawk, or eagle) ready. The falconer lifts off the falcon’s blindfold and lets the bird soar into the sky. When the bird is in the right position, hovering above the dog, the dog gets the signal from the human to go and scare out the prey. As the prey tries to escape by flying off, the falcon immediately detects it and plunges from the sky to make the kill. Now the falconer summons back the bird (it is conditioned to do so, knowing that it will get fed), and the dog wraps up the job my retrieving the kill carefully and handing it over to the human.

Honestly, how amazing is that? As a born-and-bred big city girl it is hard for me to imagine how such a perfect cooperation between entirely different species could have been thought of, much less achieved through training by making the most of each species’ unique capabilities.

Add a horse into the equation – a human on a horse, travelling long distances, with the dog at the horse’s heels and the falcon on the human’s shoulder. A pretty impressive team.

Now I am not a fan of hunting, but I guess I find it ok that some people care about preserving this tradition of falconry. It seems to me to be more of a sport and interspecies bonding exercise, not a senseless wild chase with the goal of killing a maximum amount of living flesh.

Eagles can kill wolves, too

So while in most falconry the prey is fowl, in Mongolia people have trained golden eagles to hunt wolves. The eagle is released once the wolf is spotted. It drops down onto the wolf from above, grabbing its spine with one claw and the snout with the other, immobilizing it. The hunter then comes to finish the wolf off.

Animals as tools

Of course rifles and other tools have long surpassed dog, bird and horse in the efficiency to fulfill certain tasks. But still fun to think about what humans have achieved by making animals their tools, breeding for certain traits, training them by gaining knowledge about what the animal wants and how it can be persuaded to do certain tasks while still making sure it stays happy and healthy. Now add a little genetic engineering, more sophisticated training and conditioning methods and who knows we might end up with the next generation of self-replicating super precise power tools…

 

Cryopreservation: If they can do it, why can’t we?

Loved this piece of sciency news today: common fruit flies, apparently, can survive being frozen at -5° Celsius for more than an hour, continuing development regularly afterwards and even producing healthy offspring.

cc by Joe Jimbo

One simple trick made this possible: the fruit fly larvae were fed a mixture of an amino acid called L-proline and glycerol. Both components act as cryoprotectants. Researches got the idea after they found out that an arctic variety of drosophila produce this amino acid to withstand the cold. The arctic flies are in fact so good at it that they can survice being dipped into liquid nitrogen (!), that’s about -196°Celsius.

How absolutely cool is that? Thinking this further, Does this mean that soon all those deepfreeze fantasies, allowing humans to preserve their bodies to be awoken several years, sometimes hundreds if years later, will soon become reality?!

There’s one possible application of the cryoprotectant amino acid L-proline which could become useful in the not-so-distant future: to preserve organs just a little longer before transplantation.

 

 

Outsmarting traffic with Jakarta’s Go-Jek

cc by Shanghai Daddy

Whoever has been to Jakarta knows how it is to be stuck in traffic. Epic, hopeless congestions will make you want to tear your hair out, especially if you are trying to get home after a long day and you KNOW your home is – in theory – only a few kilometres away.

Unfortunately, Jakarta does not have a rail-based public transport system like tram, underground or similar. The only other means of getting around slightly faster is… by motorbike. Because bikes can weave though the traffic and thus get to the next traffic light just ahead of the pack.

cc by tb smith

DIY motorbike taxi

Jakartans have known this for a long time, and unsurprisingly, Jakarta’s streets are full of motorbikes;  in fact I believe they are key contributors to the traffic problem, but let’s leave that aside for now.

Motorbikes are pretty affordable, and a small industry has sprung up around the idea of motorbike taxis. Normally, the way this works is that some motorbike-owning emang with not much to do offers his services to whoever happens to walk past. This type of informal, unlicensed transportation service is called “ojek”.

Motorbike taxis clearly have potential, but most of the wealthier Jakartans are reluctant to use this service. Of course, riding a motorbike means being exposed to heat and rain, to smog and dust. It is not very safe and the average ojek driver isn’t necessarily experienced or well trained.

Go-Jek

Smart move of Jakarta based starup Go-Jek to tackle that problem. Of course they can’t away take the heat and dust, but their mission is to make ojek smarter, safer and more convenient by providing a more formalized service. However, instead of putting new drivers and bikes on the street, they choose to work with already existing drivers that are selected by 3 criteria: their experience, their reliability and whether they have a valid drivers’ license. The call-an-ojek hotline now makes it possible to give drives additional rides, leading to less idle time. (App to follow soon, I hope!)

This is what their website looks like. Apart from transporting people, Go-Jek also offers courier services for goods.

So simple, so brilliant! Go-Jek has received quite a lot of attention, also from international media such as this time magazine video and won numerous Indoensian business innovation awards.

On my next visit, I will definitely use this service.

A typical trip from Kemang (South Jakarta) to Menteng (Central Jakarta) would cost me 40,000 IDR, which is about 3.8 Euros. By car, this trip could easily take 60-90 minutes. By bike, perhaps half that time.

I have to say it is rather expensive (a regular taxi ride would not be that much more), but if I get there way faster it may still be worth it. I hope Go-Jek has plans to provide training and more long-time security for drivers under its program as the company grows.

 

 

 

Singapore Startups Radar

Several interesting startups were presented at Penn Olson’s first Startup Asia Conference last week in Singapore some of wich I would like to review here.

Innova Tech Anti-loss gear

Manufacture of electronics is Singapore’s economic backbone. So no wonder there are some interesting hardware startups springing up here. This one tackles a very common problem – losing stuff.

Innova Tech has come up with a small credit-card sized, bluetooth-based device you can slip into your wallet, handbag, or attach to whichever item it is you’re concerned about losing. If this item gets within several meters out of the range of your cell phone, you will receive a call.

Despite there being one major flaw to this setup (What if its the mobile phone you’re concerned about losing, huh?!?) I guess its a start.

Enough people seem to think so since Innova Tech has managed to get crwodfunded through indiegogo and even overachieved its funding goal before the campaign ended.. I hope they’ll develop this product further, to make it even more useful!

Hardware startup Vibease

Another hardware startup caught my attention – or your I say xxx-ware? This seems to be a bunny-shaped smartphone controlled vibrator. Vibease, as the device is called, comes with a selection of videos and a chat option to put you in the mood.

What do you think ladies?

Collaboration and image tagging tool mocku.ps

This may not be the most unique idea, but I like the way mocku.ps works! I’ve seen and tried conceptboard and conceptshare, both of which are more powerful I guess, but mocku.ps strips it down to the basic function of uploading an image, (while giving an option to present it on a background image, or stage), add comments which can be associated to specific areas of the image, and sharing it conveniently via url. Everything looks nice and is intuitive to use.

The result is then something like this: http://mocku.ps/q0qzc8

Hoping to see this develop! Threaded comments with each note… share option to twitter after commenting, etc.

 

Berlin Awesome Grant #5

The Winner

To those who missed it: Last Thursday we had a great award ceremony, we chose this guy Robin Sukroso (aka Rainer Hirl) out of the three finalists as our trustee.

His plan is to build a simpler, ready to plug in version of his custom made techno guitar. We think he’s amazingly talented and his idea has a real potential. We hope you like our choice!

Runner Up

Rebecca Loyche‘s project is an installation called “circadian project”. It’s basically a room full of light. She says lights like these are used for therapeutic purposes to treat depression, especially in the nordic countries where going without daylight for weeks has bad effects on your health. She proposed to create this room as a public space, a place you can go to to recharge your batteries in winter.

Rebecca Loyche - Circadian Project

Runner Up

The third finalist was Dickon Stone, an adorable guy who lets bugs compose music. His project Bug Box Drum Machine is a type of installation, a white canvas which attracts bugs at night. As these bugs fly around they hit sensors which in turn trigger various drum samples.

He explains this idea comes out of something of a Zen approach to music, letting the ego of the composer step back and instead using the intellect to let nature’s beauty shine.

Dickon has made a similar instrument called “Bees in a Sitar” – using the hollow of a sitar to house bees and enabling them to create sounds.

 

Why Nonprofits should think more about communities

Thanks for setting up the Fundraising 2.0 conference, dear organizers Alexa Gröner and newthinking. I was lucky to be able to come, if just for one day on Friday the 20th.

As a community manager, I wanted to find out how community is discussed with you in the non-profit and creators sector. It seems to me that building a strong, healthy community would be extremely beneficial, especially to smaller NGOs, artists or informal groups with niche topics and minimal funding, so I was expecting to hear a lot about the topic.

Yet, to my surprise, the word “community” never fell once during the presentations (at least not those I visited). Rather, there was a strong focus on instruments and tools, talks about optimizing landing pages and donation forms, up to the color of the buttons (yes, the color makes a significant difference). And of course was also talk about using Twitter, Blogs, Facebook as “Marketing Channels”, being present and allowing interaction.

I found the focus a little off. These are all merely tools which enable you to find, understand and foster your COMMUNITY. The community being: people who care about your topic, and, in some cases care enough to get involved with your cause. Without your community, it’s like you’re building a huge palace which then stays empty.

I think a lot can be gained from viewing your entire communication through the perspective of creating community – think of it like being pioneers together in a some grassy plains. You’re basically creating a civilization from scratch.

Here are some first thoughts off the top of my head.

5 Tips for Nonprofits who want to build up community

1. Find people who already care about your cause.

The world is huge and that means that there are already groups, clubs or individuals who care about your cause and may even be active in one way or the other. Your first goal should be to identify those people, see what they have been up to, and think about what you could do to help them achieve their goal. Since their goal is the same as your goal, this is a good thing. For starters, just try a twitter search on a topic that is relevant for your organization, such as #wastemanagement or #alphabetisation.

2. Connect people not just with you, but with each other

In a community, it is important to strengthen ties within the network. Instead of putting yourself in the limelight and attracting many connections to yourself (your organization), connect the people supporting you, by introducing those of similar interests to each other, or creating situations in which your community learns about each other and can team up to work on something.

3. This works only if you know who you’re talking to

This point is extremely important to me. Even though your interactions are through facebook or other social media, this does not mean you are talking to some faceless mass audience. No, each like and each comment comes from an actual person, who could potentially become a loyal supporter to your cause.

Really start to think about your audience as individual people: who are they, what drives them, what is the best way for them to engage with you? Who keeps coming back, who haven’t you seen around for a while?

4. Be a good gardener

When you start out with building up your social media channels (better: building up your community!) things will go slowly at first. Growing a community takes time… you will probably start out with friends and your network. Give them specific tasks, use them as guinea pigs in your communication environment. They’re your friends, so they won’t mind!

It is important to get a sense of what interactions feel like in your environment. If need be, create your own “fake” conversations, to give others a sense of whats possible and to kickstart conversations. But use this method only if absolutely necessary, because it will come across as super phony if overdone. As you start inviting more and more newbies to your community, this ensures there will already be some content to look at, there will be a sense of life inhabiting your environment, and this life attracts further life.

Make sure to greet newcomers accordingly and make them feel at home. Its ok to tell them that your community is only just starting out, and that they are pioneers in this environment. Those people who start the community with you can become extremely important as your core members, and you can rely on their honest feedback and support later on.

5. Think about those below the surface

As in any community, only a small fraction of the people who have liked your page or signed up to your newsletter will be active and responsive all the time. There’s the good ‘ol model called the 90-9-1 rule  according to which only 1% of your sign-ups are active users, while 9% are intermittend users and the vast majoroty of 90% never does anything at all.

I’m not sure weather that ratio has to be true for all communities, I believe strongly that activating more of the ‘lurkers’ to become at least slightly active IS possible and that is is worth focusing on that effort. Acquiring new sign-ups is expensive, and after all, those people have ALREADY liked, signed up or followed you at one point. Try to find out: why did they stop being interested? Are you not providing what they need, can you change anything about that?

Community first

To bring this to an end, a last thought of why I think community is so important in this sector. Crowdfunding has become a huge thing, and I have witnessed some cultural projects relying on this new ‘tool’ to get their project off the ground. Yet often, crowdfunding fails – because you can’t crowdfund without an already committed community.

I would love to explore this topic further… for example as in developing a simple 10 Step Guide for NGOs and creative projects to handle their community building. Please leave comments if you’re interested!

 

Awesome Award call for Applications

Awesome Berlin is back on February 2, 2012, applications start now! (open until Jan. 25th 2012)

The  Awesome Fund Berlin is a EUR 1,000 grant awarded several times a year to a truly awesome project taking place in or around Berlin. The Award winner will receive the money upfront in cash, in a brown paper bag. This grant is provided with no strings attached and claims no ownership over the projects it supports. Its sole purpose is to help make awesome ideas happen.

Who can apply?

Anyone can apply if they have an awesome idea and if they’re sure they can pull it off. It is hard to define awesome, but we’re sure you know what we mean. We’re looking for ideas that are unseen,  captiavitng, and that manage to inspire audiences.

How?

• go here: http://awesomefoundation.org/submissions/new
• Choose Berlin Chapter
• Fill out the application form
• Send!
The Trustees of the Berlin Awesome Foundation review all applications and will contact three applicants to make it on to the shortlist. These three finalists are invited to present their project in a short 5-minute talk at the day of the award ceremony at Betahaus, Prinzessinnenstr. 19, Feb. 2, 2012, 9.30am. The Trustees will  announce their decision shortly after the presentations. The winner takes home the brown paper bag with EUR 1,000 cash.

Previously funded by Awesome

Birdhouse building workshop and turning election campaign posters into birdhouses flashmob – coordinated by Jay Cousins

 

 

Parts of Graffiti Research Lab Germany’s Light Rider projection bike

 

Indonesian Startups Radar

Indonesian Startups Radar

I’m on my more or less anual visit to Indonesia, where I grew up. Indonesia’s social media and tech scene has been rapidly developing these past few years. Indonesians have been particularly eager to adopt social networking sites and smart phones, making them the third largest group of users on facebook. But twitter is huge, too, with several prominent twitterers well over the 1 million follower mark, and recently a shooting startup called koprol, a location service successfully sold to yahoo.

Beyond the big players, Indonesia with its 238 million people is a large audience and more startups catering specifically to local needs have sprung up in the past.

Startuplokal and Sparxup Award

The platform startuplokal.org acts as aggregator for newcomers, and there’s an annual startup award called Sparxup which honors new ventures in 8 categories each year.

Browsing through the sites, I handpicked some recently launched services which particularly caught my eye.

1. kartumuu

This platform allows members to choose a virtual greeting card, personalize it and send it to someone directly via twitter, facebook or email. Members can also upload their own card designs. The idea may not exactly be new, but the way it seamlessly connects to your friends’ profiles is nice, the branding concept is well executed, and it’s simple to navigate and use.

Culture factor: sending greeting cards/sms/mails  on all kinds of formal and informal purposes like weddings or religious holidays or for fun or flirts I believe is much more common here than in Europe, at least as far as I can tell.

 

2. Localbrand

A retail site for fashion. Yaawwn. The cool factor about it is that this platform represents small, indonesian made high-end fashion brands by local designers only.

Culture factor: Indonesian fashion designers are struggling to compete against the dominance of foreign luxury brands. That they now join forces to market themselves together is a smart move.

 

3. Sedapur

Sedapur (roughly translating as “in one kitchen”) is a marketplace for homemade treats. Members can open a shop to promote and sell their homecooking, food lovers can order and eat their favorite munchies.

Culture factor: Cooking and baking and selling these products in the neighborhood is a common form of extra income for women in Indonesia. The number of hyper-local snacks is huge, and  people bring local snacks as gifts from one city to the other. What if you could order your favorite type of Dendeng Balado anytime instead of waiting for aunt XYZ to visit..?

 

4. bouncity

 bouncity is a check-in-and-get-rewards type of platform. However, bouncity  works only with a few select partners, (which makes it more like groupon, I guess)  say, with some specific outlets of the forzen yogurt chain Sour Sally and a gamification aspect involving actual challenges like solving a quiz or taking a picture of something before you get the reward (like a free desert or an extra topping). The aim is to engage the customers on location in a fun way.

Culture factor: I think this concept could exist anywhere. In fact, does it already exist elsewhere? I think people would go to great lengths just about everywhere to get a freebie. If it involves doing something silly, like singing in a frozen yogurt shop, this could get pretty spectacular and perhaps even a little viral. And teens love to challenge each other to do embarassing things in public, at least we used to.

 

5. BisTip

With BisTip, travelers can signal they’re willing to transport a 3rd person’s parcel to their destination. travelers can type in their travel route and date, senders can search for specific routes and contact the traveler. In a way, it’s a little bit like Mitfahrgelegenheit.de – except not with co-travelers but stuff.

Culture factor: in a country where the post service is unreliable and expensive, “nitip” (to ask someone to take a parcel along on whichever route) is a widespread practice. Also, I imagine this service is interesting because it allows international routes. Ordering from outside Indonesia is tedious and unreliable, a human transport (only legal stuff of course!) seems like a great idea. How would one ensure only legal stuff is being transported though? I wonder if  smuggling issues could become a serious problem.

 

6. Jelajah (Alpha)

Jelajah does not yet show much more than this landing page. I’m still mentioning it because I find the idea bold and wonder how they will pull it off. So the idea is to – wait for it – crowdfund your travel. This is a travel community (share trips, find travel partners) but the main idea is to get your trip funded by “making it valuable”, either by offering rewards to your sponsors or acting as a tour guide. Number one sounds interesting. What might that be? Bungee jumping off a bridge in Kalimantan wearing a Gudang Garam Shirt? Or bringing home a bag of sand from Belitung for family and friends? I truly wonder if a kickstarter principle will work to fund trips. The second option seems more achievable: offer trips in which the offeree acts as guide and gets payed for by the other travelers. Extremely individualized, guided trips to remote places could have its charms.