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Blogger Speaks of Open Data

In Indonesian Blogger National Gathering (Blogger Nusantara) 2013 event (30 November-1 December 2013) in Yogyakarta, Sinergantara met bloggers from all over Indonesia. One of them is Agus Mulyadi, a young blogger from Magelang, Central Java.

gusmulHis friends call him Gus Mul. Unlike Gus Dur, Gus Muh, or Gus Yusuf, who are dubbed ‘Gus’ because of their pesantren-graduate background, his ‘Gus’ is merely an acronym of his real name. Agus Mulyadi is not a pesantren graduate. He was born in Magelang on 3 August 1991. He lives in Dusun Seneng 2 Banyurojo RT 1/3 Mertoyudan Kabupaten Magelang, 56172, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia.

He describes himself as “a little buck-toothed, humorous, talkative, blurt-speaking, not so responsible, big fan of Pangkur Jenggleng, Mella Barbie, and 80s outfit”. Agus Mulyadi is a funny, smart, and loves to observe hot issues.

As a blogger and freelance layouter, Agus Mulyadi who joins Pendekar Tidar blogger community often writes in various blogs, such as Blogspot, Blogdetik, Tumlbr, and Kompasiana, as well as routinely contributes in Seneng Media and Tutorial Indesign. His daily occupation includes operator of an internet café, selling T-shirt under Bukan Kaos Biasa label, and occasionally finding petty cash from freelance layouter service in Agus Desain.

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Here is Sinergantara’s interview with Agus Mulyadi during Indonesian Blogger National Gathering 2013 event:

How does Gus Mul, as a blogger, view open data on governance?

From a quick glance on open data explanation, I can say that Open Data is very necessary. It’s not only a mean for monitoring governance process; it also encourages community to be critical, encourages government apparatus as implementers to be more responsible in carrying out their duty and reporting information or any progress on their institution’s work.

How do you view openness in using internet/web?

Obviously it is very good, as using internet makes it faster, more flexible, and fashionable. Don’t you agree?

As a blogger, have you ever accessed public data via government’s website? For example, accessing budget data, statistic, demographic data, etc.?

Yes, I have. I once have accessed statistic data from Ministry of Infrastructure, because I needed to find statistic of electricity service users in Indonesia. At that time, I participated blog competition from PLN (State’s Electricity Company), so I had to collect accurate data.

How do you view bloggers’ need to public data?

Of course, the need is high. As bloggers’ role broadens toward citizen journalism, bloggers need public data to support them in writing in their blogs. Thus, it is clear that public data is very important for blogger.

What is the pattern of website utilization in collecting data?

I’m sorry, I don’t understand your question. If we were in quiz show, I’d say “pass”.

When you collect the data, in what format do you usually find them? For example, .pdf, .xls, .html, etc.?

It depends on the needs. If I need statistic information, I’ll look for .xls data. Whereas I need graphic information, I’ll search .pdf data, and .doc data if I want text format. It depends on the information type that we need.

As a blogger, what do you think if government opens access to budget information system utilization in Ministry of Finance?

Well, that is ultimately necessary. Because government transparency, particularly on anything relates to money, needs to be sought. In terms of spending (represented by Ministry of Finance), government has big responsibility to the people. Public money is managed by State, and State has to fulfill people’s rights. So, by utilizing financial or budget information system, people are enabled to understand where their money goes, does the spending hits the target accurately or not, etc. It allows people to monitor government’s expenditure implementation (haha, I’m talking like economist-wannabe here). Well, that’s the big picture. I don’t know much about economics, but that’s how I see it.

What do you think, as a blogger, on prospect of Open Data development in government in Indonesia? Please describe your view in technology, social, cultural, urgency, needs, et cetera.

Well, I don’t think we need lengthy answer. As I see from any aspects, open data development is very necessary. In terms of technology, there’s no need to worry. Indonesia has many experts who are able to open any information from government; as long as there’s supporting follow-up from relevant government institutions. Well, all sides are ready. It’s only about when to act, really (of course, plus willingness).

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It’s surprising that from a blogger like Agus Mulyadi comes a simple sentence “it’s only about when to act”. It is in tune with what Aman Greewal –an ODDC researcher from World Wide Web Foundation- said in the closing of Open Data Hub, organized by Ford Foundation, Hivos, AKIL, and Web Foundation in ICT Watch (House of Internet Sehat), Jakarta on 16 October 2013. “JUST DO IT!” he said.

img src: Agus Mulyadi, Blogger Nusantara, Andy MSE

This post is also available in: Indonesian

2 Comments
  1. That’s the hardest part…just do it…we’ve been thinking and discussing issues too much, too long and too far sometimes…but taking a simple step of actually realizing what we’ve been planning to is another story :( …thanks for sharing..

  2. Wah, lha kok ngangge bahasa landa. Welewelweleweleh..gak ngarti, aku.. :(

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