First, Don’t Forget Your Mother Tongue

Language as an insignificant lesson still become a stigma in this country. From elementary level to university students, most of them give less attention to it. They less prioritize language as the tool of learning. This thought is wired unconsciously within their brain because the mainstream system does not support it for decades. Who are they within the system? They are parents and schools. Schools, in a wider entity is meant here as the education system.

Is language education significant?

Now try asking your nextdoor neighbor children with their local tongue. We can see it is hard now expecting answer in the same language asked. If we are an urban resident, we can have answers in Indolish (Indonesian English). The Indonesia language spoken is mixed and matched with popular English words and phrases. And if you are living in a rural area or village, even in a less reachable area like Cimenyan, the children will answer you in Indonesian, their national language. They are often found stutter in speaking their mother tongue, Sundanese. This local language seems losing its native interest. Should this predisposition become our concern?

Over the past several decades, not just bilingual, even being multilingual is a unique gift experienced by most of Indonesian. It was common to meet people having ability to speak more than two regional languages. Our friends speak Sundanese, Balinese, Melayu and Acehnese at once, while the distance from where each language comes is as far as its region. Geographically, the distance from one region to another may approximately equal to the distance between Spain and Britain. Another uniqueness is that since majority of Indonesia population are living in local culture based Islam, they are also able to read and write Arabic, at least for a limited purpose related to ritual subjects. Such rich multi languages ability may lead to a perception that Indonesian should be literally good in the way of thinking and communication, right? But lately, our children of nation seem too busy in racial and religious issues driven by political and power interests as if we didn’t get basic logics in our language lesson.

Global Connection Landed

The leveraged social life and the emerge of global schools, international standard managed private schools, and community schools help contribute positively to give different education choices for urban advantaged families. Children mingle socially with friends from different nations. Even when they come from passive to disabled English-speaking parents, soon or later the children will be able to communicate adaptively in English with their friends and teachers. The euphoria of speaking English as a second language oftentimes viewed as a kind of cool, modern lifestyle. This creating a mass sudden-shock behavior to parents so eventually they drop their mother tongue and no longer apply it as their first or primary language in family internal communication. While we know that foreign language is meant as a tool for a wider communication and helping us gaining knowledge widely and in depth. Children do not know about the euphoria. Parents know and experience it.

For bilingual parents, means parents with another language active, for example English, such communication problem is solved. But parents with adrift language ability in sudden-shock behavior group, will just creating a stutter communication to their children. A firm, settled language(s) speaking or sign language ability by parents is a basis for a good communication to their children.

Mr. and Mrs. Aep from a disadvantaged family in Cimenyan taken here as a sample case. As parent, their mother tongue is Sundanese and they both are really passive in Indonesian. They let their children speak in Indonesian only because their subconscious mind thinks that speaking in mother tongue will be viewed as old-fashioned. What happen now to their children is that they have a frozen communication not just with parents but also friends and neighbor. Different to advantaged urban families, like many other disadvantaged families, the golden age (0 to 9 yo) was not passed through well by the children. In that time, the child brain should be ideally having opportunity to accept minimum 6 new words (spoken or sign language) every day from age 0 to 3. They should accept informally learning about basic confirmation from age 3 to 7, and so on. There is also lack emotion building formed through the intimacy of mother tongue. Mother tongue has significant role in forming cognitive ability to children at early stage. How can a child be introduced to their mind, experience, and sense natural ability if one of the parents who are responsible in giving education intensively to their children does not have proper ability neither speaking (in the meaning of normal or deaf) in their mother tongue? Gesture, mimic and body expression must be supported with such language because it will create ideas and imagination to children mind.

Mother tongue is the ultimate language to build and preserve civilization. It holds and expresses richly language of mind, sense, experience and imagination. Relying on Google initiatives that continues struggling to preserve the endangered languages around the world, including Balinese, Javanese and Sundanese, would not works well. Native speakers must struggle harder to not letting each regional language as mother tongue lost from this nation. Keeping the mother tongue alive is not just for the language itself. It is for recovering the real education for our children. Our Javanese, Sundanese, Balinese, Bataknese, Acehnese kids and youth generation for example, will used to speak again using direction and navigation language skills that mostly applied in their mother tongue for their daily activities. Imagine there are two boys talking like this when playing with their toy. The Javanese says, “Mas’e ngelakoake drone ngidul-wetan-ngalor, aku ngulon-ngalor-ngidul”. The Sundanese says, “Aa apungkeun drone ngidul-ngetan-ngalor, abdi apungkeun ngulon-ngalor-ngidul”. In Indonesian as national language it says, “Kakak terbangkan dronenya ke Selatan-Timur-Utara, saya terbangkan ke Barat-Utara-Selatan” (the translation in English is “Brother, fly the drone to South-East-North, I fly it to West-North-South”). Mother language with words, numbers, direction and navigation vocabularies contains the essence of imagination.

Last but not least, mother tongue gives big impact to the internalization of values introduced by religious lesson. Mother tongues like Sundanese, Javanese, Minangnese and Melayu are actually having many versions from the very traditional to the modern ones. These mother languages have vocabularies far richer than the national language, Indonesian. As we know such languages, especially the old version of Sundanese and Javanese are also used decades to centuries ago (depends on the religion) as transliteration language in holy books of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. This fact gives us a clear depict that we can learn from history on how language education that intensively introduced by any religion in past had contributed to the way of communication, collaboration and critical thinking. *Siti Nur Aryani










Software Technology and Entrepreneurship

Learn an Unwavering Mental Health from Children

Feeling happy consciously may bring about gratitude in our life. Gratitude that practiced consistently as we believe, is a ground to deal with all our problems. The emotion of such feeling reminds us frequently of the merit of our parents, teachers, elders and all beloved relatives who no longer live within this world. Their existence in past however might had inherited genetically or spiritually memories of how we live today, otherwise thanks to the continued prayers granted during their lifetime, we finally arrived at a point of current mental well-being.

Live within current millennial age requires us to living in mindfulness.
A family are sitting dinner together but each hands are grasping their individual mobile gadget. Each mind traveling to different places out of where their body is currently exist and relates to. The father might so busy imagining what to post in his social media account. Some trending public issues such as religious or political campaign apparently become a high magnet to think about rather than to communicate heart-to-heart with the family member at the moment. Likewise the mother, not enough having arrived home tiredly from work, she got complaint about their kids who nonstop playing games. The kids in turn are blamed for never being focus on lessons they learnt.

This is happened to us. We always ask our children to concentrate while learning. We also demand them to focus on lessons. But we may forget, when we taught them how to concentrate? Have we been their role model on how to focus on problem dealing?

As the growing of technology like Internet of Things (IoT), our way of life for a last decade changed differently. Technology as a tool will always change, and it keeps helpful. Therefore our life circle: family, working, social and education life, will always change too. But the one that should not change as our foundation of life is relationships. The present of technology in our life should not shift our building of relationship, even just “a space of a keyboard”.

Relationship within our family life somehow will become a reflection of how good our relationship within our working, social and education life. It is time for us to reinvent the imagination of how our working, social and education life. Millennials at workplace are having different characteristics which may not compared with how the prior generation work. Having authentic awareness like being supportive and love to encourage each other as a united body, is a significant mental health required to achieve a healthy company.

Education Life

Guarding our children in living their life within global connected age must be started since their early education (0-13 yo). Academic competition is not the main purpose of education. Let children having their own unique competencies. Each competency has its own significant post in society. We agree life is more complex than just a competition. The main purpose of education is that our children can deal with their life problems. To deal with problems in their real life, children must be equipped with a foundation of life, which is mental health. Good relationship to themselves, between them and the educator and their friends is one of a mental health outcome. Both children and educator will pursuit any lessons easier when their mental are health.

To be mindful, educator and children need to know themselves. Parents as children’s role model together with the educator or facilitator at school need to introduce the children with a self-regulator within themselves. Self-regulator is a unit series of three fundamental building structures consist of mind, heart and emotion. By knowing how their self-regulator works, and help them practicing it continuously in daily basis, children are expected to be able to manage and control their mind, heart and emotion. The outcome, they should be able to control and free their mind from any distractions while learning, able to manage their self emotion, and having good relationship with friends by supporting instead of judging each other, for example. A continued, controlled mind, heart, and emotion creates an unwavering healthy mental. Children will having good relationship with themselves. We, as parent and educator will learn much more the true mental health from the children to reflect in our working and social life. An emphatic child, for example, will automatically has good relation with their friends and nature. This way is expected creating an emotional intelligence to the children that in turn creates their social intelligence. (To be continued)* Siti Nur Aryani

[This note was written after giving a meditation session to the English club students in Potahouzz 17th September 2017]



Indonesia Software Localization and Translation

Emma and Company Social Responsibility

People in the past believe that knowledge is everything. At every level of society, knowledge has its unique role to determine whether someone is worth to recognize by community as to be known or deserving to have a higher social status or not.

Emma, a novel by Jane Austen, published in 1815, capturing a reality of women social status in England. Although someone has lower social status just because of poor in economy, they are possible to reach a higher status through a specific marriage by using their intellectual and skills. Jane Fairfax, is represented in the story as a poor woman yet smart in writing, playing piano, dancing and communication. Thus, with her knowledge and skills, she was encouraged by her friend, Emma, to marry a gentleman instead of marrying an ordinary farmer. While Emma, who is told in the story, as a rich, high-class woman and having much money with her skills in painting and playing piano, is told as a woman who at earlier preferred not marrying anyone.

Information to intellectual

Nowadays, knowledge is no longer limited to get, mostly for people in big cities. Internet can make everyone’s head full of information by instant. With new knowledge made of information, people will be triggered to compare and make any changes for their life. At certain level, people will be moved to make improvement in their activities for a better life. We can get anything from Internet. Free language course, online high education lecture, marketing tools, how to farm, personal development, how to make a startup, how to play music instruments, and other unlimited resources.

But such never exhausted information source in today 25 years old of World Wide Web or 45 years of Internet, where human have been uncovered for having huge information, are never experienced by most people in a region in West Bandung, named Cimenyan.

Cimenyan, is a district in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, where the headquarter of Portalkata Indonesia (Potahouzz) is currently located. The land where the SOHO (small office home office) building stand, was firstly found by accident by two of the company founders. The land is surrounded relative closely by two mountains, Palasari and Manglayang. And luckily, the east side of the building facing East proportionally so every day we are served with different sunrise views. There is a spring water in a rice field in the south side of the building. In summer like this August, the area of the land is never exhausted of water flow.

Realizing that we stand in a very fertile soil, we never want to hurt the land. We always want to let the land free. Just let the plants live there. Let the worms, frogs, toads, snakes, dragonflies and microorganism live in the soil. To preserve the ecosystem, we grow some plants of vegetables and fruits. Such eco-friendly environment surrounding the SOHO, creating a specific comfort place that ideal for media content and translation services company like us. A fresh air, quite place. At late noon to night, animals start making their beautiful, relaxing sounds. Isn’t it ideal for such writing and research activities?

Each of the company top managerial member is or former professional who brushed up years in best companies abroad and the capital city. The author itself also ever worked and lived in big city, Jakarta for long years. But that is not a big deal whether we live in a crowded, full of pollutant city or a green land. Everything is a process if it is not a choice. A happy or unhappy working should not be measured by any dimension, should it? We can say time and place as a hardware that is relative and dynamic by nature, and our mind of intellect we may call it as the software. Both aspects, shall work in harmony giving us meaning if our inner intellect which is called as the firmware, a hundred percent working to provide the true meaning.

The beautiful, happy nature of the area, on the other side is contrary with the people live there. Most people in the area do not have access to education. Most adult to youth got education to elementary or junior high level only. Girls are averagely getting married while their age are 14 or while they are in first grade of junior high school. There are only two to three schools that need to access about 4 to 7 km long on foot. There is no public transportation and poor farmers do not have private transportation for their children go to school.

Starting with many children that always reading books in our mini library plus the said reality did not take long consideration for us to make a small effort. Within our working activity, in early morning for 2 hours in three days and on Sunday, we perform an informal free universal based school for 20 to 25 children. English as intermediate language is only a medium to attract students with something new. The ideal goal of the education itself is for building character with skills targeted on drawing, mapping, writing and farming through a fun and happy schooling method. This August is right the second year of the schooling performed. We believe that this culture based approach of education will bring local wisdom and bright future for our children.*** Siti Nur Aryani

Figure 1. Potahouzz Junior High Level Students


Software Technology and Entrepreneurship

Tren Software: Pemain Besar Masih Dominan, Open Source Makin Populer

Produk hardware dan infrastruktur jaringan yang akhir-akhir ini berkembang pesat sangat memengaruhi perkembangan bisnis software. Ini bisa kita lihat pada perkembangan industri software di berbagai lini: mulai dari software untuk server aplikasi; manajemen konten berbasis Web; manajemen database; manajemen sistem dan jaringan; manajemen penyimpanan data; keamanan; intelijen bisnis; analisis bisnis; hingga software pendukung sistem operasional.

Di lingkungan perusahaan, ambil contoh aplikasi software server diterapkan untuk memperoleh efisiensi komunikasi pada jaringan internal sekaligus sebagai media business to business (B2B) eksternal. Untuk sementara dominasi masih tetap dipegang IBM, yang produknya beredar di pasar mencapai 26,3%; sedangkan sisanya sebesar 73,7% dinikmati bersama-sama oleh NEC, Borland, Micromedia, Fujitsu, Sybase, dan lain-lain. Produk ini sampai sekarang masih punya peluang di pasar, sebab dinamika pasar hardware juga terus berkembang. Perusahaan riset WinterGreen Research Inc. memprediksi pasar software server aplikasi akan mengalami peningkatan dari angka US$ 1,8 miliar di tahun 2002 menjadi US$ 2,9 miliar sebelum tahun 2008.

Prediksi ini cukup realistis mengingat banyak perusahaan semakin punya pilihan beragam produk. Di Indonesia, aplikasi Enterprise Resources Planning masih menjadi tren di kalangan korporat. Oracle, SAP, BAAN, dan PeopleSoft merupakan nama-nama yang dominan. Akan tetapi, di level perusahaan yang lebih kecil – yang jumlahnya sangat besar – justru yang mendominasi adalah vendor yang lebih kecil seperti Accurate dan Zahir. Sisi lain yang perlu kita perhatikan adalah kehadiran platform pengembangan aplikasi teknologi informasi (TI) berbasis open source, atau aplikasi yang sumber kodenya terbuka.

Hal ini berdampak bagi perkembangan teknologi perangkat komunikasi dan informasi yang sifatnya personal, semisal handset ponsel, PDA phone, tablet PC, dan laptop. Ada kemungkinan, platform dan teknologi yang bakal banyak diadopsi adalah aplikasi “turunan” Java karena berciri cross-platform. Produk software dari Sun Microsystem yang lebih dulu sudah membuka kode sumber (source code) Java lebih memiliki peluang di pasar, mengingat produk ini sudah dikenal andal oleh banyak orang dibanding produk vendor lain, misalnya dari Microsoft.

Di lingkungan korporat, sistem operasional server seperti Linux dan Unix nampaknya masih akan bertahan mendominasi pasar platform open source. Setahun yang lalu Linux mampu mencapai angka 20% untuk volume penyebaran di pasar dunia. Sebagaimana Sun Microsystem, SAP juga tak mau ketinggalan dalam mengembangkan open source. Perusahaan ini, misalnya, beberapa kali mengeluarkan produk Netweaver dalam beberapa versi yang bertujuan memfungsikan dan menyelaraskan berbagai platform berbeda untuk mendukung proses bisnis tertentu.

Sejalan dengan perkembangan bisnis software tersebut, kini muncul pula tren baru berupa akuisisi yang dilakukan oleh vendor besar terhadap software house yang lebih kecil. Langkah akuisisi ini tentu bukanlah fenomena aneh, melainkan hanya gejala biasa dari proses evolusi dalam dunia bisnis. Artinya, selalu ada kemungkinan perusahaan kecil untuk terdampar, sama halnya selalu terbuka kemungkinan bagi perusahaan besar untuk tidak beruntung. Semua tergantung pada situasi pasar dan kejelian strategi bermain di era pasar global. Proses evolutif dalam akuisisi ini tampaknya juga berlaku dalam aplikasi personal semacam blog: Wiki, MySpace, Skype, dan semacamnya. Maksudnya, selama aplikasi itu menguntungkan bagi pelaku bisnis, maka tidak menutup kemungkinan akan diambil alih oleh perusahaan besar.

Doktrin “di mana ada keuntungan, di situ kapital bermain” kemungkinan bakal berlangsung. Lantas, vendor besar mana yang kemungkinan memicu peran penting dalam tren ke depan? Saya memperkirakan Microsoft masih akan dominan untuk skala global. Namun sejalan dengan perkembangan open source yang semakin berperan di beberapa negara, rasanya dominasi Microsoft akan sedikit berkurang beberapa tahun mendatang.

Boleh dibilang, tahun 2007 merupakan tahun harapan bagi kalangan komunitas pengguna software lokal berbasis open source. Diperkirakan peranti lunak open source tidak hanya bermain dan ngetren di level sistem operasional. Ada perkembangan positif. Misalnya, LIPI dan komunitas open source ini membuat software desktop turunan Linux Fedora Core 5. Adopsi aplikasi seperti Firefox untuk browsing di Internet dan aplikasi office-nya diperkirakan bakal meningkat di kalangan mahasiswa.

Sekarang, para pengguna personal pun lebih merasa nyaman dengan Linux. Tren lainnya, sejalan dengan pertumbuhan aplikasi berbasis Web, pasar software untuk solusi manajemen konten akan mengalami perkembangan pesat. Solusi ini tumbuh karena dipicu oleh kebutuhan pasar individu ataupun korporat dalam mengelola informasi secara elektronis untuk kemudian dipublikasi ke web. Software yang bakal menjadi tren di kalangan pengguna baik individual maupun bisnis adalah yang mendukung efisiensi kerja dan sekaligus bisa memenuhi tren gaya hidup.

Perkembangan teknologi perangkat komunikasi dan informasi yang memasuki era jaringan nirkabel generasi keempat (4G) juga menjadi penentu bahwa software yang mungkin akan digandrungi adalah yang mampu beradaptasi dan konvergen dengan Internet. Sesungguhnya, perusahaan dimudahkan dengan produk komplementer yang mendukung solusi ini seperti web tool, repositori dokumen perusahaan, dan server web.

Selain itu, bermunculannya produk dan layanan manajemen konten tampak mulai memperlihatkan pertumbuhannya. Perkembangan lain yang tidak boleh kita abaikan adalah munculnya beberapa perusahan dari Cina dan India yang bermain di pasar Indonesia. Mereka berspekulasi di antara para pemain lama seperti IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, dan lain-lain. Melihat peta di atas, nampak bahwa kompetisi pasar software sebenarnya tidak kalah menarik dibanding kompetisi pasar hardware.[]

Siti Nur Aryani, penulis adalah praktisi TI – Artikel pernah dimuat di Majalah SWA edisi Juli 2006

Digital & Business Management

Business and Technology Usage Awareness

Economy is the most fundamental activity in human’s life. Economies without “spouse” become virtual field only and nothing interesting. We can see obvious side in Indonesia agriculture world. Every village economy activity runs start from the old times.

Our agriculture without appropriate technology is only poverty phenomena. Perhaps too far we expect development in agriculture, moreover in maritime sector which is needed advance technology. That is still in our dream. Let we see the phenomena in business sector in big cities and their actors in technology involvement.

                In fact, technology has not become reliable enterprise fixing level. It happened in vary of urban enterprise sector. Technology in city business is still limited only in complementing work and information/communication   needs. Only a few kind of business depend on technology and the actors believe internet and telephone as a main pillar for their business.Thomas Malone argued that the development of inexpensive and anywhere information technology will decrease transaction costing terms of market, and reduce supporting to develop leadership hierarchies structure. Joanne Yates also argued that the development of internet is not only as a new communication technology but also as a pioneer newest organization and no hierarchies, that suitable with complexity and well informed-economic demand.

               However, opinions from Malone and Yates above only see success side in applying modern technology in their countries, United States, where there technology really entering in business world and even villages. Unlike in Indonesia, we have to see fact that we just know technology as a tool that we can consume, and it is not as business infrastructure. In fact, Indonesian could run business without technology. If we can buy technology still limited to complement our work even it is just accessories.

Political Campaign Style

We have not aware yet that technology is main field for a business project. National business world is conventional business world, traditional will enter adaptation area with advance technology. Therefore, it is impossible if supporting government national business sector only speaking political campaign or at least only giving incentive for entrepreneurs in applying technology.

Technology for society needs soul and fast understanding, smart and response as well as the technology development itself. Without this principal, people only become consumers from advance technology. That was indicated that middle class level prefer consume advance technology.

However, does the customer enjoy technology for enterprise development? Or is that just a life style? There are so many cases those executives who use technologies are not exactly able to use that facilities their own. Tragically, this is also happened in big companies where they consume advance technology but it could not increase their income.

Many cases indicated that technology expenses becoming burden. Another fact is when we see many government institutions really like spend technology especially computer and internet. Apparently, technology application in these fields has been improving productivity and citizen services.

Fact proved that government productivity from day to day will not increase. Only one or two local has achievement in productivity and service. That is not just because of technology applied, more than leadership style is enforced by local leader. Thus, technology then only becomes consumption which has bought and utilized it by customers. About productivity does not increase is beyond technology.


Without goal

To make technology is not as a tool only or even just ”to control” human’s life hence we realize the relationship between human and technology. Sugiharto (2002) believe that technology could not be seen as an entity separated from human life reality. According to him, technology could be “inside” human body (medical technology, food technology) besides telephone, facsimile, and computer or air conditioner.

Mutual relationship carries up complex reality. The bigger reality also must be seen like science, technology, and culture has mingled in entity integrated. From here objective condition recommends business actor in modern technology era must catch relationship essence. Without ability and clarity to see reality, business movement (whether company or leadership and initiative) will not reach goal.

This is the important we talk into business in globalization and technology rationally. First, business achievement not only need in understanding trading calculation conventionally, but also it must calculate opening market in hyper consumerism era. Second, technology will applied not only for communication and information but also as a main infrastructure to find potential market. Third, technology spending must be realized the ability of application and rational target. Tend of spending only for communication among staffs enough to use cheap cellular. Then we must think is to prepare response marketing to market environment that will be reached. Marketing here is not usual marketing, but also they have educated staffs in using technology and having ability to literate print or electronic mass media.

Fourth, technology especially The Internet and telephone now is a part of global communication. The weakness of Indonesian businessmen is they open market either in export or import. So many potential markets when we are not only mobilize in regional or national scope. Market has so wide potential consumer then technology can provide this tools in low prices. Why do we think still in the narrow perspective? []


Author: Siti Nur Aryani



Internet Business and Marketing

”Blog Marketing”, Sebuah Potensi?

Marketing melalui internet adalah sarana murah dan efektif untuk menemui calon konsumen. Namun demikian, untuk sukses berdagang di internet tidak semudah melempar promosi. Perusahaan harus jeli melihat pasar di jagat daring (online) yang sesungguhnya. Dalam hitungan tiga tahun, semenjak beredar awal 2003 hingga akhir 2006, terhitung ada lebih 120 juta pengguna blog (Alan Gwen 09/2006). Sedangkan The Blog Herald (05/2005), tanpa bermaksud memastikan, menyebutkan jumlah pengguna blog (blogger) tahun 2005 sudah mencapai 200-500 juta.

Sebagian besar blog masih bertahan dalam “tabiat” aslinya, yakni untuk ajang narsistik seseorang, sebagian untuk apresiasi ilmu-pengetahuan, sebagian kegiatan sosial, dan sedikit untuk kegiatan bisnis. Namun untuk yang terakhir ini justru sekarang sedang diburu banyak pelaku bisnis. Majalah BusinessWeek Juli 2006 lalu memperkirakan blog bisnis mencapai 25 juta yang meliputi korporat, bisnis menengah, dan perseorangan.

Umpan balik

Memang, penemuan baru di internet berdampak pada perubahan “perilaku” pengguna, terutama para pengguna blog. Jika sebelum 2003, media komunikasi (surat elektronik) dan informasi (situs web) masih terpisah, blog hadir sebagai bentuk perkawinan keduanya. Lahirlah karakter media daring yang tidak lagi monolog, melainkan interaktif, efektif, dan murah, bahkan gratis bagi siapa saja. Seorang pengamat web, Steven Streight (2004) mendeskripsikan blog sebagai sebuah landasan komunikasi, konektivitas, dan interaktivitas yang memungkinkan para pengguna yang tidak memiliki keahlian HTML dengan cepat dan mudah menerbitkan web untuk pemirsa umum; menjadi pendemokrasian dari penerbitan isi web, kebangkitan yang revolusioner dari akses bersama ke konten internet.

Pendek kata, Streight ingin menunjukkan bahwa blog serupa “situs web tipis” yang tetap memiliki kekuatan sebagaimana web, namun sang pengguna awam bisa mengetahui dan menggunakan secara teknis. Di tengah-tengah perayaan besar kaum pengguna blog, muncul satu pertanyaan, bagaimana cara memenangi pertarungan marketing di medan ini?

Pertanyaan tersebut mendapat respons serius dari seorang konsultan blog marketing, Jeremy Wright. Dalam bukunya Blog Marketing (2005), Wright berpikir mendasar bahwa memiliki sebuah blog tanpa mengetahui tujuan akan seperti seekor penguin berjalan melalui Central Park; menarik untuk dilihat, tetap tidak akan membantu siapa-siapa. Bagi Wright, blog bukan sekadar media penyiaran, melainkan sarana komunikasi bebas antara penjual dan pembeli. Blog memberi kesempatan kepada perusahaan agar semaksimal mungkin menciptakan penjelasan yang baik kepada pembaca. Pengguna blog yang baik adalah mereka yang tidak sekadar berharap menerima komentar, namun juga harus mampu merespons umpan balik, baik yang positif maupun negatif kepada para pembacanya. Umpan balik, menurut Wright, adalah peluang terbaik yang harus dimanfaatkan untuk memenangi persaingan promosi.

Pola komunikasi

Jika blog individu dikelola sesuai selera personal, blog marketing harus dikelola secara resmi. Perusahaan harus membentuk tim untuk melakukan hal ini. Sekalipun blog resmi tujuannya murni untuk promosi, namun isinya harus beda dari penayangan iklan model media cetak atau situs web. Blog resmi dituntut untuk menyajikan ulasan-ulasan yang terjadi dalam dunia industri; proses produksi, kerja tim karyawan, perkembangan industri, gaya hidup, termasuk kegiatan sosial perusahaan. Masih menurut pendapat Wright, keaktifan berinteraksi adalah kata kunci dalam blog. Membalas surat dalam waktu 5 jam adalah baik, 1 jam lebih baik. Ibarat the signpost (papan tanda), pengguna blog harus mampu melakukan dua hal. Pertama, menginformasikan kepada para pembaca tentang informasi-informasi yang bermanfaat. Kedua, menunjukkan jalan ke informasi lain yang lebih bermanfaat.

Dunia cyber tak kenal batas normal dan moralitas. Namun demikian, kita harus percaya bahwa di balik semua itu tetap banyak pembaca yang setia menunggu dengan antusias apa kata “papan tanda” yang dapat dipercaya. Karena itulah, penting kiranya seorang marketing bersikap sabar dan tidak boleh terjebak pada kemarahan dengan setiap omongan yang tidak dikehendaki. Asumsinya, dengan penjelasan yang baik, secara otomatis yang negatif akan terjawab dengan sendirinya. Namun demikian, kita harus sadar bahwa belajar strategi dan pengalaman dari blog yang selama ini sukses masih berada di perusahaan-perusahaan besar (korporat). Bagi perusahaan kecil tentu urusannya lain. Apalagi jika perusahaan tersebut bergerak dalam bidang jasa (nonproduk) atau perusahaan produksi skala menengah ke bawah.

Alhasil, blog memang menjanjikan kemudahan. Namun kemudahan tersebut masih dalam tataran teknis. Untuk keberhasilan marketing tentu membutuhkan pemikiran dan eksperimen tersendiri yang menuntut keringat dan pemikiran jenius. Selamat berusaha! ***

Siti Nur Aryani (naskah ini pernah dimuat di harian Pikiran Rakyat November 2007,

Internet Crime and Application

Menengok Virus-virus Kriminal Internet

Ada banyak ancaman kejahatan di internet. Mulai dari pencurian data, penipuan, carding ilegal, pencurian identitas, lelucon, hingga perusakan web, pembajakan perangkat lunak, injeksi SQL, hingga serangan worm, virus, trojan horse, dan sebagainya. <!–[if gte vml 1]> <![endif]–><!–[if !vml]–>

Hampir semua ancaman tersebut berawal dari perolehan atau pengaksesan malware, perangkat lunak perusak yang wujudnya bisa berupa worm, virus, spyware, bahkan barang kali adware. Khusus untuk adware, menggolongkannya ke dalam kategori malware atau bukan tergantung pada siapa penggunanya. Adware yang muncul secara pop-up di saat kita sedang mengakses situs/blog tertentu, dirasakan sebagian kelompok sebagai pengganggu kenyamanan. Sementara yang lain menganggapnya sebagai bentuk lain sebuah iklan yang wajar.

Kabar terbaru menyebutkan, Komisi Perdagangan Federal (FTC) di Amerika Serikat membantu sebuah perusahaan adware raksasa meraih pengakuan, atau sebaliknya tidak akan digolongkan sebagai bagian dari bisnis. Ironis, karena komisi ini dalam kesempatan yang sama belum juga menindaklanjuti penangkalan cyber crime (kejahatan internet). Ancaman kejahatan di dunia internet diprediksi oleh para pakar dari perusahaan antivirus terkemuka, seperti Symantec dan McAfee, selain semakin meningkat, terutama pada sistem operasi dan aplikasi yang populer, kian mutakhir dalam metode penyerangannya. Seperti diketahui bersama, worm dan virus sangat mudah menyusup ke dalam celah-celah kelemahan suatu sistem. Symantec menyatakan, sistem operasi Vista memiliki 16-19 celah kelemahan.

Jumlah ini tidaklah mengagetkan. Di awal tahun 2003 lalu, penulis menemukan 15 celah keamanan pada Windows Server 2003 Edisi Enterprise. Waktu itu Worm MSBlast sempat menyerang sistem operasi yang belum sempat ditambal. Salah satu tambalan tersebut adalah untuk celah remote-code execution. Sistem operasi penulis pada saat itu diakses secara remote dari server khusus yang tersimpan di Indosat. Secara umum, celah-celah tersebut mengakibatkan aliran data secara realtime pada Stock Screening dari BEJ ke komputer server sempat terhenti selama tiga hari. Tidak hanya sistem operasi terkemuka semacam Windows yang memiliki target serangan para pembuat worm. Pada tahun yang sama, penulis juga menemukan masalah serupa dengan IBM Z/OS. Demikian dalam sistem operasi RedHat Linux 9 yang terdeteksi memiliki celah keamanan sebanyak 70-72 buah.

Setidaknya ini membuktikan jika para pembuat worm dan virus bergerak tanpa pandang bulu; apakah yang jadi target serangannya produk open source atau produk berhak milik. Masih tentang pengalaman penulis, selain sistem operasi, sasaran terobos juga terjadi pada aplikasi lain, seperti MS-SQL, Outlook, dan lain-lain. Jebolnya pertahanan sistem aplikasi kami saat itu juga disebabkan belum diperbaruinya MS-SQL yang memiliki celah kelemahan. Pada akhirnya, penulis bisa melewati serangan tersebut setelah memasukkan tambalan-tambalan pada sistem operasi, aplikasi basis data, sambil memperbarui perangkat lunak antivirus dan anti-malware.

Majalah InformationWeek menulis, setelah sistem operasi, target serangan lainnya adalah situs-situs permainan online. Serangan ini memperkuat dugaan bahwa jejak para cracker selalu mengikuti uang, termasuk para hacker. Khusus di tahun 2007, serangan malware terbesar di Amerika didominasi oleh worm Storm. Meski Amerika dalam hal ini hanya sebagai contoh korban, internet tidaklah mengenal batas zona dan waktu. Worm jenis botnet juga cukup produktif menyerang Asia, termasuk Indonesia. Tidak sedikit yang berpendapat jika Storm diciptakan oleh orang Eropa (di luar Rusia) yang tidak menyukai Amerika. Penciptanya pun teridentifikasi sangat mengenal kultur AS.

“Political cyber crime”

Serangan kejahatan yang menyangkut wilayah politik dan ekonomi negara juga dikabarkan terjadi antara Cina dan Amerika. Tanggal 19 November lalu, InformationWeek, majalah mingguan yang terbit di Amerika ini menulis bahwa Komisi Peninjau Ekonomi dan Keamanan Amerika-Cina (United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission/USCC) mengatakan, Cina sedang mengintai untuk memperoleh penghematan waktu dan uang dalam riset serta pengembangan teknologi canggih yang sedang dikembangkannya.

Pengintaian yang dilakukan orang-orang Cina merupakan ancaman tertinggi untuk teknologi AS. Selain itu, komisi ini juga menyatakan perhatiannya atas kemampuan militer Cina dalam menghancurkan satelit untuk melakukan serangan cyber melawan jaringan komputer dan sistem pertahanan cyber AS. Serangan terorganisasi tersebut telah meluas sejak tahun 2005. Sebagai langkah pertahanan, laporan tersebut menyarankan adanya funding yang mendukung penegakan kendali ekspor, khususnya untuk mendeteksi serta mencegah transfer teknologi secara ilegal ke Cina. Lain peperangan cyber antara Amerika-Cina, lain pula bentuk peperangan antara Malaysia-Indonesia. Akhir-akhir ini kita menyaksikan peperangan yang dilakukan sekelompok anak Indonesia dengan anak negeri Malaysia. Tapi, peperangan tersebut baru hanya pada ejekan dalam forum, blog hingga web-spoofing.


Kembali pada worm Storm. Dalam wujud tunggalnya, worm ini telah teruji mengalami pertumbuhan yang pesat. Network World, Inc., sebuah perusahaan riset dan media teknologi yang juga divisi dari IDG, menulis bahwa Storm merupakan worm terproduktif. Sekali sebuah PC mengunjungi situs web yang terinfeksi, dan Storm yang berada di sana terunduh, PC tersebut sudah pasti tertulari. Dengan begitu, PC secara otomatis akan dikendalikan oleh orang lain tanpa disadari pemiliknya. Dalam waktu bersamaan, PC ini akan membentuk botnet yang dapat digunakan untuk mengirimkan spam, meluncurkan serangan DOS (denial-of-service) terdistribusi, atau induk situs web akan mengunduh malware lebih banyak lagi.

Seperti diketahui, botnet adalah pembentuk jaringan “zombie”. Hal ini juga diakui Adi Maulana, ahli jaringan dan keamanan di sebuah perusahaan swasta, Jakarta. Dari pengalamannya, ia menyarankan perlunya para praktisi keamanan TI perusahaan untuk mewaspadai jenis worm yang menyerang perusahaan. Worm ini biasanya masuk lewat jaringan dan sistem kerjanya menyiarkan perintah, sehingga lalu lintas jaringan yang tadinya kosong menjadi penuh. Pada gilirannya, hal ini akan membuat koneksi jaringan antarcabang perusahaan terputus. Kemampuan Storm hingga seperti itu adalah karena teknik pengodeannya yang kian mutakhir, sehingga mampu berkomunikasi melalui saluran yang terenkripsi sekalipun, sekaligus terus mengubah metode serangannya. Cara kerja Storm tidak seperti virus atau worm tradisional, yang menghapus data atau file. Storm menginstalkan dirinya dalam PC melalui spam yang bukan dibawa oleh pesan dalam e-mail, melainkan meraih korban melalui kunjungannya ke situs yang terinfeksi malware.

Sepuluh ancaman

Dalam pandangan perusahaan antivirus Symantec ada sepuluh ancaman tertinggi. Pertama, pencurian data. Kedua, serangan terhadap sistem operasi Vista. Ketiga, spam yang meningkat pertumbuhannya di pertengahan tahun 2007. Keempat, serangan terhadap situs-situs transaksi online. Kelima, pencurian identitas. Keenam, eksploitasi merek terkenal. Ketujuh, bot. Kedelapan, celah-kelemahan yang terdapat pada modul pendukung (plug-in) web. Kesembilan, penciptaan pasar untuk kelemahan keamanan. Sebagai contoh, pemrakarsa keamanan, WabiSabiLabi memata-matai dan berperan sebagai pemberi informasi untuk meyakinkan pembeli dalam memperoleh informasi tentang kelemahan keamanan yang belum diketahui publik.

Kesepuluh, keamanan mesin virtual. Ancaman berbasis web ini akan mendominasi karena pada dasarnya penjelajah semakin seragam dalam cara merespons bahasa skrip semisal JavaScript. Dengam kondisi ini, pembuat malware dapat terus mengandalkan penggunaannya. Sebagai contoh, SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security) Institute, sebuah organisasi riset dan edukasi di Amerika Serikat mengatakan, terdapat ratusan domain (hampir 40 ribu halaman) di internet diyakini telah diambil alih oleh pembuat situs Cara perusakan massal tersebut dengan melakukan injeksi script tag ke 40 ribu halaman web dari berbagai domain. Script tag atau baris perintah ini adalah salah satu kode XSS (cross-sites scripting) yang berisikan tautan ke file Javascript di sebuah situs tertentu.

Ancaman kejahatan di atas tidak selesai hanya dengan produk penangkal, apalagi sekadar melalui penegakan hukum. Semakin kompleks dan mutakhirnya metode serangan kejahatan memerlukan perpaduan yang solid antara keamanan dan manajemen sistem. Jika yang menjadi korban kejahatan ini adalah kalangan perusahaan, mereka sering kurang terbuka ke publik. Alasannya karena masalah kredibilitas. Lho kok? ***

Siti Nur Aryani Konsultan TI Aufklarung C & P; Application Provider for Global Market (, 29 November 2007)