* This article is translated from the original transcript of interview with Ronald Widha from TemanMacet.com which can be found here
I’ve been a fan of Teman Macet for quite some time, a podcast web about programming and information industry. Teman Macet was founded by Ronald Widha, a programmer who is currently working in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. With my huge interest about Teman Macet, I invited Ronald to be interviewed by me and post it here in TeknoJurnal about Teman Macet and Ronald himself.
What is Ronald doing at the moment?
Currently I work for Infusion Development, a company originally from New York. I just happened to be placed in one of our newest office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I am a team lead, which means the combination of technical and management. The company focus more on the latest technologies from Microsoft Stack, but now also started to consider Apple iOS market for products that are consumed directly by the public.
Is Ronald ever work in Indonesia or work directly to Dubai?
Prior to living in Dubai, I had lived nearly 10 years in Australia. After completing the university, I work at several companies, from design firms, enterprise and then the last one is at one of Australia’s largest .com . So it has been long enough away from the technological development of Indonesia. Since living in Dubai, my sense of longing for Indonesia is increasing. I then entered the Indonesian blogosphere and somehow found Koprol, and then finally met DailySocial and Navinot. From there I started to be fascinated by the Indonesian technology industry. And Teman Macet was born.
Ronald can you explain what is Teman Macet? Who knows some of the readers are not familiar with Teman Macet yet
Teman Macet is actually an entity that is still evolving. The initial idea is an audio podcast network. A container to put the talks on Indonesian technology industry. So it’s just like IT conversations maybe. The recruitment process of interest to produce the content was not as big as I thought. Perhaps because the barrier of entry is high enough to produce a recording. In the end Teman Macet becomea a canal for me to interrogate some of my Indonesian friends to share stories, experiences and the most important is science that has something to do with technology.
The form of the media is mp3. Each week we published one episode with length approximately at 30 minutes. I sometimes accompanied by other co-host, Ariya Hidayat, when speaking with a resource person. The form of Teman Macet might still continue to change. We will see it later.
What is Ronald’s Vision and Misson for Teman Macet?
Simple: a container for knowledge sharing. Rather than keeping my knowledge and experience for myself, it is much better sharing them to others.
Teman Macet’s name itself may also be able to give a special dimension. Our learning process as an electron masseur is often incidental, it will be brilliant if it could be exposed to others by osmosis. Transforming activities that waste time into more productive like while ironing, while jogging, while coding, or while trapped in traffic. A typical programmer’s mind: Teman Macet actually wants to solve this time optimization problem!
Currently, what is the majority of TemanMacet listeners?
Market segmentation of Teman Macet is pretty niche. Mainly Indonesian programmers and observers/IT enthusiasts.
But this is one problem that we have as a Podcast. Podcast itself is a technology that I think is quite flexible but also primitive. The combination of these two lead characters become somewhat difficult to assess whether listeners are really like what I think. Everyone can listen to Teman Macet with a different way for each of them. Some might use iTunes, RSS reader, go directly to the website, etc..
But it seems the audiences are now much broader, including the startup enthusiasts and students.
I’m not sure whether the widening of market segmentation is a good thing for Teman Macet. I do not want to lose focus on Teman Macet. But at the same time Teman Macet will not survive if the community did not develop.
Who is Behind Temand Macet? Is it only you Ronald?
About who was behind Teman Macet… lots of people!
I’ve been receiving ideas and resources from listeners of Teman Macet itself. Without this community, I’m really can not produce anything.
For hosting the event currently there’s only Ariya Hidayat and myself. But I often routinely attract certain guests like Ari Awan, Henry Luk, Ifnu Bima and Zeddy Iskandar.
For editing and preparation of content, unfortunately, still alone. If anyone is interested to help please contact me.
At the initial phase of Teman Macet, what is Ronald biggest obstacle?
At the early time, there are not much obstacles since there is nothing to lose isn’t it. Website is simple, and recordings are not much too. I want the process is as friction free as possible. And I think I quite successfully achieved that.
Once it became popular, the main problem is consistency. How can Teman Macet routinely published episodes alongside my business as a husband, geek, and employee (notice the order … hehe). Moreover, soon I will have a new role, a father. But I’m excited and optimistic, for all those different aspects of my life. Life’s good
Before Teman Macet, is Ronald an active speaker/interviewer? Because you seems to talk really well with people in the podcast? Since generally programmers are people who have a hard time talking with people
I actually think the opposite. I had a harsh criticism from listeners of Teman Macet on how I should learn about presentations and journalism. I still have a lot to learn about the disclosure of topics, interview techniques, good pronunciation and so on.
For my fluency, I think as long as the topic is close to the heart, I will become fluent. If the talks are about football I would stutter since I don’t understand a thing.
Maybe also because I positioned myself as someone who sincerely wants to learn, Teman Macet is not monetized. As for the selfish side, I am using this podcast to learn. Rather than reading a book, I can ask directly to people ho are already good at their specialism. Later if I want to ask about Activity in Android again I know who must be asked (*pointing the finger at the interviewer, hehe….*)
Is in near term Ronald got a special plan for Teman Macet?
Each episode is always special . . But for long term plan, remains unclear. But I have some few ideas:
1. In terms of building the community. I’m still looking for the right approach. I want to develop Teman Macet without destroying the essence of Teman Macet and making it feels like selling it out.
2. I want to press more into two main topics: new technologies and observations. For new technologies, it is always challenging. Because surely we still have much to learn. But hopefully we can accelerate the iterative process of our learning with sharing early, and getting early feedback. For observations, see Teman Macet episode no. 50 later, with large panels from Selina Limman, Ari Awan, Rama Mamuaya and Zeddy Iskandar in the same episode. It’s crowdy!
3. I want to develop Teman Macet becoming more into the network. I’m at the process of talking with friends from Fowab and Bancakan to help hosting audio recordings materials of their events. Hopefully it will be achieved.
Why there are not much local podcasts compared to podcast at other countries, is it because the lack of interest?
For most part, demand drives supply. With sad bandwith in Indonsia, and the use of portable mp3 player is still prevalent, demand for audio content is still lacking. Blog works perfectly because it can be consumed while working, while mobile and so on. For audio, Indonesia still has inherent challenges.
If the question is reversed, why Teman Macet’s form is an audio podcast, not a blog, or not a video? It’s actually because of my ego. I feel that audio podcast it the most friction-free. No need to write, no need of spell check, chat and recording. That’s it. Even though the fact is there was a frill like editing, mixing etc.. hahahaha
If those two obstacles were not resolved, the future of audio podcast in Indonesia will not grow. But the optimist side is podcast was just a medium. The important one is the content. It doesn’t close the possibility that Teman Macet will be born again later as a video on youtube like other friends. Hosting cost does not scale, let alone Teman Macet is a free podcast website.
What is your thought on Indonesia’s IT community development Ronald, does it shows a significant development now?
To answer that question I need to know the current situation and previous situation as a base line. It is rather difficult to answer the question considering I do not live in that community.
If I only see from the current side only …. I feel that the community is very healthy. Proved by the number of communities and information sources available both online and offline. There will be the process of Darwinism. Survival of the most useful
That’s it for the English version, if there is anyone wants to be interviewed at TeknoJurnal? Just fill the contact form.