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posted Apr 11, 2012, 10:56 PM by Haris Hashim   [ updated Apr 12, 2012, 3:54 AM ]

Back Drop


Pardon the"food-a-licious" driven title. I start this "Life Blogging" section with Lobsterlicious. Then it cross over to "Tech blogging" in the form of Flowchart-a-Licious. Now another life experience following the same trend.It says that life is delicious. More so when going through new experience. In this case, a life experience that demonstrate this idea very accurately. Hence, worth the "delicous" moniker.


Before we proceed further, here is some pictures of the conference. 

Credit goes to Muhd Syazwan as the photographer.


Credit goes to Mohd Naim Ibrahim as the photographer.

Organizer with Redhuan D. Oon - elected advisor of the new NGO

Haris Fazillah Jamel - pro-term chairman

Raja Iskandar
Raja Iskandar Shah - ex pro-term AJK

Eric Yeoh
Eric Yeoh - Elected pro-term Chairman of the new NGO

The new NGO is established as "Persatuan Sistem Bebas dan Sumber Terbuka". Credit need to be given to, which is a group of people (as well as Facebook group) that is the force behind this new NGO establishment.

More pictures are available from the Facebook Group photo album.


Few weeks back, somehow I got involved with group of people. Whose purpose is to jumpstart a new NGO targeting open source. 7 is the number, always love that number. At the heart of it is also the issue of "Bantah CPB". Which is a hot topic in Malaysia at the moment.

Our initial idea is to have organization that identify and fight for issues which impact Malaysia opensource community. It is decided to use 2 pronge attack approach. The first is no other than NGO formation mentioned above.

Middle Ground Politic

The second is through the principle of "middle ground" politic. With the premise that Malaysian are too political. Because of this, issues are politicized to the point that it is unsolveable politically.

In political climate where supporter and deterrent of isseus are somewhat balance. The pull and push of political current is in such a way that (almost) 50% of the populace will be against the idea of the other (almost) 50% of the population.

But that is for another story

The Social Network

For the first pronge. An attempt has been made to use as the platform and starting community. The idea is to assist the group registration process as NGO without taking over existing pro-term and AJK members position.

However, this has somewhat being miscommunited which resulted to challanges as detailed bellow..

The first challenge is the intent. It has been questioned, whether effort is made to hijack the community. In fact, first meeting turnout resulting from such call is only 7 people. This shows that the initial effort is not properly understood. People doubt the purpose. However, honestly communicating intention and answering challenges in balance way result to more people coming to the second meeting. Here is where communication and raise of awareness contribute to understanding.

The second challenge is awareness. Facebook is "to the face" kind of communication. The effectiveness of Facebook notification at it's default setting is in such a way that you get email and indicator for new responses. More so when one become addicted to Facebook. There is obsessiveness that compel Facebook user to check all notifications. At some point it become troublesome. Sooner or later, users will practice selective attention and begin to filter some of that notification as noise.

In my humble opinion, despite the way our brain function to filter these noises. The importance of a particular idea will bubble up to the surface. As more and more Facebook user discuss it.

Flame That Does Not Burn

Here is where flaming can be an effective method of communnication. Flame, by my own definition, are challenging statements that make people think and somewhat raise the spirit of argument.

In this way, gradually more people will talk about an idea. Whether attacking or defending it. What important here is to consistently talk about one idea. In the context of Facebook, it does not matter whether it is in different threads of discussion. Scattered among different group, in own walls or in Event thread. As long as the users are talking about that same idea.

This is the beuty of Facebook notification. It does not matter whether initially this process is just making noise. As long as it is done in consistent and balance manner. As mentioned earlier, more and more people will "talk" about it. An idea that is initially thought as noise, will bubble up in term of importance. More so when those who attack and defend the idea "ping" more people and bring them into the discussion.

It is hard to flame and be balance at the same time. This is where neutral and balance comment that challenge people to think are more effective. As opposed to insulting people personally or being immature. I found that as a group of open source people. Are more receptive of flame and respond back in mature manner. In this way, all involved actually able to go over personal differences and become united in ideas and identity.

Hence, I would like to put it here that this group of people have cohesiveness. Unlike that one other group, where there is no identity or function that ties people together. In addition, that other group is also marred by immature people who tend to snipe from very far and attack people personally. (:D I am doing the same thing now, so pardon me!).

Let's finish this section with a summary. In a way, I have experience a flame that does not burn. A concept that is further demonstrated by the meet up that happen yesterday!

Physical Meeting

I have been told many time that online communication using text is only 7% effective. Hence sometime we (especially me!) flame too much. Without reading body langguage as well as voice tone. This is the beauty of yesterday meeting.

Finally we all get to see the real faces behind open source in Malaysia! The tone is very easy. I wrote somewhere that a group of Malaysians tend to joke when they are together. This is the body langguage seen with my own eyes. The closeness that we miss during virtual interaction in Facebook.

More importantly, everyone make their stand without tone or body langguage of hurt. As a result, the meeting proceed in very conducive manner without  much drama or negative emotion. The only emotion that I see is happiness and people in agreement with each other.

With that said, I would wish those who attend to be more vocal. As well as having more active opposition over issues (Update to clarify: someone suggest something, so there must be someone that oppose to! Otherwise what use to be in a group where everyone agree on everything?). Again, I would stress that this is the concept of flame. In my humble opinion. Only in flame that we can be forged closer together as well as having a tougher stand. Thoroughly discussing the issues and fleshing it out in the open. Resulting to all opinion being amalgamated into one collective wisdom! (Borg style?).

In Summary

To close this write up. I regret not being able to talk with more people and exchange ideas. Yesterday experience will change me forever. Hopefully we can all meet again. Giving me the opportunity to improve in this matter. Also a way to gain more insight by talking with stake holders of open source.

It is also wise to note how communication that lead to the meeting demonstrate strengths and weaknesses of Social Media. In this case, Facebook. Another area that I would like to further explore. We have this chance to turn it into a very useful platform that unite people. Not to forget, that such virtual meet up should be strengthen by physical events! Otherwise we are missing the full potential of social media.

*      Please comments or say hi in my Facebook wall. Google sites do not have commenting facility. The Haris Hashim Facebook
**     Please do not publish any part of this article without my written consent. I reserve the right to claim that my cat write this! (Hint: I do not have cat).
***    Link to document that describe OSDC Master Plan. Put it here as reference so that I can find it in the future. The new NGO can of course expand on it.
****   Damn! I love all the pictures. We should do this more often <wink><wink> to the photographers.