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"Apakabar" Database

Longer history of
the Apakabar database

SEARCH the database

The original Apakabar archive is now searchable through a web site maintained at Ohio University. The database is a unique resource in Indonesian studies. The database is comprised of approximately 175,000 Indonesian and English-language postings from various moderated lists covering the period October 1990 to February 2002. The name, "Apakabar" is derived from the email address of the lists' moderator, Dr. John A. MacDougall.

In the early 1990's the posting were carried in a newsgroup hosted by the Institute for Global Communications (IGC), an English-language activist network. The postings consist of both news reports, and exchanges of opinion, among Indonesians at home and those living overseas. An important policy of the list was pluralism, "a code word for free expression Indonesians did not then enjoy in their own country" (Email communication from John MacDougall, Nov. 4, 2002). As the list expanded it was moved to a commercial host, Esosoft, and was accessed by an even greater audience. At this time, journalists and non-governmental organizations were active participants and posted content and opinions that would have been risky to present in their own country. The Apakabar list eventually reached 250,000 readers in 96 different nations to become the largest Indonesian list in the history of the Internet.

The Apakabar database is searchable in English and Indonesian. It contains the complete sets of the postings previously found on the Indonesia-related lists run by John MacDougall on the website, which is designed to advance Indonesian studies throughout the world. The site has always been available at no cost to users and was funded by profits by the moderator's periodicals business, Indonesia Publications. Unfortunately, by early 2002 the costs of maintaining the site had grown too great and the list was closed solely for financial reasons. The focus of the site has now be been converted by the moderator to a research and learning site on Indonesia.

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