Monday, March 21, 2016


Terengganu's Online Footprint

A pet peeve of mine over the years is how reluctant clubs in the region have been to communicate with their supporters on line. Indonesia is a case in point. If you wanted to know about Arema for example the best resource is probably the fan website Ongisnade although the official website has been improving of late. Likewise fan sites like Persija's Jak Online have long filled a void left by the club's lack of attention to PR.

It is only belatedly that clubs have seen the merit in have a strong online presence and it is perhaps ironic that two of the Indonesian clubs that lead the way are 'newer' clubs. Both Bali United and Pusamania Borneo have worked hard to raise their club's profile on line in the last year or so and have not just focused on the social media side. Both seem to realise the importance of an attractive website and the fact the social media is there to drive traffic to the site and not just be a means to the end. Clubs that see Facebook as their official website are missing a trick or two.

Unfortunately, but perhaps understandably so, the Indonesian club websites tend to be in Indonesian language only. Given the lack of attention paid by mainstream media that is perhaps understandable. There are some unofficial accounts that try and provide English language news, again Persib and Arema seem to the lead the way but they are in the minority.

But Thai clubs have long embraced a multi language on line presence and many people in the region know that little bit more about clubs like Muang Thong United because their English language footprint enables them to reach a wider audience.

Malaysian club Terengganu are one side that seems to be taking a leaf from the Thai club's experience. They started tweeting in English not to long ago. They have now added Chinese language to their tweets so each time they do tweet it appears in three languages.Malaysia of course has a multi racial society with most people speaking at least one of the three languages but why have so few clubs been slow to take on this approach and be inclusive to the whole country as well as people beyond the borders of the country?

Is it important to have clubs provide news in more than one language. Of course it isn't. The world won't end just because Persija's idea of being online is to only communicate in Indonesian. After all that is their supporter base. But if clubs want to expand their supporter base and generate a presence in different countries, which is what the likes of Arsenal, Muang Thong United and FC Tokyp do. And let's be brutally frank. If the story ain't in English, it ain't a story is it?

Terengganu's approach is hardly novel but in a sense they are torch bearing for the country and surely other clubs will start to see the benefit of having an online presence that speaks more than one language.

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