Blogging has come a long way over time from the years when it was done predominantly for fun, to current times when it can and has become a full on career for some. It’s laudable that blogging enthusiasts the world over have kept the fire burning and seen to it that the blogging field has grown in leaps and bounds over time. Personally I was blogging before I knew what blogging was. A few years ago (2009) I kept a book which I would write poems in or anything I thought was creatively constructed. My problem was that I kept losing it and it got frustrating at times. When I joined Facebook I had finally found a platform where I could write my thoughts and not worry about losing them. The only thing I had to remember was the password which was so much easier than remembering every single poem I had written. Social interaction was just a bonus. So later on during my internet adventure I stumbled upon WordPress which now allowed me to write longer articles. I felt I had more authority over my creativity cuz it gave me the option to add pictures to it. One day way before affordable PCs and modems and Wi-Fi began choking the cyber café industry, a friend found me typing something on WordPress and he was surprised that I was a blogger and not knowing what that was I was quick to refute. That time I didn’t even know one could publish, or share work. All I wanted in WordPress was to never lose a single piece of writing again. This was all new to me. The more my friend showed me about WordPress the more I wanted to learn and as they say everything else is history. It was like an internet love story.
Fast forward to 2015 when the Bloggers Association of Kenya (Bake) were at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology to launch a university chapter (Bake-Dekut) and train members of the blogging community about writing skills, blogging as a source of income, online entrepreneurship and social media and blogging ethics. The training was done by Bake Director Njeri Wangari and later an open interactive forum moderated by Director James Wamathai. On the panel was Mbugua Njihia Ceo of Symbiotic Africa, Shitemi Khamadi a political blogger and columnist and Sam Wakoba of Techmoran a blog that talks about all matters technology. After the training the participants were treated to cake to mark the launch of the university chapter.It was quite funny as it gave a twist to the acronym ‘BAKE’. Lunch and refreshments were also provided to the participants.
The launch was graced by the university’s VC Prof P.N. Kioni as he also welcomed the initiative. This is the 2nd university chapter to be launched after Daystar University. Jane Muthoni, Bake admin said they look forward to more interaction with DeKUT community.
One of the issues that came up during the training is the responsible use of blogging and microblogging platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The internet penetration in Kenya has been escalating by the day with Social sites like Facebook and Twitter bragging a total of about 5 million users in Kenya. It has proved to be a powerful tool in certain spheres especially in the corporate world as it has enabled businesses to explore both far and emerging markets. Corporate brands have seen the need and benefit of being what people in social media are talking about through Conversation Rate Optimization (CRO).
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Photography: Sam Kairu & Jared Maina