Tuesday, 22 January 2008
Kenya bloggers postscript
My post on the inspiring development of the Kenyan blogosphere has been picked up. This got me adding a couple of observations — points which I'm not picking up elsewhere.
1. One of the new tech angles in the crisis is SMS/Mobile. This is enormous in Africa and widely used - people send money by text. As there's a total news media blackout, SMS has been key for news. The blogosphere is keyed right into this, with many relaying messages and using SMS networks to find out and distribute news. As well, the big East African forum Masada includes SMS discussion. I'm not aware of anything like this anywhere else — Kenyans are in advance of the US/Europe I think?
2. All types of bloggers feel that they must contribute. I have seen golf blogs, religious blogs, business blogs all chipping in and receiving comments - suggesting a thriving online network of ideas spreading out way beyond the usual suspects. Again, I'd suggest this is a new phenomenon.
There has been some comment online bemoaning the lack of interest in Kenya - notably from Robert Scroble - But it's not 'white guilt' that should get Scobalites interested alone, just look at the tech issues and there's something of great interest which seems to be passing the commentariat by.