The evolution of Blogging and the trend in 2012
Kenya is one of the few countries in the continent with a vibrant online community and 2012 has proven to be the year when many Kenyans have created their own personal blogs. Musicians and businesses have also gone online with their brands to take advantage of the new trends of e-marketing.
Generally, the online world is dominated by search engines and the behemoth social networking sites. This is illustrated by the top 10 most popular sites in the world which include Google, Facebook, Youtube, Yahoo, Baidu, Wikipedia, windows live, Amazon, QQ and Twitter respectively.
However, blogging has emerged as a more elaborate platform for creating communities around certain topical issues or simply as a way of maintaining an online presence for closed groups of friends and family where people share ideas, photos and other multimedia objects.
In Kenya, Kenyanlist continues to be the most popular Social networking site, while other local sites that Kenyans frequently visit include Daily Nation Online Edition, Standard online, Capital fm and Olx.com. Perhaps what is turning out to be a global trend, and this is what I think will form the basis of future online activity, is the increased interest in forming blogs among online users.
This has been made much easier by the free web authoring tools that are now available to everyone and are very easy to use. Today, you can actually create a decent blog and start uploading content in less than an hour depending on your understanding of online software.
The most popular free online blogging tool is blogspot.com which now hosts millions of blogs from around the world. Other content management systems that have enabled even armatures to create blogs include WordPress, Tumblr and Joomla.
All the same, Kenyan bloggers are a vibrant lot with many of them actually running professional blogs with a wealth of information touching on almost every topic starting from Agriculture, technology, fashion, health to legal issues. Although there are efforts towards professionalizing the trade in the future, currently it is an individual affair.
Some of the most popular blogs in Kenya (in random selection) include Techmtaa.com, Nanciemwai.com, Futaa.com, Kenyanjobs.blogspot.com, Kenyanpost.com and Ghafla.co.ke. Running a professional website, like what these guys are doing is no mean feat, because it requires dedication, financial investment and great skill.
When carefully planned and meticulously executed, blogging can be a source of income for a blogger especially when you monetize it. Some sell affiliate products on their blogs while others use ad agencies to place advertisements on their blogs. However, this has worked tremendously in other parts of the world, but hardly so here in Kenya.
As 2013 begins, there is bound to be a lot of development in the online scene unlike nothing we have seen so far. Whether or not there’s going to be any increase in blogging activity, the evidence is there for everyone to see call.