Skip to main content

Independence 2.0

Welcome back readers. Its been a long time since I posted my 100th post, which I have been wallowing in its miasma (whatever that phrase means). There have been several changes. First the title of my blog changed, and so did the domain, which are still in the process of changing.

This takes me back a few years back when I was in campus and started blogging. Then blogs were rare, and access to the internet for many meant going to a cyber. Over time, this has changed as undersea fibre arrived and mobile operators passed this on to us through modems.

We now have several bigger blogs that have come up and surpassed this one by several factors. Nairobi Nights, the diary of a Nairobi prostitute is battling out for the International DW Best Of Blogs Awards (that German News TV station that KBC used to screen over lunch hour), Walalahoi is a forum that has a few times brought us the intimate moments of several Kenyans, from Kakamega Muliro Gardens to Ladies Hostels in our campuses. On the other hand we have Idd Salim advising us on several aspects of a programmer to criticising the policies of a few firms here and there. There is also Media Madness Kenya which has more gossip about our entertainment industry combined than what gossip columns in our dailies and tabloids offer.

Back before I started blogging, back when having a number 1 album on billboard meant several millions in sales rather than a couple hundred thousand, corporates had a good time handling communications. Then, to get good coverage, you mostly needed to keep media houses and journalists happy, which is not a hard job. A few goodies, trips here and there would iron things out. Furthermore, journalists are usually quite busy trying to cover several events and other news issues in a day, not much time for them to scrutinise a corporates decisions and policies.

Then generation 2.0 came in. Born in the late 70s and mostly in the 80s and later, the generation was not satisfied with the traditional media and communications industry. They invented what the called a web 2.0, an internet that went beyond a few large firms generating content and several million users accessing it.

To them, e-mail came with Instant Messaging, friends were not called, or send an SMS, they belonged to an online community that exchanged lots of multimedia and went by the name Facebook. They had free pages to express their opinions courtesy of Blogger and Wordpress. Soon, they had an open network through which to express their opinions to the rest of the World, in 140 characters. Twitter they called it.

Now we have many people who are able to afford internet connections, have them and access content on the net. What's the implication?

It means that corporates now have several million people who can give their opinion. Exposure is very high. A media house will likely ignore a small controversial bit of your policy, but the online generation is unforgiving.

There is more, in Kenya, there is a generation that has new ideologies and sense of pride. Its is a generation ready to walk the talk when it comes to supporting Kenyan. It has long been argued that we are a neo-colonised nation. Independence to us meant a change of the ruling class from our colonial masters to the so called "our people".

Impacts of the above two factors is just starting to crop up , and last week saw a this issues raised.

There is a local arm of a South African on line retail marketplace who were recently showcasing their product to techies at the iHub. On their brochures, it said that their product was developed using "superior European Technology." This saw them brought to task the following day, starting with roomthinker claiming that his porridge had been made using superior European technology, and later in the week through a blog post in which Kachwanya questions our lack of national esteem.

Safaricom also found themselves in hot water when a story appearing on the Daily Nation claimed that the firm was looking at Vodafone to bring in foreigners to fill in the CxO positions. Bob Collymore, Safaricom CEO was quick on Twitter to point out that the article was eroneous, and the Daily Nation corrected it. However, the damage had been done as people still believe that Safaricom does not think we have credible managers locally.

The ICT Board and the Government have also found themselves been questioned in a couple of occasions. At first,Permanent Secretary in the Kenya's Ministry of Communication, Bitange Ndemo had to explain to KICTANET, a prominent mailing list on why the government's Twitter campaign was been run from Washington , USA. His explanation was that the Twitter campaign was a value add for an image campaign been run in USA by a publicity firm. But even before he was done, the ICT board was on the receiving end, this time round for hosting a Kenya Marketting event in the "prestigious" Bellagio in Italy. Argument here, if the target audience thinks Kenya is too filthy for them to come here, we should not bother doing business with them. The ICT Boards argument was that the conference was funded in Italy hence we had nothing to loose.

There is also a local hotel that is accused of  giving whites priority in service, and many other 'top' hotels have been accused of this.

Now you may understand why Michael Joseph does not like bloggers.

It is just a beginning where corporates are receiving extensive coverage for their policies and strategies. They may be feeling the heat and shifting in their seats. In the future there will be more heat as consumers will peg their purchase decisions on what is reported in their social network.

Corporates need to be aware of this exposure and ways of damage control. They can even meet bloggers halfway in their marketing, like Nokia has done in Kenya where it hands sample products to bloggers who then come up with undercover marketing schemes.

As I finish off , I am seeing Tweets stating that NTV news is no longer giving politics a priority, for the second day in a row. At this rate, I may be getting an aerial and a TV set.

post blog update:
Just before I posted this post, I came across new information which suggests that probably Collymore is looking to Vodafone for staffing as he finds it hard to trust any of Safaricom current employees due to rampant cases of graft within the firm.

While the above may be just a rumour, the issues raised are serious.

Self Esteem as a Nation will have to go hand in hand with integrity. If we have low integrity, we even find it hard to believe in ourselves.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nairobi's Top 4 Texas Brisket Places Reviewed and Ranked

Brisket on a bed of roast vegetables with barbecue sauce at Texas Brisket, Kikuyu  This review has been updated after a number of you suggested I try the brisket at County2County.  What's the best place to have Brisket in Nairobi? What's even brisket?  Brisket is one of the toughest cuts in a cow, from around the belly. It is so tough that it has to be smoked for about 16 hours to tenderise. But that there, is the catch.  16 hours later, it is the most flavourful and softest cut you will ever have. So full of flavour and so soft you can pick it apart with your fingers.  However, due to the long cooking time involved, only a few places offer brisket in Nairobi.  The best so far is Texas Brisket which is located within Kikuyu Railway station.  They do the meat for a proper 16 hours, and will usually have a fatty or non-fatty portion. The fatty portions are more tasty. A 500 gram serving goes for KSh. 900 and a 1 KG order comes with a serving of free fries. Their brisket has a wel

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

Note: This is a dated post and has since been mostly passed by events. SAB Miller beers including Castle and Peroni are no longer widely available in Kenya after their exist. Sirville Brewery was bought out by Brew Bistro before being permanently shut in a tax dispute. Kenya is a land of milk, honey, beaches and taxes. I have penned, or is typed, a newer post here .  Peroni - One of the best beers in Kenya. Did a taste of canned and bottled Italian, and bottled Tanzanian I like the tangy flavour and body in Tanzanian Peroni. The can is close. Heineken drinkers will like the Italian one.  I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinion of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives one free, extra hangover for every hangover you get

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

A spoonful of sugar, but for who? ( Image: Carol Wallis on Flickr ) Have you heard the bitter story of Mumias Sugar? Regarded by many as Kenya's most successful sugar miller, Mumias Sugar Company was a disaster waiting to happen. Many pointed out how Mumias Sugar Company was a fortress in the wreck that is Kenya's sugar industry, only unaware that it was just a matter of time. As the old wise men said, "Ukiona cha mwenzako cha nyolewa, tia chako maji". The proverb means that if you see your neighbour's head getting shaved, your head will soon be undergoing the same - you'd therefore better wet your head for a smoother shave, otherwise you will be forced to undergo a painful, dry, shave. But what ails Kenya's sugar industry? The Kenya sugar industry is under legal siege. The typical Kenyan issue of coming up with laws to tackle a problem is evident here. Many of Kenya's sugar factories are owned by the government, and have slowly decline

Heineken 0.0 Best Alcohol Free Beer

What if you wanted to drink a beer, but without getting drunk? Say, you don’t drink alcohol, or for one reason or another, you are off alcohol. Or perhaps it’s a working day, and you would like to have a cold one in the middle of the day but without all negative effects. Well, you could. Welcome to the world of Alcohol-free beer.  Over the last few days, I’ve been enjoying some Heineken 0.0 rather than the typical beers. Now, Heineken 0.0 is a beer, in the malt lager style as the standard Heineken, the only difference being that all the alcohol has been removed - it contains less than 0.03% alcohol, which counts as safe enough even for those who are pregnant or affected by alcohol, according to Heineken. It smells very close to a Heineken, tastes close to a Heineken, and you even keep taking a piss like you would when drinking a Heineken - but you never get drunk.  How do they remove all the alcohol? From my research, they brew a standard Heineken beer as normal, then use some form

Counterfeit alcohol hits Nairobi

Counterfeit The Famous Grouse    bought at a shop along Nairobi's Dubois road, note the packaging. Dishonest dealers in Kenya are now repackaging various alcohols and selling them off to unsuspecting buyers. The scam appears to target a broad range of popular spirits, including Smirnoff Vodka and The Famous Grouse Whiskey. Various residents have reported that the drinks are sold in shops in down-town Nairobi and cheap clubs. Popular drinks are either substituted with similar looking forms of alcohol or blended with them. Vodka is substituted with chang'aa , a local moonshine drink while brandies are used to dilute, or wholly sold off as more expensive whiskies. There is suspicion that some of the alcohol used in this drinks is diluted industrial alcohol. Industrial alcohol is normally cleared, with tricks such as food colouring and perfume deployed to have the counterfeit alcohol look like the genuine one. The syndicate appears to be recycling bottles which are colle