In a bid to reward exceptional bloggers and to also promote content creation in Kenya, BAKE will be organizing bloggers awards this year under the moniker ‘BAKE Blog Awards’. The idea is to recognize bloggers that post consistently, have great and useful content, and are creative and innovative.
There will be a submission phase starting March 15th where blogs will be nominated in 14 categories as below:
1. Best Technology Blog
Blogs that cover tech matters like social media, internet usage, consumer electronics, mobile phones, tech startups etc.
2. Best Photography Blog
Blogs that showcase original photos or have photography related content.
3. Best Creative Writing Blog
Blogs that feature original creative writing in the form of poetry, fiction and essays.
4. Best Business Blog
Blogs that feature business content like business development, entrepreneurship, startups, stocks, investments, banking etc
5. Best Food Blog
Blogs that focus on food, cooking tips, restaurants, wines and recipes
6. Best Agriculture Blog
Blogs that focus on Farming, marketing of agricultural produce, and environmental impact of climate change
7. Best Fashion Blog
Blogs that highlight current trends in Fashion as well as personal grooming, fashion shows
8. Best Politics Blog
Blogs that cover political issues in Kenya.
9. Best New Blog
Outstanding Blogs that were set up from March 24th 2011 onwards.
10. Best Corporate Blog
Blogs run by companies.
11. Best General Blog
Blogs that features content that is exceptional but doesn’t don’t fit into any of the other 13 categories.
12. Best Sports Blog
Blogs that feature sports content.
13. Tweep of the Year – Individual
The best individual twitter user in Kenya.
14. Tweep of the Year – Corporate
The best corporate twitter user in Kenya.
The submission phase will run until March 29th and then judges will choose their best 5 in each category. The judges will be drawn from the media and the blogging community.
After the judges pick their best 5 in each category, they will then be voted for by the public from April 10th. The winners in each category will be announced at a gala event on April 28th.
For more details about the BAKE Blog Awards visit http://bloggers.or.ke , the awards website, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about The Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE)
BAKE is a body that promotes content creation on the web in Kenya and represents a group of content creators who are of Kenyan origin, descent or are based in Kenya and want to:
Syndicate their content
Network among other fellow content creators
Get legal and communal representation from the Bloggers Association of Kenya
The Bloggers Association of Kenya, BAKE, usually organizes monthly meetups where bloggers and readers meet to network, have fun, etc.
This September, the meet-up will be on Friday September 9th, at Secrets Lounge, from 6pm onwards!
I hope to see you all there!
P.S. I attended BAKE August edition, but I didn’t stay long. A lot of issues were discussed, problems ironed out, solutions proposed… everything possible to see us all move ahead with the BAKE organization. Any questions you have, ask!
Like every normal person, I have my down days. Days when I don’t want to get out of bed, days when I don’t feel I can face the day. I question my very existence and wonder if there is anything of worth I’ve done. I ask myself if I’m good enough at anything really, if I should even be living at all. I ask myself what kind of blogger I am etc. I like the feedback from readers, because most people say nice things
Sometimes if I get a task and immerse myself into it, and if I achieve something by the end of the day, I will feel good about myself. Other times, I may do that and still go to bed feeling like a failure! Yes people, I have bad days too, dark stormy moments. I know I sound bright and cheery on this blog but that is not always the case.
…is a narrative of a brave, cheerful student girl. Savvy (the author’s name in the blog) studies at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya. However, the blog is not about her studies but about all other interesting things. And this girl definitely knows how to write! Her style is daring, descriptive, open and full of wonderful self-irony.
Well, I can’t argue with that!
Savvy goes clubbing with friends, observes life and people around her, writes about idlers on street corners, sugar daddys and Chinese copy phones. One of my favorites is a blog from her weekend trip to visit a friend in Uganda – I felt as if I had been there with her!
I’m sure you all felt the same
I loved the blog Harambee Stars vs. Ugandan Cranes, in which Savvy sneaks out of church to be in time for an important football game:
“I’d bet heavily on the game: I was going to change my twitter name from Savvy Kenya to Savvy Uganda, and possibly my nationality too if the stars lost to the Cranes.
Having left church around noon, and changed from my dress to jeans and carried a borrowed vuvuzela, I got into a matatu around 1p.m. to town. Now, my small brother was in possession of the tickets and had been at the stadium since noon. He was giving us (my other bro and I) one hour to get to the stadium or he’d sell our tickets. I kept telling him am almost in town even when I was stuck in traffic because the Chinese constructors (contractors?)had decided Saturday was the best time to divert traffic to roadside paths.
By the time I finally got to the stadium, it was 3.30pm and my brothers were already inside. Somehow, we managed to communicate and they wrapped my ticket around a small flag they’d bought and threw it over the wall of the stadium. Of course, there were few spiderman wannabes who scaled the wall but since I had my ticket no need to resort to desperate measures.”
I couldn’t miss that match now, could I?
And on and on it goes, I definitely wrote a thank you email to this lady who made my day then, and still continues to do so whenever I re-read it.
Savvy is a middle-class, well educated African, who clearly wants to do something meaningful in her life. What will become of this interesting young woman?
How about the president of the East Africa Republic 20 years from now?
A number of readers have emailed me over time, asking me questions like, what inspires you? Well, life does. Wherever I go, there is always something worth blogging about. Whatever happens in my life can always be put into a certain way so that it’s interesting to read. As you should already know: it’s not the story, it’s how the story is told.
That being said, most of the emailers (if I may call them so) wanted advice on how to blog, what to blog, and such like tips. I’ve decided to compile my top ten blogging rules:
Blog about something you are passionate about. Be it sports, the weather, your wife and kids, your job, your life. That way, you won’t run out of steam over time, you can write for years and years about your subject/main theme. Sometimes you may want to blog about an event/show/elections or anything temporary. That is also okay, some blogs are only relevant for a time. I choose to write about my life because as long as am alive, there will always be something to write about.
2. Regular Updates
Make sure you update your blog frequently, either weekly or bi-weekly. Unless you are very very interesting, no one is going to come back more than twice if they come and find the same stuff they left. Also, ensure there is a subscription button on the blog so people don’t have to come to your site to check for updates. Blog updates will be sent directly to their mail.
3. Writer’s Block: What to Do
I just talked about regular updates above. So what do you do when you have a writer’s block or you’re too busy to sit down to write a proper post? Well, wordpress helps. Google too. Just search these two sites and you’ll get tones of advice.
Personally, I like to get a captivating picture, like the one below, or I copy-paste an interesting email forward, such as this or this.
So you start a blog and you expect to get 1000 hits per minute. It’s not gonna happen that way. Unless you’re Paris Hilton posting a sex tape. Don’t worry if at first, there is no traffic to your blog. It takes time (even a whole year) to build traffic to sustainable levels. Do not give up if you find no one visited your blog for a week. As I said, it’s all about passion. If you’re passionate about something, you’ll continue writing about it even if no one is reading.
5. Motivation: Reason for blogging
If you’re looking to make money from blogging, I think you’re choosing the wrong hobby. If making money from your blog is your main reason for blogging… I don’t have words for you. Honestly, I blog because I just have to write, and right now, I wouldn’t dream of putting up ads on my blog.
However, I’m not saying you can’t make money from blogging. I’m just saying that’s like a side benefit, a byproduct of good blogging. I know money makes the world go round, so find a day job.
The main challenge in blogging is generating traffic. First you let your friends know, then they’ll tell their friends who’ll tell their friends. There is also facebook and twitter, which are very important in generating publicity to your blog. You can have facebook automatically import your new posts as you publish them. Share the link on twitter and tag people if you have to.
Reading other people’s blogs and leaving comments on the posts you read together with a link back to your blog is also a good idea, kind of like a network of blogs, you know? My earliest readers were other bloggers.
When your readers leave comments, it’s only fair to respond to them. That way, they feel appreciated and loved. Okay, maybe just appreciated. Even the haters, I think the moment you have your first hate comment, that’s when you know you’re becoming a successful blogger. Provide an email address so that readers who want to say something to you can do so.
Do not take credit for something you did not write. If you copy-paste from someone else, or lift photographs from a certain site, please give credit to the original authors/creators. Do not copy the format or the way some other blogger does their writing, bring something fresh and new to the blogging scene and we’ll keep reading your work.
9. Platform/Theme/ Layout
Choose a blogging platform that’s awesome, like wordpress. Or blogger. Or I don’t know what else. Choose a short but memorable URL- that’s the address of the blog.
When picking a theme, find one that’s easy to read. One that matches your theme. If you’re doing gothic poems, perhaps a dark theme would be suitable. If you’re writing about sunshine and sugar and spice, choose something nice and bright.
The layout should encourage readers to explore your blog more. Have a calendar with recent posts, and an archive/tags/categories so readers can find something else to read apart from the main page. Experiment with the widgets and pick those that work best for you.
10. Be interesting
I saved the best for last. Ultimately, the only reason people will keep reading your work is because you are interesting. There are so many boring bloggers out there… I feel like shooting myself every time I have to force myself to even go past the first paragraph. Keep your posts short if you can’t be interesting. Longer posts can only be read if there is enough suspense/good flow. Your friends will lie to you, saying you’re a wonderful writer but you can tell the truth with time. Someone out of nowhere, someone you don’t know, will email you/leave a comment telling you they enjoy reading your working. If it happens more than 5 times, you can be convinced you’re interesting. Use pictures to add flavor to your posts.
That being said, I’d appreciate your feedback on this. If you have any more blogging rules/tips, you can leave a comment. Here’s to happy blogging.