VOF Week 3 : (A cyber diva blogging challenges)

Brenda Zulu
Posted April 9, 2009 from Zambia

Sorry for the late entry. I was away in rural area and that was a challenge to access the internet. Blogging consistently is an issue. For me constituency means daily, weekly or monthly. Part of this problem comes with the problem of access to the internet, money and monitoring.

There is need for a blogger to have access to a computer where content can be created offline and then blog the post by accessing the internet in the Internet café. This is why many African bloggers who are consistent live in the diaspora where they can access internet at their homes.

When bloggers are not consistent people can’t read them. A blog needs to be read and depending on the content it also needs to be aggregated. A blog also needs to have to have an audience. So there is need for every one who blogs to also announce to readers or have people’s emails registered to the blog so that whenever a post is made on a blog, regular readers can receive this post in their emails and they would choose to comment on the post.

The other challenge is how to be creative with blogging so that it can attract other readers and publishers who are looking for Content Management Skills in Correspondents or writers. There is also need to attract adverts to our blogs so that we can be encouraged to blog effectively.

Blogs also face the challenge of names. Most blogs do not have catchy names. There is also a challenge to brand blogs online. What subjects are we blogging and do they identify with what we do or advocate for in our daily lives?

The solutions to overcoming these challenges is training. The other thing is to provide access to the internet and tools such as computers, camera’s and mp3 for text, video and audio blogs.

There is also need to mentor some girls and women bloggers online and offline. There are times when a blogger receives a law suit. How can one handle it? There is also need for education in this area. I was once threatened by a woman activist and did not even know what to do apart from applying what the traditional media does that is also airing her views on the same space where a post about what she was complaining about was posted.

The issue of language is also a barrier and there is need to encourage blogging in local languages other than English. I could do this for podcasts but the issue of bandwidth is also a barrier. Efforts to complete the EASSY cable have not been easy at all and this would improve our internet speed. Most of Africa’s internet access is by satellite which is very expensive and not as fast as the cable.

There is also need to fight spam on blogs as which clogs most blogs comments. There is also need to respond to comments made on our blogs.

Comments 1

  • molliv
    Apr 15, 2009
    Apr 15, 2009

    Source: Thank you so much for having such a personal and relevant example to share. I often forget how access is a problem in many places, as I get completely frustrated when my internet at home goes out for a few hours before my husband can come home and fix it. PErhaps this makes me seem overprivileged and bratty, but at least I can share this with people.

    Lack of knowledge about blogging can make so many things difficult, but you're right: so much of this can be overcome by education. someone such as yourself, with experience in technology and blogging, can give resources to people in tagging, how to get their word out, how to generate blog names so that they are both interesting and relevant, as well as the legal ramifications involved in speech that is suddenly so free. the laws of our various lands are only now beginning to catch up with the technology.

    Something else you mentioned was access and language barriers. These are both things that can be addressed by even more technology. As our innovations improve, it becomes less expensive to provide these things, and the translating software is getting better every minute. I was so excited to see that on worldPulse I have access to so many other cultures, simply because I can plug foreign entries into a traslator.

    I am glad to see there is someone like you who not only understands the difficulties but is also optimistic for their solutions.


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