Tag Archives: twitter

The Link Between #BabaWhileYouWereAway and #SabaSabaDay

CAPE TOWN/SOUTH AFRICA, 10JUN2009 -Raila Amolo...
CAPE TOWN/SOUTH AFRICA, 10JUN2009 -Raila Amolo Odinga, Prime Minister of Kenya, Kenya Business Alliance Against Chronic Hunger – World Economic Forum on Africa 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa, June 10, 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not everything you see on the internet is real.

If you have read Enders Game (The movie does not have this bit), Two children, a brother and sister,Peter and Valentine,living in one house, shaped global ideologies on politics and policy, by writing blogs with pseudonyms, often writing against each other on opposing ideologies apparently from different corners on the continent as Locke and Desmosthenes.

You might be aware of the unveiling of supposedly catfish accounts on Twitter. If you do not know what I am talking about, a catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Twitter, Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue or push deceptive online causes.

Now read this blog on Exposed Parodies. In a nutshell, a number of prominent “twitter bigwigs” run multiple parody accounts to support their causes and to bait people.

The trap of following and conversing with parody accounts is easily to fall for. They are already being followed by thousands of other people, so this somehow implies they are an authority on whatever subject they speak about. You find them driving social conversations and ideologies, all by someone who doesn’t exist. A good number of Twitter accounts are not real, nor the thought leaders and ideologists speaking behind them are not real. There are teams of people tweeting and directing ideologies this way and that.

Obviously,there is a danger here,that of Social Control Through Social Media and it binds two elements:

1. Kenyan Hyperactivity on Twitter

2.Social control for mass causes or ideologies

The Feb 28th movement was a test run of social control in Kenya through social media. It occurred two years back,on Feb 28th 2012, where, all people on twitter were supposed to come out at 1.00 pm wherever they were, and sing the national anthem. I experienced it from an office in upper hill, on the 7th floor, and I could hear people in other offices and in the streets singing the Kenya National Anthem. This was indeed proof that social media can be a tool to rally and control mass action.

Kenyans have grown online since then. Over the years as well, Kenyans have been prolific on Twitter, pushing a number of global Twitter trends, just by the sheer volume of tweets, not by the numbers of people on Twitter. Kenyans have attacked South Africans, Nigerians and fought and won Twitter wars. Seemingly, Kenya is the most switched on nation on Twitter in Africa.

Today, whatever trends on Twitter is sure to be on the evening news. On the most part though, Kenyan Twitter trendsetters are for entertainment value; media personalities and representatives of branding and ad companies. Which means their endorsements are rarely for causes and mostly for parties and products. There is the growing thought leader on policy,politics and business, these however are tied down by family and corporate image and branding to risk their neck for a Kenya that is seemingly not worth fighting for. Even the firebrand and hitherto vocal @BonifaceMwangi Quit Activism.

Come #babawhileyouwereaway, a Twitter trend on a politician making his return back home after a three month visit in the USA. After he came back, he calls for national dialogue by the 7/7/2014. The historic Saba Saba day, a day of note in Kenya’s history in terms of policy changing political rallies.

This is my prediction. Whatever exists of CORDs social media team will try to create a trend on or around the SabaSaba day in line with all the complaints on #BabaWhileWereAway, an attempt to veer the mind of the middle class into action.

Sadly, and fortunately for Kenya, the Kenyan on Twitter still utilizes the tool as a means of entertainment. Social media tools, in the form that politician are attempting to use them, to drive ideals and ideas,  are the preserve of the educated and urbane.Most of the action on Twitter remains online. The Kenyan middle class tweets and shouts silently  from the comfort of his suburban home. On the most part, it is a means of news, misinformation,gossip,trending wordplay and jokes.

It will take about 5 more years, whence smartphones will be ubiquitous and pervasive, for the average Kenyan to be rallied by calls to action on a mobile phone trend.



Enhanced by Zemanta

Google Glass


Google Glass as currently implemented, is a product for rich white googlegeek males.


First of all, there’s really nothing innovative, wearable tech has been in our Heinleins and Arthur C Clarkes, Orson Scott Cards,Herberts and Asimovs for several decades.

Remember the Newspad from Arthur C Clarke’s Odyssey 2001? The iPad to an I.  But I digress.

Current owners of Google Glass are white nerds.

It does not look good, so it has little to offer in terms of Appeal (read Apple)

Its also has very little to offer currently in terms of content,applications and services,what with Google taking its classic stance of their platforms being the internet of things i.e anything that doesn’t have a Google I.D can go to hell.  Google Play and open development should have deeper integration on the thing before it can be of any use.

Meaning no Twitter, Tumblr,Pinterest,Instagram.

Instead of it being a platform allowing interactions with other services, it is a Google Device, like a Facebook Phone. Sincerely. How much does that offer you in terms of value?

And currently priced at over 1,500 dollars its a totally useless device.

Until Google Glass 2 comes out, I would say, just as with Windows, wait for Service Pack 2.

The best concepts I have seen for wearable tech has been designed by Pranav Mistry whose patent concept “Sixth Sense Technology” has been bought out by Samsung.

I do hope Samsung squish Glass like a little bug.

I-PAD 3 AKA The New iPad

The New iPad

I would like to start with a confession: I am a hater.

Really. I’m one of those guys with staunch beliefs in variety in product, free market, diversity, self configuration, the works.

SO I have never really hopped on the Apple bandwagon simply because I don’t believe that anything that Apple decide is good for you is good for you.

I’m not a techie, but I am interested enough in technology to try and do *interesting* things to operating systems of a gadget, increase or decrease functionality as I please, you get the drift.

Sometimes though, until you taste Bud Light Platinum, you do not realize how sweet and smooth a beer can be, how savory the whole experience is.

Such was my experience with the iPad 3.

How did I get to touch and feel an iPad 3 you ask? Travel the world, go to interesting places, talk to interesting people and you will definitely see interesting things.

So here I was seated on a plane minding my own business, when the guy next to me whips out an iPad. He turns it on. I’m too busy enjoying the in flight movie Cowboys Vs Aliens to get too caught up by what he was doing.

Graphical brilliance hit the corner of my eye, I could not believe what I was seeing. I paused my movie. And rudely stared at his device. I consider myself to be a shy person, but in this case I just had to ask.

Excuse me , but what device is that?

It’s the I pad 3, its coming out soon.

I wont talk much. By this time you probably have heard all the hype.

I will just mention what got me. Its all graphics.

The guy was looking at pictures of his kids as they had gone fishing before he hopped onto the plane. He then switched to some Discovery Channel bundu bashing videos he was watching.

He then handed it over to me to take a look.

THE GRAPHICS. OMG. The clarity is absolumazing.

To see such clarity from such a small thing is befuddling.

Ten hours stand by time. Sheer madness.

intuitive turning into portrait and landscape, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, shake, dual application processing, and still handle 10 hrs. of battery life.sigh.

Anyone who has had a conversation with me on PC Vs Mac must be laughing right now.

The 64 gig one can make you throw away your laptop. With presentations, documents etc,…

It’s just nice to look at. Even better to enjoy. And best to share with others.

Enough to give you a good feeling.

Just like a Bud Light Platinum.



English: Picture of Makmende
Image via Wikipedia

Viral trends are the daily social flares that rise up as if out of nowhere, and then flares out as if it was not there, usually tied to specific events or ideology in a day in time.

Daily trends are mapped by sites like http://www.whatthetrend.com and http://www.trendsmap.com.
Google Zeitgeist also outlines global trends.
One of Kenya‘s first globally recognized viral internet trends, is of course, Makmende.   Google it.
From these sites one can trace the current hot topics on the internet in any city at a specific time.
Memes on the other hand, grown up trends. they just do not go away.
They, by nature, carry a consistent repetitive theme or concept, but expressed in a myriad different ways from a persons perspective or usage in different concepts.

What is a Meme?


  1. An element of a culture or behavior that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation.
  2. An image, video, etc. that is passed electronically from one Internet user to another.
Memes last and last. They are a variation of the Darwinian biological theory of Natural Selection, and here too, the same factors apply: What makes a concept last?

“Natural selection occurs whenever the following conditions exist (Dennet 1990):

  1. Variation: a continuing abundance of different elements.
  2. Heredity or replication: the elements have the capacity of creating copies or replicas of themselves.
  3. Differential “fitness”: the number of copies of an element that are created in a given time varies, depending on the interaction between the features of that element (whatever it is that makes it different from other elements) and features of the environment in which it persists.”
It is normally a derivative of a single concept, but hitherto expressed in varied ways that ensure the concept does not die out.
The science of memes is one of the oldest and most discussed aspects of social engineering, as memes shape our thinking, how we speak, our ideologies on life.
However in this article we discuss internet memes. Memes that cut across through different internet media and have a place in the real world.
A good place to understand internet memes is http://www.knowyourmeme.com, which acts as a Wikipedia of sorts outlining the origin, growth and progression of internet memes.
An example of a global meme that is easy to relate to is YO DAWG.

The Yo Dawg image is a Meme that erupted from Xzibit‘s show, Pimp My Ride, which featured Xzibit making superflous surprise upgrades to someone’s car, mostly in tandem to someone’s hobbies.

This concept is extended to anything that any person does that is an exaggeration of a basic idea. For example, if someone is overdressed, a simple  “Yo Dawg….” would do.

Xzibit’s reaction

The explosive popularity of microblogging service Twitter has reached celebrities, Xzibit included.

In one of his first tweets he decries his embodiment as a meme: View Tweet

…which led to the creation of this image macro:

Several days later, he rescinded his criticism, saying “i’m not mad @ you”: View Tweet

In the final stage of celeb-o-meme — “acceptance” — Xzibit embraces the yo dawg, attempting to his own: View Tweet

Know your meme puts into internet history important trends that fixate into memes, that mark the influence of certain social events that thereafter create a change in perception or reaction to certain concepts.
In this regard, it is equally important for us to note down our memes and herein I make a feeble attempt from my limited knowledge. Kenyas memes are conveyed mainly through music,media and internet, i.e TV and Radio, Facebook and twitter.
I will need your help so please feel free to add to this post by comment.
So what are our memes in Kenya?
You may have forgotten this one, but in my book Unbwogable was Kenya’s first viral meme. It was a simple song by Gidi Gidi and  Maji Maji, a dholuo slang word which translates to unstoppable.
Released in time with Kenya’s 2007 elections, the song was popularised by both the ODM political campaign and used to mean that they were unstoppable.
The term stuck and is still in use in kenyan slang.
A kenyan slang word that means to arrive, it was popularized by the song Toklezea by Abbass and Chantelle.
It was made even more popular by the political satire, XYZ’s caricatures of beleaguered politicians, The Hague Six, giving a rendition of the same concept.
It is now a regular word that is used in high and low places to mean to appear, to stand out, either for a meeting, a party…anything.
Eg: This girls smile has tokelezead, I have tokelezead for the party, Thierry Henri has toklezead at Arsenal… you get the drift.
The Ujinga Ni, both on facebook and twitter  and in real world, translates to “Stupidity is…”
It simply refers to exaggerations on basic aspects of commonplace stupidity.
An example, Ujingani buying me a cold hotdog.
check out the Ujungani Tacebook group, http://www.ujingani.com and the hash tag #ujingani on twitter for more.
Public transport is an aspect of typical Kenyan life, one that is not slated to go away for a long long time. The gritty aspect of this mode of transport has produced some of the rudest bus conductors ever, giving birth to the “Majibu Za Makanga ” Meme. (Which loosly translates to: The replies of   conductors”
The facebook group Majibu Za Makanga outlines the populace’s experiences. With about 57,000 likes and growing.
Here is one of them:
Pass: Hey…turn on the radio.
Conductor: gimme a light.
(Its terribly funny in Swahili. Some jokes cannot be translated.
Stude: Si uwashe screen!
Conda: Leta kibiriti)
Mchongwano is kenya’s equivalent to America’s Yo Mama Jokes, though Yo Mama jokes are specific to mamas, Mchongwanos are generic on any topic, butthe point is to diss the recepient of the Mchongwano. the word loosely translates to “the Act of teasing”
there are several Facebook Groups and internet sites on this.
I wish to first state that this is not a political mudslinging campaign, and that it is a representation of the perception of him is a is the internets.
Our Vice-President has made a meme of himself. Due to his political lifecycle and his ability to shift allegiance, Kenyans have memed him.  He stands for indecisiveness. As such Kenyans use the term Kalonzo in everyday use, in jokes, even in serious situations.
One may hear statements like: “the weather today is kalonzo kalonzo”, or “We ni Watermellon kama Kalonzo ( You are a watermellon[Red inside green Outside] like Kalonzo)
What other typically Kenyan memes might I have left out?


I heard about !Blether from Mashable, a new way to have private group chats on twitter.

The twitter Aouth works smoothly.

Creating groups is the next task and its supposed to be a simple three steps.

Enter user names created by passwords.

Give User group a name.

Click Blether to create the group…

and Voil…..


The Blether button does not work!

this is when accessed through the Blether Page, http://www.blether.co

However creation directly on twitter works,

But I still have not been able to chat.


Social Media: Changing Business
Image by Intersection Consulting via Flickr

Presence on the world wide web gives an organisation a way to succinctly define themselves and have digital information about who they are and what they do quickly accessible, allowing you,your business, your products and services to get found by internet users.

The challenge of what to say is often faced by businesses who have not clearly defined who they are and what they do. A communications strategy must be defined in tandem with the organisation’s business and marketing plans. This is an integral exercise that business decision makers must invest in with their communications resources before implementing any communication via traditional or new media.

It has been suggested that a sound business concept is one that can be defined in 140 characters.

The first base,otherwise known as Web 1.0, usually a brochure webpage and an webmail email address for internal and external communication. This is where most organisations in Kenya are currently placed,where social media is primarily viewed as an edgy marketing tool, a new means of communicating to current and potential customers.

A cut and paste from the organisation’s brochures and introductory letter structures may do as a start, but depending on the nature of your core business, an investment into a deeper web communications model may be necessary.

Note that, not all businesses require a steep investment into web communications. Do not go into web communications merely because it is the in thing. Despite the following snazzy figures;

As of 18th May 2011, there were:
•667,020,540 Facebook accounts globally
•(KE: 1,093,400 NG: 3,149,320 RSA: 3,816,780 EGY: 7,258,860)
•Over 200 million Twitter accounts (70,000 active in Kenya)
•Over 50 million You Tube accounts (March 2010)
•Over 100 million LinkedIn users (March 2011)

delving into web communications exposes your business to both negative and positive publicity.

The nature of your business may therefore leave you with more complaints and negative publicity than positive feedback. There exists too, the threat of negative campaigns from competitors.

These and other factors must be considered by stakeholders before your business is placed under public scrutiny in matters that may have otherwise been handled quietly, risking the creation of a cost centre where there was none.

Second base is web 2.0.This is where an organisation goes beyond the posting of information and establishes a conversation with her clients. The organisation builds an online community around herself and the web is used interactively. It offers new avenues of having business to business interactions and customer communications. Here, a website is no longer a brochure website but also meshes with interactive suite of web and communication tools.

At this level, the challenge is usually, content. Again, as said earlier, not all businesses are by nature geared to act interactively.

However,here are a few FREE ways of implementing interactive public and private communications both for internal management of the organisation and client communication:

    • Modern email tools like Gmail, Yahoo Business and Outlook live, which go beyond mere electronic mail and incorporate corporate document management, chat, among other features.
    • Linked-In as tool of outlining industry relevance,business to business networking and resource base
    • Newsletters for client communication, and highlighting industry relevance and expertise
    • Skype for international communication and transfer of information
    • Yammer and Salesforce Chatter for CRM and internal corporate information management
    • Twitter Handle for corporate marketing, press releases and client interactions
    • Facebook Page for corporate marketing, press releases and client interactions.
    • Participation in Industry-relevant Mailing lists and websites by technical, management and other departments.

An organisation which has implemented corporate communications effectively is Capital FM: Facebook page Over 111,000 likes
Capital FM Twitter Handle
Over 7,300 followers

If your organization lacks the expertise internally, it is necessary to include a consultant or consulting company to implement a change in your corporate communications strategy.

It is not enough to hire a resource to post across social and communication portals. For a sophisticated deployment in corporate communications, organisations like Gina Din Communications, ScanGroup, Ogilvy and Dotsavvy, among others deploy end to end office and web communications, which includes SMS, corporate phone solutions, CRM and web tools, all the while implementing a shift in the organisation communication practices.

Remember, it is never plug and play, but involves a shift in long term organisation communication policy.


In keeping with my newfound realisation that in the next couple of years all bloggers will do their blogging from their phones, and the fact that the future is mobile, I have changed the blog appearance to the Twitter format aka P2 on wordpress.

This is the trending topic as far as gkenya is concerned, and  is nothing new.

I am already  blogging from WordPress for Blackberry.


Twitter changed our everyday internet experience by allowing people to know everything we do in a simple series of daily status updates. However, one group is largely under represented on twitter and that is children. Which is strange seeing as children often have the most interesting and varied lives to update online.

Twitter knowing the importance of this demographic has announced the launch of its new twitter for kids, Kidder! Kidder will allow children to “kid” their status updates online at all times and keep us updated about their complex and interesting lives.

One child was quoted as kidding “Charlie bit me.” Another child was quoted saying ” I can wipe now.”

Some people are skeptical about a website that is virtually unusable by it’s target audience without the aid of an adult, but industry analysts say that this was a website waiting to happen. Robert Johnson a website prospector at the Institute for Safe Investments, says “Kidder is an advertisers dream, now we can get toy advertisements directly to the parents who’re the ones who have to use this crap anyway!”

Kidder will no doubt become an intricate part of every childs life and will work as an excellent supplement for KidSpace. Though that site recently had to close down after it was reveled that it had become nothing more than a clubhouse for pedophiles. Hopefully Kidder can avoid such problems.

I highly suggest kidder. You don’t want to miss what these crazy tots are doing.

Ok. so i am six days late for an April fools gag but I wrote this post on April 1st so it still counts, doesnt it? 😀


Microblogging and Social Media: Changing our way of life

As I lie here in the dark of night having been captured by this thought, and now sending it out to the world , I realise that every human being is important.

The advent of blogging, viral media and social networking affirms this more than ever before.
This has however altered the way daily life is lived.

Each event, function,concert,holiday cannot be simply experienced without being twittered,flickred or facebooked

It is all based upon the presumption that everyone in our world is looking out and cares for what we have to say,that we are perpetually on a stage.

Or the grim thought that at our death our history and eulogy is digitally written by our own hand.
The benefits of social media far outweigh the demerits.
However this microwave era, this period of bubblegum life will soon enough come to pass.
This is, to me, made clear in three key aspects in which it has affected our lives.

The first aspect is the lightness with which it comes;a serious message that was once carried in a weighty letter is posted in a microsecond and quickly buried in a mass of meaningless garbage.
This adds in the “cry-wolf” effect, where a serious message is taken lightly. I need not remind you what happened to the boy who cried wolf.

Do you not find it annoying, the multiple media we have to deal with? Today, an afternoon after a hard days work for the typical urban person means skype,email,i-pod,facebook,twitter,flicker,newspaper,tv,radio,sms,phone calls. All this outside direct person to person conversations.
You would think that we are now better at multitasking, but surveys show that persons raised in this media explosion have extremely short attention spans.They can hardly concentrate.

What hurts me most though, is the waning of pure peace and enjoyment of beauty. One no longer basks in a the orange basket of a sunset or sunrise,plunging and losing oneself in its beauty, without first whipping out a camera to “capture”the moment, not knowing the moment was lost once the plunge wasn’t taken, and the decision to be a cold observer behind mirrored steel was made. We will then tumblr it, tweet it, facebook it, stumble upon it, sms it and by the time we are done, it will be dark or high noon,the moment lost in time.

Instead of building addictive habits around our media,we should validate and qualify the importance of our use of the same,and thereafter,use them in moderation.