“The Bloggers are here!” this refered to me and some other writers who went for a meeting last week. I have no problem with being called a blogger. I am one. The problem I had was with the tone of the Bloggers. I tweeted my pet peeve yesterday Rayhab Gachango @potentash #PetPeeve When people think that coz I blog means that I write & spend all my time on social media. Hallo we have full time jobs!
I was kind of shocked by the number of retweets that I got.
I don’t know where some people got the definition of what a blogger is. It’s like they think all Bloggers do is sit around writing stories and surfing the social media atmosphere. While there are some people who do that because that’s how they make their money most of us are either in full time employment, self employed or in college.
The tone used by that person used was the kind that said these are not professional writers. Just because people blog does not mean that we are not professional. The people in Kenya who blog are many times professionally or academically trained in one area or another. Others have a natural talent for writing that cannot be taught.
I am a poet and a writer. So I usually write poetry, articles, or short stories. And that may seem trivial to some. But I am a professionally and academically trained as a journalist. So I am not just a blogger. Just because I choose not to be in mainstream media does not mean that I am not a professional writer.
I have meet some of the people who blog in this town. They are engineers, teachers, accountants, auditors, techies, journalists, marketers, bankers, business people etc. we all blog for different reasons. Some of the reasons are listed because
• People have a passion for writing. You want to write and now blogging is a great way to put your work out to your audience.
• They have a passion for a cause like environment, food, marketing, communication, social justice etc.
• Some guys just want to be known as Bloggers. It doesn’t matter if they can’t write.
• Some want to share their passion or profession. Have you ever seen the website of Mutua Matheka @truthslinger. If you have enough said. If you haven’t check out the photography on his website. My favorite Kenyan photographer. He makes you fall in love with pictures.
• Some give great advice – spiritual or otherwise.
• Some blogs address social issues like rape, mental illness, lack of education, FGM etc.
• Some are inspirational blogs. They inspire you to be a better person.
• Some Bloggers review products or gargets. Tell you which products are out, their advantages, and disadvantages.
• Some people blog because they have a talent with words, and playing around with them. These are the poets etc.
• Some people analyze business markets and issues. And give you the breakdown of how business works and who is doing what.
• Some blogs deal with entertainment. What is happening in the entertainment industry. The places to be seen at.
• Some deal with parenting and pregnancy. Hilariously explaining how it is to be a parent.
This misunderstanding about who Bloggers are is one of the reasons BAKE (Bloggers Association of Kenya) was formed. To show that Bloggers are professionals and that they should be treated as such. As part of what they do they also help Bloggers become better writers and uses of social media. One of the goals is also making Bloggers be able to earn good money from their writing.
I do know that there are Bloggers who give blogging a bad name. I will not name them. I am sure you know one or two. But it is important to recognize that blogging does fill a need. That’s why more Bloggers are becoming successful at selling either themselves or their content to their publics. I hope one day that guy who said the Bloggers are here will realize that we are not second or third tier writers. We are great writers and thus we deserve respect. Then we will not be getting phone calls on the morning or afternoon of an event to go cover it like we sit around just waiting for that call. As I said we have full time jobs or are in school. Be courteous enough to tell us in advance about an event so that we can see if we can make it.
PS. To stop this article from being a blogger’s runt let me insert some humour. Check out the pictures below.
Potentash Founder. A creative writer. The Managing Editor at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories and stories about the inclusion of minorities. Find me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We're all stories, in the end.” ― Steven Moffat