Since 2012, the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) has organized Kenyan Blog Awards to recognize top bloggers in the country. This validation of bloggers’ useful content online has contributed to positive impact in the society and more bloggers have grown from state of anonymity to influencers in the country. The launch of this year’s Kenyan Blog Awards was held on Tuesday, January 19th at the iHub, Nairobi. Bloggers Association of Kenya chairperson, Mr. Kennedy Kachwanya noted that they anticipate more blog entries compared to last year. The number of categories this year stands at 19 following the introduction of Best Spirituality blog category. This shows that there is growth of the blog space in the country. Issues addressed at this launch included:
Bloggers and their fans have a chance to submit blogs on Kenyan Blog Awards website (www.blogawards.co.ke/submit/). Submission started on January 8th and will run through to February 10th. It’s important to note that one submission is enough and late submissions will not be considered. Judging phase will start immediately after submissions and will run from February 11th to February 28th. During this phase, judges will sieve through the thousands of blogs anticipated and narrow the list to just five blogs from each category. The selected blogs will then be presented to the public for voting. The voting phase will start on the 2nd of March to 30th of April. In the past, people have voted for their favorite blogs more than once but the extra votes do not count. Voting once is enough. Once voting and tallying is done, the crowning moment will be on May 7th.
This issue was raised considering that there have been bloggers who have won in their categories more than once. For instance, bikozulu.co.ke has dominated in the Best Creative Writing blog category and techmoran.com in the Best Technology blog category. This had some members of the public questioning the credibility of the awards, claiming there could be bias but Mr. Kennedy Kachwanya said that the judges are not in any way involved in the running of BAKE thus they judge from an unbiased point. Suggestions were given to have sub-categories under the creative writing category to accommodate even poets and other creative writers.
It is important to note that one does not have to be a BAKE member to get nominated or win in the category they are nominated in. However, BAKE is a community of bloggers where one can share insights with other bloggers and grow their writing thus its important to register with BAKE.
BAKE awards have been dominated by male bloggers for a while. This trend will only change if more women will get involved in blogging in fields viewed as a preserve of men. Fields such as technology, science and business have few women bloggers.
Social Media platforms
While many people may write great content on their social media platforms such as Facebook and twitter, this content does not qualify for nomination as there are no clear content ownership policies in these platforms. For instance, posts written on facebook by one Wanja Kavengi do not meet the threshold for nomination.
The future of blogging in Kenya can only get brighter as more blogs are submitted for nomination.