It is said that Kenyans are allergic to change given that they will take a long time before they adopt some new technology. However, I believe once they see a reason for adoption they embrace the new technology in masses. On the top 10 visited sites in Kenya according to Alexa Facebook comes first, YouTube 5th, Twitter 8th and Linkedin 10th. This clearly shows that Kenyans love social media. The twittersphere over and over has been coming up with TTs ranging from #someonetellcnn to ones like #KOTagainstMPsBonus and so many more.
Social media has therefore helped in improving the freedom of speech and has allowed many Kenyans to express their thoughts and be heard. Politicians are being taken to tasked on the social media, people are asking harder questions and the good thing is that one is able to interact directly with the people in question.
However, there are cases where people are using social media for the wrong reasons. Insults are being hurled left right and center. Some people are intolerant to other people’s views and instead of arguing it out like grown people they choose to insult people with divergent views. This is particularly dangerous as we are heading towards the general election. If not used properly the social media can be used to spread propaganda and incite people against each other.
Being a country most of complainers and not doers ( I am not exempt) I was happy when I came across an initiative by the name Social Pro Clubs. According to Muthuri Kinyamu, business director at Social Edge Africa,
The core objective of these clubs is to teach, educate, create awareness and impart knowledge & skills of various disciplines of social media and platforms to the university students to unlock the massive potential on social media. The faculty will also benefit from these clubs as they’ll learn how to create and share digital content in various formats with the students across various platforms as well as help them embrace new media and integrate it to teaching.
The initiative targets university students. SocialPro clubs will provide a platform that boosts collaboration because all universities have computer labs, students can also access wifi connections through their laptops and mobile phones too so we just need to inspire students to look beyond ‘just being friends’ on Facebook to doing business and seeking partners through social media!
DR. Bitange Ndemo; the PS at the ministry will be the chief guest among other invited guest speakers at the launch of the social media clubs on the 25th of October at the University of Nairobi, School of Business before the pilot phase in four universities in November.
As we approach the March 2013 social media will play a big role in this election, as it might be misused by politicians or people with selfish interests and agenda to incite Kenyans and spread propaganda. We witnessed Twitter handles that called for killing of Christians in the recent riots in Mombasa recently so this inspired the SPC organizing committee to conceptualize and spearhead a sensitization campaign dubbed “AM A SOCIALPRO” that educates people on the ethical & professional ways of engaging online as well as promote responsible us of social media for society good. This campaign will run concurrently with the activities in these universities all the way until March 2013 and will heavily involve the media and SocialPRO ambassadors who will be announced at a later date.
So what are you waiting for? Be a “SOCIALPRO“