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‘Business Daily Africa’ Discovers Blogs

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Aw, bless! It’s like watching kittens seeing their picture in a mirror for the first time!

The Business Daily Africa team have decided that June’s installation of the fibre optic cable will lead to an explosion in the number of corporate Kenyan blogs and unleash a bloody war in a fight for advertising revenue.

According to the BDA scribes, blogs are “the new front in the battle for control of audiences.” Strangely, I don’t have much control over who reads this blog, and I’m not too strict on moderating comments either. Maybe I’m doing something wrong?

Now, it’s only a short article, and I’m sure the BDA team had far more important things to do than to try and address the subject in depth, but there are a couple of questions I wish they had at least attempted to follow up:

Who are the corporate blogs?
Not one entrepreneur or corporate blogger was listed. Now, there are numerous Kenyan blogs, but how many are run on a commercial basis with the express aim of making money? Would it really have been that difficult to do a quick Google search and drop a couple of people an email (don’t look at me, I’m on a semi-holiday at the moment)? Carrying advertising does not a revnue model make.

Will anything be bought or sold?
Regardless of the infrastructure improvements we hope to see, the Kenyan e-commerce market is still fairly immature. Credit cards don’t have massive penetration, and while mobile cash transfers are possible, they can’t pay for everything. In addition, there is the fact that it would be rather finicky to click through to an advertiser and then have to whip out your mobile to transfer payment to them. I suppose you could design a UI to do it all via the website, but I haven’t seen anything like that yet.

Who is going to advertise?
As we saw recently, companies are thinking of cutting down on their adversting spend as their financial situations worsen. Now, if this is the case, where are they more likely to advertise? Will they choose televisio and radio, with their larger audiences, or will they choose to throw their pennies at an untried and untested internet advertising platform? That’s not to say that there won’t be any internet advertisers, but they would be restricting their audience, particularly if their advertisements would only be shown on a few sites.

Far be it from me to suggest that some BDA journalists scribbled their article down on a napkin from Kengele’s half an hour before deadline, but it does appear that they didn’t do much research. I tried visiting their Facebook page to see if anyone had started a follow-up discussion, but I didn’t see anything there either. Maybe this is just a taster for a more comprehensive piece next week. Some research before filing their copy might be a good idea.

[Image by CosmonautiRussi]

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2 Comments

  1. mainat says:

    I’m told some of the articles were pushed.
    Yani some corporates are unhappy about the press they get from blogs.

    None of the pieces were very informative sadly.

  2. Stephanie says:

    It can be difficult for businesses to adjust to blogs. They’re accustomed to sending out press releases and paying for puff pieces in the print media, while with blogs there is no guarantee that coverage will either be given or that its tone will be flattering.

    If businesses want to be able to take advantage of blogs, they will have to engage with bloggers better, especially if they want more nuanced reporting when they slip up.

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