By Brenda Zulu
A community of bloggers in Zambia has come together to network under the Zambian Bloggers Network with the help of Africa Interactive Media (AIM).
This follows the lack of a network of bloggers in Zambia who can work together to bring reports from blogs and other social media platforms by practicing citizen media. Bloggers are necessary to bring out other voices not ordinarily heard in mainstream media to make news and also contribute to the development agenda.
Zambian Bloggers will seek to share widely Zambian Issues online and will seek to interview the ordinary people often ignored by the mainstream media on different topics including health, business, sports, ICTs, fashion, gender and development, governance, politics etc
Some Zambians are blogging, podcasting, vlogging and uploading photos and information across the internet, but unless you know where to look, it can be difficult to find respected and credible voices.
Zambian Bloggers with the help of HIVOS are setting up a BLOG Ring for the Zambian Blogosphere to help in the generation of local content. We hope to work virtually and also meet in person during the monthly meetings to network on many issues. We hope to generate funds through micro payments, doing some relevant jobs to content creation and management and also through adverts. We still welcome grants, any donations and sponsorships to cover a lot of costs including high internet costs.
Zambian Bloggers hope to redress some of the inequities in the traditional media by leveraging the power of citizens’ media. We believe in freedom of expression and hope to focus our attention on the most interesting issues around Zambia by linking to social media, blogs, photos, podcasts, video and other forms of grassroots citizens’ media.
It is hoped that with the BLOG RING, Zambian Bloggers Network can grow to be consistent in it’s news coverage and regular in blogging and also become visible to Zambians and the world over. To critically reflect on the Zambian society issues, the bloggers hope to enlarge spaces of expression. It is hoped that bloggers may receive appropriate training in all forms of blogging and web 2.0 applications.
There is need for a Capacity Building Workshop for bloggers on blogging, social bookmarking, tagging, RSS feeds and generally on Web 2.0 applications. Bloggers however would like to know how to grow a network online and how to make money and also behave in cyber space.
One day while in Ghana I read a tweet about a Ghanaian Bloggers meeting and decided to attend. I liked their concept and looked forward to a day I would start this familiar platform in Zambia.