Showing posts with label Social media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Social media. Show all posts

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Live blogging of #BlogCamp15: Social media for good

Projected banner for #BlogCamp15

The 4th Blogacamp to be held in Ghana takes place outside Accra -- for the first time.
The venue is the College of Science auditorium at the KNUST.

The event began this morning with a photowalk by social media enthusiasts in three areas of Kumasi: Suame, Adum, and Asafo.
A link to the pictures will be updated soon.
For updates, checkout #BlogCamp15 on Twitter.

A panel discussion on Social media for good is ongoing. Three panelists from PZ Cussons, Blogging Ghana,and the creative art industry are sharing how they use social media in their work, for the good of all.
PZ Cussons applies Social media in it CSR

  • Cussing Baby Ghana
  • Recipes of Life Ghana
  • Cared Ghana
These have widened the reach of the company in interacting with its customers.

Blogging Ghana has helped in the application of social media in politics. Remember GhanaDecides in 2012?
This project helped educate the electorate on their rights and responsibilities. It also helped to push 'responsible' citizen journalism.
Another project of theirs is InformGhana.

The third speaker uses plastic for furniture and other cool stuff. He uses social media to learn new stuff, market himself and his projects, and networking. He believes social media  is a great resource.

Do we feel social media has made us 'non serious'?
A participant thinks it really hasn't as it helps relieve some stress.
Another doesn't think it's either here or there. So long as we are discussing issues of relevance.
How has social media helped in solving unemployment?
Yes it has. A number of people are now creating and managing content for organisations. This is even increasing the ROI of such companies.
A panelist believes Googling is also a way of getting information and ideas on how to implement ideas an individual may have. He uses his story of getting a name for his project as an example.
Crowdsourcing.

For bloggers looking at getting a piece of the digital marketing growth in Ghana, they are advised to position themselves very well by creating a niche for themselves as 'experts' in a particular field Hatfield relevance to an organisation's marketing goals.
Nehemiah thinks children should not be left out of the social media crusade. "If they can be guided to learn how to code, they equally can be guided to use social media."

Messages from sponsors:
Jeanne from the U.S. Embassy is glad to be a part of this event, especially with the female presence. She believes that the creation of local, relevant content is imperative.
On the YALI fellowships, she mentions that the number will be increased for next year.

#####Breakout sessions #####
So topics for the sessions are:

  1. Blogging 101
How does one at start a blog in 5 steps?
  • Think about what you want to say
  • Name your blog
  • Sign up with a blogging platform
  • Create content regularly
  • Share your work with the world

2. Can Social Media cause change
I am participating in the second session.
Edward asks whether it is enough to talk about issues on Social media, and whether this is enough to cause change. Is it enough to create awareness?

Always think it's not just creating awareness, but how touching -- how affective --how substantive is your message?
A participant believes that the awareness of a campaign lies on two things, logic and emotions. This awareness also needs to be targeted at a particular group/audience.
The more voices we have speaking on an issue, the higher probability there is for change to occur. Some participants believe that, but Eddie thinks otherwise. He thinks more voices joined the #BringBackOurGirls chants, but little efforts were made in rescuing them. Do you agree?

Do you feel that social media is to account for the public figure who 'branded' 30+ year old Ghanaian spinster as prostitutes?

Some campaigns that have influenced participants, on Social media:

  • Ebola
  • Nepal's earthquake
  • #NoChobo
Currently, we have the gangs of the photowalk competition presenting their pictures. The story of the #suamegang is a compelling one.
Children playing in dangerous environment, and accidents/injuries occurring.
The #Asafogang's theme is Resistance. A historical perspective of the Asafo market area is the basis of their presentation.
The #Adumgang showcase a clean central business district.

The Winner will be chosen soon.
And the winners are:
Suame Gang
Asafo Gang
Adum Gang
My team and I are leaving for Sunyani soon.
I hope this live blogging of today's event has been fun.

Did I mention that the transportation of the Sunyani team was sponsored by Blogging Ghana?





Thursday, July 17, 2014

Preliminary study: Social Commerce growth in Ghana

Photo: Social Media Today
The growth of social media in Ghana has grown in the last couple of years. However, it is not clear how the phenomenon has influenced buying and selling online. What online vendors use their social media accounts for is not clear. The features required of an e-commerce website that would attract and retain the Ghanaian online shopper are also not well documented.
I therefore conducted an empirical study to investigate the influence of social media on the growth of e-commerce in Ghana. 

Some questions I considered were:
  1. To what extent are online shoppers aware of e-commerce vendors in Ghana?
  2. What features of an e-commerce website attract and retain an online shopper?
  3. How long have Ghanaians been shopping online?
  4. How long have Ghanaian e-commerce vendors been selling online?
  5. What types of e-payment solution s are being used by vendors in Ghana?
  6. What e-payment challenges are faced by both vendors and shoppers?
  7. Has social media had an impact on the sales revenue of online vendors?
Deductions from the results show that a great number of Ghanaians are active on social networks, with accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, YouTube, Vine, just to name a few. Most of the respondents accessed their social network accounts via their computers. However, a growing number of them are doing so via their mobile phones (and hand held devices like tablets/phablets), which supports the assertion that mobile phone revolutions are on the increase in Africa (Jidenma, 2014) – and that Africa is a mobile only continent (Shapshak, 2012). This also indicates a great potential for the growth of mobile commerce (m-commerce).

Most online vendors use their social network accounts for advertisement (sales promotion). This supports the assertion that online advertisements would overtake traditional print media such as catalogues and magazines (Takahashi, 2011).  They also use it for raffles and competitions, where customers are rewarded for their loyalty. It was also observed from the study that little (or no) trend analysis is being done by online vendors. This doesn’t really look good as it would be difficult for such vendors to understand their customers and thus satisfy their needs fully. A small percentage (50%) of vendors also use their social media outlets for lead generation (i.e. mostly start-ups).

The study also found that electronic payments are a challenge to both Ghanaian shoppers and vendors online. The blacklisting of the country by PayPal is a worry, as there is no ‘formalised’ platform electronic payments can be made on. Newer platform such as mPowerPayments, Everzero, Ozinbo Pay, are yet to get the needed patronage. As late adopters in the online payments market, Ghanaians have their reservations, and would rather employ tried and tested platforms like PayPal. Security is a great concern and a challenge for online shoppers. Such shoppers are worried of the standards being followed by Ghanaian vendors in ensuring secured transactions.

Other challenges being faced in the e-commerce market space in Ghana include vendors’ wish for a solution that would make it less expensive to ship outside Ghana. As shoppers, the slowness of the internet is a major challenge being faced. Also as most of the identified vendors are located in the capital, Accra, delivery and pickup is another challenge faced by online shoppers.
On the issue of whether social media has influenced the growth of e-commerce in Ghana, both online shoppers and vendors are equally found on both sides of the continuum. This means a lot more work needs to be done, by vendors mostly, in leveraging social media to market their products and services. Also such networks should extend their e-commerce capabilities to African countries, to enable their users enjoy such benefits. This would go a long way in increasing the revenue of online vendors.

The study has shown (however premature it may seem) that social media indeed has influenced the growth of electronic commerce in Ghana. Though it is in its infancy, e-commerce has a bright future with the alternative of using mobile money as a means of electronic payments. The trend of Ghanaians having mobile phones and using them for online activities sets the tone for mobile commerce implementation in the country. Further research should be done in finding a solution to leveraging mobile money on the internet such that online shoppers can pay for products and services via their smart/feature phones.

NB: I had a handful of respondents for this study, especially vendors.
If you are a vendor, please take this survey.
If you buy online, please take this survey.
Thanks.

Do not forget to add your thoughts on this phenomenon via the comments section.


REFERENCES
Jidenma, N. How Africa’s mobile revolution is disrupting the continent. http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/24/business/davos-africa-mobile-explosion/ Retrieved on 12th April, 2014.
Shapshak, T. Africa not just a mobile-first continent – it’s mobile only. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/04/tech/mobile/africa-mobile-opinion/ Retrieved on 30th April, 2014.
Takahashi, D. Internet Ads Finally Surpass Newspapers. VentureBeat, April 14, 2011.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Plisionship: An e-commerce solution

The ONE United Against Malaria bead
Photo credit: ONE.org
A couple of months ago, I decided to purchase a couple of ONE.org's beads online.
My late mum was a beads trader, so I am a sucker for beads.
After selecting the items to buy, I realised the shipping cost was more than I had expected, so I decided to look for a friend who loves beads as myself. We decided it was best to order as one and share the shipping cost.

Problem solved.

What we did is almost the same as the platform my friend Ilias, and his Plisionship team are building.
Plisionship loosely translated means friendship. Plision is a Greek word that refers to someone who is close to you and is ready to help you. In helping you, he/she helps himself/herself.

The concept is this simple: once you see an item you wish to buy online, you share it within your network and see if any other friend of yours wants to buy the same item, or even a different item (but from the same e-shop). You then create a group (after logging in) of individuals willing to buy some products from the same e-shop and buy as a group. The creation of the group is only once. So whenever one wishes to buy something, he shares it by posting it. The shipping costs may be reduced (as you share it) or even eliminated if you bargain with the e-tailer. Plisionship looks at individuals linking with their networks (especially people close to them geographically), so as to share interests in goods and services, and share delivery costs.

Remember that, your 'network' on this platform does not only refer to friends and family. Whoever you have a simple relationship with: at home, at your workplace, any other place you hang out, can be part of this group ('your network').

Do visit their website  and register to try out the service.
The video below sheds more light on Plisionship:

Saturday, July 13, 2013

#AASW6 Social media bootcamp

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine informed me about a conference that is going to be held in Ghana -- the African Agricultural Science Week. I had no idea what it was about. All I knew was that, he wanted to know if I was interested in being considered as a social media reporter for the event. Hell yeah!!!
Following my receipt of an invitation letter, I am in Accra to join other social media reporters cover the event. A pre-requisite (of sorts) is for us to undergo a 2-day bootcamp on how to cover this particular event. Today is the first day. The facilitator is an energetic, enthusiastic fellow (who likes to be called Grandpa).

Peter (Grandpa) coaching his enthusiastic team!

We first looked at what Social media is and some of the characteristics it has:
  • It is on-line
  • It allows sharing and participation
  • It is free and easy to use
  • It is instantaneous (immediate)
  • It promotes networking and personal interactions
  • It allows anybody to publish just about anything

We then looked at the plethora of social media tools available. Peter put them into groups in his 'legendary' bucket:

As an individual/organisation, you need to have a strategy to get your message across to your target audience:
Illustrated 'seduction' strategy
Live/Vapour media vs. Permanent media


You can read more about defining a social media strategy here.
One cool thing I learnt was how to identify whether a celebrity sent a tweet by themselves or their PROs. This also works for an account that is being coordinated by a number of individuals. The trick is to check for a signature at the end of a tweet. An example is shown below. It has the signature, ^JG:
It's been a very insightful and exciting day. The week promises to be great.
You can follow the event's blog for updates, as well as check the organiser's blog.
Don't forget to look out for the #AASW6 hashtag on twitter.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Media for Democracy Event held in Sunyani

The US Embassy in Ghana sponsored a series of one-day conventions on how media and civil society can contribute to free and fair elections. The conventions were organised by the GJA.
I was privileged to partake in, and cover the Sunyani event for GhanaDecides.
In this post I share some pictures I took at the event.
Dr. A. Bonnah Koomson talking on the role of the media

A section of the participants at the event 
Mr. K. Aborampah-Mensah talking on the role of Civil SocietyOrganisatins

Mr. Bright Blewu of the GJA interacting with the CUCG's SRC


Snack time
Ms. McKenzie talking on Best Pracices



A couple of materials given to participants
For a full report on the event, click here.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Welcome to iWitness -- in Ghana

A couple of months ago, I struck an acquaintance with Daixy, the Social Media coordinator of GhanaDecides -- a BloggingGhana project that seeks to cover issues pertaining to the forthcoming elections in Ghana. I was fascinated after she introduced me to the project as it presented an opportunity for individuals to broadcast the news of Ghana's forthcoming elections to the world.
I thought to myself, "If we are tired of having our country and continent given a negative image in the media by both foreign and local media, who better to set the record straight, than ourselves?"
GhanaDecides became a fixture in my lectures (during breaks) where I educated and advised students to make their voices heard in the campaign known as iRegistered. The iRegistered campaign covered Ghana's first ever biometric voter registration.
Personally, I believe all has gone according to the expectations of the project team based on the responses got. Or maybe not?
That being said, I stumbled upon a project being undertaken by Adaptive Path (a User Experience design company in the USA) that seeks to take social media to another dimension -- iWitness. The free tool iWitness went live a couple od days ago!
iWitness is a pretty cool tool I think would further enhance the GhanaDecides project. It reads tweets (and even Flickr and instagram updates) in real time, based on location and time. It works solely in a browser. All you do is enter a location and a time, and voila, news becomes readily available to you.
Screenshot of the iWitness app. Location: Accra

The downsides of the tool I think has to do mainly with the fact that it's mostly for desktop browsers that are Webkit-based, such as Chrome and Safari. But hey, it's an evolving open source project. It shouldn't be long before we have it being supported on mobile browsers and all other browser as well. Developers can hack at the source code on Github.
iWitness is also advantageous to the GhanaDecides cause as it doesn't require a hashtag (which the campaign so far has depended mainly on) for any particular news.
Just go ahead and try the tool.
I will like to have your thoughts on it via your comments on this post. ;-)
You can read more on iWitness on this blog post by the creators.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

BlogCamp 2012 -- The Experience

Blog? Social Media? What has the Law got to do with Social Media? Oh, can I really make a living from blogs?
If these are questions you find yourself asking, then you should have been at the first-ever -- yes, you heard me -- first-ever Blogcamp event in Ghana, which took place at the AITI-KACE. The theme was Voice of a New Generation.

A Blogcamp is actually a gathering of bloggers (newbies and oldies) to discuss the world of blogs, share ideas, and find ways of using social media to impact their communities in a positive way. The event was organised by the largest association of bloggers in Ghana, BloggingGhana. Almost 400 participants 'invaded' the venue -- the burning passion and quest for knowledge was simply overwhelming.

I had awakenings, epiphanies and inspirations throughout the event.

Highlights

  • The first highlight of the event for me, was when we had the pleasure of interacting with Brett Morgan of Google via Google+ hangout, as he talked on "Making blogs graphical with HTML5" -- 'twas really cool.
  • The second was when Nana Yaw Asiedu was called upon to talk on "Social Media and the Law". I know a lot of the attendees share what I'm about to say. He was introduced as a lawyer and so the 'Ghanaian' mind expected to see an 'old' (used relatively) individual. But no, we saw this unassuming young man step up, take the mic, and 'school' us on the topic with undiluted authority. Mindblowing! I dubbed him, "The Coolest Legal mind at the event". ;-)
  • The breakout session on Photoblogging was amazingly handled by Nana Kofi Acquah.
    Mac-Jordan Degadjor's session on Social Media for Corporate bodies was engaging. I particularly love the point he momentarily turned the session into a 'mini movie theatre' by playing a video on 'What a Blog is'!
  • The main sponsor of the day, Vodafone Ghana had three raffles and gave prizes to winning participants. The prices included Android torres phones, Mi-Fis, and Web Boxes! Others also won free BloggingGhana T-Shirts -- myself inclusive. :-)
  • The biggest highlight for me was the launching of the Social Media Awards by Golda Addo.

Memorable Quotes

The day had its fair share of quotes that should be in ink:
We never really know where it'll lead us, but we have to start from a place of integrity.
~ Nana Kofi Acquah
" It's impossible to be politically correct as a blogger and be taken seriously. "
~ Nana Kofi Acquah
" You need to take a stance. It's either you are a mouse or a cat, you can't be a mat. "
~ Nana Kofi Acquah
" Truth is the best defence in defamation, but it should be truth you can prove. "
~ Nana Yaw Asiedu
" Those in most need are the ones to really exercise their democratic franchise. "
~ @kinnareads
" If for nothing at all, joining BloggingGhana allows you a lot of reach. "
~ Kajsa Hallberg Adu
" It annoys me that a lot of people are interested in poverty in Africa. "
~ Kobina Graham

It was a great event -- thanks to the organisers and the sponsors.
In the words of the in-law in a Ghanaian TV advert, I end by saying, "mE ba aha dabia abE didi"!

I know you folks have got other exciting experiences to share about the BlogCamp event. I'd love to hear them. Do leave a comment, and let's get interactive.