The Lie that is the Kenyan Blog Awards – 2016 Edition

The Lie that is the Kenyan Blog Awards – 2016 Edition

I have just received an email from BAKE, yes I am still a member, announcing the voting phase for the blog awards. The sham that we call Blog awards. How we are lied to friends…

My networks have all been nominated. And I am happy for them. I didn’t expect nomination since my site – the one most of you would know me from – is still small and receives only about 250 views a day. Plus I wasn’t interested in being nominated. The blogger girl just called. She was screaming that her personal site has been left out. I had to tell her there are so many fashion bloggers in Kenya, they probably have never heard of her. Told her to get a nose ring. Maybe that’d get her nominated next year. But she’s happy the site they formed as a group has been nominated.

I have gone through the nominations and can’t help but laugh. How stupid are we to believe that this is a serious process. The lie that there’s a panel of serious judges going through all of the sites people submit… Oh of course there are judges. But out of 4000+ submissions, the list of nominees we’ve been given looks like something done overnight.

See BAKE is peculiar. We are members but there are other members –special bigshots – who run everything and tell us when to meet, where to go, what to pay and how to handle ourselves. They are the special high ranking members. Like Greek gods. To be hallowed and adored and looked up to like the best bloggers. Like the clever people championing for others. They organise the awards and as it now seems, nominate themselves or their friends, or blogs they want to market out so that Ad agencies can notice them. Or so that they can sleep at night and be happy for their successes.

Hear me out. Let’s for example look at the technology blog of the year nominations.

First on the list is Techweez.com, a very huge tech media outlet. In fact this website is so big it is quoted on tech news outlets around the world. It is like nominating The Next Web, Android Authority, GSM Arena or even Recode for blogs’ competitions. Once again BAKE fails, and this is awful as they should know better, at differentiating between what blogs are and what news sites are. A technology news site isn’t a tech blog. And that Techweez is also in the run for blog of the year…

Third on the list is Droid254.com a site that is never updated. A site that lacks content and direction. A site that posts emailed press releases from corporates. A site with no sense of writing skills. A site with no beauty and no originality. It looks like some sort of abandoned test. Very rarely updated. And filled with spam comments. A failed project that BAKE is looking to revive.

Other tech nominations are:

  1. mbuguanjihia.comwhich has good content where you can learn new things and targets a particular niche of tech readers. One of those sites to subscribe to especially for tech business enthusiasts. Problem is the content by Phyllis can be found on other websites. And how original is that now…? I believe in content being unique to one site. And in people linking park only a portion. But who am I?
  2. tech-ish.com – which to be honest and fair is a beautiful site with good content and a personal touch
  3. moseskemibaro.com which is good, honest and very well personalised and relatable.

So from the tech nominations, mbuguanjihia.com, moseskemibaro.com and tech-ish.com are the only that deserve to be on this list. The other two slots are wasted! And do you know what this means? It means approximately 400 other prospective tech bloggers have been left out. Tech bloggers who love their sites. Who know what it means to create content, good content. Bloggers who take their time to give people quality. And to make it relatable, blog-like and all inclusive.

We’ve been played. For example for another year running there’s no girl nominated in the tech category. And who says girls don’t blog about tech? Who?

I personally nominated 2 tech blogs run by girls to this category! Where are they? Did they judges consider them? Didn’t they see that these girls offer better content than that stupid Droid site? Or is it that they don’t know these girls, like I assume they know Droid (who always gets nominated) that they decided to leave them out? Is it so?

Let’s look at some sites that should have been nominated in the tech category. Better technology blogs that I and my friends sat down and nominated:

  1. E-TechAfrica.co.ke – one of the very best tech blogs in Kenya. Run by a beautiful and determined girl who does everything better than all the people nominated! Catherine creates content like no one else! And nominating her for best new blog waters down her efforts in the tech category. Plus she’s not new!
  2. TechinPink.com – run by a girl, Gertrude, in Kenya and another girl in Nigeria. But that doesn’t disqualify it now, does it? It is still Kenyan. And beats by far what BAKE considers the best deserving nomination.
  3. MobiTrends.co.ke – the biggest tech blog in Kenya. Nothing comes close. Run by Kevin Kimani. A site many tech bloggers will agree is better than all those in the nominations!
  4. TechArena.co.ke – Lie to me now that you have never seen or heard of TechArena or MobiTrends. All of you visit these two sites. TechArena is immaculately done. Always updated. Very good writing. And Kaluka Wanjala takes time to make sure this blog competes with Tech News outlets!

I guess the last two weren’t nominated because they make more money than most of the nominated sites as they help sell stuff. I realised BAKE never curates smartphone reviews in their Social Media postings and newsletters. Why? Aren’t they deserving enough? If BAKE doesn’t recognise the tech blog smartphone reviews as blog posts, then they should kick out tech reviewers.

These above sites were nominated by not one, not two, but many people. They deserve to be in the voting phase. They are good sites! The judges didn’t look at them because the judges didn’t look at any nominations! The nominations are done helter-skelterly in order to meet deadlines and please the corporates that fund the process. Some corporates we members only hear of during the “Gala”. I mean a day ago we received an email that the voting phase had been delayed with no definite time frames. All of a sudden the judges – who we didn’t give the job – have gotten all psyched up and finally came up with a list.

Let’s go to the photography category.

BuoArt has been nominated again. Last time he won, yet there was no blog. This time there’s a website portfolio. You know what a portfolio is. Does a portfolio in any corner of the worldwide web, searchable or deep, qualify as a blog? I can hear a resounding NO. Everyone knows what blogs look like. And portfolios aren’t blogs! Another scam this is by BAKE to sell BuoArt, themselves, or to make money.

I only deal with creative writing, technology and photography blogs. And I’ll stop there. My photography blog will be nominated in 2020.

By the way Bikozulu can be nominated forever and ever. Because that’s how good he is in his category. If only we could break up the categories to show poetry, short stories, book reviews, plays etc., then we could really be seeing the many talents that fail to get nominations.

But when I say “we” my mind reminds me that there’s no “we”. There’s only “special BAKE members who make all the decisions”. And they are the ones who will see this blog post and trash it.

Congratulations to all blogs nominated, the ones deserving the nominations and the ones fixed for selfish motives.

In a parallel universe all BAKE members appoint the judges themselves and see the system Kachwanya always says tallies the votes. Well in a parallel universe BAKE also has meetings and elections and transparent sources and use of funds. But we all know the moment we walk down that road BAKE may be broken and forgotten forever.

Let the voting begin. And the “We’ve been rigged” claims.

Oh Kenya.

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56 thoughts on “The Lie that is the Kenyan Blog Awards – 2016 Edition

  1. There’s truth in whatever you say. A good example is the religion category where none of the six blogs have been nominated. Maybe they have ruled out that I run too many blogs on their platform but at least they should have nominated janelubale.com or even Johni Celeb or Kkrew. A portfolio is not a blog, sure thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wonder what James Wamathai – I still don’t know his position at BAKE – will have to say tomorrow morning, He tweeted and promised to write a reply. I hope they write it on the BAKE blog.

      Like

      1. nerdyclues.com she’s a Kenyan blogger. I think the fact that 4000 people can feel comfortable to read what she offers, she should have been at least represented and considering we rarely have relationship bloggers as Kenyans. Well, they know best. We will do our part n vote.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Keep reading. I won’t stop writing Molly. I do it for myself and most importantly you guys. Aight? For one year you’re the people that have taken me this far it overwhelms me. Xoxo

      Like

  2. Thanks for the intro to the new tech blogs, that I was truly not aware of. I find that with each award season, I find several new blogs to follow that are nominated from all over the Kenyan blog space. Some I now follow, and I wish them all the best in future years

    Like

    1. Limo, you’ve won the awards a couple of times (2012 and 2014). Anyone who’s been on the right corners of the internet has heard of or seen Bankelele because it is that big a site. Congratulations. And so, with all due respect, I’d like to first ask some of the tech sites you’ve discovered over the years that are from all over, and second, what you think of the BAKE process. I trust you can offer more insight to the issues above in the blog post.

      By the way there’s this group of good immensely talented people who can give your site a total makeover in record time —> Bramble Consultants. I think you’ll be among their very first clients. I love the effort they’ve put into getting themselves known. Let’s be honest your site needs to look better than it does now!

      Like

  3. Many thanks for the compliment. I expected a nomination but i had this strong feeling that i will not get one (I am a realist). No hard feelings.

    It is also ironical that the author of the post preferred anonymity in order to communicate with an organization that is all about promoting free expression in Kenya. Is BAKE an association or is it a cabal?

    BTW, http://www.kenbonyo.com/ is another Kenyan technology blog that is worth a visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your blog Kevin. MobiTrends.co.ke is so big I hope you know. It is you who should have been nominated. Even for the Blog of the year category.

      I did not prefer anonymity. And I have seen many people trash this post just because I am anonymous. StoryZangu is like a pseudonym I chose because I couldn’t find any unisex names to use. Pseudonyms are cool you see as one is not judged by who they are but rather by what they’ve said. Plus I didn’t start an anonymous site just to trash BAKE. I have posts I want to write here. Many. BAKE is just a by the way as they are proving to be shit. Like why the hell wouldn’t they reply to this post?

      Whether anonymous or not what I wrote here is real. 100% real and everyone agrees to it. So people deserve a comprehensive reply like James had promised. And shit in the association needs to be looked up and processes be made transparent.

      I have visited KenBonyo.com a couple of times. Serious tech bloggers are always left out. The fuck is Droid254.com by the way?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. By the way, what you wrote is an accurate reflection of how BAKE messed up with the nomination list. I totally agree with you, what you wrote here is real and i would have loved to hear BAKE’s take on the issues you raised.

        BAKE even though is described as an association still remains a private entity and commercial interests may be a priority to them and thus public interests come in second.

        However, the thing is with the internet you do not need anybody’s consent to be successful, therefore let your blog statistics be the award that you value the most.

        About Droid254.com, i really can’t write anything about it, but since BAKE thinks it’s pretty important, maybe it actually is.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. From this fence am seated i will add- quite an insightful inscription deliberately crafted to emancipate the underdogs. Liberating words which might influence one to throw the kid with the bath water!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was just about to write a similar rant but then I came across this post and thought I might as well post it here.

    As a business blogger I think the nomination process is flawed in very many ways. I wish the panel could be more open and show us the selection rubric used (if it exists). What irkes me the most is that the selection criteria obviously ignores metrics such as traffic and authority which is what is used across the world. What is the use of awarding a blog that is visited by an average of 1,000 visitors in a month as opposed to one that receives 100,000 monthly visits. This should not be the only criterion used, but it should be an integral part of the process.

    If this was the case then I was surprised to note that almost all sites nominated in the business category have very worrying traffic stats.

    The nomination of Droid254 is by far the most blatant display of ignorance I have seen in a while. On seeing this nomination I had to visit the BAKE site with the hope of finding a way to cancel my membership. I was unsuccessful but I feel that I deserve a refund if we will have such people in charge. Droid254?? wtf. I mean the most popular posts are from 2014. What’s worse is that they are horribly written press releases that I doubt anyone would ever be interested in.

    WE DESERVE AN APOLOGY.

    Kevin you deserved a nomination, and I religiously read your blog and many other tech blogs locally. I am ready to start a petition, because there is no way I will participate in an award ceremony that recognizes Droid254 over mobitrends, Techarena and many other better run tech blogs. This is coming from me as a big tech enthusiast.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Sammy [I hope it’s u :)]

      Honestly, i am humbled from the love i have received in the past few days especially from bloggers. Personally, i think that there is nothing greater that gaining recognition from your peers.

      Yeah, definitely, this shit is making people angry. The issue is very much disgusting since it’s clearly a gross misuse of entrusted power.

      Another issue is that there are some very decent blogs nominated on the list that deserve our votes but the rotten move they did with some categories taints the whole nomination list.

      You look at such a teenage-grade fail and you realize this is actually deliberate and they actually DGAF about their actions.

      They dont represent bloggers, they represent interests.

      But, i do hope they won’t kill your spirit. You are really good.

      Like

    2. Very passionate reply there Mtahini!

      “…the selection criteria obviously ignores metrics such as traffic and authority which is what is used across the world” Milie Kaimenyi echoed these exact sentiments on the BAKE Group. Why don’t BAKE listen to these suggestions?

      I have written a new post asking this question. I hope they listen.

      Like

  6. I may not be that tech savvy but the blogs nominated under the Technology Blog category ain’t that good. There are BETTER and REAL Technology blogs which were ignored. Three nominees in the Blog Of The Year Category don’t fit in there too. I however am okay with other categories like Fashion/Beauty Blog, Photography Blog, Food Blog, Topical Blog etc. That’s my opinion though.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. If someone claimed that I came up with this post they would not believe it when I deny it. I raised some of these points after last year’s awards (or the year before) on Twitter but I guess I just sounded hatefully emotional (cos I think I’m on a watchlist). Especially since I refused to pay the membership fee. I’m guessing the same will be said about the blogs about that missed nomination.
    Either way, interesting points raised, and I hope they are working on some serious change.
    We get starting a blog association is hard but if they are going to make it look like they are after blogging interests first before money, they better work on making it clearer.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Meanwhile while we rant BAKE keeps releasing newsletters defending themselves. I have a problem with the fact that some of these categories are so truncated that we miss valuable people. I am happy my best friend’s blog Adventures of Cathy was nominated in the travel category I have seen it from birth. In my 5th year of blogging and sometimes I wonder if ever I should hang up my virtual pen because the sweat is seemingly for naught. I agree an independent association is a good idea if the people behind it were after the good of all bloggers.

    http://pisces22.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 5 years blogging? whooa!

      I will tell you some wise words I’ve seen commented here. The biggest reward you can get is from your readers and followers. That’s all you need.

      Like

  9. Puuuh. I literally have nothing more to add to this. You just said it all for me. I am even glad I didn’t sign up to be a member and I am definitely not participating in this whole thing. There is no rationality with them let alone transparency. As a relationship and lifestyle blogger, it’s bug and slime for my kind and BAKE. Totally unrelated. I wonder why vloggers weren’t even recognised. Utter rubbish I say. Utter rubbish. They need to change if they wish to be heard among the blogging community.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BAKE are big. They have a lot of cash. They are on TV doing stuff. Organizing things. All in the name of representing a people who don’t understand how their association works.

      We are members of an association yet we don’t even know how it runs its daily stuff. We go for meetings and are given food and taken through stuff like visitors. Nobody tells us who the leaders are, how the meeting was organized. Who contacted the corporates etc. We don’t even know who pays the BAKE employees. Or how they get to be OUR employees in the first place!

      Like

  10. Thanks for writing this. I usually visit the BAKE voting site every year to discover new blogs to add to my reading list.
    This year though, I was so disappointed, I texted my best friend how crap some of the nominated blogs are and she just sent me a link to your post. I’m saddened to hear that there’s a pattern of disregard from
    BAKE. But I’m also grateful, that by you writing this, I have discovered your blog, and the many others that have been referenced here. Thanks! Very excited to dig in and read your and others’ work! Aluta continua…

    Like

  11. Haiya! kumbe I am not alone. I went for a meeting and we started talking blogs. BAKE’s questionable nomination and voting system came into question. Specifically in the Travel category, ever wondered how safari254.com is always being nominated (which by the way are deserving) but next to competition that have no chance of beating it save for 1 or 2 other travel blogs? Another year they put Travel Start which by far is a major travel company and had too much muscle to be placed next to one-man travel blogs? The following year, they redefined the categories and Travel Start was placed as a corporate blog. But the damage was already done. A slot meant for a travel blogs was wasted. MEANWHILE…Safari254(dot)com emerged winner a Third time amid weak competition from its counterparts. Clearly an easy win, no run for their money, No? Are they somehow saying they sifted through thousands of blogs and couldn’t find blogs which are updated, with original content (im talking original photos) that represents Kenya as an ideal travel destination. Meanwhile, a travel blog that was created in a few months (less that 6 months) was there competition highly and even nominated for blog of the year award! BLOG OF THE YEAR PEOPLE!!

    At this rate, REALITY is, no fans, no success. When fans loose faith in something that clearly appears to be self-seeking, it means the house is already beginning to shake at the foundation. I hope real great bloggers out there do not give up. You don\t need an association to validate your efforts. Promise yourself if you don’t get nominated or don’t win, don’t close shop..Focus on your goal which I hope has nothing to do with being nominated. Your dreams are valid, with or without Bake. I have watched by the sidelines as blogs that started before me do away with their blogs because they didn’t get nominated or win. Let that not be you.

    Recognition feels sweet but if that’s the sole purpose of starting a blog, then there is need to re-consider the purpose of your blog…

    Meanwhile, BIko is also really good! But they need to stop riding on his celebrity status and give him a run for his money from another equally brilliant writer. C’mon, there must be talent out there just waiting to discovered! Soo many fashion blogs out there too. Why keep rewinding the same old? huh!

    If BAKE MIRACULOUSLY nominated my blog, 99.99% of me tells me that on that specific day, i will be occupied, I will be somewhere celebrating the extra publicity probably wine in tow, a movie perhaps, but will not dare grace the event with my presence. No thanks…Next Serious Association please!

    Like

  12. As a tech blogger and an avid follower of Mobitrends(which pains me to see it not shortlisted),i would say we have no blog awards made for kenyans…maybe those a few.

    Let me wait and see if i’ll scoop a nomination this 2017 and stop seeing the likes of Techweez which is a cooperate taking awards almost all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Let me wait and see if i’ll scoop a nomination this 2017 and stop seeing the likes of Techweez which is a cooperate (sic) taking awards almost all the time.” Here’s the simple truth: Before its nomination and subsequent win last year, Techweez had never been nominated for the BAKE awards.
      Disclosure: I write at Techweez. We are a small team (we really wish we were a corporate, though) that is trying to tell tech stories local and global, one at a time. Some of the comments I am reading here do really sadden me. While I definitely can’t speak for BAKE, its members (I am a member too) and its leadership, I can speak for (but not on behalf of) Techweez: winning the award was a huge source of inspiration for us as a team and we saw it as validation of our efforts, many years in the making. To see all that being trashed because the nomination process may not have been up to scratch and other equally deserving tech blogs were ignored makes me sad. Did we deserve the award? Yes, we did! I’m hoping we get nominated again this year and that we win as well. We put in a lot of effort just like any other bloggers out there and do deserve any recognition that comes with either in the way of awards or something else.
      My personal blog has previously been nominated twice for the awards (2nd and 3rd editions). I came second the first time and was third the next time if I remember correctly. On both occasions, I lost to a blog that had access to lots of resources while I was simply a second-year college boy who wrote about his obsession with gadgets in his spare time. That never dampened my spirit and while awards are great and all, the only thing I can say to everyone here is: keep writing. It’s ok to voice concerns as done here for the most part but let us not get carried away by emotions, blame the rightful people and not other bloggers who were just happy to be nominated and did all they could to win.

      Like

  13. dinbV&sp;:nisuellemett, elle est très jolie, mais je résiste aussi! j’ai toujours eu un peu de mal avec les cafetières à dosettes, quelqu’un peut-il me dire si elles sont recyclables d’une façon ou d’une autre?

    Like

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