Written by Gameli Adzaho, for BlogCamp13.
There are some memories that are easily swept off by the tidal waves of time and events. There are others that are etched deep in our consciousness, replaying like sweet music in our minds as the days roll by. BlogCamp 2012, organised by BloggingGhana, Ghana’s biggest social media community, falls into the latter category. Held at Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT on 5 May 2012, and sponsored by Vodafone Ghana, Google Ghana, US Embassy Accra, etc., Ghana’s first BlogCamp truly lived up to its theme of creating the “Voice of a New Generation”.
As part of the marketing and publicity team, I actively extended the invitation to “taste the BlogCamp pie” to my networks through both online and offline means. I was so thrilled when many friends and soon-to-be-friends alike turned out in their numbers on that colourful day from diverse locations outside Accra, from Kumasi, Cape Coast, Elmina, Peki and Bolgatanga. Kamon and Lateef Ayeva, both from Python African Tour, made the trip from Lome, Togo.
The day started with the standard ritual of registration and networking, but the BlogCamp team did this in style. While registration was ongoing a team of volunteers were busy setting up blogs and other social media accounts for interested attendees. This created the opportunity for many social media newbies to create new own online niches. Attendees were also free to visit stands set up by Google and Vodafone to explore products, services and promotions they had in store. It was a great way to start.
By 10 am, Kobby Graham (Accra dot Alt) and Esi Cleland (Afrochic), MCs for the day, took centre stage and ushered in Part II. Early birds were rewarded with Vodafone giveaways, before BloggingGhana Chair Kajsa Hallberg Adu gave the welcome address and a brief introduction to blogging. She said a blog is one’s home on the Internet. Team Google was next. Ato Ulzen-Appiah showcased Google’s web tools, including Google Plus. This was followed by Brett Morgan’s presentation on Making Blogs Graphical with HTML 5, from his Australian base, via Google + Hangout.Ghana Decides Project Lead, Kinna Likimani, then went on to explain the relevance of social media in elections and how Ghana Decides would influence Election 2012 positively, starting with the #iRegistered campaign. A rep from Vodafone closed the morning session with a message on how the company facilitates online interactions through its service offerings.
Lunch time provided provided excellent networking opportunities; it was particularly interesting to put faces to all the Twitter handles and online monikers.
The programme resumed with Nana Yaw Asiedu’s comprehensive insights into “Social Media and the Law.” His delivery covered topics such as rights and responsibilities of bloggers defamation and copyright. Jeanne Clarke of the US Embassy’s information section also shared a word with the gathering, reflecting on how social media is impacting politics and democracy worldwide.
It was soon time for breakout sessions. We had three rounds of hands-on workshops led by leading bloggers and digital specialists. Blogcampers were free to choose from:
- Blogging 101 led by Nana Yaw Sarpong and Ato Ulzen-Appiah
- Social Media for Corporate Bodies led by Mac-Jordan Degadjor
- Social Media on Different Devices led by Nana Yaw Asiedu
- Making a Living from Social Media led by Ameyaw Debrah and Gary Al-Smith
- Photo Blogging & Visual Activism led by Nana Kofi Acquah
- Citizen Journalism led by Nii Ayertey
- Tips and Tricks of Social Media led by Kwabena Boateng
- Women and Social Media led by Kinna Likimani
- Entertainment – Using Social Media for Marketing and Promotion led by Kobby Graham and Ato Ulzen-Appiah
The breakout sessions were very successful, thanks to the clear and interactive style adopted by the moderators and the enthusiasm of the participants to learn more.
Three hours soon ticked by and BlogCamp 2012 was finally headed for a closure none of us wanted. But not before Golda Addo stylishly and elegantly launched the very first Ghana Social Media Awards, promising participants to expect nothing but the very best from BloggingGhana. A fulfilling and rewarding day finally came to an end after another round of Vodafone giveaways and extensive networking.
BlogCamp 2012 showed what the youth of Ghana could do with Social Media. We had a great show thanks to the vision and ingenuity of a creative and versatile team from BloggingGhana. The signs are clear on the wall – that BlogCamp 2013 and the Social Media Awards would be awesome. I can’t wait!