The rapid growth of the information and communication technologies have come with them new aspects that are changing the way we share and receive information. These technologies have created digitally networked societies that have broken the traditional geographical and bureaucratic boundaries. The World Wide Web has turned 26 years old.
What Tim Berners Lee and Steve Jobs envisioned at its birth has been delivered by the web 2.0 technologies. The web 2.0 technologies to the uninitiated are the social media tools. The blogging concept was birthed by these technologies. Blogging popularized the idea of user generated content and customization of the websites.
Blogs have revolutionized the way we use the internet. According to the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) 2015 annual report, there is an estimated 15,000 registered blogs in Kenya with 3,000 being active blogs registered blogs by Kenyans on the WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr platforms. Between 2010 and 2014 the Kenyan blogosphere grew by over 350%. Our hardcopy diaries and notebooks are swiftly being rendered obsolete. The blogosphere is taking over their roles. Events and our feelings are recorded live as they happen.
Traditional journalism practice is at crossroads. The penetration of smart phones has made it possible for lay persons to practice some kind of journalism both consciously and unconsciously.
Dozens of amateur videos, photographs and voice recordings are uploaded online in Kenya every minute. These are recorded at the scenes of crime or accidents. The mainstream media is left to play catch up. In the essay Here Comes Everybody: Power of Organizing without Organizations (Everyone is a Media Outlet), Clay Shirky sums it all in the introduction. He states that: Our social tools remove older obstacles to public expression, and thus remove the bottlenecks that characterized mass media. The result is the mass amateurization of efforts previously reserved for media professionals. There is a new rise of alternative publishing platform. Anyone with an internet enabled computer or phone can become a global publisher. The Web 2.0 technologies have made it even easier for individuals with basic Information Communication and Technologies skills to come up with professional-like sites.