Had a near death experience from last year’s FOMO. Makupsy and Beaton were updating their social media with the highlights. I was sick in my stomach.
So last week, they put out a call for speakers for this year’s Harare WordCamp and I’ve been doing my usual will I won’t I? It would be exciting to speak at Harare WordCamp only con is that I actually have to be in Harare. But the pros are listed below.
1. Share knowledge
If you know me, you know that I love sharing what I know. From my rendition of the Bible I believe that people do perish from the lack of knowledge. My whole blog is about me sharing what I know and the experiences I’ve endured. Why wouldn’t I want to get on stage and share my blogging experience with like minded people?
2. Aligned with the brand
My personal brand is going through a transition. You can probably tell from the new direction I went in for the website. I’m moving from just blogging to blogging as a business and speaking at such an event would be a nice addition to my new portfolio. The end goal is to make it hard for a blogging conversation to be had when I’m not in the room.
One of the key takeaways from my Mandela Washington Fellowship earlier this year was the value of collaboration. If you look at the British Council projects in the arts as well, most of them are now about collaboration and working together. How do you find people to work with? Networking. In Zimbabwe, it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. I’d like to meet the people behind the blogs and get a feel of their vibe. You can’t deduce that from messages in a WhatsApp group.
Okay we clearly have strong reasons why speaking at the Harare WordCamp would be beneficial to me but there are other questions like what would I wear? Or worse, what would I talk about?
1. The Way Forward for Zim Content Creators
Potraz released the report for this year and it’s what you’d expect. Data usage has declined and SMS is back on the rise. As a social media manager, I’ve seen the insights and I know there is a huge dip in social media usage. The curve on the graph is so deep you can turn it into a dam. So what does the load shedding and high data prices mean for content creators in Zimbabwe? Are we content with our content being consumed by everyone else except our home country? Would that even be enough?
2. Women in the Zim blogging industry
For the past 10 months I’ve been “mentoring” close to 60 female bloggers on a WhatsApp group. I think I’ve learnt from them more than they’ve learnt from me. I’ve made some observations which would completely change the way that we view female bloggers and their role in the industry. I believe now more than ever that blogging will be a women-led industry in Zimbabwe and I have ideas on how we can get there. Of course I’d need a new test group of female bloggers.
3. The Creative Industry and it’s partnerships
So this year there has been an upsurge of corporates taking an interest in the creative economy. I’d love to give a talk about how as creatives, we can strategically position ourselves for this hub-boom. Ride the wave of the buzzword-high for all it’s got. How do we create functional partnerships with corporates. How do we make freelance work more secure and more appealing when working with corporates. How do we solve the nation’s problems creatively? How do we debunk the myths that corporates have about creatives to make it more conducive for business? The one thing I’ve heard corporates say is, “We want to work with influencers but what if they are involved in a scandal?” We’re humans, our flesh likes to do things but how do we minimise risk in such instances?
Harare WordCamp is an amazing opportunity to start having these conversations that affect us as bloggers specifically.