Zambian Twitter- The Evolution

 

South-African-Twitter-trends-for-2015

The last couple of years to 2010 saw an escalation in internet accessibility and consequently a rapid increase in the number of Facebook sign ups. This was a trend common among so many youths especially those in high school and college. However, the twitter field was more less a desert. Enthusiasm levels were not so high for sign-ups.

There was a very minimal number of Zambians on twitter. The majority of these were in the diaspora and had benefited from early exposure to the social network because of the countries they lived in like the US and the UK. Many locals had not heard about twitter and even a few of those who signed up wished it came with a manual.

However, the population has come to grow. The arrival of the Blackberry Smart Phone saw more people sign up because the smart phone allowed them to use the app which proved more convenient and easier to use than the web version.  As the smartphone became more and more affordable more people signed up. With an affordable data plan, the blackberry was convenient for the most urban users.

In no time was some news of some Zambian users attaining verification. Crisis Mr Swagger, a Zambian rapper was the first to announce an official verification. More Zambians, musicians mostly, followed after him in obtaining verified accounts.

Zambians were also beginning to get together to discuss issues. Insaka became a popular Zambian twitter platform of discussion. Every evening, Zambians on twitter would hold discussions under the hashtag INSAKA.

By the years, Insaka lost popularity as people discovered other ways to utilise their twitter. South African twitter has been known to be so open where Sex is discussed openly and freely by users and this spread to a few young Zambians. A lot of female users claimed to be feminists suddenly and many political commentators sprung up.  Pan-African traits of Zimbabwean twitter also spread to the Zambian side.

Currently is an account called Zed Curate where each week, a new Zambian shares with other Zambians their experiences and directs topics for Zambians to discuss. Politics, the economy and social life are discussed mainly.

Of late, myriads have crossed over from Facebook. It is possible to hear stories of users who left Facebook for twitter. Some think it is all because the new audience is more mature, but Chansa Kapapula, a prominent blogger and Zambian twitter pioneer thinks people are just choosing to embrace a new social network.

Many youths have used twitter to raise awareness of social and political irregularities. Disliked politicians are usually bashed on the platform and some view this as a form of entertainment. But not only politicians are humiliated, in an environment with self-imposed, Grammar ‘correctors’, fashion police, everything is possible.

Zambian twitter remains an interesting community to be a part of.

 

NB: You can Interact with me on twitter here

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#IAmAZedblogger

One of the most functional utilities online has been the hashtag. It proves to have many advantages one mainly allowing huge topics summarised into a single word allowing myriads of people to discuss it in ‘unison’. It makes it easier to know what is the most talked about stuff when a hashtag is repeatedly used by millions worldwide and later resulting into trending topics-the most talked about. Facebook recently adopted this tool, showing how eminent it is in the social world.

As bloggers in Zambia, the use of the hashtag has come in handy. We have come up with a hashtag we are calling #IAmAZedblogger .This hashtag is actually a project initiated by one Martha Kundwe who currently basically blogs on fashion.I got introduced to it last week and I agreed with her ideas on this. So this is just the beginning and is set to hopefully fully expand next year.

This system is not in any way complex. We will simply share our posts on twitter, facebook, instagram etc. using the same hashtag #IAmAZedBlogger .This way it will be easier for us bloggers and you readers to find our posts on these networks. It simply serves as an advertisement of our works. All bloggers are encouraged to use this tag and is currently strictly Zambian as it aims to unite the nation’s bloggers perhaps in due course we may come up with a continental regional tag and so on.

I personally feel this is a good idea as it presents us with a platform to be exposed.I mean what is a blog without viewers? It is like you building a mall where only you shops. We need our work to be appreciated, rationally criticised and analysed. We are not paid to do this, but inspiration among ourselves and you the readers will allow us to attain a feeling of satisfaction. I would like all Zambian bloggers to come out and show us their very best.If it means we have to compete with a goal to produce quality work, #letsbringit.Lets support each other by following eachother’s blogs and sharing every post. Let’s blog on topics that will build the nation positively.

To the readers, a blog is not a personal diary. We do this because we know you are there to consume the written art. So your support is what matters the most. You do not just end by reading, your mind should always compel you to share, like comment on the post,Retweeet and any other way you could to show us the appreciation we may deserve.A post may be useful to someone far away from you,so always be ready to share.If you think you too can write,why not join the team than waste your skill?

So lets tweet #IAmAZedBlogger.Compliments of the season 🙂