MAKING USIU-AFRICA GET ‘WITH IT!’

By Nelly Gitau, Wambui Mwangi, Brenda Munene and Mark Kariuki

Mobile-surfing
Source: Daily Nation

Confucius once said that a wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it. This great proverb demonstrates the age old understanding that, in order to survive, one must be adaptable. This line of thinking has never been more relevant than in the digital age. In the digital age, life moves at a faster rate than ever. It’s all about keeping up with this fast pace – it’s about move it or lose it. Nothing is immune. From social, political and economic systems – everything is being forced to adapt in order to remain relevant. One of the most affected social systems is learning. Ken Robinson talks about bringing on the learning evolution is his TED Talk below. Essentially the idea is that millennials have grown up in a digital world, therefore reasoning only suggests that learning also needs to go digital.

This brings us to universities which are a corner-stone for learning and innovations. The digital revolution is necessitating them to roll out solutions that take advantage of these advances. Aspects like E-learning, online portals, e-libraries, e-books, e-journals and e-resources are just among some of the new ideas being rolled out. Unique websites are also helping schools get noticed, and remain relevant. One of the gaps that still remains, especially in the African context, is mobile Apps for universities. Continue reading MAKING USIU-AFRICA GET ‘WITH IT!’

Say ‘Elo’ To Kenya’s Solution To Tourist Communication

Published by: Givens Kachero (638161) | Winnie Booker (652857) | Hussein Jiva (628978) | Lewis Ochieng (652838)

Kenya is a hotbed of culture, attractions and innovation – a reputation the nation has earned for its various exploits, achievements and contributions. And among the key sectors that have contributed to the country’s burgeoning success stories is the tourism sector.

Continue reading Say ‘Elo’ To Kenya’s Solution To Tourist Communication

Radar app: Exposing the fibs and fables of political candidates

By Eannes Ongus, Julie Okiro, Kevin Mudavadi and Natasha Nduhiu

politician hands crossed

Photo (c) American News X

Mobile phones are the best way to end voter ignorance. For years, gullible Kenyans have continued to believe the lies that politicians tell. You should take a politician’s promises with a pinch of salt. This is an unfortunate but known truth across the globe. Political candidates in particular are some of the best salesmen; they use charm, charisma and flowery words to build trust, which translates into votes during elections. In Kenya, the situation is no different. Politicians will resort to all measures to entice voters.

Today is an age unlike any other. Thanks to digital technology, and particularly the mobile phone, it is possible to reach and inform millions of people within seconds, regardless of their location. In Kenya alone, mobile penetration stood at 88.1 per cent in 2016, with 37.8 million subscribers up from 36.1 million the previous year.

This is the inspiration behind the proposed Radar Application, which will make use of mobile phone technology. It will have an edge unlike other forms of civic education: it can be carried everywhere, available via text message, automated voice, Android and iOS stores. The Radar App will provide the citizens with valuable information to evaluate their leaders in relation to their performance and office requirements.

Continue reading Radar app: Exposing the fibs and fables of political candidates

How you can be caught by your spouse while involved in digital infidelity in this digital age By Peter Kuta

Continue reading How you can be caught by your spouse while involved in digital infidelity in this digital age By Peter Kuta

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY HAS AFFECTED DATING.

Rachel, Muthoni

Everybody wants to meet the one, but not everyone has a Cinderella story where you meet your prince charming by losing a shoe. In the past people have been limited on who to date that is according to the tribe, gender, race and other factors. This traditional way of dating has however proven to be very hard and such a cliché, example where a person spills a drink on another or accidentally bumps into each other. As time goes, these factors no longer matter and people are now open to dating diversely.

About 59% say social media makes them feel more connected to what is going on in their significant other’s life, although just 15% indicate that it makes them feel “a lot” more connected. About one-third (35%) of these teens say social media does not make them feel more connected with their significant other.

Through online dating site, single people can meet others in an easier way. They get on the sites and give a description of what they expect. They give all the attributes they want and also describe themselves. If someone is interested in them and can fit in the description, they can like on their page or profile, and if the interest is mutual, they match and arrange to meet. These dating sites have so many advantages as it helps save time which people use to look for someone who shares their interest. By the time you are going on a date with the person you already know their interest that is if they are looking for a wife, something casual or any relationship. Also for individuals who have no courage to approach others face to face online dating is the way to go.

Social media, on the other hand, has also affected dating. Before all these people found long distance relationship a waste of time. It is through Whatsapp, Facebook, IMO and Instagram, social media has become so comfortable. It makes dating fun and keeps the relationship alive. People can now video chat, text, share videos and pictures. Also, it is easier to avoid cheating as people can declare to the public on their Facebook page their relationship status. It is also easier to know the others interest. Some people use social media for a little stalking example, checking the others last seen online time, checking their photos and whom they regularly chat with.

Modern Keyboard With Colored Social Network Buttons.

There are also groups or pages where people example those who have same sex interest such as, lesbians and bisexuals can meet others with the same interest without fear of being judged. Digital media makes it easier for them as minorities in the dating world to meet in an easier way.

Blogs and other websites also help most people in relationships with advice on certain issues that affect them. Others start page where they discuss certain matters that they share or have experience on. It is sometimes easier for people to tell their relationship problems to strangers other than people you know due to fear of being judged.

Digital technology on the other side has affected dating negatively. This is as the sweet process of getting to know someone from the start is cut down. People already know what to expect, and this thus ruins the honeymoon stage. It also spoils the thought of fate being the reason why people met. Also through stalking on social media, it shows distrust and can lead to problems in the relationship. Also, people tend to lie on social media and dating sites which can be misleading. This affects others as when you meet it is not what one expected. Others get too comfortable dating online that they do not want to meet.

EVENTS, TICKETING AND THE DIGITAL AGE

BY WESLENE ORWOBA

While the value of face-to-face events can never be replaced, the nature of event planning has transformed with time. Various innovations have reduced the need to attend all events. These are:

  • Live broadcast: online streamlining or television airing of an event allows others to follow proceedings without physical presence at the event.
  • Virtual events: through webinars and hang outs, contributors are invited to participate in an event from their comfort, without convening at a central venue. In addition, this can be downloaded or posted on the internet for reference. This has been a milestone for corporate events planning.
  • Social Media: real time interaction with audiences at the event and other audience who are not, has caused event planners to engage influential social media users to drive conversations with a larger audience.

In Kenya, event planners have learnt to use innovations to improve events rather than reduce attendance. Events experiences have been improved, beyond offering the main attraction only. Through communication, the innovations are depicted to target diaspora while those within reach are encouraged to attend for exclusive experiences that cannot be replaced. For instance, having dinner with a key note speaker, hence ensuring lengthy and detailed conversations which cannot be achieved through the internet.

Online ticketing, a breakthrough in technology, is a current craze in Kenya. Popular events like The Color Festival, that, initially, did not have or had minimum media partnership to boost promotion, learnt to promote the events online as an exclusive privilege. The events are created on the social pages where members confirm attendance and buy the tickets online. This way, the organizers are sure of attendance and can plan activities in accordance to registration. Members also have the feeling of exclusive membership especially where the event is for a particular target group. In the case of color festival, the adolescents prefer to host their own events away from preying eyes of the adults.

In Nairobi, hardly does an event pass without an exciting event. Tech mogul and CEO of Verviant , a software development company, realized this opportunity and seized the day as the founder of TicketSasa, an online tickets purchase platform. For Vervient, this was a supporting service as the main offering of the company was Pesa Pal, an online payments platform. However, four years down the line, Tickets purchase have taken the front seat.

TicketSasa Website.jpg

This is no wonder as event planners, with the need to plan ahead, have utilized this technology to bid uncertainty goodbye with by selling event tickets exclusively online through this unrivaled ticket purchase platform in Kenya. The website has gone beyond ticket sales to becoming the official go-to website to for finding out what is happening in Nairobi. The phenomenon has grown to exclusive advance ticket sales whereby major Nairobi events such as Koroga Festival and Blankets & Wine only sell advance tickets and none at the venue. Surprisingly, this too has become a promotional tactic for the organizers whereby Sold Out tickets for one event have boosted earlier sales for the next event.

‘Because You Said So’ is a Kenyan comedy stage play/show that is only promoted on line and tickets sold through TicketSasa.

Given that this is an emerging trend, it has mainly been picked up in Nairobi, the capital city, where Kenya is concerned. However, with this speedy uptake, growth beyond the city has been speculated by techies an event planners. Fraud has also been a concern for online ticket purchases whereby Verviant has curbed this by ensuring all purchases are done from a registered account, linked to valid identification. All purchases are therefore traceable. The platform operates on a software that scans all card used for fraud. The chip and pin technology has also aided in curbing this challenge. It is safe for all users.

While many speculated that the digital era will reduce face-to-face interaction, events continue to remain relevant with the industry embracing technology rather than fearing. More opportunities have been created and thanks to technology, events industry in Kenya is only growing and not diminishing.

DIGITAL MEDIA IS TRANSFORMING OUR COOKING SKILLS

By Christine Amira

Digital media has made food preparation convenient, entertaining and easy to learn. A recent Google consumer survey showed that 59% of 25-34- year olds head to the kitchen with either their smartphones or tablets.

A tablet being used as a recipe guide in the kitchen
A tablet being used as a recipe guide in the kitchen

Photo courtesy of blog.proclipusa.com

People now have easier access to recipes, cookbooks and tutorials to enhance their cooking skills. Digital capability has made it easy to create digital videos, digital images and digital write ups in binary formats and distribute online. The internet has exacerbated access to this information worldwide through the use of smart phones, television and other digital electronics.

An example of a famous worldwide website that enables its users to find, create and save recipes is Pinterest,  it can also adapt to every user’s preferences making it easy to learn how to prepare foreign foods at the convenience of your house with a personal touch. Individuals no longer need to travel to specific countries or spend loads of money in 5-star restaurants to enjoy international cuisines.

blank recipe book on kitchen table
Photo courtesy of http://www.pinterest.com

Hyper-mediation is often used in sites such as All recipe  to offer control over instructional background or offer any other relevant information to engrossed parties interested in buffing up their cooking skills. Copy Me That also uses hyper-mediation to enable its users copy any recipe from as many websites and place them in one location with just one click. The recipes collected can be saved to the computer, or can be organized with tags and added to shopping lists.

hypertext

Photo courtesy of http://www.copymethat.com

Digital media has a networked characteristic that enables coordination, communication and promotion of cooking brands or interested parties in cooking.  Social media and especially Facebook has made it easy for users to create groups on cooking e.g. Recipes,cooking and food  or Easy Kenyan Recipes pages where people can share videos, photos, recipes and other content. In these groups people can also work together, respond to queries and give appraisals because digital networks are bi-directional.

Interactivity as a characteristic of digital media has made it easy for humans to interact with computer programmes, contemporary sellers in the food industry are now taking advantage of this feature by offering online dealings via the internet.  This means that consumers can buy goods, pay for goods and redeem coupons online and these goods are subsequently couriered to their homes and offices.

 

buyig food

Photo courtesy of http://www.vietnamnews.com

A Vietnamese woman visiting a website to buy food like many other busy women who flock online websites to shop.

Media Convergence has also made it more convenient for consumers to gain information on food preparation, this is evident by the increase of cooking shows which means the number of audiences interested in this content keeps rising.  People can now watch and listen to national and international television shows such as Top Chef and Master Chef and on their smart phones, tablet, television, iPods and Radio among other digital gadgets.

The fact that content is digital means that it can easily be corrupted. In editing videos, photos and other creative content this characteristic many seem advantageous but on the other hand it poses a major challenge in the food and business industry. Experts in creating content for monetary incentives are now challenged with copyright, piracy and trademark issues that did not pre-exist in the analogue age but are now an inevitable problem.

I am not a perfect chef and in fact the internet has revealed to me of how much an armature I am.  I wonder how we would exist should the digital age that has conveniently made it possible for us to access digital content on cooking worldwide would not have come to pass, this is because growing up I was bored with monotony in food preparation but now I can access ways of preparing tasty, unfamiliar and creative meals whilst giving them a personal touch.

Looking into the future there are more transformations to look forward to, below is a video of how robots could change the future of cooking.