Value Online

You would expect that being the last session at the Digital Camp, on a late Saturday afternoon, and after a series of sessions following each other back to back for most part of the day, that Mark Kaigwa’s session would be presented to a tired, nonparticipating and bored audience. You would be dead wrong.

Mark Kaigwa wasn’t about to speak to people who were half-listening. To make sure we all gave him our attention, he made all of us stand up, stretch a bit and do a little jig. Having sat down for most of the day, this was just what we needed (I know I did) and it aptly prepared us for his session.

After the stretching and the jig, we got down to business. Mark was to help us understand Kenyans on Twitter, popularly known as #KOT and their need to tell someone with a hashtag that always starts #SomeoneTell…

Funny because, that morning, there had been a hashtag created by the Digital Camp participants called #SomeoneTellKachwanya. This was in a bid to coerce the BAKE chairman, Kennedy Kachwanya to change two masterclass sessions from running concurrently because most participants wanted to attend both sessions. In the usual fashion that we are now used to, twitter was used to push this agenda. Needless to say, the participants’ wishes were granted when the sessions were held in succession.

During his session, Mark echoed Biko’s words; content creators should not create blogs with the sole goal of creating money. He advised them to create value in their blogs first and the money will follow. “Don’t ask: How do I make money online. Ask instead: How do I create value online”, he said.

Twitter is all about the influence one wields in the timeline (TL) which is always measured by the number of followers one has. But don’t just look at the numbers. Consider the value added by those followers as well. Mark added that investors will not bother to engage you if your online presence did not add value to them. This further confirmed the statement that to make money online, your online presence has to have value.

Just like with blogging, he advised that having a good social media presence works better for you, reiterating that a small but valuable followership is better any day than a big followership that adds no value.

We see far because we stand on the shoulders of giants – quoting Isaac Newton, Mark stressed the importance of supporting each other as digital entrepreneurs, acknowledging that he had got to where he is due to the support he got from others.

His parting shot was for all of us not just to focus on the present but to look to the future and find new innovative ways of creating value in the online space.

Check out Mark Kaigwa’s Digital Skills

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