Blogs as Pathways to Information and Influence Within the Kenyan Blogosphere

Blogs as Pathways to Information and Influence Within the Kenyan Blogosphere

Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4718-2.ch013
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Kenya has a robust blogger community, with hundreds of active bloggers and a variety of stimulating blogs on politics, agriculture, technology, education, fashion, food, entertainment, sports, and travel. The purpose of this chapter was to explore whether Kenyans participate in online discussions and to determine the role of Kenyan bloggers in online communities. Data was collected through a survey of 3,269 respondents aged between 14 and 55 years and social media mining on Twitter using Network Overview, Discovery and Exploration for Excel (NodeXL) API. Survey data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and cross-tabulation while mined data was analyzed for centrality metrics. The study identified Farmers Trend, Ghafla Kenya, KahawaTungu, and Kachwanya as influential blogs in the Kenyan blogosphere and that most Kenyan women read travel and food and fashion blogs while men mostly read sports and politics blogs. This chapter contributes to a better understanding of the Kenyan blogosphere.
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Statement Of The Problem

Blogs and bloggers have received a lot of attention from researchers across diverse disciplines such as marketing, information technology, information systems, communication and journalism as they influence most spheres of life. Blogs are sources of opinions and sentiments allowing bloggers to exert influence over the blog readers (Tan & Na, 2013). Karanja (2016) describes bloggers as influential agenda setters. But, to have any influence through social media, one has to know what to share, how to share, where to share, and how often to share. Most Kenyan bloggers know the importance of using multiple social media platforms, and are good in sharing the same message in multiple platforms. On a given day, a blogger prepares and posts a story on their blog, tweets the link, adds the blogpost link on their Facebook page, and creates an Instagram hashtag about the blogpost as well as sharing the post’s link in several WhatsApp groups. Bloggers also tend to share blog post content from influential blogs (Tan & Na, 2013). A social media influencer is defined as an independent third-party endorser who shapes audience attitudes through blogs, tweets, and the use of other social media (Freberg, Graham, McGaughey, & Freberg, p. 90).

In the absence of any previous research on the perceived influence of bloggers among the Kenyan online community, this study serves as the basis from which one can examine the Kenyan blogosphere and gain an understanding on whether Kenyans do read online blogs, participate in online debates and to assess how influential Kenyan bloggers are. The study uses betweenness centrality to test whether bloggers act as a bridging agent in social communication networks on Twitter, i.e. if more people depend on the blogger to make connections with other people.

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