Saturday 23 March 2013, Ghana’s second blogcamp or conference for bloggers took place. In the evening Ghana’s forst Social MEdia awards were held at the same venue. It was amazing and two days later, I am still tired and slightly overwhelmed.
I will not tell you about everything that happened (Kinna did that already very well), neither will I talk about my trip to the venue (far less interesting than Kofi Larbi’s), but just offer some thoughts – as one of the cofounders of BloggingGhana – the organizing body behind the event:
1. Do we really have 400 people plus in Ghana interested in blogging to the point they spend a whole day, and transport costs, learning more? Amazing!
2. BloggingGhana has been about friendships since the very beginning. I have made some of my most important friendships in this group and what made me happy on Saturday was that new friends seemed to be all around. Many people also met their Twitter or Blog friends in person for the first time. I had some experiences like that as well! Kinna wrote:
I wasn’t privy to any such conversation, but I’m sure there were all manners of hooking up going on! Lots of smiling, lots of hugs, some shade and a world of happiness!
That was indeed the feeling!
3. I wasn’t expecting feeling moved by that the US ambassador came by, but his speech contextualized BloggingGhana in ways I haven’t fully before realized. Hearing things like this constituted an aha-moment for me (click on link above for the whole speech):
We applaud Blogging Ghana for its efforts to encourage hundreds of Ghanaians to express themselves on a broad array of topics affecting daily life. …We support events such as this because we know that honing communication and information technology skills will directly be transferable to the expansion of business opportunities between the U.S. and Ghana, one of our highest priorities. We agree with the visionaries who founded Blogging Ghana: In the next five years more and more people are going to find employment utilizing their social media expertise.
4. The glamour of the Social Media awards were also surprising (I should have changed my clothes!) and can be credited to aforementioned diplomat, our own Nana Darkoa of Adventures from winning the Best Blog category and the organizers of the award, Fred and Golda for their attention to detail, for instance to the beautiful physical awards! (bottom left in the collage above)
5. We have already started to plan #BlogCamp14! We started around lunch time on Saturday! It will be better, bigger and more intense. We will also think of a way of making the event more sustainable, likely by roping in some of the attendees as contributing members of our organization. Watch out!
Trust me, I have so much more to say about this day and all the people I met/highfived/laughed with/gave my contacts to/directed to the right session, but talking to so many people, both in mics and face to face is tiring. I still feel exhausted. Thankful. Overwhelmed.