I have followed the idea of BAKE and participated in one of the meetings. I like the idea of having an association but first for unity then for business. The brains behind BAKE are so focused on a model which will actually not make sense. They are calling on bloggers to come, register with BAKE and their blogs so that the people behind BAKE can approach corporates and pitch for advertising.
It is simply not making sense to me why a corporate should deal with a group of losers who does not have an audience to die for and does not have such a structure worth emulating while they have the option of using Adsense and still be able to reach the blogs and any other website running the code. My thoughts of BAKE are different from what is being thought out and since it looks like it is unity against Alai (the key measure of success as a writer is how much reaction do you draw, negative or positive). So I don’t get worried much with hate directed my way because of what I wrote. I would offer some unsolicited advice though.
I talked to the key brain behind BAKE, Kachwanya, a lot. I told him why I thought BAKE was right and why also I thought it was wrong. First BAKE should have been with priorities and quick bucks should be nowhere near the top of the key priorities. It should have unified the bloggers thought I really think that unity can only be to some extent and should not mean that when you speak your mind then you are an enemy. I hate nor despise no one. I don’t have time to hate anyone. I only have a lot of time to speak my mind and even those who think they really know me and are best of my friends have been surprised when I give them a piece of my mind. I would rather tell you the truth than deceive you.
I thought that BAKE could also be a society to represent bloggers. To do this, I propose that bloggers meet in a more quieter environment unlike the crowded and noisy places they have held meetings in thinking that they are doing anything meaningful. 90% of those who have attended such meetings will tell you that they just go there to see faces and when you ask them any other thing which the meeting achieved they wont tell you. The rights and welfare of bloggers should be very key to BAKE. We must be with bloggers who are in need during the time of need.
Again BAKE should try to be the bridge between bloggers. I tell you bloggers have EGOs. 90% of the time you see the bashing online of bloggers it is all about egos. You get even bloggers who knows nothing about the people they are bashing so staunchly bashing the person just to be with the crowd and massage their egos. When you ask them more about the dispute, they tell you they don’t know. BAKE can be a great forum for taming the egos. It might not succeed in doing it fully but might normalise it in a way. We still even have the Mike Arringtons (Techcrunch), Lavandeira (PerezHilton), Armstrongs (Dooce), Diazs (Gizmodo), Denton (Gawker), Xu Jinglei (Jinglei) Pete Rojas (Engadget) and Scobler (Scobleizer) who still have their egos intact but are very very respectable bloggers internationally.
Sometime we feel like we are the Drudge Report of Kenya famously hated by both US bloggers and journalists for being so blunt. BAKE should build a platform which can rival Technorati or the fallen Afrigator and aggregate blogs and there is where they can show their superiority. The blogs should not be as cluttered as they are now but should be well categorised and shown to those seeking info on the top blogs.
Again when you have people who are de facto officials of BAKE writing posts which smacks of arrogance, you know we have a problem. Let me tell you that you can never run a society or community organisation through arrogance. Even Redcross, UN and Catholic Relief advertises their organisation and entice entities they wish to engage with. The Mpende msipende ideology can only be used to run your private homes. However much you think you have the few willing ones, you will be haunted by the stupid blog posts those who think they got a hold of BAKE are making now.
Bake should so put various structures of a society in place and MUST not rush to look for corporate engagement otherwise it will be easily seen to competing with the bloggers it is trying to bring together. There are many things bloggers can do. BAKE is a good start but it might be stillborn if the convenors are not careful.