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Dar es Salaam Bloggers Circle--May Meeting Summary The Dar es Salaam Bloggers Circle May meeting took place

as planned on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 6.30pm, at the TANZICT Innovation Space. The meeting was attended by 1. 2. 3. 4. Biche (ChickAboutTown) Elsie Eyakuze (The Mikocheni Report) Gisella Gallenca (PinkCoffee); and Omar Ilyas (Omarilyas)

with a short visit from 5. Dr. Hassan Mshinda, Director General, Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) On the agenda was: 1. 2. 3. 4. The Status of Social Media Activism in Tanzania PinkCoffees Workshops, etc. Growing the Dar es Salaam Bloggers Circle IST 2012

1. Visit with Dr. Hassan Mshinda Dr. Mshinda was on his way out of the office when he stopped by to find out what technology-related meeting had drawn so many women to it (since COSTECH is continually on the lookout to increase womens participation in science and technology). Dr. Hassan talked with those present asking them a little about themselves and their blogs. This also led to a general discussion about social media and how it could effectively be used in Tanzania. Thank you, Dr. Mshinda, for gracing our meeting. It was a pleasure to meet you and exchange ideas. 2. The Status of Social Media Activism in Tanzania Elsie was going to be a panelist for a session on New Media for Health and Rights Activism at the upcoming OpenForum 2012 to be held in Cape Town, later in May. In preparation for that, she wanted to seek other social media practitioners opinions on the status of social media activism in Tanzania. What ensued was an interesting discussion on how social media was being used for activism in Tanzania, including a comparison of how Tanzanians were using it differently from their neighbors in Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda.

3. PinkCoffees Workshops, etc. Gisella, of, organizes very successful web/designrelated workshops at the TANZICT Innovation Space. There had been talk at a past meeting to include a blogging session at one of her workshops. This was discussed briefly and led seamlessly to the next topic on the agenda.

4. Growing the Dar es Salaam Bloggers Circle With a year having elapsed since the idea of the Dar es Salaam Bloggers Circle first being discussed, and with both founding members present at the May meeting, it was a good time to take stock of what had happened over the past year and to plan a way forward for the year ahead. As convener of the group, Biche gave a short history of what had happened over the last year and ideas were given about how to proceed in the year ahead. Some of the conclusions of that discussion were: Although the DBC has been meeting monthly since last July, there doesnt seem to be much buy-in from local bloggers. It was suggested that something could be gained from changing the style of the monthly meetings from a discussion around a table to something more fun and social. A number of different ways that this could be done were suggested. Over the year, although many ideas for projects and events were generated, very few saw light of day due to a lack of follow-through. Gisella, volunteered to become the DBCs event coordinator, helping to ensure that once an idea was decided upon, all the steps necessary would be taken to turn the idea into a reality. Thank you, Gisella, for volunteering to do this; we look forward to a year ahead full of exciting projects and activities for Dar es Salaam bloggers.

Along with having more social monthly events, those present thought that bloggers would likely get more involved if they could reap more concrete benefits from being part of the DBC. They therefore also brainstormed on ways to include having more events geared at practically helping bloggersincluding short technical presentations at every monthly meeting/event and organizing fully-fledged blogging workshops. Elsie volunteered to write a short concept paper on practical projects/events that the DBC could hold to help bloggers with their blogging.

Last but not least, it was suggested that instead of monthly meetings being strictly bloggers-only, the DBC could also hold events that would include non-bloggers. These events would serve to showcase Dar es Salaam bloggers to stakeholders from other industries and to introduce these industry players to local bloggers.

5. IST-Africa 2012 IST-Africa 2012, an annual science and technology conference was hosted in Dar es Salaam from May 9-11, 2012, and at least one of the bloggers present had said she planned to attend the event. She was asked about her experience at the conference, but it turned out that neither she nor anyone else present attended the conference. The next DBC meeting was held on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, at the TANZICT Innovation Space at COSTECH, at 6:30 p.m.