In this post, I want to address my fellow bloggers and vloggers across Africa. The celebrated wielders of the “cyber-pen” who ceaselessly punch at their keyboards and keypads to entertain, educate, and inform their followers.  But first, I want us to get the exact meaning of who a blogger, blog, vlogger, and vlog are.  This shall help us understand how to approach this exciting journey of blogging on SAWBO content. Before we delve into blogging, we must appreciate the different styles, genres, and passions exhibited by most bloggers. The level of creativity and power in the choice of words used in a post determines the total performance of the blog post on the online audience.

Farmers inspecting a sweet potato farm. Such field visits provide bloggers with good content for writing blogs. Picture by Florence Olwanda.

Blog vs. Vlog – What’s the difference?

Most readers have been confusing the avid love for and use of social media for blogging. Having an attractive and active Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram, or other social media platforms isn’t enough to be considered blogging.

Both blogs and vlogs can be generated by documenting activities, events, ideas, and procedures as captured in the above picture which illustrates farmers examining a sweet potato farm. I must confess that SAWBO content provides a wide variety of “award-winning” blogging and Vlogging ideas.

A blog: This is described as “a regularly updated website or web page run by an individual, or small group of people, that is written in an informal or conversational style.”

A vlog: A personal website or social media account where a person regularly posts short videos.

Who are bloggers and vloggers?

Bloggers write about events, activities, topics, or situations and publish them on blogs. The act of blogging in itself is “adding new material on given topics to regularly update a blog.”  Blogging increases the blog content and gives readers variety from which to sample.

Vloggers are people who regularly post short videos on a vlog. Unlike bloggers, vloggers do not necessarily need to own a website. They can use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube to share their short videos.

Before blogging for SAWBO-Scientific Animations Without Borders, a blogger needs to consider the following steps:

  1. Understand that SAWBO, a research program based at Purdue University (USA) researches basic processes in agriculture, health, women’s empowerment, climate change resilience, etc, and creates educative animation videos translated into several local languages. These animation videos are available to share for educational purposes free of charge and can be used by communities to improve their practices and lives in the mentioned areas.
  2. Access the SAWBO animation video library on the website at https://sawbo-animations.org/ or by installing the SAWBO 3GP App from this link https://sawbo-animations.org/app/3gp/update. After installing the App, use it to download, watch and internalize animation videos.
  3. After accessing the SAWBO online video library, the blogger needs to familiarize themselves with the listed video categories and choose one they have a passion for. For example, experienced bloggers, writers, and vloggers have specific topics they enjoy writing about. Others can seamlessly navigate between several topics and whip up fine blogs. However, it’s important to select a category or categories one can write about with lots of ease.

The available categories of SAWBO animated videos are listed below;

            Agriculture

            Economics

            Health

            Women’s Empowerment

            Peace & Justice

            Climate Change Resilience

After watching a number of animated videos from your category of choice, proceed and consider the following as you write about it;

  1. If you come from a community that hasn’t been reached by SAWBO networks and content, relate the information in the videos to how it can impact lives and practices. Think of how this information will help farmers, health workers, women groups, self-help groups, etc to improve their service in the community. Finally, write about all the good things you believe can happen as you encourage your readers to access the information via provided links.
  2. In case you come from a community that has been reached by an existing SAWBO network and content, plan to write on how additional content from other videos can further improve the way viewers handle crops, animals, farm produce, and other aspects addressed in the videos. Let your blogging encourage viewers to install the 3GP App, access the online videos library, download, and access more educative videos, and share with everybody they know who stands to benefit from the information.
  3. Impact stories are another fodder for good blog posts. Frequent visits to animated video viewers at their workplaces, farms, etc, and capturing their stories and observations on their personal experience with SAWBO content is worth writing about. This happens after a period of sharing content in a given community. Impact stories also help to gauge community video intake.

I take this opportunity to encourage bloggers and vloggers to sample SAWBO animated videos which are provided for educational purposes free of charge and blog about them as directed above, share them on their vlogs and blogs, and encourage their users to watch and practice the contents at home.