the Chronicoool

Speaking of Dan and his artworks that inspired me and many others out there, I just had a quick stroll through his early journals and came across this:

chronicle1.jpg
The (Karengata) Chronicle / Nairobi, Saturday, October 12, 1985 / Price 3/50 (!)

An article by Nick Russel from 1985 – eternalised in Dan’s sketchbook.
Nick, editor & publisher of the Karen & Langata Chronicle since 21 years, recently commented on the Nairobi lowdown story and nowadays runs an online edition of the Chronicle.

@Nick: have you ever thought about installing a free blogging software such as the WordPress release on your webspace and maybe even joining the ever-growing Kenyan blogosphere?
The basic idea behind using a blogging tool is that it a) makes it easier to publish content on the internet, b) interact with your readers and c) you won’t need any IT guru in the background to fix the layout of your pages. Sijui about your webspace deals, but WordPress (as a start) is free of charge and just requires a MySQL database in the background. An alternative solution are the free, “ready-to-run” blogging services like wordpress.com or blogger.com as used by many other bloggers throughout the world. Another advantage is that you can easily switch the website’s layout by using (style) templates (again, free) or even adjust it to look like a newspaper (instead of a diary). This, I think, is easier to maintain and better than any pure content management system (cms) that otherwise requires lots of adjustments and technicooool knowledge. Hope this helps! :-)

4 comments » Write a comment

  1. Sincere thanks for the plug.
    An anecdote, perhaps. I bought my first computer from Dan’s father, Mike, when Dan was about 12 or 13 years old. Mike was what you might call today an up-market “box shifter”. When I had a problem, usually after working hours, I would call Mike for help and he would straight away pass me over to Dan. “He’s the one who knows what he’s doing,” he would say. And, usually, he did. Just as well someone did, for I was trying to struggle with dBase One, with a manual three inches thick set in 6pt. type. Things have got better.

    Ref a blog.
    If I had had this advice nine months ago when I was hatching the revamp, I would probably have gone for it. Now, having somewhat mastered the Everest-like learning curve, I am likely to stick with it for a while.
    Also, how would you make an income from a blog? Seems to me to be delightfully free-wheeling but I really need to try to recoup some of my expenditure. Do not anticipate a fortune, but just to cover costs and pay for the dogs’ and horses’ food.
    Any suggestions?

    Salaams, Nick

  2. Hi Nick,
    thx for coming back & thx for sharing this story with us! :-)

    The suggestion is that you could use Google ads (Google Adsense), as proposed by Bankelele . And I am talking about nice, slim ads that fit in between the posted stories – not these flashy gif images as seen on the Daily Nation website. All that is possible with blog software and doesn’t require a huge CMS in the background.

    I think there are some people out there that make an income from their blog, but nevertheless, the basic idea was to use blog software and make it look like a newspaper website. Those active blogs out there with regular posts or interesting content (politics/gossip/techie-news/etc.) do have quite a lot of visitors and page views = traffic, which justifies the sale of advertisment space, I think. After all, Bankelele’s pay check must have come from somewhere… Please feel free to check out this post by Hash of WhiteAfrican.com!

    dBase One? OMG :-) Didn’t his father sell those IBM compatiboools over at the Sarit Centre?

  3. Interesting article JKE. As for monetizing blogs, and using a blog as a publishing platform, I think it makes a lot of sense actually. Really, all a blog is is a simplified CMS to put your content on the web. WordPress is my weapon of choice for this, and it’s nothing more than a website creator with an administrative backend.

    I used to use Mambo (Joomla now) a lot. As far as enterprise level CMSs went, it was the easiest to master. Now however, I realize I can do all of the necessary things that I used to do in Mambo in WordPress – and it’s about 10x easier.

    Monetizing is something else entirely. Money comes from the number and/or quality of readers you are able to attract. If I want to advertise to buyers that would read the Karen Chronicle, and you can prove that you get X amount of eyeballs each week, then I’ll probably spend some decent money with you.

    So, monetization is independent of the platform. The only way the platform comes into importance is in the ease that it lets you actually get your content on the web. So, if you find your CMS easier to use than WordPress, more power to you. If the user experience is improved by using WordPress and you get more readers because of it, it might make sense to switch.

    As you can tell, I have a lot to say on this, so I’ll stop here. :)

    Nick, if you want to talk more about this, I’ll be in Kenya in early July.

  4. wow have not seen the karengata chronicle since I was a kid. keep going and do consider a blog

    yes (before I got kicked out) I got one $100 check from google in NY and it took about 3 months to earn.