I noticed something last week on my way to Tamale with Blogging Ghana’s Ghana Decides’ Team that the official twitter account for the Presidency (@presidencyghana) had changed its username to @JohnAttaMills.
Now, this is something one might consider petty or overlook but not if you have been paying attention to social media (trends) in Ghana and the roundup to the December general elections. There are some questions we need to ask here.
Is The Presidency/John Atta Mills finally taken social media seriously and gotten a pro to manage the president’s social media? If so, it could be good news. At least an acknowledgement of how social media can make a difference in governance and elections. I would like the candidates to seriously use social media as we move toward the elections. For some Ghanaians, that is how we can be reach.
Now, does anyone see abuse of incumbency here? The Twitter account @presidencyghana was and is still listed on the Presidency’s website as the Presidency’s account. Many people followed the account because its username said Presidency, not John Atta Mills. I am guessing whoever is running the account is one government payroll. Can someone on a government payroll be running the president’s private account? This could be bad precedent.
The facebook page (http://fb.me/PresidencyGhana), which is linked to the account hasn’t toned down on it sycophantic captions; a big minus for them. Anyway, I will continue to look for answers and follow the account and that of the other politicians to see how they do this year.
God bless our homeland Ghana!
It’s a wrap and as expected Goodluck Ebele Azikwe Jonathan has been elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the next 4 years. I closely followed the Nigerian Polls way before it begun. Nigeria was on everybody’s radar when Umar Yar’Adua, the former president was elected in 2007 after his demise last year.
My interest in the Nigerian Elections was in the use of the internet, technology and social media and I looked it from its use by the Independent National Electoral Commission, Political Parties/Candidates, the People (Voters) and the media. In all, I was trying to draw lessons as Ghana prepares to go to the polls in December 2012.
Despite the initial hitches, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did quite a good job. I was impressed by how Nigeria deployed the biometric voter registration system. This is something we have been talking about in Ghana for some time now and I really hope we can get a biometric voters’ register for the 2012 elections. I will eliminate/reduce electoral fraud and vote rigging. The process according to the Electoral Commission will cost $80 million. I don’t think that is too much to spend as we want our polls to be credible and avoid situations like the Ivorian one. INEC’s website displays boldly links to their Facebook and Twitter pages, Blackberry PIN, email address, SMS and telephone numbers for results and updates. I am quite certain the Electoral Commission of Ghana’s website will be update towards 2012 with social media integration. They better hire the right people to manage their Social Media office.
The candidates and political parties used social media to woo young voters. In 2010, CNN published an article on its website titled Goodluck Jonathan: The Facebook Preseident in 2010. Back then Mr. Jonathan had 246,000 friends. Goodluck Jonathan went on to announce his candidature for the presidency on Facebook. Today, he has 532,000 friends and counting. Social Media was widely used in the campaign trail and I expect that to catch up with Ghanaian aspirants for both the Presidency and Parliament. Ghanaian politicians haven’t showed much interest in Social Media. John Evans Atta Mills has 15,500 fans and counting on his unofficial Facebook page. Opposition leader, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has 4,920 friends on a page I believe is his personal profile. I expect these pages to swell up with friends and fans towards #election2012. Can someone confirm Nana Addo Dankwa’s twitter page? Can we get more Ghanaian politicians using Social Media, please?
My primary source of news for the past three years has been Twitter and my RSS feed. I turned to Twitter for updates on the elections via the hashtag #nigeriadecides and users on my private NigerianVotes list (@eggheader, @africanelection, @NigeriaNewsdesk and @bubusn). In 2008, I remember using Twitter to push out updates to Ghanaians in the diaspora and people who were interested in happenings in Ghana. I will single out @ghanaelections as the best source of 2008 elections update on Twitter. The account now tweets post-election issues. I recommend you follow @ghanaelections now! With the number of Ghanaians on Twitter growing, the world should expect an explosion of tweets from Ghanaians in December 2012.
I don’t remember any media house in Ghana using Twitter during the 2008 elections. I am not sure about Facebook either but as we gear towards the 2012 elections, taking examples from the USA’s 2008 elections, Nigeria’s 2011 elections and recent Social Media-led revolutions, I bet our media houses will be doing a lot of reporting via twitter and facebook. I tip @Joy997FM and @peacefmonline to lead the way. Between the two, they have some 5,000 followers on twitter. I expect them to beef up their social media desks in the next 12 months in anticipation of the 2012 polls.
Let us continue to pick lessons from the Nigerian polls and debate how the Ghana online community can contribute and make ours free, fair, transparent and better.
God bless our homeland Ghana!!!
It’s not enough to be computer savvy and know foreign languages. A truly modern person needs to know how to be energy efficient too.
Follow Friday or #followfriday is one of the biggest and hottest trends on twitter. Personally, I think follow friday has lost it’s relevance. People just play with it and the only followers you get on follow friday are spammers. Anyway, today being another friday, I want you to follow some Ghanaian blogs. These are blogs I follow and want to share with you. They are probably my favourite Ghanaian blogs. I have also added their RSS url’s for those of you want to add them to your RSS reader. If you don’t have an RSS reader, try NewsFire for mac. If you are a PC try FeedDemon. You can try or just use Google Reader.
A blog by a Mac-Jordan Holdbrookes-Degadjor. In the words of MJ; This blog is about my thoughts, ideas and ramblings a-loud. My experiences day-in, day-out in this city of Accra and wherever I go…!!!
This is a very interesting blog by Abena Serwaa, one of the coolest people I’ve met on twitter. Don’t just follow her blog, follow her on twitter too.
This blog is indescribable. Let’s just say I’ll be thinking aloud on this thing, posting and sharing ideas, links and other things of interest - Mighty African
A Ghana Urban-Culture Blog
The personal blog of an Afro-Bourgeois, C. Franki Acolatse.
This a blog by Essynam. She just like me is still trying to find her feat in the blogging world.
Don’t forget to put my blog’s rss in your RSS reader too :)
Next week, I will put out some more blogs you ought to follow. Let me know if there are some cool blogs out there I need to check. Please do check back!!!