The Blogging School Project involves partnerships with schools and colleges aimed at mobilising the personnel of the Cameroonian Bloggers’ Collective to densely populate the Cameroonian blogosphere by training young students in blog creation through basic training sessions thereby enabling them to be subsequently independent in the management of these blogs. Various bloggers, depending on their specialisations would lead timely training sessions in selected institutions. Most platforms would be hosted by WordPress.com, which offers free blogs, and subsequent arrangements would be put in place.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
The target audience includes students in secondary and high schools, most of whom are active on the internet but mostly on social media. The goal is to transform them into content producers in order to fill in the lack of Cameroonian-related content on the internet. This community's presence on the internet is mostly focused on social media and they consume information rather than create it, that is why we intend to mentor them in the process of Cameroon-related content creation.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
We are going to work with the Cameroonian Bloggers’ Collective, which is still young, but already has about 38 registered bloggers. It is impossible to name all the bloggers here, but some of them include:
Rene Jackson Nkowa: http://ntrjack.mondoblog.org/
Frank Willaim Batchou: frankwilliambatchou.wordpress.com/
Dzekashu MacViban: alternativemuse.blogspot.com
Florian Ngimbis: kongossa.mondoblog.org
Jooryn Nina: http://thehairlover.blogspot.com/
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The primary objective of this project is the creation of blogs, with an emphasis on specialised blogs on issues such as: travel, photography, cookery, music, cartoons, literature, etc
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
We are in the process of negotiation with the MTN Foundation in Cameroon, who has shown interest in accompanying this project. We intend to use the resources at multimedia centres equipped with computers, which the foundation has set up in various schools to proceed with the training.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
We already have a list of about forty schools in Yaoundé with which we are going to work, comprising of an average of about 20 participants per training session and by the end of the first phase of this operation, we intend to directly influence approximately 800 youths.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
The training sessions would be divided into six main categories:
-Management of editorial content (handled by bloggers who are journalists and or writers): how to write a blog editorial and constructing narratives.
-Picture editing and coding (handled by bloggers who are coders, website creators etc): how to create, edit and modify blogs.
-Social media marketing (handled by bloggers who are trained community managers): how to increase one’s audience through the use of social media.
-Monetisation (handled by bloggers who have marketing skills): monetising one’s blog using AdSense and other campaigns.
-Web security (handled by IT specialists): web security; how to manage and reinforce security, password encryption and anonymous blogging.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
Most of the training sessions would take place in institutions equipped with IT centres, most of which have been donated by one of our future partners, the MTN Foundation in Cameroon. The IT centres in question include about 20 computers and internet connection. Unfortunately, not all these centres have internet connection because of unpaid bills.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
The Cameroonian Bloggers’ Collective has contacted heads of institutions, most of whom have already given their consent. We intend to work with the IT clubs in various schools, made up of students who already master the basics of internet. After Yaoundé and its suburbs, the program intends to spread nationwide.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The main challenge is the follow through. Most bloggers stop blogging six months following the creation of their blogs due to limited visibility and discouragement. We intend to integrate these newly trained bloggers to our collective to enable them frequent the community and be involved in activities organised by the Cameroonian Bloggers’ Collective. The fact that they feel accompanied and guided would surely motivate more than one blogger to continue.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
If 30% of the created blogs are still active six months following their creation, we would have achieved our goal.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
June-July-August: Creation of blogging teams and determination of modules, as well as documentation set up.
September (start of the new school year): gathering of authorisation and administrative formalities.
Mid October 2014: start of operation.
February 2015: End of operation.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
We would be divided into three teams and each team would use
1 laptop (433 USD x 3 = 1,299 USD)
1 video projector (165 USD x3 = 495 USD)
1 WiFi modem (160 USD x3 = 480 USD)
Total = 2,274 USD
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Rising Voices can provide experts who would intervene through video conferences during some of our modules or provide documents on the various modules we would be handling.
Cameroonian Bloggers’ Collective (CBC)