Kwani? Digital at iHub: Content Meets Tech

By Rachel Gichinga
iHub
  Published 23rd August 2012
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Three months ago, Kwani Trust commissioned Digital Divide Data (DDD) to digitise some of its content as part of a pilot to see what possibilities lie in the content Kwani? has produced since its founding in 2003, and how new online and digital technologies could be utilised. This new Kwani? ebook platform is the first step in developing structures and networks through which Kwani?’s content can be disseminated to earn our published writers a much wider readership, and increase the scope of the Trust’s reach and income.

We have been keenly following recent developments in the sector. From our observations, we feel that technology is driving many societal changes in the ways different players in the content-technology chain create, disseminate, receive, consume and perceive content and information. Content providers in the arts, culture and public media, like Kwani Trust and Buni Media, are entering these spaces with renewed energy. Online technologies like social media now take up huge market sectors in the consumption of content.

Our experience with the Kwani? ebook platforms has posed four distinct challenges.

1. Though research in both content creation and online technologies is being commissioned and carried out, there is still a lot of work to be done on how the two sectors might complement each other optimally. In the build-up to launching the Kwani? ebook platform, we found little comprehensive local research on basic conceptual questions. How can the content and technology sectors work to facilitate research that is mutually beneficial?

2. High quality content in arts, culture and public media is a specialised sector that is mostly donor-funded while most of the exciting work being done on online and mobile platforms is commercially driven. Collaboration between the two sectors requires significant paradigm shifts for both. How can non-profit content providers rethink their institutional models to take up the commercial opportunities that the new technologies promise?

3. Traditional content providers have created loyal audiences and markets from offline products. New technologies promise new audiences, markets and possibilities. How can the two sectors work together to take advantage of these layered existing outlets?

4. Traditional content providers have created legal frameworks for their institutional requirements over a period of time. New legal and contractual challenges have emerged with online and mobile content provision possibilities. How can the two sectors work together to ensure a stable legal framework for optimal collaboration?

Kwani Trust will hold an event in which content providers in the arts, culture and public media sector and online, mobile and new technology sector can discuss the issues outlined above.

The event will be held at iHub on Ngong Road between 11.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. on Saturday, August 25th.

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