B is for #Bigwig
Bigwig is the term, sometimes regarded as pejorative, self-proclaimed or mockingly used to refer to influential Twitter personalities in Kenya. The ‘self-made’ bigwigs are those that had no previous influence or place in digital society (aside from their blogs and digital personas) and rose through 2008, 2009 and 2010 some even taking up jobs in digital media themselves.
Subsequently, there’s been the rise of a new generation, thanks to award ceremonies such as the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) Awards and the Social Media Awards (SOMA) as well as the ability to buy Twitter followers.
Each year, a new crop rises to prominence though criticism as to the blurred lines between humour, wit, sarcasm, cyber-bullying and even sensationalism linger. Some Bigwigs even remain anonymous selectively revealing identities on a need-to-know basis. A number can be recognised by their ever-changing “handles” on the social network, with some even selling that space for advertising!