Wednesday, October 14, 2009

100th post and a sneak peek into the future

This is the 100th post on this blog! And I thought it would be good to think through where we started, where we are, and sneak a peek into where we’re headed.

Our beginnings
This blog began with a clear identity embodied in its name, Wo Se Ekyir. This name came from a Ghanaian saying that goes wo se ekyir nyɛ wo dɛw a, ɔhɔ ara na etafer. Meaning if the backside of your teeth does not taste good to you, you have only that to lick. So here I found myself. A Ghanaian in Ghana. And I felt that the Ghana I knew and loved was real and yet because we had no way to articulate it, we didn’t fully grasp the beauty and fun that is Ghana. Our problem was that we couldn’t articulate our genius. Our specialness was intangible. So this blog started as a way to make the intangible tangible. A place to talk about the charley you dey kai moments. The ordinary things. The kinds of things I’d talk about with Ghanaian friends. To laugh, to reminisce and to celebrate the madness that is Ghana.

Wo Se Ekyir was a good name if you understood what it meant but I received complaints from some of you who did not know what it meant (including akan speakers) so 6 months later, the name changed to Wo Se Ekyir : What Yo’ Mamma Never Told You About Ghana. I felt that the addition...What Your Mamma Never Told You About Ghana, gives some clue that it is a Ghana Blog, and is also fun and catchy and would encourage more people who stumble upon us to check us out. With Wo Se Ekyir alone, if our Ga or Dagomba siblings cannot read and understand it, they might overlook the blog and miss out on sharing in the fun. Importantly the name fit with the blog’s identity as something different, fun, interesting, maybe even funny, and authentically Ghanaian.

The name change did us a lot of good actually. Because once we adopted it, suddenly all our posts, whatever we discussed could be measured against the question: is this something your mamma would have told you? Yeah, it’s that hardcore. Hehe. The ketchup story, jama songs, insults, funny names Ghanaians give their kids...and if you could just Google it, then it wasn’t something we would write about. The blog is original in that way. It's about Ghanaian things you won’t find in books, or Wikipedia notes, or news stories. And yet because it essentially Ghanaian, every Ghanaian can identify and contribute to the telling of these stories. So we’ve been doing this for a while and now the blog is a year old, so let me tell you how we’re doing

How we’re doing
Recently Afrigator rankings have been all over the place. But Wo Se Ekyir’s ranking remains fairly stable between number 4 and number 6 out of 178 Ghana blogs. At last check (this morning), it was number 4, behind My heart’s in Accra, Oluniyi David Ajao and Nubian Cheetah.

But rankings don’t tell the whole story. It doesn’t tell you for example, that this is the only one among the top blogs that is completely and utterly devoted to Ghana, Ghanaians and Ghanaian ways of doing things. It doesn’t tell you that with nearly 200 followers, this blog is also, to the best of our knowledge, the Ghana blog with the greatest number of dedicated following. Or that we’re the most unusual source on the Ghanaian life and culture – across media. No one in tv, radio or even print is doing this. So it’s exciting. It’s exciting to be doing something relevant that no one else is doing not only on the web but in any media.

In terms of numbers, we have been growing steadily for the past several months, with gains averaging about 500 new visits every month. For September, we recorded about 3500 visits.
The best part of it all is that this has been fun all the way. We’re having a blast. So in terms of where we are, things couldn’t be better.

If you look on the right hand panel, you'll notice that the posts have been organised for your convenience into sections like: filla from the streets of Accra, Ghanaian-ness 101, Love, lust and sex, Ghana style etc. Things are about to get better. Much better. We welcome your ideas and suggestions. We’re still pumped, because there is so much to talk about, so much untouched material, we’re juuuuust getting started.

So what will the future look like?

Sneakily Peering Into Our Future
The spirit of this blog will remain the same- fun, interesting, and different. It's going to get ridiculously fun. Of course we’ll cover the basics...relevant content, quality writing, always about Ghanaians and for Ghanaians, but we have to do all this in an interesting way. Cos really when you think about it, this is cultural studies, it’s just that it’s not Ms. Ofori, that boring cultural studies teacher who is teaching it. So we’re talking about Ghanaian traditional religion but we’re making it easy and fun. We’ll do some more of the old stuff. But we’re also going to try some new things. We’ll push the envelope. Here I’ll outline a few of the new twists to expect.

We’ll make it easy for you to see how the choices Ghanaian individuals have made and continue to make dramatically alter our cultural landscape that is to say, our way of life. I’m not talking about politicians, just ordinary Ghanaians, like you and me. So stay tuned.

Another of the new twists is cartoons. Andrew Adote has joined the Wo Se Ekyir team. He’ll be doing cartoons for all the posts. He did the cartoon for the last post. Should be fun.

There will be more podcasts and it will all be peppered with some history, and language and new ideas to be generated by some new recruits.

We’re thinking of getting our own website and migrating from blogger but this needs to be thought through properly so the transition is not painful for you, so watch out for that.

And as always I’m open to suggestions and comments on how to improve things or make it more relevant for you.


Friends and Lovers
Something like this blog does not happen except through team effort. I could write blog posts and if you didn’t jump in so enthusiastically, the blog would be boring. So I want to acknowledge the team that makes things happen in here. Top on the list are all 194 followers – they’re on the top right corner, and especially those who comment. We applaud those of you who tell your friends, co-workers, and your families about this blog. One woman said she reads it to her husband. Another girl said she reads it when she’s stressed out by school work. Another said she reads it on lonely nights and it always cheers her up. One guy reads it to his work colleagues. One girl said she rode a motor bike because I talked about the experience on here. We’ve seen Ghanaians stand up for what they believed in. We’ve seen Ghanaians get excited and angry and oh so nostalgic. The post about Obama led to an invitation to Joy fm’s super morning show. We were also present at BarCamp Ghana. A few people have been inspired to start their own blogs. One white lady who is engaged to a Ghanaian emailed me to tell her in twi how to say I will never leave you. These are the stories that make this blog worth it. Without them, rankings and following wouldn’t mean much. So to our friends and thanks.

Thanks also to other Ghana bloggers. I check out your blogs and I learn more from you than you know.

To everyone else, thanks for reading. Visit again and again, join the discussions, become a follower and spread the word.


Esi

21 comments:

  1. Congrats Esi!
    I look fwd to saying these same 2 words when you do your 1000th post.
    When Candy comes by to congratulate you, give her a big ug from me.

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  2. Congratulations

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  3. Way to go, Esi! I'm glad to be part of this.-Mondoli

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  4. Great work Esi!!!! You bring some sunshine into my cold homesick moments!!!! :) All the best and looking forward to morrre!

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  5. Huge Kudos Ms Cleland!

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  6. congrats on your 1000th post!

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  8. Congratulations on your 100th post!!

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  9. Thanks for the great job and creating a relevant avenue for open-minded and cultured people with affiliations to Ghana. I love everything Ghana but it was getting exhausting trying to have a good conversation with our "elites" and "grown-ups":). Again, Thank you.

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  10. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I have been reading for quite sometime, but I'm the one who doesn't really leave a comment! I look forward to reading more. You are doing such an excellent job and thank you for explaining 'wo se ekyir'. I speak very little fante (my friends from college tried to teach me). I have a love for Ghana, haven't been there yet, but I will go soon!
    You are forever making me laugh, I like that...keep it up!
    ps
    Ghana and South Carolina have A LOT in common.

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  11. I think you should seriously consider turning this experiment into a TV talk show. Funny, controversial, insightful, etc. There is a need for more intelligent/risk-taking media content in Ghana and I think you can provide it.

    Do you remember Oboshi Sai-Coffie's short-lived talk show back in the '90s? It was like a Ghanaian Oprah but much more controversial. I remember one episode where they talked about "supi" at a time when even more liberal western media wasn't trying to touch such subjects with the tallest "pampro" imaginable. Anyway, I digress…. I think you should give this serious consideration and try pitching the idea to Metro, TV3, TV Africa, etc. You will soon be the Queen of all Ghanaian media. Just don't make it PC and spoil it.

    PS: Congrats on the 100th post.

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  12. Great Esi!!! You definitely have a unique angle and we all love to read your blog. Thanks :)

    Fellow Ghana blogger, Holli

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  13. Huge congrats Esi! I stumbled onto your blog a little under a year ago and it's been a pleasure to read your tales of life in Ghana. I look forward to the next hundred posts.

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  14. Ayɛ adze papaapa Esi! Wo blɔge yi ma m'aniwa gye paa! In fact, wo mmɔdzenmmɔ sɔ ani paa. Ɛma mefe me krom paa. Ɔwɔ dɛ yɛn nyinaara bɔ w'abado ɔsandɛ ɛreyɛ adwuma papa ama Ghanaman. Nyame mma wo ahoɔdzen, nimdze, na adwen na fa yɛ blɔge yi. Mbo!

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  15. beautiful and congrats. It can only get better.

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  16. Congratulations, Esi, keep up the good work!

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  17. congratulations gurl! keep up the good work, you are inspiring many.

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  18. Congrats!!! I'm a year late but I'm going get caught up.

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