The KPLC Blackout, Twitter, Facebook and Safaricom.
Last night was indeed interesting on many levels. There was a countrywide blackout in Kenya from around 6.00 pm to around 11.00 pm. Since I was sitting in the dark at home for most of the time, the first thing I did was whip out my smart phone and decided to get on Twitter and Facebook via Safaricom’s 3G connection that was working in spite of the blackout. In a matter of seconds, I had replies that it was not just in Westlands and Kileleshwa that had a blackout but that it was indeed countrywide! This is kind of “peculiar” since even though I did not have access to television or radio the whole time, here I was able to get the latest news via the Internet on Twitter and Facebook on the extensive Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) blackout. It was Citizen Journalism at its best! I soon found out that Mombasa, Busia and Nakuru we’re also in the dark as Facebook and Twitter users living there replied. It was also kind of hilarious since some people added some humor to the whole matter by suggesting babies would be born 9 months from now since the blackout left couples with nothing better to do than make out in the dark! Whatever the case, it goes to show that the Internet is truly mainstream in Kenya, even when there is no electricity, but Safaricom, Twitter and Facebook are still online!