Tuesday, October 10, 2006

KBW Speaks Out and My Answer...

I was going to post part 2 of my interview but this post on the Kenyaunlimited Admin Blog came to my attention:

KBW Membership Clarification

Posted on Tuesday, October 10th, 2006 at 2:45 PM by Admin Team

The Kenyan Blogs Webring (KBW) Admin Team is made up of KBW member bloggers who volunteer a significant proportion of their time to build the webring into a positive force for Kenyan and African bloggers. The KBW Admin Team has always and will continue to operate in a transparent and approachable manner. Our email address, admin (@) kenyaUnlimited.com, is posted on our website and as we have said numerous times we welcome correspondence on any issue regarding blogging in general and the Kenyan Blogs Webring in particular.

The Admin Team of the Kenyan Blogs Webring has been working with and for Kenyan bloggers for over two years. In this time we have never kicked a single blogger out of the webring because of what they write on their blog or because of the opinions they express on their blog.

The only reason bloggers have been removed from KBW by the Admin Team, thus far, is for not having KBW ringcode visible on their blogs as this is a condition of membership. Even this action is only taken after numerous warnings have been ignored or dismissed.

We ask that you remain vigilant to any lies and disinformation that may suggest any action by the Admin Team to the contrary. We challenge anybody with information to the contrary to provide proof. Then together we can all use that skill beloved of bloggers, verification.

This seems be the contrary of the email I received:

One of the aims of KBW is to foster and develop a strong, positive, progressive and unified online community where issues are discussed civilly even when disagreements arise.

In KBW we do not attempt to censor or to muzzle any blogger including those who are KBW members from expressing their views on their own blog. However, as an admin team we are responsible for the reputation and image of KBW through its online home, KenyaUnlimited. We take this responsibility seriously.

We have written to you previously raising our concerns about certain posts on your blog, some of which we notice you have deleted, which we feel resort to abuse rather than discuss issues amicably and courteously. These posts further appear to actively promote disharmony within our membership. While we accept that you can write what you want on your blog, we do not have to accept insults, destructiveness and negativity on KenyaUnlimited and thus have it reflected on to KBW.

The KBW aggregator is one of a variety of fora where we are working very hard to ensure the promotion of KBW blogs and Kenyan voices and is an add-on to the benefits of being a KBW member. As you appear to be keen to encourage discord with your posts contrary to the aims of KBW, we are removing your blog from the KBW aggregator forthwith.

Kindly note we will not engage in a protracted correspondence with you with regard to this issue. As we had informed you in our previous e-mail, we suggest that you consider whether you want to stay within an organisation whose aims and vision you appear to disagree with at a fundamental level.

Is it me or does that post and email look like they were written by two different people? Because they are a study in contradictions!If the veracity of the e-mail I was sent is in question I am more than willing to forward it to any interested parties and to provide a screenshot.

I have been emailed and told that my blog reflects negatively on KBW and has been removed from the aggregator. If you look at the aggregator here you will notice that my blog is conspicously absent on the members list and no longer features on the feed.

So how can I still be a member of KBW when my blog is no longer on the list or the feed? That in reality makes me persona non grata in KBW. It is like the Police Commissioner telling a policeman, "We are going to take your name off the roll, strip you of your rank and your gun. But you will always be a policeman." Does that really make sense?

In the e-mail I was sent, the Administration team says, "Kindly note we will not engage in a protracted correspondence with you with regard to this issue."
While the post says, "as we have said numerous times we welcome correspondence on any issue regarding blogging in general and the Kenyan Blogs Webring in particular."
What one hand gives the other takes huh?

As regards the issue of the KBW ringcode, I only removed mine after I had received the email and realised that my blog was no longer part of the KBW blogroll. This was also because by doing that the ringcode had been rendered useless, because when you have the code on your blog and you click on next blog or previous blog you access those before and after you on the list and vis a vis the other blogger's before and after you. So if those before or after me clicked on next or previous blog, it is obvious my blog wouldn't show up but would be skipped.

Let it be known I have no fundamental differences with the administration but I will reiterate this from my previous post. How can an administrator make a derisive comment as regards a member's blog, discourage one of KBW's recommendation's about communicating with a blogger as regards a post one finds offensive and be expected to act in a magnanimous manner?

I am far from flawless but I resent the fact that some bloggers are using my post to point out to a plot to ruin KBW. Far from it, KBW seems to operate on certain rules and standards and if members are upheld to them than the Administration should also uphold them. If one takes time to scour my 500 plus posts several posts can be found espousing the concept of KBW and what it can achieve. If I have ever made any comments that may be seen as negative they were in disagreement with the individual and not the administration. I enjoy a close relationship with some members of the Administration and they too will attest to it, I visit their blogs and leave clear, concise and constructive comments. I would like to believe a disagreement with an individual is not a disagreement with the Office, or am I wrong?

I would like to believe that my post is a lucid expression of my disappointment with the current actions of the Administration and not an under handed attack of sorts. The KBW team say that they are ready to correspond and dialogue as regards any of the issues regarding to blogging, I echo that sentiment and say that I too am more than ready to dialogue as regards my membership and post contents.

Part 2 of the interview will be posted soon.............


Kaari said...

me first, off to read !

Rista said...

hmm.... the old he said she said... can't wait for part 2!
What are the conditions for readmission into KBW by the way... are they mentioned anywhere I wonder...

Acolyte said...

@ kaari
@ rista
Those 2 conflicting messages are part of what I reffered to as shifting goal posts!One thing is said but another is done!
I have nothing against KBW as an institution but I think it as about time the aims, visions and expectations were made clear to all existing members.

The Devious One said...

Aco..worry ot, as I told you, in the end..truth prevails.

Joe said...

i have a strange case of dejavu!acolyte unless you want back in......my two cents is move on . A post kbw world is not bad.it can be rewardingly refereshing ..sorry bro but take it from me its not worth it let bygones be bygones .

mutumia said...

I blinked and I missed this! If I have my facts right, you *did* have the webring code on your website up until the time that you were kicked out and you were kicked out for 'being discourteous'?

If the latter reason, is why you were kicked out then, we *do* have to lodge a complaint with the KBW team. "Insults, destructiveness and negativity" is too vague and arbitrary and subjective to opinion to be a condition of membership. We can of course adopt a certain minimum threshold (e.g. no full frontal nudity; no calls to eliminate and kill all Giriamas in Ohio etc.).

I am a proud supporter of KBW. I believe that they have, by dint of hard work and persistence, created a thriving public online community. I however, in all conscience, cannot endorse censorship in the interest of harmony or based on some other person’s vision of what’s right. That would be contrary to the reason that we all joint KBW- which was a place where we can all converge and share and discuss our varying and sometimes diametrically opposed visions of the world. I don’t agree with you on many, many subjects. But on this, I do agree, we need to set the record straight, as this would be a very sad end to a very strong and vibrant community.

StackOfStiffys said...

Heko kwako Bw. Acolyte kwa kutueleza haya mambo yalivyo kwa kinaga ubaga bila wasi. Natarajia pia kuwa wewe u mzima na buheri wa afya katika maisha yako nje ya kile pango ya mtandao ya KBW. Inaonekana kuwa maelezo ya matatizo uliosababisha huko KBW ama kati ya wakenya wenzako ni nadra mno, na nakusihi uendelee na shuguli zako bila masumbuko, si una na tarakilishi lako na sisi tu tayari kutemblea blogu lakokwa hamu?

Phew! That took close to an hour!

Acolyte said...

@ joe
This issue goes far beyond membership!It has now become an issue of freedom of speech and accountability.
@ Mutumia
My webring was alive and kicking but I removed it after receiving the email I have published on the post.
Rest assurred I have no wish for the demise of KBW, but I have no tolerance for a banana republic on KBW.
But I have no desire for KBW to be ran like the very governments in Africa we criticise. It is reprehensible and I for one will not stand for it even if it results in me being persona non grata in the Kenyan blogging community.

Acolyte said...

@ stack
Reading your statement and how fluent the swa is all I can say is nimeshukuru!

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
makanga said...

...and the bitchslaps seem to be leaving a mark!

UARIDI said...

Will you please stop trying to drag me into this fight you are searching for. As you insist you have the right to blog what you want, I too have the right to comment where I please.

Did you put this link on my blog because I had made a positive comment on the two posts? For your information, I do not read your posts, whatever the topic.

As I had said in Mentals post, and I say this on your blog - as far as I am concerned, this is a non-issue. You were removed from the aggregator - end of discussion.

Please take your fight to someone who wishes to engage with you. I DO NOT.

I have deleted you comment and will delete any further comments you leave on my blog.

mutumia said...

A request/ suggestion Aco- keep your 'campaign' issue-based as you have to date. The "Aco is being banned 'cause the chicks love him" sub text is a distraction and takes away from the merit of your argument IMO.

This tabling of the problem as you see it, is more constructive. We- I'll ask for clarification from KBW admin on the criteria for posting. This should, I think, be posted on the KBW membership page, and should also incorporate input from the members.

My hope is that this will be only in the form of constructive feedback and dialogue as this "KBW admin is the devil" is getting to be very old and stale.

The.Hanyeé said...

"I have deleted you comment and will delete any further comments you leave on my blog."

Overwhelmed by the weight and rationale of some of the arguments up in here...

bomseh said...

Pole sana Bw. Acolyte. kwani ni mambo gani yanayoleta chuki hii yote? ama ni Kikwete? naona labda ni kwa sababu unablogu kila siku sasa kuna watu wanakuonea gere! usijali lakini. malipo ni papa hapa duniani. maoni ya wengi hapa ni kama kumpiga konzi kinyago. usibabaike. husemekana kwamba mpiga ngumi ukuta....

Anonymous said...

For someone who does not "read" your posts why is she here commenting and giving a damn at what you say or do? what is the history? and can someone tell her that MENTAL may have founded the ring but its the members that make up KBW. Watching they way she is commenting only on admin posts just goes to show you its an inside thing.

Usually in such cases like in POIGATE there are supporters in both ways...however in this case no one seems to be pro-admin except admin and relatives

Why censor? When you joined were you told what not to blog? Well now is not the time.And in such a case who is next to be kicked out for not complying with them

Admin owes you and everyone an every other member an apology! It is clear that admin acts like they are doing everybody a favor and clearly don't need us just because they volunteer their time. We are expendable and unworthy.

Anonymous said...

Treading on toes here I can see. Ditch this and move on. If they decide to re-include you in KBW well and good. If not, what the hell do you lose anyways?

StackOfStiffys said...

I have followed this debate closely and watched all these events unfold, and all I can clearly say there is an issue here.

@uaridi: You say this is a non-issue, not worth any discussion? Nope, I don’t think so. So go ahead and knock yourself over! Did you actually look at the posts? Did you even bother to understand where the Acolyte is coming from and the point of all this discussion? Do your research and get your facts right before you kick off on an emotional, egotistical, self-righteous, holier than thou amazing (disg)race and make a fool of yourself.

Acolyte has shared all the facts with the world (probably to your chagrin) so that we make head or tails of his muzzling and you have the cheek to barge in here and say there is no issue, there is nothing worth discussing (we were in the middle of that, so are we sick?) and anyway you do not read the Acolyte’s blog, whatever the topic! Well, you have the choice to make on what you read, but coming in here and COMMENTING after DELETING the Acolyte’s comment (sic) from your blog is just lame.

“Please take your fight to someone who wishes to engage with you. I DO NOT.”

!!!!! And what are you doing? Standing aside and watching nonchalantly? Patting the Acolyte’s back? More like clapping your hands in glee if I may say so. The whole of your comment is a fight, starting with the direct instruction “Will you…..”, then the question “Did you…” etc. This is an entertaining example of warped freedom of speech ideology, and I am sure you all agree.

“For your information, I do not read your posts, whatever the topic.”

You state that you do not read the blog, like that is going to scare the rest of us away. I sympathise with the Acolyte, he’s trying to express himself, share his views and be part of a vibrant online community, but still have to deal with people who do not like the contents of his blog and actually LOG IN to tell him so. To me, it seems so elementary, if you don’t like it and keep away, don’t look at it, and don’t log in and comment on s’thing you’ve not looked at, and will never look at. I am sure you’ll be back to read the Acolyte’s response (and FYI that loosely translates to reading his posts, whatever the topic!)

@Acolyte: Keep up the good work and thanks.

pikachu said...


AK said...

Let's make LOVE not WAR!

So Bill Gates started Microsoft, that is why I have a shrine- with nice scents and candles- where I chant every morning before I log onto the internet...but at least I pay for microsoft, so my thank yous are not so extensive.

Then Mark Shuttleworth has come up with Ubuntu Linux and guys it's free, and you can have it installed on the same PC álongside and as an alternative to Bill Gates'. So I have even a bigger shrine for Mark, him being African and all...I owe him big time!!

Then came KBW....African, Kenyan, vibrant, free with dedicated volunteers not to mention numerous bloggers and commentaters who keep it going. The true spirit of Ubuntu indeed! Another shrine? why not....

Shiroh said...

You were removed from the aggregator - end of discussion.

I do not think, that is end of discussion. No..we need many answers

Poet Mutiso said...

I really hope that the Kbw admin will come clean on this otherwise it will fuel controversy and a lot of emotion.
No one is invincible, this web 2.0 stuff is just a bubble. I am foreseeing a scenario where a new rival ring is formed by dissenters. I swear.

It reminds me of Mario Puzo's novel, The Godfather.

Anonymous said...

"You were removed from the aggregator - end of discussion."

I must say this woman has made up for her sheer idiocy in terms of amusement. In my eyes at least.

"Do your research and get your facts right before you kick off on an emotional, egotistical, self-righteous, holier than thou amazing (disg)race and make a fool of yourself"

Well said!!

The majority of KBW members have your back Aco, keep your head up!

Unyc said...

Am not a member of KBW and was about to join after reading sme1's blog...then i checked out Acolyte n found this...(am in shock).
What cn I say...i thot KBW ws 2 unify Kenyan bloggers n not discriminate against sme coz it seems thats what is happening here.
I hv read the letter from KBW n it sure as hell seems it ws written by 2 pple coz it hs major contradictions which Acolyte hs pointed out.
Dont we hv freedom of expression anymore? Do sme1's opinion really hv 2 reflect what others think just 2 make them happy? What really is KBW to the Kenyan bloggers if they cant instigate dialogue?
This is what ruins everything! Communication, Unity n judgment.

Anonymous said...

In fact UARIDI whoever that is has made this worse.
These fools have dug up their own graves let them remove all of you from the ring
I had applied to join i do not think want to be a part of this anymore

Kenyanchick said...

"While we accept that you can write what you want on your blog, we do not have to accept insults, destructiveness and negativity on KenyaUnlimited..."

Well, they lost me right there.

Reminds me of Sharif Nassir's quote after gava shut down a newspaper: "Just because we have freedom of speech in Kenya doesn't mean you can say what you want."

Plus ça change.

Kenyangal said...

I would have said let bygones be bygones. In the end its not mama na baba, your blog is strong without it and being removed from KBW will not affect it much.

That said I appreciate you letting us know what a contradiction KBW is presenting.

Mentalacrobatics said...


Thank you for posting the full email you received from the Admin Team it helps all of us clarify a few things.

Next some information you may all find useful. A full list of KBW members can be found in two places. On the KenyaUnlimited Voices Blog and on Ringsurf’s KBW Page as you can see Acolytes blogs appear on both lists and he have never been removed. In our previous newsletters which we sent out to all members we have communicate that these are the two places where you should look for the official members list.

The Admin Team have never said that the aggregator contains all KBW members. The Admin Team has never said that the list on the aggregator compiles the full KBW members list. Only blogs that are on the aggregator are listed in the links on the aggregator. Being a KBW does not automatically mean you will be on the aggregator.

As this is your space Acolyte and I respect that I will not enter a prolonged discussion on that here lest I be accused of hijacking this post and thus I bid you good day.

KM said...

I think what apalls me about this is the way everyone bundles against 'admin', and the way one issue cannot be discussed as is.Does it all have to digress into insults? Look at "Pikachu's" comment..it cannot get more childish than that, sorry to say...its pathetic.
You realise that dragging, or letting people drag 'POIGATE'(see your comments on your earlier post), your issues with Mshairi/Uaridi into it only, and only makes you lose your credibility, and you argue from a very, very weak position. That shite is now old....and stoking those embers is so characteristic of mediocrity and immaturity.
So, Aco, you feel aggreived, argue it out as is relevant. You have a choice. To fight with dignity or resort to cheap politics.

Aco, you and I agree on some issues, and do not agree on a lot of issues, especially regarding women and some of your general opinions regarding women, and I do agree with Muts that this is an issue that should be discussed, to come up with answers that will propelKBW forward, because yes, the playing field should be level for everyone, and on that, I feel that you should not be kicked out if the reasons for which you were kicked out cannot be applied to all errant members.

I agree with Mental's reply in as far as it makes absolutely no sense to attack from within. Those are the unspoken rules that any self-respecting individual must abide by. Frankly, I do not see why, and I have mentioned this before..I find it the worst case of double standards for you, for example, as Instigator, to attack KBW, yet as Acolyte to cry foul. This, in reference to the psot where you said 'KBW is like seals waiting to be fed fish' or something...
It means that at the core of it, you do not agree or appreciate the community that is KBW....in which case, you could be the 'bigger man' and stay away. You need to decide, are you with it, or are you not?

I feel admin have been overbearing infact, about the ingratitude we keep handing them, about the lack of appreciation and that is sad.
I'm sorry to say this but I will say it, if I started my webring, and I was putting in time to make things smooth for you,and you were not paying me for that time,I would take it very very unkindly if you were to constantly keep attacking me. You either feel what I'm doing, and if you don't feel it....this may sound really bad, but I would kick you out.

mocha said...

As for Uaridi and not reading Aco's blog...how else did you manage to leave a comment bila doing so? BY MAGIC??!!!??

This debate is like a house set on fire by an arsonist(read: TZ Pres' debate) and the owner(read: Aco) gets to go to jail. TSK TSK TSK

When will it all end?

You can't go around pleasing everyone and expecting people to agree with you....even your loved ones. At the end of the day, you are your own person with your own opinions.

My mum said something really interesting to me the other day...."When the politics come on TV and all they do is make noise, I just switch the channel and watch something else."

Keep you head up Aco...you have my support!

PG said...

@Acolyte; Whatever it is that went on between you and other bloggers is exactly that, between you and them personally.
By dragging your differences, whatever they are(were?), into the webring and then removing you from the aggregator the KBW Admin members (some probably) have made their positions untenable.
Let's get one thing clear here, I am NOT taking sides. I don't know whatever happened between you and KBW Admin and frankly, don't care. What I do care about is a vibrant blogring. The KBW Admin, by making this personal and removing you from the aggregator(not to say you did or didn't contribute to that), have cast serious doubts about their tolerance and objectivity.
Obviously they have done a great job starting and running the webring but in the interests of the webring they SHOULD resign.
If not Aco, start a new ring and I will withdraw my KBW membership and join your ring.

Joe said...

"Next some information you may all find useful. A full list of KBW members can be found in two places. On the KenyaUnlimited Voices Blog and on Ringsurf’s KBW Page as you can see Acolytes blogs appear on both lists and he have never been removed. In our previous newsletters which we sent out to all members we have communicate that these are the two places where you should look for the official members list".

So acolyte you are still a member.

CAN I PLEASE ALSO BE A KBW MEMBER AGAIN ! WHAT ABOUT ME! lol(rollling all over my desk in full mcheko here)

Magaidi said...

"I have deleted you comment and will delete any further comments you leave on my blog."

Like Hanyee - I too don't see the need for such belligerence and ignorance. Aco stated his point, deal with it!

Aco - I see your point, I agree with you. Obviously there's certain things we need clarified on this otherwise to me it seems high handed.

Anonymous said...

even the likes of Thinker and Kenyan Pundit have raised the issue

Archer said...


It is such immature and half thought out comments that so nothing but fuel a pointless argument. Rudisha fikira jikoni.

I'm reading all this stuff that Aco's been kicked out, no we've never kicked out any KBW member, yes I kicked you out personally, no you've not been kicked out but you're just not on the aggregator.... alaaa?

It appears to me that not all members of admin are reading from the same script.

Mashada News said...

There is bound to be drama...

A few years back when i frequented discussion boards and forums, i had a relationship (or something close) with a certain Forum owner, we had a slight disagreement once and around the same time, the company that i worked for stopped funding his Discussion Board and some other related projects. He blamed it on me and proceeded to ban me from his Discussion Board -which i had nothing to do with. I never quite got over the shock as to how far people can take issues online.

Whispering Inn said...

To quote Voltaire, I may not agree with what you wrote (and I did not agree with your original post) but I will defend your right to say it.

Censorship, in any way, shape or form, must not be exercised at all.

Kabinti said...

Ala? I missed the hula baloo?

Acolyte said...

To all, Thank you for your comments!But there are some people who need to be dealt with.
1.Madame Uaridi - First things first. I didnt try and bring you into my fight, I posted that link so you could know the facts but sadly It was a mistake for me to even try. Funga virago na uishie!
@ KM
My respect for you is now at an all time low.
This issue goes beyond the "admin" it is a freedom of speech issue. I have posted that I have nothing againt Mental as a person, time and again.
What you and Mental need to understand that this is not an attack!It is me bringing up a very important issue.I have not attacked Mental in any way or brought up any past KBW issues, what I have posted here is truth and with evidence to match.
You see to be unable to read the context within which that comment about seal clapping was made, the fact that you said or something proved to me that you didnt even read the full post, you just took whatever part that served your purpose. It was me referring to the fact that everyone seems to go with the flow or what is decided as would have been the case had I not brought this situation up, we would have had people being booted out of the webring left right and centre for any reason whatsoever.
Have you at any point seen me agitating for my re-instatement?That is not the main issue, the issue here is censorship and transparency.
Much as I may have made a comment or two about the admin, I have written several posts praising what KBW is doing for us and I think I even have one on the Admin blog dated last year.
You seem to be reading from the same script as the person who wrote the email.Give me 10 examples of my constant attacks and I will let the issue be.
My dear ex-pal please examine the issues before your fingers and the circumstances before your fingers touch the keyboard!

Kibet said...

Aco... am looking forward to your next blog that doesn't touch on this drama. That's really what i (& i suppose others) usually visit your page for. Bado tuko!

A said...

Ultimately the question is who owns KBW? If it is mentalacrobatics then what is teh beef if he doesn't want you in his house.
Aco, you been blogging long enough and you have your audience...just move on and talk about something else. KBW ina wenyewe, and they need it...need to keep it the way they want.
If you are offended then you can start your own aggregator with like minded bloggers.

POTASH said...

ish, how comes my comment above was snatched from me. Ati (A) whassat. I signed it.

Irena said...

Acolyte: What did you do now to get kicked out of the holy blog land:-)))Only the other day I unleashed "now we know who she is" my other-self with you in another platform and come back to the blog world to find you kicked out! Holly molly! Pole lakini , if it of any consolation, join the Joe and I in the outside world, much peaceful out there hata kama saa zingine kuna baridi!