I think when you get a request to do a guest post on Nigerianstalk you can take it that you ‘have arrived’, no? Seeing how important it is for us Nigerians to ‘have arrived’, I would like to take my moment to thank all of you reading this post, I’m honoured. I’d like to thank Loomnie for asking me to post, my mother for encouraging the reading that led to my obsession with all things knowledge, my English teacher at school Ms Hamilton who was the quintessentially formidable black school teacher and the readers of my blog Afro Geek Chic, who make me feel like a miniature superstar in my own little section of ‘Blogeria’ (many thanks to Culture Cynic for the very apt name).
So enough of the posturing already, what do I want to discuss on the Blogeria-sphere this week? Let’s talk about Nigeria as an emergent market for web. To say it is ripe is an understatement and to my immense pleasure Nigerians themselves are responding and generating their own grass roots products and web-services. I read blogs across a lot of topics and I’m increasingly inspired by the blogs that feed my desire to see the Naija geek brigade developing and pushing forward products not just for Nigeria but for the world.
One of my favourite blogs is StartupsNigeria run by Loy Okozie. This is where I discovered, NaijaPulse (Nigeria’s version of Twitter), Naijapals (Nigeria’s version of Facebook) and Nairalist (Nigeria’s version of Craigslist).
It isn’t just about copycat products, StartupsNigeria covers everything from personnel changes at the top of our leading telecoms providers, new social media sites such as RiRanWo and Sturvs.com, to online radio stations totally ignoring the national re-branding initiative and using notoriety to promote their product, like 419Radio. Needless to say it’s the home of the good, the bad, the ugly and quite likely the next big thing.
Another great tech blog is MobilityNigeria, focusing on mobile services. Mobile companies are slowly realising the humongous penetration mobile has in Africa and the enormous potential this presents (I won’t discuss the risk of exploitation here, I’ll be giving my POV on that on my blog sometime soon). Mobility Nigeria is all about staying ahead of the curve with services running on the Nigerian networks, what’s new, what’s crap (very important) and what is sexy (for your mobile ofcourse). Crucially, this site is mobile friendly too!
I should note neither of the sites above are without bias, but when it comes to getting the headlines or the ‘gist’ should I say, you wouldn’t go wrong by bookmarking them or putting them in your blog readers.
Not to be left out BarCampNigeria recently took place on Saturday 25th April in Lagos. Apart from being quite upset I couldn’t go, I was immensely proud to see Nigeria holding its own version of the hugely popular BarCamp conference series where every attendee must participate and/or present. It says a lot about how serious we are about not being left out of the leading edge. Links to the pictures and a redux are all available here.
It’s impossible to talk about emergent web exclusively in the context of Nigeria, there are amazing things happening all over Africa that we’re part of and benefiting from, check out Afrigator and WhiteAfrican’s list of 30 Great African Tech Blogs for just a peep into what’s out there.
If I feel there is one thing lacking, its female representation. The now quiet Beautiful Disorder from Onyeka was a great lifestyle and tech blog, but other than her, I don’t know any other female Nigerian bloggers who are into technology and the web who are blogging about it. Raise your heads ladies if you’re out there, Nigeria is most definitely representing and we’ve got to be part of the ‘arrival party’.