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Nairaland Article In Businessday Newspaper - Celebrities - Nairaland

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Nairaland Article In Businessday Newspaper by shadowfax(m): 10:44am On Jan 10, 2007
It's been a long time since I posted anything on this forum and I guess the pressures of looking for cash have kept me off the forum. Anyway, I picked up today's (January 10) BusinessDay and I was delighted when I turned to the Products and Services page and saw a feature article on Nairaland. It was a good article written by one of my favourite BusinessDay writers, Chike Eze. The guy seems to enjoy writing about entrepreneurs and his grammar is almost flawless. However, I was sort of peeved that the article was not placed on the paper's website, businessdayonline.com. Anyway, it's good that the Nigerian press has taken interest in Nairaland. Maybe Seun will soon become a Nigerian icon. I'll have my receptionist type it out so that all Nairalanders can get to read the article. Cheers.
Re: Nairaland Article In Businessday Newspaper by eslynera(f): 11:50am On Jan 10, 2007
mhhhh, glad to hear that. bravo dear NAIRALAND.kiss
Re: Nairaland Article In Businessday Newspaper by qblaze(m): 2:32pm On Jan 12, 2007
Yeah, it was an OK piece but it only said what all Nairalanders already know. Anyway, I wonder why Shadofax pasted it in the celeb forum. Seun is not yet a celeb, is he?

Read the article here.

Nairaland leads Nigeria’s web 2.0 onslaught
CHIKE EZE writes on a rapidly growing Nigerian Internet phenomenon
Ask any netizen to name the ten most popular websites in Nigeria and it is a safe bet that Nairaland will make the list. These days being a Nairalander, as members of the Nairaland online discussion forum are known, is enough proof that one is au courant with the prevailing trends in Nigerian cyberspace. In the one and half years that it has been operational, the website has gained a large following and has become an online watering hole where nearly every subject-from the sublime to the ridiculous-is shared, discussed and debated.
In this digital cosmos, one will find people from all walks of life. Its membership profile runs the gamut and comprises the urban intelligentsia, savvy stock pickers, entrepreneurs, newshounds, fashonistas, academics, slackers, film buffs and digiphiles among others. As a result, members of Nairaland can always rest assured that there is always fodder for their minds.
Online discussion forums are nothing new. They have been around since the beginning of the Internet and were part of the Tim Berners-Lee’s plans when he invented the World Wide Web. However, they have become more relevant in an information age where Web 2.0 is the new buzzword and the dot com entrepreneurs that went into exile after the cataclysmic collapse are sneaking out of their hideouts. The palpable feeling is that it is once more fashionable to be an Internet entrepreneur and most venture capitalists seem to agree.
Last year witnessed renewed interest in dot com companies. EBay, the world’s largest auction site paid about two and a half billion for Skype, an Internet telephone company while Google purchased the video sharing site, You Tube for more than one and a half billion dollars. One of the ideas that are fuelling the Web 2.0 craze is the idea of participatory media, which refers to a scenario where consumers get to control the flow of information. This trend is inching its way into mainstream thinking given the huge popularity of blogs, social networking sites and interactive television stations like Al Gore’s Current TV.
Even blogs are getting an infusion of venture capital. Last year, Softbank, a technology consultancy and incubator invested sixteen million dollars in The Huffington Post, a blog owned by the Greek-American political commentator, Arianna Huffington.
Some people have said that Nairaland has the potential to be Nigeria’s MySpace. Myspace is the wildly popular social networking site that Rupert Murdoch purchased for six hundred million dollars in 2006. However, Nairaland does not completely employ the social networking model that basically expands on the six degrees of separation theory. In Nairaland, there are no private communities and everyone is free to comment on every subject. Some of Nairaland’s opinion polls have even been cited in national newspapers.
With its 60,000 registered members, Seun Osewa, its creator and administrator, is living the Nigerian entrepreneur’s dream. The twenty-five year old Ogun State native started Nairaland in April 2005. At that time, he owned an unprofitable blog so he decided to start various forums where people could share their views on different topics. When he realized that the "off topic" forum proved very popular and that he could make money from Google AdSense, he started the site to cover all topics that Nigerians care about.
However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. He had to contend with the activities of scammers, spammers, making online payments and managing the high web traffic during peak periods. However, his determination and doggedness helped him to overcome all these difficulties. His independent streak and strong survival instinct also proved invaluable. He says that his first three business ventures failed but he never gave up tinkering with his ideas till he created Nairaland. An avowed capitalist whose role model is the free market guru Milton Friedman, he says that Nigerian youths should endeavour to create their own jobs.
He still hopes to build on Nairaland’s success and get involved in the broader media and entertainment business.
However, not everyone is a fan of Seun’s methods. He is something of a polarizing figure, loathed by some people and admired by others. He has been called arrogant, prejudiced, high handed and overbearing. Some members say that he runs the forum like a personal empire and that he does not treat Nairaland members with respect.
According to a member, "Seun is such a dictator and he always wants to control everything that happens in the forum. The way he treats his members is unbelievable but the strange thing is that even through some people want to leave, they are so addicted to the forum that they are finding it very difficult."
But even his critics agree that he is a hardworking entrepreneur and that Nairaland is an engaging forum where people from different backgrounds come together to unwind and discuss burning national and international issues, sports, family, health, romance, entertainment, technology and jokes.
Seun defends himself by pointing out that all great companies have their critics. "People don’t like being censored but without censorship, the site cannot progress," he says. "It is too bad that I have to sacrifice my reputation to make Nairaland a success at all costs, but I see it as an acceptable sacrifice. I am an independent entrepreneur so it is not a foolish risk. The aspects of my reputation that matter-that I am competent and not a fraudster-are very much intact."
In spite of the high traffic enjoyed by Nairaland, its business model is pretty simple. Seun says that most of his annual income comes from AdSense, the advertising program that transformed Google into an Internet cash machine and has helped small companies get their share of Internet advertising revenue. This enables Nairaland to earn a commission for any business it generates for Google’s advertising clients. Nairaland currently generates little income from local advertisers but this could change with increased Internet penetration in the country.
It is likely that when the predicted seismic shake up in current media models spreads to developing countries, sites like Nairaland will have a big role to play in the revolution. Though Nigeria effectively missed out on the first dot com boom, local Internet entrepreneurs seem to be highly inspired by the global success of Web 2.0 firms and are now more likely to sacrifice their job security for entrepreneurial pursuits.
However, even though Web 2.0 is in full bloom and investors are giddy about the prospects of new dot com ventures, the simple truth is that Web 2.0 is hard to define. As Steve Balmer, chief executive of Microsoft, said last year, "Web 2.0 means so many things to so many people. There’s a technology aspect, a community phenomenon, an advertising business model."
If one of the most powerful chief executives in the world is to be believed, then Nairaland has a bright future as it is already a community phenomenon and an advertising template. But it could take a long time before Nigerian venture capitalists begin to take web-based businesses seriously. It is safe to say that when this happens, Nairaland could be one of Nigeria’s first dot com success stories.
Re: Nairaland Article In Businessday Newspaper by Orikinla(m): 7:03pm On Jan 12, 2007
Perfect feature.

Seun Osewa is actually very modest about his success.

Nairaland is not yet a full-scale commercial venture.

The FFA approach makes it a dragnet in the ocean of the global village. And Nairaland should grow into 100,000 or more members before October.

As Bishop Ajayi Crowther said, "Only the best is good enough for us."

Congratulations to Seun.

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