Bankole and Tomiwa from Big Cabal Media here. Ask us anything (Thursday 10am)


#24

Thanks for the info, though to be fair, this is not what I’m asking for, I just generally meant that there was at least an impression that the founders cared. Seyi and Bankole only led the conversations in the beginning, and it snowballed from there, but since things have generally been reset in terms of activity (and you basically admitting most people left or went to do other things, even if temporarily), I don’t think it’s too much to ask for that reassurance or that rebuilding of goodwill.

Just my two cents: People can and could return when good topics and conversation returns, but for now, it’s up to the powers-that-be to light that match. One way this could be done is by carrying old fans along: Hey, here’s what we’ve been working on, and it will do this and this, what do you think, or if things are currently invite-only, invite those existing members, whose trust has been earned in the past first looks/tries at these things and let them, if said things are good, spread the word. Like I said in the Community Update, for now, the invitations feel worthless because it doesn’t feel like anything’s going on here anyway.

Speaking of exclusivity, one thing TC used to do that I was never a fan of, was advertise these exclusive events where you’d invite some people from the community you felt were worthy and all we got afterwards were a few pictures, no idea what was discussed or done beyond back-slapping. Instead of that, invite such people to engage with the community here. That interesting thread on Twitter about some local tech scene issue, bring it over here. The old Radar threads are fine for having an idea of how things looked when Radar worked, but they’re mostly just old.

Edit:
@sprime
I like what you have in your sheet, it’s the most concrete evidence of a plan for Radar BCM has offered so far, and honestly, it’s what I mostly wanted to know. I actually wrote the stuff above before I read it. Thanks all for your time.


#25

Hi Onyeka,

Definitely fair points. Those conversations and engagements certainly should take place both on here and offline. IRL events definitely have their value, but we should promote them on here, giving as many people as can a chance to attend and being sure to provide a substantive recap of the event so the fuller community can engage with it. We’ll make a note of that moving forward.

We’re committed to rebuilding this community and platform. We’ve brought @sprime onboard to lead that charge on this and are enthusiastic about the ideas and plans he has, and to see them fully implemented with help from the entire community.


#26

Might be a sensitive topic to discuss openly, but you mentioned part of the problems were financial.

I can understand a “do good work and see what sticks” with the community and creative direction, but I feel financial problems require something more tangible.

In this day and age where privacy is a hot topic, and with you asking for real names, one can draw incorrect yet plausible conclusions about how you’re solving the financial problems.

I guess what I’m saying is it would be great if you have anything to share on how you’re solving that.


#27

Got ya! Will look out for the shows - but please bring the live show back next year…it was my lunch time entertainment :joy:

[Completely forgot to pick it up when I was in Nigria lol. I’ll drop you an email re my shirt]


#28

Media companies globally, large and small, are trying to work this one out. Like those companies, we’re working on a number of approaches. We’ve got stronger and more disciplined as a business at revenue generation via advertising, sponsorship and brand consulting work over the last year. Going forward we expect to experiment with subscription based revenue, product sales to the community and event sponsorships.

The real name policy is for identification and community management only and is not part of our monetisation strategy.


#29

Great question, Jess!

People first came to TC for its opinion, which was what I and other domain experts that I regularly curated had to say. Which was great until some people demanded to be informed. Essentially they wanted TC to not just educate them, but also inform them. Not an unreasonable expectation, but it wasn’t really what I had in mind in the beginning, because a PR journalism publication was the very thing I had set out to not become (of course you know I love you guys and want to be friends forever, but it is what it is). Of course we did a ton of news, and everything was fine, but my heart wasn’t in it. So I started a daily newsletter, partially to reclaim my right to say whatever I liked about what was going on.

With everything that’s happened, we’ve been given a chance to think about how we would proceed if we had to start again. I don’t think that the objectives of educating and informing are at odds. Here is how we intend to go about it.

News: If it’s news, it goes into the TC Daily newsletter which goes out every weekday at 7am, WAT. If you haven’t, subscribed, you should, right now!. We attempt to curate a comprehensive overview of what’s happened in African tech, but we also believe that our reader’s time is valuable and what’s not in the digest is just as important as what is in it.

For people who prefer to visit TechCabal.com for their news, there is a permanent archive of the TC Daily. There’s also a dedicated RSS feed, if that’s your thing.

Original stories and features: Startups and entrepreneurship, VC and funding and consumer technology are the standard categories in which we will be creating content going forward. These will not be dictated by the news cycle, but by the trends and conversations our editorial teams are having in-house and with the people and places they interact with across Africa. Interesting pitches are always welcome, but do not have much influence on which stories we eventually tell or editorial lead times.

Research and reports: we are making a massive commitment to looking at the ecosystem through the lens of data, and we plan on releasing reports that dive deep into specific sectors and geographies. The first of these comes out in December, and we expect to ship these at a regular cadence.

Special content and projects: Video series’, editorial franchises (think TIME 100-type stuff), events and experiences, content partnerships with brands, tours…we’ve got all kinds of things we’re working on, near term, long term.

Press releases and sponsored posts In the new Techcabal.com design we just released (still working through a few UX improvements and squashing bugs), we’ve separated the paid content from the main editorial content. Paid press releases and sponsor posts now go into a dedidated press room.That way everyone knows what content is sponsored/paid for and which isn’t.

To pull if off, we are constantly looking for smart people who are excited about creating content around the intersection of business, technology and innovation in Africa. We are specifically looking to hire an editor for the daily newsletter, a managing editor to oversee daily editorial operations and a lead analyst to oversee the research angle. If you know them, please send them our way.

Whether or not I will write remains to be seen (thoroughly gassed, haha, thank you), but if I do my job properly, it won’t matter if I do or not.


#30

I didn’t expect they were connected.

Just pointing out if you don’t get ahead of the issue and lay down clear plans for being profitable, people will fill in the blanks with their imagination.


#31

True. Thanks for pointing that out. Did Tomiwa’s answer clear that up?

I can help clear out whatever other question you might have.


#32

The questions seem to have died down, but we are still here. We will try to answer questions as they come in.

Thank you everyone, we really appreciate your feedback.


#33

@onyeka has spoken my mind. I’m not yet fully convinced, though. I’ve kinda moved on from Radar. Let’s see how things go.

One more thing. I still haven’t read any explanation of how the real name policy will help with, as @Tomiwa_Aladekomo said,

identification and community management

I mean, if my username is techguy22, how will knowing that my real name is John Jones change the value I bring or my behaviour? Some of the most frequent and valuable contributors to Radar (eg @techscorpion) have done so for long without real names. And as we’ve seen on other online platforms, trolls will be trolls, real names or not. So, yes, exactly how will requiring real names make things better?


#34

It did :slight_smile:

Thank you @Tomiwa_Aladekomo. I’m excited for the future!


#35

Nice to have the Radar Team back. I just want to point out that in Radar 2.0, effort should be made to allow people air their opinion without some form of bullying. This is because if some users feel like outcasts because they do not belong to some kind of Cabal, their interest will diminish. I look forward to a New Radar where replies and responses to questions will be with the aim of helping the community members grow. A Pro today was once a rookie. Thanks for the good you guys have been doing.


#36

In all honesty, we had some discussions and made a lot of assumptions on what would work and not work for Radar.

We felt if people used their real names, it would make it harder for them to speak rudely and unkind to others online, as they would or may want to ‘keep face’. Apparently, we were wrong.

I have been personally reaching out and talking to some members on Radar, and a few have reached out to me. It has been very interesting conversations, and now I see we had no need to try to make Radar work by talking in the office and on Slack about what could and could not work. Everyone I reached out to seems to want to help make Radar work, they were so willing and helpful in their replies, it makes me feel so loved. We should have discussed it openly and this is what we will be doing going forward. I will try my best to make it a habit so we do not make this mistake of creating policies that do not work for all.

Going forward we are putting that policy on hold. We will work to find a way where people can be more certain of who they are talking to, especially those who speak with tones of negativity.

I hope we can move forward from that policy and look for a better way to improve kindness, helpfulness and respect on Radar.

Does this explanation help in anyway to shed more light on the real name policy @Diakon?


#37

Yes, it does. Thank you @sprime

Also, regarding bullying/trolling which seems to have been a major problem, I don’t think we need to police people’s words. We don’t need too many rules. The problem was, when someone stepped over the line and bullied others, the community moderators ignored such. Let’s try to do better.


#38

True, I will do my best @Diakon, and thank you too.

I learnt a lot working with you while at Devcenter Square, I am sure we can do it again here :wink::slightly_smiling_face:


#39

Well, good to have you all here @lordbanks @Tomiwa_Aladekomo and @sprime. No one really gave enough info about Seyi. Does he still have shares in BCM? I heard about fundraising somewhere. Since TC is always reporting who raised what from where, would be nice for us to know who the investors are and how much BCM has raised so far. Thanks


#40

Thanks Delurge.

Seyi has stepped away from a day to day role in the business, but still has his equity. He’s doing really well and remains invested in our success and growth.

Re: investment. We are actually trying to close out our fundraising round over the next few weeks. Once its formally closed, we’ll make an announcement with those details and we’ll be sure to share it here.


#41

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this thread.

We’ve worked together before(thankfully), I know you’re really good at this stuff and absolutely respect your decisions. I just want to say that as someone who worked in Media for a year and had BCM produce competitive products, one of the largest problems we had(and we saw that BCM also had) was exactly this copy problem.

Now the issue with the copy problem is that you can only know as far as a company tells you. So while Vox is obviously putting out great stuff and telling all of these very sweet stories(clearly to win the favour of brands and investors), the fact behind the scenes is that none of these guys has actually figured out this stuff. You can also see this across other media companies like Outline, Gawker and even Buzzfeed.

My questions are:

  1. Why copy a process that isn’t actually complete to profitability and that you have limited info about?
  2. Why do something the company has done before and that led to disastrous consequences?

I feel like building processes based on what someone else has done and what they say is very short term thinking that only leads to scale until the point where it actually no longer scales anymore and by that time the company you’ve copied has moved onto some other buzzword or tactic or whatever is hot and trendy at the moment. Leaving you to keep playing catch up.


#42

Very true Binjo, I was wrong on copying and blindly replicating the process.

Instead of copying or replicating, I should have said understand what made them work and see how you can synthesise/invent new processes from there, using new knowledge you have about the locality the brand will grow and serve and other business/market know-how. This should help invent something new and might remove one from playing catch-up.

I am still testing out this hypothesis on deconstruction and synthesising though, so I do not entirely know how well it works. So please take this my personal knowledge point with a pinch of salt cc: @kelz.

@binjoadeniran if this is something you are interested in discussing further we could always start a new thread on it or get a drink and discuss it at more length like the good ol-days at Tapa house.

Thanks for pointing out that error before someone else used it wrongly :slightly_smiling_face:


#43

Almost all caught up!

If it was the old radar I wouldn’t have missed this. I hope we get awesome people and discussions back here like before.

Well done to the team!