Why Did Nairaland, Miss the Bus?


#1

Ten years ago, as a young tech newbie and socioeconomic analyst working in Abuja, I found Nairaland to be at the cutting edge of tech trends, political views, and a general barometer to measure how young educated Nigerians thought and felt at the time. I knew foreign finance and political risk analysts that read it every day.

Fast forward to 2016. I had fallen off the tech bandwagon for years. But then I decided to renew my interest in Tech because I was looking for new challenges and I was convinced that the tech space in Africa is a wide-open opportunity that Africans need to take advantage off before it gets totally dominated by Western and Eastern Unicorns - They don’t get the culture and to an extent neither does most of their diaspora African employees who they have sent down here for flag planting.

So, I began looking for a space where you techies and entrepreneurs hang out to reconnect and get my mojo back. My first instinct was to go to where I know before - Nairaland. To my disappointment, nothing much had changed there; the design is the same as 10 years ago, the people I find there tend to be pessimists, tribal jingoists or just plain behind the times. The topic threads are sad. (Are people still looking for website designers?)

I wrote this piece because I believe Nairaland is a wasted opportunity for the owner. He still has a gem of a brand. I wish he does more with it.Like Linda Ikeji and Bella Naija, Nairaland is one of the most popular Nigerian sites. I also gather the owner resisted every overture for private equity injection. That’s really curious.

But I am glad to have Radar and it’s been refreshing to see ideas, healthy debate and vigorous banter here. Halleluiah!

But why do you think Nairalnd’s founder has chosen to keep the platforms design and user experience frozen in early 2000s design?


#2

If it ain’t broke…


#3

It will be outdated.
Taste is changing, new experiences are being influenced on us by tech leaders n new products… This is where NL will fade away like a monument in a desert.


#4

And if it’s broke…?


#5

The problem is Everything is broken, it just haven’t broken on your end


#6

If it ain’t broke, it’s an opportunity to disrupt yourself and make it better!


#7

‘Broke’ is very much relative.


#8

I meet the guy way back 2005, when he used to host nairaland on his laptop and use 1.5kva ups with trailer batteries to backup when NEPA does their thing … entrepreneurs that want to control everything reminds me of a saying ‘’ if you want to Go Fast run your business alone if you want to go FAR get More people on your train. ‘’


#9

And again Nairaland is a Gold Mine combined with Mineral Deposits if monitied … Not even Naij.com and Linda combined together can generates it potential revenue.


#10

If you are not moving forward you are falling behind, stagnation is a myth, the world is constantly moving.


#11

Its the way it is because the owner isn’t bothered. He’s content with what he has created and is hardly interested in evolution. Some people are that way. He scores points for coming up with it first and he’s probably seen a thousand different proposals and suggestions over the last 10 years. Sure it could be so much more, but not everyone wants to disrupt, some are content with the status quo. If you want to disrupt, then its an opportunity to build your own platform and move everyone else to the next best thing.


#12

Fish. Nicely said. If Radar keeps going the right direction, they may be the next big thing. Although it’s obviously not a mass market blog.


#13

By now Nairaland supoz to av an app on both iOS and Android with a nice design which shold help encourage more users to join the platform but i dont think any like that exist and thats a shame. Even Facebook with its billion users is constantly finding ways to encourage more users to join its platform (by redesigning, adding and removing features and even still advertising). And here Nairaland is- literally jus there. The owner is obviously not bothered. He can choose to sell it to a good commpany that can improve the platform if his tired.


#14

Content is what matters, people could care less about design if the main key is content, am sure we can all agree that we’ve never seen a porn site with over the top designs and all these material design stuff, because they all know content is the main focus.


#15

For nairaland is not a porn site, content might not be enough o.


#16

Me thinks, Nairaland and it’s audience demographics fit perfectly well. That is why it is still around.

The demographic appeal of Nairaland is what keeps it going, the demography that like to read and write long posts are the ones still there… Millennials? Those guys are somewhere else I don’t know about sharing pics and emojis and memes.

Unfortunately, I am sure @seunosewa does’t have the money to acquire some of the site where millennials frolic to remain relevant in the days ahead.
It just a matter of time, the Nairaland of today will become the Yahoo of tomorrow.

Please let the guy enjoy his reign.


#17

I think there is an android app already.


#18

Yeah, I think so too. But I’m not even compelled to download it. Nairaland customer service is pretty bad and day by day it’s harder for me to use it as I get used to better experiences on other sites.


#19

The owner doesn’t care. Very nonchalant and arrogant. Let’s not even talk about the madness that goes on there that has made a lot of “sane” people leave the forum


#20

Google interface has barely changed since 1999 other than an injection of javascript. Nairaland is doing just fine. It is the biggest Nigerian site out there.