I was on nairaland the other day and someone asked if the idea of setting up a Nigerian or African wide social network was a good idea.
Personally I think its a good and bad idea. Its good if it helps people share what is valuable to them but it will be bad if its just for fun like facebook.com or myspace ( Africans dont have money and they dont have free internet ).
These are some of the things to consider to make a successful web 2.0 solution in Africa:
- Daily service : Do they need something from your site everyday, I personally don't visit facebook.com or myspace.com everyday but I visit www.google.com and www.google.com/analytics everyday ( I guess webmasters know why )
- Innovations: if your site keeps getting some innovations, it will cause news and bloggers around will write about you and people will turn to visit your site. Facebook launched the platform and after that new applications have been coming up which make bloggers, journalists write more about facebook and hence giving their site more attention
- updates: if your site gives users some updates by email or phone or TV or , then the users will keep coming to your site.
Those are some of the things I believe are hindering web 2.0 ventures here in Africa. Mainly because Africans just want to replicate success stories in USA back here, but the situation here is different. Build things that will benefit the audience you target and also consider what they have and what they dont have.
For example, Africans will prefer to watch news on TV free of charge than to pay for internet to read the news. I hope you get the reason why some web 2.0 stuffs can work in USA and Europe and not Africa.
Please give me your own views towards this issue by commenting