History was made today, as at the same time Nigerian Bloggers gathered together in Lagos, Nigeria on the possibility of collaborating and increasing the general knowledge of the community, a blog world and new media expo was taking place in Las Vegas. I was shocked to discover that this worldwide bloggers conference had 200 facilitators of repute and thousands of bloggers and tons of corporate sponsorship. We were about 80 in number today, and we had a fun time together. The room was decorated in with New Nigeria Club banners, and the ever supportive team of Generis staff (Emore Ogho, Abiola Akinyemi, Ola Daramola, Seun Afolabi, Temitope Akinyemi, Ekwu Osodi, David Bernad, Charles Ugbomeh, Mayowa Oloyede, Lolu Daniels) made the event an organizational success.
We had 5 facilitators, Anu Oluwadare, Gbenga Aijotan, Olumide Alabi, Gbenga Sesan and My humble self (Adeolu Akinyemi). We had brief intro’s on different topic areas, and somehow waltzed into and open ended question and answer session. I did the intro, explaining the motivation behind the meeting, while one facilitator after the other talked about different aspects of blogging and how we can better leverage on this tool, to create immense value for ourselves and our country. We all seemed unanimous in our desire for an industry with standard that represents all of us. We shared passionately about how we can move the industry forward and shared thoughts on logical next steps for the Nigerian Bloggosphere. We also spoke about an opportunity that is about to be unveiled shortly that will take blogging in Nigeria to the next level.
Here are snippets of blogging excerpts from within the event…
Notes from the Nigerian Bloggers’ Conference (by Olumide Alabi, ‘Gbenga Sesan and Adeolu Akinyemi)
We’re blogging live from the Nigerian Bloggers’ Conference…
The conference, which is holding at the Banquet Hall of Elomaz Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria started with a quick introduction by the host (one of Nigeria’s most popular bloggers), Adeolu Akinyemi. Others, who’re busy introducing themselves include the writers of this blog, a weapons engineer, soon-to-be bloggers, blog readers, blogger of the “Gbeborun of Lagos” fame, husbands and wives who blog together, an uncommissioned “Obama speech-writer”, I-must-now-ressurect-my-blog folks and others. From the introductions, it is quite clear that many bloggers started (and stopped, and then resumed again) after reading other blogs. We also had a student whose project was on blogging.
‘Gbenga is taking us through the definition of a blog or what I’d like to call Blogging 101 or Blogging for dummies. Hmm… his motivation for blogging was fuelled by what he’d like people to say about him at his funeral…lol. One of the reasons he started blogging was to have an outlet for articles he wrote that Newspapers were too scared to print because it didn’t fit their model of political correctness. He also made a personal choice not to blog about bad news because there’s enough bad news out there already. One of the beauties of blogging is the realness of the authors, the way they share the things they truly believe in. Like it or not, blogging can help you to influence things in society, because you have a circle of influence.
Now Olumide is talking and I’m blogging. He’s taking the audience through domain names — what they are and why you should own one. He’s just thrown in a new word — findability — and it says a lot about how owning a unique personalized domain name can help people identify you more easily. “It sets you apart from the crowd, keeps you in control, makes moving easy and helps you keep rakings with your search engines,” he said. I like the “keeps you in control” bit because it helps avoid having adverts that contradict the content of your blog because you’re using a secondary provider’s service. Owning your own domain also shows your seriousness about your idea or business — if only because you pay some money to get that in place each year.
Gbenga Aijotan, of NaijaBrains.com, is presently speaking about online media advertising. He’s discussing the possibility of attracting corporate adverts on blogs having built loyal traffic. He listed the benefits of blog sponsorship to include the opportunity to hand-pick, the choice of displaying adverts in different ways, ability to negotiate payment rates, etc. Adeolu is coordinating a discussion around how bloggers can network to improve the possibility of returns on time invested in blogging, and also a clear need to build the industry. Olumide (
I need to find a way to get him back to this keyboard) is talking about how to increase traffic to blogs: design and content!
Now, Anu is enlightening the audience about Syndication using RSS Feeds. The benefits of syndication to a blogger and how to use an RSS reader for feeds.
We’re turned it into an open house discussion aroud things like How to get traffic to your blog, How to build a better blog, How to make money from your blog, Carving out a niche and New Media.
Gbenga Aijotan is taking us through how to revive dead blogs and how to keep the blogs going so they don’t die off in the first place. The major reasons for blogs dying include poor internet access, the fact that some blogs are started purely to make money and became disillusioned after not making any and a few other things.
Adeolu Akinyemi spoke about why blogs die in the first place, and how to consistency and patience matters at the end of the day. He talked about how even when you don’t make money directly immediately, it gives you influence, brings you into peoples homes and lives, and ultimately opens doors for you. Adeolu Akinyemi also spoke about how owning a blog in your domain name is like owning land, the value of the land is a function of development, use and activity. He said out of 70 million blogs being tracked by technorati, how many do Nigerians have there?
We closed the same way we started, we sand the second stanza of the national anthem, and encouraged ourselves to stay in touch and keep blogging. We exchanged addresses, took pictures, did a video recording and made new acquaintances.
Ultimately, the Nigerian Bloggosphere cannot be the same again. We are taking over!