OoTheNigerian

sometimes, I make a lot of sense.

Tag Archives for: Blogging

Twitter is breaking coherent thought into a million pieces.

20 July 2013 by Oo Nwoye

Let the title not mislead you, I have great respect for what twitter has become and the of course the people that have built it and have a few buddies there (this is where I do the  obligatorily ‘famzing’ and link to my picture on the Twitter rooftop). However, its brilliance at broadcasting byte sized information is at the expense of documenting coherent thought.

Let me explain.

In the Nigerian senate, there a review of the constitution going on. Sometime last week, there was a review of a section that defines an adult. What is states basically is that you are not an adult until 18 except a female that is married. The ‘except’ provided a loophole that made it legally ok for Yerima a then 49 year old former governor to marry a 13 year old Egyptian girl. Frightening I tell you.

Anyway, the committee reviewing that section of the constitution voted to amend it. It was all well and good until now Senator Yerima, husband to a now 16 year old bride got a wind of it and ensured the clause was not recommended for amendment.

(Please bear with me, I’m not trying to drag you into Nigerian politics I am going somewhere with this)

So the Nigerian Twitter rebels got wind of the story and hell, or should I say re-tweets, broke loose. That’s not bad it itself but since 140 characters did not allow for articulation of the fact, what was/is being propagated is that “the Nigerian Senate voted to legalize child marriage” instead of “Nigerian Senate did not successfully vote to recommend the removal of a clause that would protect female children from getting married”

The Twitter character limit that did not allow for phrasing the factual situation right has not helped in the discussion of the situation.

To me, there are two aspects to the issue on ground.

  1. One is the culture and right of a parent to give a way their child in marriage that has existed for hundreds of millions since teenage Mary got married to Joseph.

  2. The medical risk borne by barely pubescent girls having sex and/or giving birth. (Note: I did not use the word ‘underage’ since it’s not definite. To me, 13 is definitely underage)

The second aspect to me is medical and deals with health. Therefore, I fully support the overriding of culture. A citizen’s life must be protected except that of children. Just like in the case of killing of twins and burying of kings with freshly cut human heads (Africa sha!!!!!)

For the first part, it is not straightforward. Marriage is a cultural thing that means different things for different people. See the case of the 8 year old boy that got married in South Africa for instance. In South Africa, a girl under 15 and a boy under 18 require special permission to get married.

(Note: barring a really bad choice or timing, I will support whomever my child wants to marry. I will never impose my choice on them.  )

So how the *fuck has all this got anything to do with twitter?

Twitter encourages you to think you have made a thoughtful contribution to debates especially when you spill out a few in series like I did from here.

Another limitation of twitter/feeds is that it’s fleeting. Important stuff gets forgotten 20 tweets later. The beauty of writing in a blog format asides coherence is that is is properly documented and will come up even years later when research is being done.

Storify makes you feel you have your tweets documented like Aunty Oby’s stuff here (do read it if you really want to good overview of the #ChildBride story)

Yesterday, Teju Cole documented his trip from Lagos to Benin Republic by road. A lot of good stuff was written. Sadly, except those that follow him and were looking at Twitter at that moment, all the good stuff will most likely never be of use to anyone that needs it in future. (I just saw a Storify of it now, but still.

Recommendations?

I really have none. Blog more maybe? Although I admit that Twitter removes the burden of inertia to publish stuff, we should remember that it limits proper framing, archiving and retrieval of important thought.

*I believe expletives have a role to play in communication. Replace them with euphemisms?

As my man Jay Levanne said – “Euphemisms of bad words are still bad words. Words are not created filthy. We give them meaning. So whenever you say “effing” or “fricking”… you’re missing the fucking point”

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5 comments | Categories: Commentary, Politics | Tags: , , , , ,

Personal Blogging: Linda Ikeji Is On Another Level.

12 March 2012 by Oo Nwoye

Yes, I read Ms Ikeji’s blog. And yes, I am very ashamed of myself. Can we discuss that later?

Yesterday, Linda wrote a rather normal post about a previous post, in which people commenting on the post were too hard on the person the post was about. So she sent a private tweet to the person the post was about apologizing about the comments in the post, the person now posted the…… I can yard dust and beat around bush sha (no, not that bush). But you get the gist.

Well, this post is not about the contents in the post but the fact that it ganared 800+ COMMENTS!!!! Nope, this is not a picture of a cat being shared on facebook. Or a front page item on reddit. This is a sub domain on blogger that has a rather ugly commenting system that requires a login. And it still got 750 COMMENTS!

image

I had always known her blog is popular. But I thought it was Nigerian standard popular. 800 comments is on a worldwide big deal level. There is a massive potential for her to be undisputedly number 1 in Africa digitalmedia wise, and worldwide relevant when it comes to entertainment and gossip (TMZ and Perez Hilton level). She can also go Huffington. Arriana started blogging personally about left wing politics; 5 years and $200 million later, we know every.

However, her reaching those heights will require Messianic and not Mikelist sized ambitions (As at 2005, Mikel and Messi used to be mentioned in the same sentence. While Messi had his sight set on being the greatest ever, the 60k/week from Chelsea no let Obi see road he thought he had arrived ).

Whatever the road she decides to take, I have to say, I hail. She is a true testament of how the internet and blogging tools have democratized publishing. I mean, anyone, can start from anywhere and rise to the top.

5 comments | Categories: Digital Media | Tags: , ,

The Problem With Posterous

31 January 2011 by Oo Nwoye

First of all I have to say I am a fan of Posterous. I use them for about 7 of my sites so anything I am writing here is totally in good faith.

In the past 6 months, Posterous has  been in the news sporadically for not so positive reasons. First of all they ‘arrogantly’ tried to poach users from competing blogging platforms thereafter, they have been blasted for losing the battle against Tumblr. Not too long ago, the co founder of Posterous, Garry Tan left to join YC. That of course does not leave positive vibes.

The problem with Posterous that they are not the best at anything. Ok, not anything, they haves the damn easiest way of starting a blog. That is where it ends. Lets take a look at their two biggest competitors.

WordPress: They are undoubtedly the best at extensibility in design and plugins. Their stats speak for them

Tumblr: They are the best at design and community. Their stats say they are leaving Posterous the dust to eat

Unfortunately, what Posterous is best at is the shortest part of the blogging experience; starting. And for any blog, you do it just once

I think the reason Posterous is not the best at anything is that there is a lack of focus on what they want to be. Just look at the campaign at battling the competitors. They wanted to be a photo blogging tool by importing Twitpic photos (which I supported), they wanted to import Tumblr without having social capabilities and design that is the fulcrum of Tumblr. They also wanted to import WordPress without having the extensibility of WordPress and of course could not support Plugins. Ha! they even wanted to import from Ning! What the hell was that about?! (BTW, while raving about the importing, they did not maintain permalinks, thereby wanting people to leave broken links all over the web)

Recently, they have pitched themselves as a platform for groups

Hi Sachin Agarwal, what is Posterous for?

Steve Jobs says the hardest part in making a good product is not deciding the features you should put it but deciding the good things you have to leave out. So my advise to you is sit down, think of what you want to be and go for it.

I wish I could take my own advice.

1 comment | Categories: Technology | Tags: , , ,