Re: Fixing Twitter

Nothing great is Built On Twitter, even though it should be the most powerful real-time communications platform on Earth. There are simply no developer integration features for building stuff on top of Twitter as a platform, and that is absurd and disappointing.

Source: Fixing Twitter

“Nothing great is Built On Twitter”

That quote sums it all up.

Most of Dustin’s suggested extensions are things other people should have built on Twitter. Of course, it also keys into Dalton’s App.Net plan where Twitter should have been the stream and people should have used a countless applications to make the stream more discernible and allow Twitter focus on ensuring the backbone stays in place.

Funny enough, that is how Twitter originated. Others built their clients (TweetDeck, Uber Social, Seesmic etc) and they focused on the core. They lost that direction and wanted to “own it all” like Facebook so fucke over all the guys who helped them on the way up.  But they took that direction rather too early.

It should be Build – Extend – Extinguish NOT Build – Extinguish ‘cos you might extinguish your self too if you do it too soon

Take Tweetstorming as an example which is a niche need. My team built (quite objectively) the best tweetstorming app in WriteRack. It pulls and pushes all it’s content from and to Twitter. In an ideal case, Twitter should support it and similar ones rather than making more convoluted with the aim of doing everything themselves.

If Twitter had supported third patrty developers, someone/people would have built a killer app for using twitter to follow and interact live events. That would have brought another set of people into the platform and that extends to other use cases too.
Hopefully, Twitter gets it right because I have come to really find Twitter useful.


First written as a comment on HN

My 14 Predictions for the Nigerian Technology Space in 2014

I think it is a fun and useful exercise doing predictions. It is a way of documenting wishful thinking and testing your perception abilities. Looking back, it would show how far along you have come.

Here is my attempt 3 years ago

For the coming year, here are my predictions it is a combination of positives and negatives. Nothing outlandish as we are predicting only one year out.

  1. Payments solved: Nigerian tech companies will have their payment problems solved (most likely NOT by a Nigerian company). i.e stored card data will enable reoccurring billing which is the lifeblood of software startups. Paypal will arrive. Finally.
  2. Major exit: There will be a massive exit for a Nigerian startup (not Rocket). Massive meaning over $80million. I have no idea of the space.
  3. Major casualty: Likewise, there will be a massive failure of a funded company. A bankrupt startup or a founder kicked out of his/her company. Lots of media startups will close their doors.
  4. Tech will go mainstream: Tech founders will get the recognition that has been missing. Red carpets and magazine covers for our sector will become commonplace.
  5. International companies will come: Facebook, Twitter et al will set up proper shop in Nigeria.  Google will go beyond their sales cubicle. Hello Deezer!
  6. Cash will flow in: There will be a lot of inbound money invested in the technology space. $100million at least will come in. The low amount is because of the uncertainty of the Nigerian elections coming up
  7. Rocket will Exit Africa: They are done with here. But they’ll be dusted as they sell off everything they have and move on to other things.
  8. Corporate venturing will take off: MTN has shown the way. We love to copy. Do not shut down that your streaming app just yet, the buyers are looking out.
  9. Incubator time: Many commercial play incubators will begin to sprout. There will be at least one foreign one that will be for Nigerian startups (as against the Rocket model)
  10. Tech + Politics: Technology and social media will dominate the political landscape. This is fairly obvious but it will be on another level far beyond SMS broadcasts
  11. Global Nigerian Startups: We’ll have our Representatives in Y Combinator, TechStars and 500 Startups. Of course we will start appearing on TechCrunch, Pando, Re/Code. #Primetime.
  12. Broadband: Everything will change with the sale of 2.3MHz spectrum.
  13. Live streaming: The plummeting of broadband costs will mean a lot of live casting will take off this year. Video will be big.
  14. Education: This is the next ecommerce for Nigeria. Everyone will do an education startup this year. At least two will have the same name 😉


Swift – Visafone:  There will be an acquisition and/or merger involving these two.

Nigerian Sex tapes: They will go mainstream. Tonto Dike mainstream 😉

What are your predictions for the Nigerian tech space in 2014?

PS: Please forgive the typos. I did not predict I wilt be typo free.

Twitter is breaking coherent thought into a million pieces.

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.


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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Why I follow those I follow on Twitter

There is a simple reason I decide to follow those I follow on Twitter they share what interest me. Simples.  Currently, those are people that are involved in Technology and Music in one form or the other. I DO NOT follow people as a form of compensation for following me. If I did, all I will be seeing would be people retweeting what i have already Tweeted. That would defeat the main purpose of Twitter, for me.

Interestingly, there are people I follow then unfollow. For instance, when I temporarily quit speaking about politics, I unfollowed Omojuwa, El Rufai etc and at one point SeyiTaylor because they were making me discover what I did not want to discover. Politics, especially Nigerian politics. Unfollowing is nothing personal it makes no statement. For me, it just states that because of the limited space on my Twitter feed, there are other stories I rather discover. For now

Team Follow Back

They are the reason I am writing this post.  I got two orders  early this morning. I thought they read Kathleen’s excellent post “Follow Back or Else.

ff bak’ really get to me for several reasons. The poor spelling, the audacity of the order, and more importantly. the disregard for the meaning of #FF which is the abbreviation of #FollowFriday.  From the search, you will notice that ‘ff bak’ phrase is a Nigerian phenomenon

In the  early days of Twitter, it was the custom to RECOMMEND people you thought were interesting for your followers to follow NOT having people order you to listen to what they had to say.

How to get people follow you on Twitter

The easiest way to get people to follow you on Twitter is to write stuff. If it is cool or funny, you will be retweeted. People the follow those that RT you will follow you to get to the source.

Another way is to blog. Even for a post like this that is rather useless, there are people that will follow me because of any reason of theirs. e.g “This guy na real dodoyor. Let me follow him so I can be laughing at the nonsense he writes”

Some people post naked pictures of themselves. 😉

Or start a movement. Say.. #TurnOnThelight

The Team Follow Back Police

@SeyiTaylor is their police. If anyone orders you to follow them, just let him know and he will deal with it in a decisive manner.


This is just Twitter, a website. Nothing serious. Treat as such. Same with this post 🙂