Thursday, January 9, 2014

Nairaland Founder Oluwaseun Osewa gets Richer

Nairaland Nigerian Forum Founder Oluwaseun Osewa is the latest hero for January's Profiling Nigerians. Osewa is the proud owner of Africa's largest online forum. He founded the site on March 10, 2005 as a general purpose discussion forum with issues of interest to Nigerians.
Nairaland Founder Oluwaseun Osewa

His main goal was to be the Mark Zuckerberg of Nigeria. Hence the site was launched 14 months after Facebook. The site took off after a slow start and Nairaland now has over 1 million registered users and is the most popular Nigerian website today.

Forbes Magazine took note of Osewa's initiative and recognized the young brilliant Nigerian mind in 2013 as best African entrepreneurs under 30.

"I decided to start Nairaland when I noticed two odd things about MobileNigeria:

(1) Despite its narrow focus, it was the only Nigerian community that gave a voice to Nigerians at home. Most other Nigerian sites were owned and dominated by Nigerians in the US or UK. They covered only issues of interests to Nigerians abroad.

(2) The off topic section of the forum, covering topics outside telecoms, like romance and jokes, was becoming more vibrant than the Mobile Nigeria Forum itself, suggesting the need for a more general-purpose Nigerian forum.

This gave me the confidence to take forums like Naijaryders and Talknaija head on by starting a general purpose discussion forum with a strong bias towards issues of interest to Nigerians at home. I felt that such a site could attract enough traffic to make enough money from Google adverts. That’s why I started the Nairaland Forum" said Oluwaseun Osewa

Nairaland has done well. It is the seventh most visited sites in Nigeria after Google, Facebook, Yahoo, YouTube and Blogspot.

Osewa shared his vision for the next five years on Nairaland against his mentor site Facebook. "If I got 5 naira every time a developer offered to help me make Nairaland like Facebook, I would be rich enough to buy the moon!

But here’s the thing. You can’t beat Facebook. even if your website is perfect. Social networks benefit from ‘network effects’, which means the bigger they are, the better the experience. Facebook has grown so big that the only thing other social networks can do is die. MySpace, Hi5, and even Google’s social network (Orkut), and Microsoft’s Live Spaces have been beaten and are still losing members every day. If Google and Microsoft can’t beat them, I don’t think I should waste my time.

There’s an element of Facebook I’d like to incorporate, though. The ‘social graph’. It’s the reason why Facebook can have 500m users on the same site and yet, unlike most big forums, doesn’t feel over-crowded. The social graph approach scales so well."

So good things do come from Nigeria and No headlines or news media overseas will stream Oluwaseun Osewa's story except osaseye. People tend to add to the Growing negative perception about Nigeria in the world 

3 comments:

  1. Such a wonderful post. Great write up. Never knew he was the founder

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