Nigerian tech blogs: not so boring or lacking original content

Nigerian Tech blogs are getting increasingly boring and lacking original content“. A friend of mine tabled this opinion recently on Twitter. I have been on a hiatus from active participation on Twitter and Facebook for a while now and didn’t see it immediately.

I am still not jumping back into Twitter, so this is where I shall discuss the subject. Having blogged since 2006, I have been around a while and have a longer tunnel view of blogging in general in Nigeria. This does not mean that I have a 100% correct view on the industry, but hopefully I have insights that anyone can learn from. Here are my thoughts outlined below.

Nigerian tech blogs

1. Original Content Is Not Profitable

Blogging is an industry now, and most bloggers out there – myself inclusive – are after a healthy bottomline (AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!!). The truth, the Gospel truth and nothing but the truth is that original content is not quite profitable in these parts. News and sensational items sell more. Those bring in more traffic and more clicks than any original content you can come up with – and cost much less to create in terms of resources. Advertisers want traffic, so bloggers go for the most cost-effective route to traffic. Good business sense, if you ask me.

This is not a tech blogging thing only. From gossip, news and political blogs all the way to tech blogs, original content doesn’t pay the bills. No-one wants to pay for it. The readers won’t pay for original content. Brands don’t want to pay for it either. Brands prefer to send in their sponsored articles for bloggers to publish “as is”, so you will often find 20 blogs all publishing the same thing.

The situation is that Mobility and a few other Naija tech blogs invest in a fair amount of original content, while the others….well…see the next item below.

2. Original Content is an endangered specie

I spend hours writing a hot, sizzling original article for publishing on Mobility Arena, and before you can spell “MTN”, ten other tech blogs have reproduced it, sometimes with minor modifications here and there. A few bloggers with a conscience reproduce it and include a tiny link back at the bottom of the post.

So, while a few blogs like MobilityArena and some others produce a good deal of original content, it ends up not so original after it has been copied round. Plagiarism is making nonsense of the concept of original content.

Even if Mobility Arena comes up with a new style or concept tomorrow, it will be copied too – and so “lose” its originality. This is what the social age is about – sharing and copying. And then, many times, chasing originality for its sake is counterproductive and retrogressive. There are many scenarios in which it makes perfect sense to stick with what works, even if it is being done by everyone else.

3. There is not much newsworthy stuff happening in the tech space

You can take this anyhow you like, but the Nigerian tech space is mostly hot air and hype. Most apps get launched and do not see more than 100 downloads. Because it is a world full of startup hype, the “tech” blogs that cover startups have more stuff to write about. Other than that, you have the networks (nothing much happening there), and hardware manufacturers (some interesting stuff from time to time).

But even the smartphone world has gotten extremely boring. For the most part, nothing is happening with BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Firefox, Sailfish, and Tizen. Once a year, something happens with iOS. And the rest of the year, multiple Android OEMs release smartphones that are more or less a copy of one or more existing devices. Boring. See?

This is Not Unique to Naija tech blogs

Pick any ten American tech blogs and skim through their content. Chances are that 80-90% of the content is similar in terms of news. There is greater diversity in opinion articles and reviews, but the trend is not much different. If you have read one American tech blog, you have mostly read what there is to be read anywhere else. Consider that most of the news on many Nigerian tech blogs are culled from American tech blogs, and you get the picture. This “boring” is everywhere.

Now, Before You Blow A Gasket

Don’t blow a gasket. I didn’t write this article to give any excuses. I have highlighted some of the issues involved, so that those interested in finding a solution to them can have a clear picture. I am an advocate of original content, and Mobility Arena produces a great deal of it. A few others do too. There are two sets of Nigerian tech blogs – leaders and followers. Just stick with reading the leaders. The followers mostly reproduce content from the leaders.

I think that oversabi dey worry my friend and others like him (Hi, guys!). LOL. It is a techie thing, o jare. Techies get bored quickly, and to make matters worse, the mobile world – the modern driver of today’s tech – is very boring at the moment, as I’ve explained earlier. He is bored with everything, not just Nigerian tech blogs. Blame the game, not the players. In truth, there is little happening anywhere in the tech world that you will miss by reading just the top 3 Nigerian tech blogs. Very, very little.

Glossary
oversabi = too much knowledge

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13 comments

  1. The person that tweeted has probablyy not read misstechy. The truth is everyone copies both america and nigeria, but people like misstechy and mobility have gone a step further to make it interesting and engaging And it is actually not fair on these tech blogs i mentioned for you to say their content is boring

  2. I don’t think I read the top 3 tech blogs in Nigeria, but about two (maybe three) in the top 10. I tried reading the top three but they bored me!

    As for American blogs I rarely read them seeing that I’m not remotely interested in what happens in US tech – I have a friend that will cull the good bits and let me know and I may give the odd article that doesn’t bore me to tears with Samsung variants a sideways glance.

    It really depends on where your interest lies. I’ve come across some good reviews and a few good videos from Nigerian sources – a few are better at the latter than others. And it is very easy to see who the leaders are versus the copy and paste crew. I’ve come across the latter and I honestly cannot understand how they garner the attention they do because the quality is pfft!

  3. I disagree with you when you said “There is not much newsworthy stuff happening in the tech space” go download feeder from the windows phone store to see what m talking about.. There’s always news about tech stuff! And mobility misses, ignore or should i say uninterested/disinterested most of the news… Apparently that’s where I go now bcz here can’t handle my hunger to know what’s up

  4. I wonder what exactly is the perspective on “newsworthy” or “originality”?

    Copy and paste work are irritating and unprofessional. No gainsaying about this.

    Tech news, and basically any news at all are in away always re-echoed by reporters or bloggers, but when there is no painstaking desire to research, insert personal perspective and opinions in them…it becomes basically boring and lacking ” originality”.

    Pick up any dailies, they say basically the same thing…but in different writing style, tone, ehm…I believe that’s what they call “house style”.

    Bloggers, most are lazy, and are all about driving traffic for the money, do they really care about the reader’s consumption? As it is, it is quite hard to regulate the Internet in itself, and here is a part of it.

    I think it is hightime bloggers and online journalists came up with an association to fight plagiarism.

    1. You hit the nail on the head with this:

      “Tech news, and basically any news at all are in away always re-echoed by reporters or bloggers, but when there is no painstaking desire to research, insert personal perspective and opinions in them…it becomes basically boring and lacking ” originality”.”

      I think THAT is the crux of what the person who said Nigerian tech blogs were boring was trying to say, and he’s right. I have literally read the same thing on different sites, with no one bothering to do any further research and I’m like “that was a waste of 5 minutes of my life (times the 3 websites I read the identical article on!).

    2. Tskills and Noni,

      Tech news, and basically any news at all are in away always re-echoed by reporters or bloggers, but when there is no painstaking desire to research, insert personal perspective and opinions in them…it becomes basically boring and lacking ” originality

      I disagree. You have got this matter all wrong.

      1. Let’s say Mobility has put up a news item that details ALL the relevant info required, what sort of extra info do you want any other blog that references Mobility to add? Would you like to see useless information added and your time wasted just so the post can be original? News is news. And yes, news is mostly “boring” except when it is about disaster or gossip.

      2. Again, news is news. News is NOT personal perspective or opinion. When someone reports news, it should contain facts only or the “news” becomes distorted. Opinion pieces are a separate matter from news.

      This nail didn’t come close to hitting the head.

    3. I can see the same information on websites “in the abroad”, each saying the same thing with a different twist. And sadly I can go from one to the other and still get different perspectives and enough diverse information on the same thing to feed my addiction.

      So while we can talk about X, it comes down to not what you say, but how you say it. That’s what leads to loyal fans, whether it be newspapers, magazines or blogs. THAT is what keeps people coming back.

    4. Agreed about the “how” things are said. No arguments about that. You have deviated from the point I made though. News is news and not opinion. That will always hold true. If what those other blogs that feed your addiction are doing is infusing opinion into news items, then they are doing it wrong, no matter how much you like it. If it is that they are publishing more opinion pieces than others, that’s cool.

      There is a reason why brands and tons of readers trust Mobility: we keep news items separate from our opinions. They know that we won’t distort things in order to be cool.

      While it is important that each blog has a unique voice, trust is important. Of course, you must prefer one blog’s voice to another, and that is all fine. Everybody has a preference.

    5. By the way Mister Mo, it is no coincide that one blog in particular has been mentioned here numerous times for the quality of output. And in my opinion, it is one of the best blogs in Nigeria right now. She can say the same thing everyone else is saying but somehow gets your attention.

      That pretty much hits the nail on the head for me.

    6. Noni,

      I’m quite happy to see people enthuse about a particular blog (Hi, Tobi!). It just so happens they they are doing all the enthusing about it on this blog. That speaks volumes 😉

  5. lol. nice catch

    meanwhile, all the enthusing comes with a bit of schaudenfreude. That particular blog and person is in dire need of a bit of objective criticism but good luck with that………….

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