There are few times you attend a meeting and the people are pushing the boundaries of development in a blended atmosphere of fun and seriousness. Why did I rush down there? Despite deadlines to meet on Monday, despite ‘my reluctant car’ refusing to move and I had to also get to another meeting elsewhere in Ogba, Lagos Nigeria. I strolled into the place defying the stubbornness of the car without fear of regrets. It was because I knew the power in beginnings, I knew the potential blogs have when it comes to being a media of transmission of ideas, news, business and particularly, national revolutions. I had previously posted on the potential of blogs and the power they have to generate a following, spread the gospel, helping to set up a strong customer base and how it is being used in various areas. (Why your business needs a blog, big businesses should pay attention, How web marketing strategies can boost your business- lessons from the Obama campaign victory.)
I barged in late. This was to ensure they had skipped minute details and the real meat was being shared. I was caught being late having to introduce myself last just as I entered. Everyone shared his name, url, passions and I thought every constituency was represented at the pioneer meeting- interesting (the veteran bloggers, the popular, the start-and-stop bloggers (u know like my badly starting car), multiple url bloggers (one claimed to have a friend who has a thousand!), the freebie bloggers, the couple bloggers, business bloggers and the… wait for this ‘hey what’s this blogging thing all about?’. It was a good blend. It was a pleasant moment to attach faces to some blogs you read. Someone asked me, hey! So this is you, you better put your picture before someone uses your name to raise money!
Without wasting much time, Deolu Akinyemi kick-started the programme by calling the core discussants Gbenga Sesan, Olumide Alabi, Gbenga Aijotan and Anu Oluwadare.
Gbenga sesan could not wait to start before he started throwing his passion in showing the big picture and potential in the blogosphere. He basically introduced blogging, nothing complex. He expounded by stressing that blogs have become the leading voice in media communication with newspapers quoting them and National Governments monitoring them – because it has become a tool of feedback and simplicity. Blogs give you unbiased, down to earth stories in an era where publishing companies have been taken over by politicians. Gbenga corroborated this fact by acknowledging the fact that in America, people read blogs to get unbiased news about issues, not the CNN.
He also went ahead to go into details of the search for the largest community of bloggers in Africa, a position which Kenya presently occupies (they are holding it in trust!) for us. Some countries are paying so much attention that some bloggers are being arrested for airing their opinions (do you need a license to click publish?). He finally admonished that opinions that we do not want to be quoted, even years after, should not be posted.
He had to be the right person to convince people to get a domain name of their choice, as against freebies. After sojourning and having several email addresses and blogs on free-to-own sites, he finally landed on his own. He went on to talk about problems encountered with parent hosts and why having an “own” domain establishes you faster. It’s almost like having your own house, without the hassles of a caretaker/landlord. Gbenga actually talked of his friend Mohammed Sanni, who discovered another Mohammed Sanni, whose namesake has got domains and established himself as a scam king before, he got used to the web. Really since your name is not unique to you, and since other people can turn your name into a real estate, before you get smart enough to get it yourself.
It was his turn and the business guy was told to project beyond Google’s advertising programmes. After definitions, he went on to mention the other PPC advertising systems known to him. He also went on to express everyone’s frustration disparity between our financial aspirations and the actual amount of money made from Google’s programme and to present the reality that making tons of dollars every month through adsense will take a lot of ….long work. Long. Work. I mean work.
He went on to show examples of sites that make lots of money through personal adverts by businesses and organizations who are convinced you have the traffic you claim you have. He actually mentions a site that made as much as $400,000 yearly. But your blog needs to work first. Top level organizations that can pay such amount must be convinced you have the traffic to sell to.
One thing that kept going about this meeting was the flow of ideas, interaction and fun- it still did not look like we got distracted though we were pressed for time
It was time to talk about waking up dead blogs as some blogs needed a resurrection morning to be called alive. But the question was really, why did they die in the first instance? After hearing about people making money from blogging, many rush into it thinking ( meeen, I can click!), if money did not come in 2 months, the blog will be dead. Many rushed into it for the wrong motives, hence gave up after a while. Deolu shared his story on how his blog started and stopped for three months after his first post and how he has come to learn the power of being consistent. No money yet? Stay at it. Consistency is the rule of the game.
After those gists and more, we were treated to light refreshments and a session of photographs. Of course there were talks about a bloggers network and a common billing system which time did not afford us the luxury of discussing but hey, in our planet (the blogosphere) who said we had to be paying Elomaz hotel to meet about that? Naa!.
For a free premiere conference, it was worth it. It was like the the birth of a new giant, though looks small, it has the potential to shake economies, generate profit, and to turn around the ailing image of the nation (Nigeria).
It was d beginning of something great and powerful, so I was there. but then, what next? i believe we should push further. conferences and meetings give us passion and release an uncommon strength, that if not worked on, will fade with time. i believe deolu has ideas up his sleeves. chairman, next level please.
Season two is definitely coming and bigger…