Sunday, November 12, 2006

A collaboration platform

Its difficult to get collaborative projects off the ground in Nigeria - everyone wants to be Big Oga, and no one trusts anyone else. And yet, there are so many people in-country and out that share the same dreams, and more specifically, the same intervention ideas, whether practical, infrastructural, intellectual, creative etc.

Here's the kernel of an idea - why don't we set up a collaboration platform. Nothing hi-tech - an adapted blog site in combination with a chat site engine would do. The site would have a solid information structure so users could quickly find their area of interest. The aim of the site would simply to put like-minded people with like-minded project intentions together - a sort of web2.0 for development, forusbyus style. The only rule of engagement would be that the site is for people genuinely interested in collaboration (as opposed to ip theft!) The platform would enable private groups to be formed for more ip-sensitive discussions. Above all, the site's value proposition would be something along the lines of: together, lets transform Nigeria.

What do y'all think?


St Antonym 9:09 pm  

What are you suggesting--Nairaland for adults?

Anonymous,  11:23 pm  

Bless your little socialist heart, Jeremy. When can I start? I want to be the Oga. ;-)

imnakoya 4:40 am  

A wiki-like environment may work, and you would need to add more flesh to the idea Jeremy. But it appears interesing...

Ayolope 10:58 am  

Hi Jeremy, I am in on this. Let's kick start this.

Ponle 11:00 am  

Great (and timely) idea. What sort of collaboration are you about now? Interest areas, projects or just social networking?

Maybe a localized (low-tech) LinkedIn or Facebook and expand to include Nigerians in diaspora as well.

Lemme know when you're ready to run with it and i'll run with you.

Dotun 11:15 am  

Im concerned about how you want to run it without duplicating what already exists i.e. nairaland, asorock, lagbajaforum and all the rest. Or are you suggesting something like gumtree for nigerians, where people can advertise stuffs for sale as well.

Jeremy 11:24 am  

Dotun I don't know lagbaja forum or asorock, but the suggestion is not to repeat the nairaland-type chat/gossip formula, which I don't see as productive, even if they have value in letting people unleash some steam.

The site would be based around people that are serious about making a difference by doing stuff - putting time, effort and resources into a transformation project in Nigeria. It would be an opportunity to:
a) Find and establish relationships with others with similar ideas and ambitions
b) Find out about other projects of a similar nature, both planned and actual
c) Find out about the social and professional networks that surround these activities - funding organisations, local and international finance opportunities, social networks based around development (many of the ethnic groups have these already), friends of Nigeria who would be interesting in offering specific types of support etc.

That is the brief, in brief. The site is not about making money, although obviously it should work towards being self-supporting. All you tecchies out there: what is the simplest cheapest/free-est platform solution?

St Antonym 2:41 pm  

Good thinking. If it's good stuff, I'm in. You know that.

The issue is, how do you gateman the thing?

There's always the concern that a gathering of Nigerians would--not to put too fine a point on it--become like Nigeria.

Anonymous,  9:30 pm  

Good Idea Jeremy. I have used a platform like this in the past and it works pretty well. Very good idea, do make sure registration is by invitation only.

Anthony Arojojoye 9:43 pm  

It sounds as if you're gonna need a domain name of your own hosted and maintained by yourself for autonomiety. The servers have to be online 24/7.

Anyhow, if you jump I jump.

Anonymous,  9:35 am  

What happened to my comment?

Iheoma Obibi 2:49 pm  

Woa, not a techieperson but a potential writer. Have seen narialand, hmmm. Do no know about the other forums mentioned will check those out later. Seems like a good idea and how will it be gatekeeped. Wil how will people join. Bearing in mind, Nigerians LOVE/LIKE anything with a hint of exclusivity to it. Know what am saying.

Jeremy 2:54 pm  

I agree Iheoma. I'm increasingly drawn to the Linked-In member-invites-member model, which can be replicated easily enough using a blog platform.

Anonymous,  2:02 pm  

charity? real pressure groups?

Terminadelp 4:56 pm  

How would you protect original ideas from being carted off by venture capitalists out there?

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