There’s a lot of drama around Linda launching her own “social network” yesterday. First of all, let’s be 100% clear – this isn’t an addition to Linda Ikeji’s blog.

This is the new Linda Ikeij’s blog and here are a few thoughts:

1. Linda understands her market better than most give her credit for

That anecdote (true or not) about competing with Facebook cut to the chase very quickly. In any gathering of “media experts” and “tech gurus”, there is a lot of talk of competing websites – Linda vs Bella, Pulse vs Naij etc.


Content sites are not competing against other content sites – they’re competing for attention. And in that anecdote, Linda showed that she understood that the attention of her audience was being taken away by Facebook.

2. This product can’t fail; but it’s not clear it will succeed

Unlike most social products, Linda Ikeji Social didn’t start from scratch. It already has a batch of ready users – Linda Ikeji commenters – and it already has content from Linda Ikeji’s blog.

That means that, even if all this ends up being is an extended comment section for Linda Ikeji’s blog – it doesn’t fail. It’ll always be populated with content – from the blog, and it’ll always have activity.

It’s not the “proper site” that “tech gurus” have been asking for – it’s more. However, it’s not clear that this will be a roaring success. There are a number of pitfalls that the project faces; but even if they all manage to hobble this project, there’s no way this goes the way of the dodo.

3. Technology & product management will be interesting

Linda, for the first time since starting in the media business, is not using the best technology team or infrastructure in the world.
She’s substituted Google’s Blogger team – who handled security, load balancing and updates on her behalf – for a local developer who picked up the source code from Github.

The difference is already apparent.

Pasted image at 2016_11_01 07_43 PM

Users were stuck outside waiting for their confirmation emails for almost half an hour. Some users couldn’t even log in for hours due to, it seems, load. Response times for the social site are much slower than her blog. She will have to find support to fix this and scale the product. She’s also going to find out that, at her size, hosting ain’t free.

4. Bye-bye anonymity

Pasted image at 2016_11_01 07_43 PM (1)

Linda Ikeij’s comments are extremely entertaining – partially because the writers are anonymous (or pseudonymous). Creating a social network forces them to create profiles and cultivate followers – which in turn, might force them to reveal their identities.
This might mean a different type of interaction – which might be good for the product in the long run. Time will tell.

5. You either pay the users or…

Everyone’s making a big deal about paying users for submitting original content. I’m not sure how this will work out in the long run – there’s a ton of incentives to simply “make up” stuff, and it’s not as if Linda’s team has been the bastion of fact-checking.
But I am interested in the idea of using giveaways to drive usage. There’s a saying, “you either pay advertisers or you pay the users”. It’s obvious who Linda has decided to pay.

6. This feels a lot like China

The thing I love most about the internet in China is how the UI and product choices are so different from anywhere in the world, it’s completely insane.

WeChat is probably the best example of this – one product that has so many products inside it, it feels so confusing. And yet it works. That was the thinking between bringing Snapchat’s “story” format into Instagram. It was supposed to be “too much” and yet it works.

That’s how I feel about the e-commerce bit tagged on to a social network tagged on to a social site. It feels a lot like China.
This might be how Linda Ikeji’s users might get to use e-commerce. Who know? I don’t know.

In fact, it’s safe to say that we don’t know how this product will end up because we don’t know anything. We don’t know if Linda will be able to solve her tech products. We don’t know for sure that people will use it as more than an advanced commenting system for Linda Ikeji’s blog.

All I do know for sure is that it’ll be very difficult for this to fail.

Read this next
More From TC
TechCabal Daily, 842 - Bosun Tijani leads 80 industry stakeholders on a two-day summit over the AfCFTA
AfCFTA, Business, ecosystem, Entrepreneurship, Events, Government
15th August 2019

And so to Kigali. On Thursday, August 15, more than 80 people from 30 African countries gathered in the sleepy and well-manicured Rwandan capital to discuss how to create a framework to ensure the success of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). Industry leaders in the technology and creative ecosystems were in attendance on […]

Gokada shuts down for two weeks in bid to reboot operations
Blog, Business, Internet, News, Ridesharing, Technology
14th August 2019

Gokada, the popular bike hailing startup, has stopped all mobility operations for the next two weeks. In a Medium post, CEO Fahim Saleh, announced that the Gokada app will be temporarily disabled and all bikers will be off the road during this period.

TechCabal is a Big Cabal Media brand

Copyright © 2019
All rights reserved

Privacy & Terms