If social media were on a runway,it would be moving at the speed of light.That wouldn’t be a ‘mith’.(pun intended).
Look,social media’s sporadic growth by far has not spared the barriers set by the traditional forms of media.The worst bit is, the latter is miserably playing catchup.
Photo Credit: serc.carleton.edu
On a chilly morning of 5th November 2012, the seemingly cunning sun rays slowly broke into the vicinity creating a pleasant ambience.
The national examinations body had marked this date as the commencement of the Primary Leaving Examinations(PLE).However many of the ardent social media users were caught unaware except those with acquitances related in the aforementioned primary level.
The sun rays action on Serotonin triggered twitter users into a trend the has gone enormously viral.The trend originally started by The talkative rocker alias beewol made headlines as it was taken on by multitudes of local tweeps.Many of them,took the to spotlight in exposing the flaws in government,companies and the like with such sarcasm,satire and ferocity! From stats it could have made it to the worlwide trends save for the few misunderstood technicalities.Unfortunately many of these primary seven lads can’t access(not signed up) twitter.
This is indeed relevation that Ugandans and Africans at large are ready for social media as a platform for change, freedom of speech as well as airing their grievances.Power indeed lies in the hands of the people,Let’s use it to impact a change.
The enormous gist of writing this blog post is to critique the two major components regarding the usage of mobile technologies and apps. The distribution channel or the content??
Down in the slums of Kamwokya, Kampala, Uganda, waste material is littered allover due to the poor drainage system. When it rains, the running water on being hindered by the blocked trenches, devises alternative routes because it has to flow lest flooding occurs. Let’s test this!!In an electrical circuit, current only flows in the path with the least resistance regardless of the loops to flow in. However the flow could be stopped by blocking of the circuit.
How do I relate this from the aforementioned topic??
From a simple glance at metrics, one would see that people download more apps like Talking Tom Cat over resourceful or content filled apps like WordBook (have you even heard about it?). You don’t need rocket science to see the appalling state of the status-quo of the local communities especially in the outskirts of the city. There is actually dire need by the locals to consume empowering content instead. The novelty, as one of the contributing factors, of the ICT4D especially in Uganda is an incentive to the development of mass coverage mobile apps relative to problem solving. This drives me to the point of crisis mapping and identification of problems.Well it’s cliché that consumers don’t really know what they want no matter the kind of problems on board. Apparently, this laxity has spearheaded the massive consumption of junk apps over content filled apps simply because of the different avenues used in their distribution.
In one of the 7C’s of media, Content is actually king (said to be king) but who really buys news/content without controversy or icing? And besides there is nothing like bad publicity so you could write, design and develop whatever you like. That is the niche many have created and unfortunately masses have followed suite to this trend. The cliché of getting rich quick is amongst the most trending and probably has sired the creation of junk filled apps as long as there is fun in using them.
Creation/Delivering of content is one of the most expensive things besides marketing. Sites like Wikipedia (23 million pages) have invested colossal sums of money in compiling the content they have, but others like facebook have created a highly addictive and engaging channel from where content is shared on the timelines in preference to the user’s specifications. Unfortunately we are wired to think that novelty is what really matters, hence the unspoken struggle by technology entrepreneurs to create the next facebook instead of looking at perhaps a differentiated business model to a problem or issues that while yet addressed could use some refreshed thinking.
Stats from the Google play show gaming and weather apps account for the majority of app downloads. Such metrics could be used by developers in writing content basing on the blockbuster category of apps. Maybe the final users need something more engaging, entertaining and mindboggling not the intricate patterns plainly presented by “raw” content.
Whichever direction you follow, I believe these two key components are inextricably interwoven. Time is the greatest resource you will invest to attain satiety.