I will easily pass as an early adopter of digital platforms because of my enthusiasm with all things digital. For instance, I believe Flipboard, TED, SoundCloud, The Guardian (UK), The New Yorker, Intelligence Squared, Thenetng, Wikipedia, Humans of New York etc. etc. – I could go on - are the coolest things before humans started counting coolest things. They’ve become parts of how I perceive and engage with the world.
I’ve been curious to know how other people engage with digital platforms – ideas, properties, products etc. I reached out to friends who, by my estimation, are digital natives too, to know how personal they relate with their favourite digital platform. Below are interesting responses.
Spotify, Jowhor Ile
A commercial music streaming service. Some of it is free but, with a monthly fee, you gain access to a music library that plays whatever you want (if they have it, and they have most things), whenever you want. You don’t have to be online to have access as you can download your playlists to your device.
There is great pleasure in compiling playlists. I have discovered obscure but great Nigerian psychedelic bands from the ‘70’s. Also, ready-made playlists for whatever occasion or mood imaginable: Sensual Massage; Hip-hop work out; Late Night in Jail (those bars are only in your head. We hope).
Whoever said technology killed romance lied! No need to post mix-tapes to your lover. Just send a link of your Spotify playlist.
There are on-going debates about the viability of Spotify’s funding model for artists, but the more users go premium, the more sustainable it becomes.
* Jowhor Ile is a writer from Port Harcourt. His debut novel is with the publishers.
Google, Lola Okusami
I search for everything on Google. I ruin first dates because I already googled you. And so rather than getting to know each other, I end up telling you about yourself. So now you're sitting there twiddling your thumbs, wondering if you should call the police.
I ride my bicycle to work sometimes, and ever since I was a child, I've been scared to stand on my bike while cycling. I typed in "stand while riding bike" and 8,200,000 instructional articles showed up. So now I can ride my bike standing up. The first time I attempted it, I was wearing ballet flats and one came loose. I almost lost a foot in the process. I was mad. Google didn’t say to be sure to wear sturdy closed shoes when attempting to ride standing. So while I'll admit that Google is not perfect, it comes pretty damn close. :)
* Lola Okusami is a writer and emerging filmmaker who lives in an imaginary small town at the border between Nigeria and the United States. She’s currently working on a platform to celebrate people of African descent in fashion, film, music, literature & culture.
Pocket, Oluseun Onigbinde
As a busy social entrepreneur, I constantly juggle impact and profit. I also read many articles that validate or disrupt existing opinions. The cluttered page of the web, the haste of work activities and the ease to read pieces across devices all find harmony in the Pocket App. Life is pleasant because of its sync feature across multiples devices, its clean user interface and the ease of adding links from Google Chrome, Twitter etc. Its clean format particularly makes for an effortless reading experience. For a content junkie like me, the Pocket App came fully made.
* Oluseun Onigbinde, Lead Partner of BudgIT, a civic organization using infographics, interactive applications and other creative means to present budgets to Nigerian citizens. He is an Ashoka & Knight Innovation Fellow.
Gawker, Sam Adeoye
Whachu Gawking At? See, I like Twitter, Facebook, Pocket, Instagram, Medium, the New Yorker, Mother Jones and all but Gawker is that site that changed my life. That's without prejudice to the movie The Social Network that started the life-changey thing for me. Gawker rarely produces 'original' content in the traditional sense of the word. They piggyback on other people’s work by re-interpreting media reports and adding their own snark. They are so good at it that I prefer to read their version of politics, entertainment, human interest, and tech news. You may also think that because Nick Denton (Gawker Founder) and his surprisingly well-schooled and smart writers might have challenges attracting intelligent readers - I mean, they basically only aggregate other people's writing, right? - but they don't have such problems.
Much respect to Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Business Insider and ReCode but I believe that Gawker rocks like cocaine.
* Sam Adeoye is an Entrepreneur and Writer-in-search-of-an-outlet-moonlighting-as-an-adman.
Wikipedia, Chioma Agwuegbo
When Nigeria got introduced to bombs on her birthday a couple years ago, I needed to understand why. So I came to you, to reap where others sow daily. And I did.
You’re like a multi-level fantasy game, feeding my desire to know one date after the other, literally stopping me from doing anything else, and nearly getting me queried that one time!
You’re my escape, my place of absolute randomness, and I hate to miss your offerings each day. I’m careful though, because Momma said not everyone comes to you with the truth. But even that is a good thing, because just like real life, I’ve learned to only take as law when I have confirmation elsewhere.
But I’m grateful for you. Thank you for coloring my conversations, being the best time-filler, and ensuring I know something about some things. Actually, a lot of things.
Thank you, Wikipedia.
* Chioma Agwuegbo is a Social Media Strategist and Editor. I love to read, cook, and play with my adorable nephew!
Abiyamo (A Facebook Page), Adelakun Adunni Abimbola
Abiyamo remains one of my favorite hunts on Facebook. The page is an information hub for a range of issues the founder, Dr. Adebayo Ahmed Adebola, can conjure. I find the eclecticism of the ideas he churns out regularly a constant appeal. Abiyamo relates to you in a chatty manner whether writing archival pieces, or presenting facts on popular (and the ones we no longer care about because their names dropped out of the news long ago) Nigerians, or other random Nigerian phenomenon. Reading the posers Abiyamo puts on the page, and the responses of the audience, is almost like having a conversation with folks you just met at the newspaper vendor’s. Yes, that space in Nigeria we call Free Readers’ Association where a group of (un)likeminded Nigerians meets to argue over any and everything, in compensation for the information they just gleaned from the newspaper freely!
* Abimbola Adunni Adelakun is a Writer, Reader, Scholar, Seeker, and Mischief-Maker. Popularly called Adunni.
MailChimp, Naomi Lucas
I’m a very active social media user and I engage with people across most platforms but MailChimp comes with a different kind of feeling. Get this; there is no engagement on MailChimp. The fun comes from using the product. I think the creators did an amazing job anticipating and then meeting the needs of people who do bulk emails but find it dreary. I actually look forward to sending out newsletters once every week. And there’s a part where a chimp’s finger waits on a red send button with text that says, “Bla bla bla…this is your moment of glory.” It never stops amusing me. Who would have thought such boring work could be fun?
* Naomi Lucas Entrepreneur. Project Manager. Youth Development Expert. Media and Communications Advisor. Blogger. 5.10 feet of chocolate sunshine; in no particular order :)
Zite, Bayo Oshin
Zite is the first thing I scroll through in the morning and the last I click on at night. It’s a news aggregator. It helps to collect great content on specific topics of interest to me. I have varied interests and over time, Zite has done an excellent job in bringing me the stories that meet my needs. From photography techniques to current affairs, it’s all delivered to me via the unique algorithms in the backend.
Zite’s design is very simple with no bells and whistles. You might ask why not use Flipboard? I see Flipboard as being more geared towards websites whereas Zite focuses on topics/stories. I will miss Zite once it’s no longer supported, as Flipboard has acquired it.
This is an ode to a companion who saved me the stress of logging on several websites and checking RSS feeds daily.
So long farewell Zite.
* Bayo Oshin Amateur photographer, Avid gamer, Lover of all things geeky, Collector of gadgets. Glory Glory Man United.
Societe Generale Online Bank Portal, Shari Hammond
It started probably 5 years ago, in the middle of boring constitutional law classes. My banker had told me that I would be able to monitor my expenses much easily via their online and mobile app. I was skeptical at first but it has now become part of my daily rituals: grab a cup of coffee and login into my bank account and see if I can congratulate or punish myself. It has become addictive as it helps me manage my expenses like never before and therefore contributing to my wellbeing and financial education. And the iPad version got me hooked (I got my own avatar!).
* Shari Hammond is a multicultural soul on the run.
Facebook, Jesse Adeniji
Facebook is my favourite digital patch. I love that it's evolved from being a simple connection platform into an aggregation behemoth with a smorgasbord of juicy social offerings - business, connection, library service, and protest.
It means a small business like mine could tap into the 2 billion local connections between business and local people, integrate backwards into the website and reach more people in different countries than the traditional media placement would allow, in logistics and cost.
It's a leveler of sorts.
Personally, I get news via pages I liked and friend's shares, whilst also enjoying being a voyeur flipping through the photos of the high school crush.
We haven't had the Nigerian Spring yet but protests have been coordinated around the world. It serves the purpose of archiving pictures and visuals and thoughts, via notes publishing, as well.
What's not to like about it?
* Jesse Adeniji, trends fiend, ideas hawk, tech voyeur. Been around the marketing communication industry but now consults for businesses and people