I have been thinking of doing a series for sometime now that I was going to call “Clone Wars” in which I was going to discuss Nigerian sites that are copies of international sites and look at the pros and cons of that approach to internet commerce. It was a series I was going to treat with a lot of care because while my initial thinking was that cloning wasn’t a good idea or something that I respected, I have since rethought that perspective I realised that there is actually a lot of potential and validity to cloning if handled well.
Well, about a week ago, Techmasai (Munashe Gumbonzvanda) wrote a post entitled “Opinion Piece: An Experiment To Utilize Mostly African Social Media Platforms” in which he said he was going to stop using non-African internet tools where possible as an experiment and to “focus and engage our primary audience more openly and regularly.”
I wrote a comment on that post:
“I'd like to see how your experiment plays out. How do you measure it as a success or not a success? It's not an experiment if there isn't something you measure and results you can share. May take on using African social media is that they have to give me something more than the competition. In other words they have to give me more value the others. So for instance with twitter, I can log on to disqus with my twitter account to post this. I can't with gistcaster. In such I pay the highest compliment to our local entrepreneurs by holding them to the same standard I would the international equivalent. They have to provide me at least as much value as their better known competition or they have to give me something compelling that the others can't. No one international gives me what www.1spotsearch.com gives me for instance, on the other none of our pan-African social networks gives me what I get from say facebook. In summary, I need differentiation from any web app from me to use it, whereever it comes from.”