Tuesday, August 31, 2010


This is my 100th blog post on Digital Crossings.

I started this blog in order to start writing again. As a university student, I had fully planned writing to be a key part of what I do for the rest of my life. Of course, like many can imagine, things didn’t work out that way. After putting writing on my New Year’s resolutions lists for several years, in 2009 I actually started writing again. I didn’t care what I wrote as long as I could write (call it my Startup story if you like @Possicon). I wanted to write regularly, so I committed to writing at least once a week. As an IT guy, I chose to write, what I imagined would be easy, non-controversial and would not require a lot of regular effort. 128349059_9d72641d5b

From that perspective, this exercise has been an unqualified success. Since February of 2009, I have written a blog post every Tuesday and a few more besides. It hasn’t always been effortless or non-controversial, but it has been a lot of fun. Right now, I can’t imagine not writing weekly.

And yet there won’t be a Digital Crossings post next week Tuesday or for many Tuesdays to come. This is the blog post in which I press the “Pause” button on Digital Crossings.

In the process of writing, I haven’t just been putting words out there. I have also, as a consequence of this writing, done a lot of learning. I have learned about technology initiatives going on around the world in the internet space. I have also come in contact with various people around the Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world, doing creative things. Their stories have made me think, their actions have impressed me, and their challenges have, well, challenged me.

All this has made me realise that at the minimum, I have to re-think this blog, what its focus is and what its future should be. On a bigger scope, I also have to reconsider what I bring to the Nigerian and global tech community. I work in corporate IT. Corporate IT doesn’t really have a local voice serving its needs in Nigeria in the way that TechRepublic, Eweek, CIO Magazine and the rest serve Western and global business IT. Getting involved in collaborative ventures where IT professionals in my company, in my industry and other industries can grow professionally may be worth pursuing. On the other hand, there are a vast range of possibilities in the Nigerian internet space (43.9 million users?!). I have spoken extensively on what startups and internet businesses should be doing and I can either continue to be an armchair analyst or build something and put it out there. Clearly one is easier than the other, but the other is far better than the one. Then there are partnership opportunities with some of the existing efforts and many technological delights to just enjoy and explore without necessarily being analytical about them. Furthermore, tech was never my first love in writing.

These are just thoughts running through my head, but to harness them (or to quell them) I do need to step away from my central platform, this blog, for a while. So for the next few months (about 2 or 3, but I have not fully decided yet) there will be no regular blog post from me on this site. However, every once in a while, when I am intrigued enough (or riled) enough I will put pen to paper or finger to key and write. I will also still be very much  a Twitteratti, I will still be part of conversations around the blogosphere and will graciously accept (hint, hint) opportunities to write for people.

Quite a number of amazing people have made this first part of my journey as a blogger a rich and fulfilling one. There’s Startups Nigeria’s Loy Okezie who has been in many ways my entry point into the community and continues to open doors. Sheriff Shittu (and I still don’t know what his @Possicon Twitter handle means) of Webtrends Nigeria whose his passion and leadership in the space have been inspirational. There’s ICT Works’ Wayan Vota who connects many dots across Africa and the West and was the first to republish one of my posts. Mambe Nanje of Naijaborn and Camerborn (and all sorts of “borns”) stands out as the single largest commentator in a blog devoid of actual conversation. Then there’s the Titanic Gbenga Sesan whom I have never met in person, but who was instrumental in getting some of my work into newspapers and industry publications. His incredible energy for the people reminds me constantly of what the tech is really about. To these and other tech professionals and enthusiasts who I have encountered along the way and those few hundreds who have endured my multiplicity of words, I say thank you. Very much.


Pause button courtesy of Greenlantern33 on Flickr.com