The success of any new technology can be measured by its impact on the users of such technologies. Often times because of the digital bridge in Africa it is more difficult to define the socio-economic and cultural implications with new technologies and how they affect the people. This has also made it more challenging finding the interception of Technologies within the community.
Social media and its technologies has uniquely become the interception between technology, the people, government and life within the ecosystem bringing about great interaction and collaboration. Suddenly everything has gone social!
Technology tools that are propagating the social media is the mobile phones, mobile devices and the Internet. The impact of Mobile phones on Nigerians is enormous as Nigeria has the largest and most vibrate Mobile Market in Africa. This has brought with it trends like mobile social commerce and Mobile social networking all powered via the Internet. Other trends like the cloud computing, big data, digital marketing are becoming increasingly relevant with social analysis and social features. Social Media and the mobile devices gave most people, organization and even the government their first online presence. These are great tools in the history of man that have had great impact on man’s socio-economic and cultural patterns.
The use of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Scribblelive, Google+, YouTube, linkedIn,2go, eskimi, has placed so much power((the new power in our hands) at the disposal of the people, they brought openness to information about government, made it easy and fast to propagate information from one point to another at the speed of thought, brought about increased interaction and collaboration. It has given brands a platform for marketing, promotion of their goods and services thereby bringing them closer to their customers and serving their ever increasing needs. Social media have greatly impacted how businesses are done today especially enhancing the ecommerce industry in Nigeria through social commerce. An interesting part of it is that they serve also as a platform for crowdsourcing of information, ideas and resources for development and social good. Social media single-handedly revolutionized the media industry in a way we never anticipated in the history of man showcasing the power of the web.
With these benefits of social media mentioned above, it becomes a great task galvanizing all of these happening in the virtual world to the real world to solve real situation. One event-The social Media Week Lagos is doing that already making great impact in Nigeria. No wonder towards the end of 2012 during a discussion with Obi Asika, he hinted me that in February 2013 something big will begin to happen in Lagos. Just as he said, the 2013 edition of Social Media Week Lagos (SMW Lagos) was such an interesting event in the region that it became one of the events that shaped the technology ecosystem of 2013 in Nigeria. Combining the vibrancy of the city of Lagos with the creative brilliance of the Nigerian young minds, Social Media Week Lagos in its debut made a great impact as part of the global Social Media Week (SMW).
Social Media Week has become a leading platform and event with global reach across five continents, including Africa, North America, South America, Europe and Asia that explores the social, cultural and economic impact of social media. Twice a year (in February and September) the week-long conference and festival is held in multiple cities across the globe simultaneously. The idea is to help people and organizations connect through collaboration, learning and the sharing of ideas and information.
This global event is significant because it brings together thought leaders, key stakeholders and the general public to explore issues that are important for the modern and a connected world. Annually over 65,000 people attend the global conference. This year alone SMW garnered over 5,000 press mentions with over 1 million people viewing SMW content via the internet.
In February 2013 Lagos, Nigeria joined the Social Media Week Community as the first African city to host the event. Alongside ten other cities including Hamburg, Milan, New York, Singapore, and Tokyo, Social Media Week Lagos Made History. Analysts have said that despite the fact that SMW Lagos is just in its 2nd year, it has become one of the largest, tech, new media and business conference in Africa attracting some of the continent’s future leaders and thinkers, top brands, professionals, learners, the Government and creative minds.
For 2014 Social Media Week Lagos event with the theme: A Connected Africa is the Future, Over 80 independent free and open events are scheduled to take place across the city of Lagos from February 17-21. These events touch different areas of life be it Entertainment, Education, Business, Governance, Media, Advocacy, Law, Entrepreneurship etc.
It is quite obvious that this is one platform that has a lot of influence, emphasizing in no small measure the power the people has to drive the needed changes in Nigeria. And so as the Social Media Week Lagos begins in few weeks, let us start looking at how we can together use these events to effect the needed social, economic, political and cultural changes that our country needs at this time. The world is watching, the power is in our hands and the time is now!