Thursday, September 10, 2009

Nostalgia-based business ideas: can they really work?

Occassaionally I run into websites that were created solely to take a general purpose idea and put a Nigerian spin on it. For example: Facebook for Nigerians, NaijaFeed (an aggregation of anything related to Nigeria on the web); Sturvs.com (a Nigerian social bookmarking website) etc etc

I admit I am not the most hardcore Nigerian person but can these sites really survive long term (i.e. past 6 months)? Is there really a marketable demand for Nigerian news that can't be found on Google News? Who would take the trouble to register on FacebookForNigerians when all of us are on the real facebook? NaijaFeed is ok but Nigerians that really care about Nigerian news know the websites of all the Nigerian newspaper. Besides, all the American-born Nigerian kids don't care that much about the fatherland. The ones that care were born and are stuck in Nigeria. Once they come here, I doubt they'll go to NaijaFeed to get news of the place they just left. So apart from old-time Nigerians and perhaps the casually-interested non-Nigerian, who exactly are the target audience of sites like these?