I just got off the phone with Joshua Wanyama – the Kenyan entrepreneur and founder of Spectrum Interactive based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was talking to me about their newest venture, African Path, a website that aggregates news on Africa.
The interesting thing about African Path is that he has also set up a blogger’s section. So far, 7 bloggers have committed to writing for African Path with another 7 possible. That’s a fairly significant number of people to add to the team, and I think it could be pretty big. What it will need is a steady increase in the amount of bloggers using African Path as a platform.
From the press release email:
A lot of African bloggers are discussing issues relevant to the continent but online exposure to these blogs is limited. African Path aims to provide this much needed exposure. We aim to fill the void left by big media in covering information on Africa and providing a forum in which Africans can discuss issues concerning themselves both within and outside the continent.
The African News Demographic
One of the most interesting points that Joshua mentioned was that they are seeing most of their traffic come from the African diaspora, not from Africa itself. Only about 5-10% in fact. Granted, this is a new website and it will take time to make a name for itself and its brand. However, those statistics are pretty interesting.
I asked Neville to run the numbers on Muti as well, and got a snapshot estimate of around 15%. So, the trend is that a great deal of African news readers are actually NOT in Africa. What does that mean?
I think it means that there are two great opportunities for business development. African Path is headed towards being a source of news and information for the African Diaspora. There is still the opportunity to be the digital news outlet for Africans in Africa. If you’ve read any of my stuff, you know that I think the winner of this race will go to the best mobile platform.
Since I’m in web application development myself, it’s always interesting to talk to my counterparts. Joshua was no exception. He’s obviously a very intelligent person with big ideas and he made a comment that made me realize that he truly does understand what web application is all about.
“There is thinking and there is talking and there is actually doing something.”
I couldn’t agree more. There are so many people standing on the sidelines with their great ideas and wonderful conversations. I want to see more people like Joshua who actually get stuff done. A web application is never done – push that baby live at 80%, at least you’ll start getting some exposure and feedback to help you improve it.