Thursday, April 30, 2009


Swurl was an aggrigator of all one's web content, a life stream if will, of all one's activity on the interweb. Then one day it was no more. Just like that. Gone.

Certain blogs have made mention of some sort of "goodby note" that was left by the creators of that read:

"We built Swurl as two guys doing something we love in our spare time. Unfortunately, due to the pressures of our day jobs and other distractions, we can no longer support or maintain the service at the level that we think our users deserve."

I for one never saw that note since (as you might have noticed) now takes you to some ebay page, so I cannot verify this. Good news is, since swurl was an aggregator, no user content was lost. However, the fact that swurl just shut its doors and dissappeard raises an intersting question and and sounds a distinct alarm: in this world where everything is quickly going "paperless", and massive amounts of information are being digitalized and stored on the net (in some cases ONLY on the net), what safeguards have been built to make sure that information published online don't just disappear when the platform it was published on does?

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Web marketing in developing countries

A friend recently sent me this link: with the word "Thoughts?" attached to it. I had a little to say about it and I figured I'd post my response here. Please let me know what you think about this by sending my an e-mail or leaving a comment. Thanks.

"I think Henry (friend 1 on e-mail list) and Seyram (sender of link) have between themselves presented the crux of the problem: 1. FB and other social networking sites that depend on advertising to survive cannont charge local companies the same amount of money they charge here (U.S.) for advertising. 2. Ghana and other developing countries are not integrated into the global payment processing system so even if people wanted to buy, they couldn't. Additionally however, I strongly believe that home grown businesses in developing countries like ours have not gotten to the point where they fully appreciate the power of internet marketing (and it makes perfect sense that they should not-- I don't believe that more than 30% of the population of Ghana even has access to the net). For that reason, most people might be quite reluctant to shell out the big bucks for this purpose.

Now if some Ghanainan company came up with an awesome online advertising business like Paa Kwasi suggested, that would be quite nice for all involved. However, they'd still have to contend with the high bandwith vs. low return on advertising sales problem. Paa Kwasi, you made mention of myjoyonline: does anyone know how much profit (if any) myjoyonline is making from the advertising business? Also, is it sustainable or are people just jumping onto the bandwagon for the moment because some sweet tongued exec. has promised them that it's the wave of the future? Are companies going to stop advertising when they realize that their advertising money isn't being translated into sales? I don't know the answers, but I do believe that before we can get full swing into the internet advertising game ( and be profitable at it) learn to walk before we run, otherwise, invent a way to fly so you can skip the walk phase. This basically translates into us (Ghana and others) building the infrastructure to allow us to plug into the global payment system so people can actually buy, otherwise, we should figure out an entirely different way to allow advertising to translate into money. If/when this happens, people will be less reluctant to spend good solid amounts of money on internet advertising.

Thank you :)."

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