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Do Nigerians distrust Google?

Dammy Krane looking over shoulder

There’s something strange about the way Nigerians are using Google search. If you compare the number of Google searches coming from Nigeria, it’s disproportionately low compared to other African countries, relative to online population size.

Let me give you an example. According to Google trends, the most popular searches in any country are typically three things: the name of that country, the word ‘facebook’ and the word ‘news’. Nigeria has 59 million internet users, three times more than Kenya has. And yet, Kenya has double the amount of searches Continue Reading…

How to spot local trends using Google’s hidden tool

Kente inspired sweatshirt

Can I see local fashion trends using Google’s Keyword Planner?

That’s what I am wondering this week.

Let’s imagine that I own a clothing business in Tanzania, and I wanted to know if there is a growing demand for a specific fabric style in a neighbouring country, such as Kenya.  One way I could get the answer is by relying on trend forecasters, market research or online articles about fashion in Kenya.

But what if I wanted to know that answer for 20 African countries? What if I needed up-to-date figures that I can compare, instead of one person’s subjective opinion?

So I played around with Google’s Keyword Planner, which is actually Continue Reading…

Analytics doesn’t know you’re cool

Cool Wayfarers Google analytics graph

You may not be aware of this, but every time you visit a website, the owner knows about it.  They know what city you’re in, what web browser you’re using and how many seconds you spent on each page. They don’t know your name though, so don’t worry. They see this visitor data using web analytics tools such as Google Analytics or Webtrends. If it’s a big website, every thousand visits from someone like you mean they can charge advertisers more. The job performance of the person running the site is also probably measured by how many people visit the site.

There is one thing they don’t know about you when they look at the web stats. They don’t know if Continue Reading…

We need a virtual bookshelf

Kindle or audible?

That’s the question I asked myself two weeks ago. I wanted to get Tim Harford’s Adapt but didn’t want to wait for a hardcopy of the book to be shipped to South Africa. So I could either download it as an audiobook from or get the e-book from Amazon and read it using Kindle for PC. I ended up going the Audible route but bought this e-book because I wanted to try out both formats.

I’ve enjoyed both books, but there is one problem. I can’t put them on my shelf.

To anyone that collects books, albums or games, part of the pleasure of owning it is not just knowing what you have, but seeing what you have.  You want to be able to arrange it. You want to proudly display it to other people.

What’s needed is a virtual bookshelf app that people can put on their Facebook pages, tablets and desktops that will display all the books, albums and games they’ve bought online. Items on the shelf will need to be securely verified by vendors such as Amazon, Audible, Steam, GOG, Rhythmmusicstore etc. This will prevent users from displaying things they may like, but haven’t paid for, essentially a favourites list.

I’m not suggesting this because I want online vendors to be richer. The aim is to increase the exposure and income of independent writers, designers and musicians. A crucial feature of this virtual shelf is that it should display the date the item was purchased. This provides an incentive to invest in the work of new creators so that you can later win those “I knew about them before you” disputes with friends.

This week, I’d like to buy this album by goema punk band The Genuines. I’ve tried stores at the Waterfront, with no success.  If I buy it online it’ll just go into the Music folder on my hard drive with countless other albums I got from friends.

If I had a virtual shelf, that problem would be solved.


Credits: thanks to Johan for pointing out the early adopter incentive.