by ‘Ifreke Inyang
Iyinoluwa Aboyeji is the Director of Research and Development, Empowerment Squared and the co-founder of Bookneto (www.bookneto.com). What makes all these titles more interesting is that he is just 20! He recently spoke to YNaija about Twitter.
“It can be a time waster. You have to know the limits.”
What were you doing before the days of Twitter?
Those days existed? Well I was probably on Facebook then, or in school without Internet.
How did you get on Twitter?
I got on Twitter in February, 2009 to be very specific. I was really lonely on Valentine’s day and I figured somehow joining Twitter was a good use of my time.
Will you say more Nigerians are gradually moving to Twitter from other social networking sites?
There is generally that perception. It’s much easier and faster to communicate on Twitter than on feature laden Facebook and the network is wider and more serendipitous so I can definitely see the obvious appeal.
How does Twitter help with what you do?
Well, I run a business so I usually have to get advice from a lot of people about what works best and learn about new things in my industry. I also have to build a lot of credibility with potential customers/consumers both within and outside of my industry and Twitter helps me connect with smart and influential people that can help me do that.
Who would you say is your favourite tweeter?
That’s tough. It would definitely have to be between Teju Cole and Tolu Ogunlesi.
Which tweeter are you most looking forward to meet when next you are in the country?
Akintunde Oyebode (@A01379). The man’s middle name is wisdom.
Have you had any embarrassing/memorable experience on Twitter? If yes, what happened?
I have had lots of moments on Twitter. I tend to be very contrarian so I get into a lot of intellectual arguments especially about politics. I think one memorable moment was when I shut down my account for a while to cool off after a big argument. It was humbling to see people cared at all.
What are the downsides of being on Twitter?
It can be a time waster. You have to know the limits.
How much power does the social media have these days?
It depends on what you consider power but I don’t think social media in itself is powerful but its ability to scale communities and connect “random” people definitely is. I haven’t met many of my Twitter friends in real life but I have connected with them in a lot of ways already and it is pretty remarkable how this would have been significantly harder without social media.
Is it only via Twitter you stay in touch with what is happening back home in Nigeria?
Definitely not. I have a family still in Nigeria and I talk to them regularly. I also try to read daily Newspapers everyday and I am on a couple very active listserv (the Hausa ones are particularly active). I think Twitter does give me some perspective with regards to how people on the ground are reacting to the news but it can’t replace news for me.
How does it feel to be this young and yet a lot of people respect your opinions?
It’s humbling and motivating. I do my best to read up and educate myself to the extent that I can -so I don’t spew nonsense.
Do you think Twitter will one day have a major influence on politics?
I think Twitter will definitely be a rallying point for a lot of intellectual conversation about the issues involving the country. And as more politician come on board, there might even be a chance for direct political engagement. That said, I don’t think it will have a “major” influence. It is important not to overstate Twitter’s influence
Describe your Twitter persona.
Do you follow back readily?
It depends. I like to follow interesting people so I can parrot what they say.
What would make you close your Twitter account?
An angry girlfriend.
Twitter Stats (As at 10.22pm, 17th November, 2011)
Favourite tweets: 47
About Our Twitter Series:
First there was radio, then satellite television, the internet and now… Twitter! In just a few years, this social networking platform has changed the face of communication and convergence around the world. Even news now breaks on Twitter first! As the connoisseurs of popular culture, YNaija created its Twitter series (Twitter Round-up, Twitter Round-up Xtra & You Tweet) with the aim of profiling this New World of information, connection and – in all honesty – fun! At YNaija we think of Twitter as the new, global office water cooler. Gather round!
Iyinoluwa Aboyeji is the Director of Research and Development, Empowerment Squared and the Co-Founder of Bookneto (www.bookneto.com). And what makes his achievement the more interesting is that he is just 20! He talked to YNaija about Twitter.