DigitalNews Today: October 2015

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Verses From Edith






Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2015 No comments

Thursday, October 22, 2015

With the advancement of technology and a growing community of Nigerian netizens, it is time for us to be more relevant by using technology and social media as an effective tool of open and unrestricted communication for a more peaceful world. It was amazing therefore to find out Gaius Chibueze, a 27 year old Nigerian socialtechpreneur who gave an interesting but amazing awakening to Nigerians, nay, the entire world when he announced his decision to visit all his Facebook friends across the globe with the aim of promoting peace, and happiness among and within all nations and/or peoples in the very midst of growing conflicts, wars, terrorism, displaced persons and vulnerable children.

I was equally attracted by the question posted by an online friend on her blog and I dare to ask the same question in this post due to the high value of its social capital: “Will world peace always be a “Utopian” dream? Is open unrestricted communication, amongst different cultures and across unlimited boarders, the way to achieve world peace? Are social media platforms and services slowly paving the path to a better, more peaceful tomorrow for all?”

Facebook as a tool, connects people from all over the world even in unexpected places. Here’s a look at how many new friendships formed over the last week.

Facebook has always been proud to play a part in promoting peace by building technology that helps people better understand each other. By enabling people from diverse backgrounds to easily connect and share their ideas, Facebook believes it can decrease world conflict in the short and long term.
The media has definitely become a powerful tool of mobilization to promote peace and to model peaceful problem solving as an alternative to violence. The noble initiative nick named Mr. Facebook World Tour, is an adventurous international peace tour designed to use the popular social media platform Facebook to cushion the effect of the turbulent circumstances around the world and to preach peace and the unity and oneness so much needed by the human race. The world is plagued by economic depressions, immigrant’s hazardous experiences, terrorism, child slavery, unfavorable climate change and poverty. Across the world we see frustration and pains on the faces of people. This project according to Gaius is to reach out in love and happiness in order to unite a world that will provide a better life for humanity.

The vision of Mr. Facebook World Tour is embedded in Gaius passionate desire and hope to see a nation (Nigeria) and a world filled with peace, oneness of purpose and respect for the human life. Gaius belief is that if people can shun racism, greed, ego, and religious fanatism and if poverty can be eradicated and education is given a priority in the scheme of activities, then the world will be a better place.

Social media is evolving and the pace of innovation and applications of social media to peace building has accelerated with Internet technology, social networking and mobile telephony. Part of creating communities that can advance peace building is harnessing the power of the media to draw people together, to promote conflict management and resolution, and to create the public will to change attitudes and behaviors. Social media further shows that there is an untapped wealth of people who want to support peace both in their own community and internationally. 
This probably explains why the Mr Facebook World Tour Initiative is receiving so much attention and commendation, mostly from netizens from different part of the world who are keen to use social media tools as a powerful tool in spreading peace and happiness and who are ready to be game changers. As the emergence of internal and external threats surrounds the world, there is no better time for such a noble initiative.

The Coca –Cola brand is widely regarded as a universal language as it is consumed in every nook and cranny of the planet. It has become the symbol of happiness and global unity.

It is therefore not a surprise that this world tour is packaged around the Coca- Cola and Facebook reach out audience.

Mr. Facebook Tour Mode of Outreach

Currently Gaius Chibueze maintains less than 5000 thousand friends cut across all continents of the world. He intends to officially start from his home country Nigeria and his home continent Africa. Arrangements will be made on how friends from all over such chosen location will welcome him at the airport or any Coca- Cola brand Office in such country. On his arrival with his media team, he will proceed to a mini event center already prepared where he meets, familiarize, educate, and share cans of the Coca-Cola drink with his Facebook Friends while other Facebook users in such cities will tag along to be part of the visit.

Such Facebook friends present will sign their names on an awareness board to indicate their stand for peace, unity and oneness of the world.

Activities during the visit will be shown live on television and other cable and social media channels as a reality Tv show, Where viewers at home can learn and also make comments and contributions to the project.

The project which is expected to be sponsored by Coca-Cola, Facebook, and other voluntary donations from online crowd funding social media users will among other attractions project a reality tv show that will regularly show the progress and activities of the program to interested subscribers.


Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 No comments

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Last week we launched the first ever DigitalPR & Social Media Communications Masterclass in Nigeria – the very first of its kind in content and delivery and the first in the series which was delivered in collaboration with Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN).

A cross section of delegates and some facilitators at the DigitalPR & Social Media Communication Masterclass

Over the course of three interesting days, the delegates were treated to lightning talks from over 7 speakers (including me!) on everything from Digital PR Strategy Development to the execution of critical campaigns on issues of reputation management, digital crisis communication, Content Syndication & Optimization for visibility to relevant digital PR tools and techniques for intelligence, Measurement, Evaluation & Crisis Communication.

We would like to thank our speakers Johnny Costello of Sendible, Yinka Olaito, Chuddy Oduenyi of Compact Communications, O.C. Vince of Vince Network and Muyiwa Akintunde of Leap Communications

Digital and Public Relations experts at the event agreed that the world is becoming increasingly digitalized and the audience has become ubiquitous and their expectations are evolving accordingly. On the old model, companies were solely focused on achieving a sale and that’s where customer interaction used to end. Retention, Perception and Advocacy were by-products rather than the aim.

Delegates honing their DigitalPR skills through Group Exercises

Today, digital Media has drastically changed the role of PR and it is no longer sufficient to rely on your ability to bang out a great press release. PR and Communication now goes beyond media relations and coverage; it has evolved to include so much more – from curated content to syndication, amplification and influence marketing that can make all the difference in winning the attention of the desired audience.

Delegates honing their DigitalPR skills through Group Exercises

To stay relevant in today’s digitally-focused world, Communication and PR professionals must make sure clients know they, too, are evolving with the times and are making an effort to leverage technology to reach and engage more audience, to gain the better voice share, positive sentiments and influence at rates never seen before.
There is no doubt about it, the organisations that sit by idly hoping that digital disruption will not come knocking will be in for a rude awakening. It is important to understand that most digital disruptions don’t happen suddenly: they take place over time.


Posted on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 No comments

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

As the Senate screens Nigeria's prospective ministers, perhaps someone is, or rather should be, taking stock along these lines:
I have cultic followership in the North
And expediency-motivated loyalty in the West
But can I keep doing just as I please
Seeing that the buck stops here?
I trumped the mantra of change
I made many fabulous promises
But I chose not to hit the ground running
And the buck stops here
My early appointments alienated the South
I wanted familiar people that I can trust
I neglected that on the issue of promoting unity
The buck clearly stops here
I sought for an immaculate cabinet
But in politics, you can't always call the shots
You've got to compromise or be trapped in a bog
Still the buck stops here
I have prioritized the war on corruption
Sought to instill discipline in public affairs
But the economy is haemorrhaging
I know, the buck stops here
I thought we were winning the war on terror
With surrenders and talks of negotiation
But a steelier approach is needed as recent blasts show
Certainly the buck stops here
The time of honeymoon is spent
Soon the ministers will start to work
But I need the support of all Nigerians
Even though the buck stops here
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2015


Posted on Monday, October 5, 2015 No comments

Monday, October 5, 2015

A fictional piece about student life by Edith Ohaja in celebration of  the World Teachers' Day.
"Wifey4life, wen r u rtnin? Must u complete d 8wks of IT? Sch mks no sense wtout u. HURRRYYYYY n save a soul!" Chinny read the sms again and felt a warm tingle all over her body. She smiled and tried to recall how often she'd read it since she received it shortly after 5 a.m., maybe eight, no, twelve times. It didn't matter. She'd read it so many times and would probably do so all day long.
And why not? The writer, Gerald, was the reason Nsukka was bearable when school was in session. She had fought her parents to seek admission into UniLag or any other school in Lagos, but they wouldn't hear of it. Being alumni of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN) themselves, they generally over-rated the school in her judgment. They claimed that the quasi-rural environment is specially suited to academic pursuits but she had countered that, "All work and no play will make Chinny a sad girl".
They even resorted to repeating some slogans which she considered ridiculous like, "A UNN graduate is naturally ahead of you" and "In UNN, we restore the dignity of man". "Whatever!" she would reply, seeing that arguing with them was a futile exercise.
So to UNN she had come and just when she thought she would die of boredom that first semester, she met Gerald and agreed with her parents that UNN was really the place to be. He resumed late because he "shopped" into Mass Communication from Mechanical Engineering, the course he had been admitted to study, because he had insufficient credits in science subjects. He was a natural leader and although they already had a class representative, he secured the help of graduate and final-year students to organise tutorials for all the first-year courses.
It wasn't long before they became an item. Her friends cautioned her to slow things down. Some of them claimed it was unwise to have a boyfriend in her class. They did have a point there because they'd been caught exchanging romantic glances and love notes by several lecturers. But she didn't care. What she was feeling was more important than all their stuffy lectures anyway.
Before the end of the second semester, she was spending more time in his place than at hers after lectures. There was good reason for that, she'd told herself. She stayed in the hostel and there was little comfort and many prying eyes there. Gerald shared a room with a friend off campus. They had a refrigerator, cable TV, a DVD player and what have you. There's nothing more welcoming than a chilled drink after traversing the campus on a sweltering day and she never missed an episode of her favorite Telemundo series or the latest Nollywood movies.
But her grades gave her no comfort or cheer. At the end of first year, she "earned" three C's. The other lecturers, "for reasons best known to them, decided to punish" her "efforts with D's and F's". The class performance was generally poor but Gerald got two A's, no D's, no F's. She was so proud of him! To make such a result after joining the class late was truly a feat, she told him. He told her the secret was night class but she wasn't prepared to lose her sleep for any grade.
By their second year, she came up with the "bright idea" that they should move in together. He confessed that he was largely supported by his roommate as his parents had only a paltry and irregular government pension to live on. That admission made her to fall harder in love with him. What honesty! What guy would tell a woman the truth about his financial position, she asked herself.
She offered to foot most of the bill. Her father's younger brother, Chuka, loved her to bits and had always spoiled her. She got the funds from him on the pretext that she needed to pay for computer programming trainings that will get her Microsoft and Oracle certification before graduation. She begged him not to tell her parents because they will discourage her thinking the trainings will interfere with her Mass Communication studies and she assured him that they won't.
She paid for a room off campus and with Gerald's meagre help, they furnished it to their taste. From that point, they cast off all restraint. He began to call her "wifey" and as well he might for were they not doing everything a married couple did? She began to cut classes because her wifely duties were really taking a toll on her. While her friends were in the library, she checked recipes online, shopped and did culinary miracles to wow him with all manner of delectable dishes.
Whoever said that the way to a man's heart was his stomach was spot on because Gerald was, in her view, totally consumed with love for her.

And what better proof than this sms and countless others, the pings, the Facebook and WhatsApp messages. The late-night calls too, although it'd been a while they'd had one of those. They would have spent this first internship (IT) together working at Voice FM, the new Radio Nigeria station in Nsukka, if not that her parents had scuttled her plans by arranging that she should work at the Vanguard newspapers in Lagos.
She looked at the gifts she had carefully selected for him - an Android (Infinix Hot) and a suit that spoke of sartorial splendour sewn by one of the best hands in Maryland. She would have bought more if she didn't have to factor in their household expenses once she got back to school. She had told him there was no getting out of the remaining weeks of the IT but she meant to surprise him by returning to Nsukka tomorrow. How happy he will be, she thought.
She could just imagine their reunion. He would scream, oh so loud, and he would pick her up and spin her round. No, he would carry her and dance around the compound, knocking on every door and announcing, "My wifey is hooome!" Poor thing, she thought, how he had missed her! Now, who was she kidding? She'd probably missed him even more. And that's an argument that would never end, you know, who missed the other more.
The next morning, her parents dropped her off at the Peace Park, telling her to be a good girl, to remember the kind of family she came from and to ensure she came out with nothing short of a 2:1 (second class, upper degree), which was the family standard. She had dutifully nodded, wondering what their reaction would be if they knew how poor her grades were or that she was shacking up with her class mate. She had told them she got mostly B's in her first year, a couple of A's in her first semester, second year and that other results were yet to be released.
The journey was uneventful and painfully long. She blamed her parents for being pinchpennies and making her travel to school by road. But very soon, she would see Gerald and this journey would be worth the while, she assured herself as they approached Opi. Fifteen minutes later, she nearly pushed down the lady by the bus door in her hurry to disembark. She offered her apologies, helped the driver untie her suitcase behind his seat and dashed to the road to pick a motorcycle taxi (okada).
Sensing her impatience, the okada rider sped down University Market Road, crossed the UNN main gate and made for Onuiyi Link Road. In less than no time, they were in front of the house she indicated along Onuiyi Road. She saw two of her neighbours lounging in front of the house. They seemed to be snickering at first, but they quickly composed themselves and came to help with her luggage.
"Na wa oh!" one of them, a student of Chemistry called Dapo, said. He held her suitcase to prevent further movement and asked, "My dear, how was your journey?" It was nice of him to ask but she didn't travel this far to see him, she thought. But why start a quarrel at the beginning of the session? So she replied, "It was fine." She added a lie for good measure, "My people send their regards". The other boy in Linguistics, Ahmed, whose eyes had been darting about, asked if he could get her something to cool off with from the nearby kiosk.
She couldn't stand it anymore. "What are you guys up to?" she queried. "Why are you waylaying me like this? I hope Gerald is okay." Without waiting for their response, she grabbed her suitcase and marched into the compound. A sure sign that something was amiss was the female underwear on the clothesline in front of their room. She burst into the room and could not believe her eyes. Gerald was cuddling a girl she recognised from their Natural Science class!
-The end- Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2015
May God guide our children and help them to live in a way that honours Him in Jesus' name. Amen.


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NEWSWATCH: As if the video autoplay on Facebook wasn't distracting enough, the social network will be introducing 7-second GIF profile pictures, along with a range of other changes coming soon.

Announced on Facebook's newsroom site, profile videos will allow you to create a short looping video, bringing a whole new dimension to your profile. We've already seen looping profile pics on Twitter, and Facebook are evolving to keep up with these fast-paced times.

If creating a little GIF of yourself isn't your cup of tea, you'll also be able to upload a temporary profile picture - a feature Facebook has started after the popularity of the Celebrity Pride campaign. The latest option will give users the opportunity to upload a temporary pic that will revert back to your previous photo after a set date.

According to TechCrunch, featured photos will be a set of five pictures pinned to the top of your profile. The setting will give people viewing your profile a better idea of who you are as a person, and whether or not they want to add you as a friend.

Just like Twitter, Instagram, etc. Facebook will be rolling out an About section that will feature beneath your profile pic instead of hiding away in the deep dark corners of your profile. This newest feature is definitely one that Facebook has been missing, seeing as all the other social networks have this as a setting.


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The Top Twenty Page shows the list of the 20 top countries in the Internet ordered according to the number of users in each country. There will surely be some surprises in this list. Let's look at the table and analyze the information.

First in the list is China with 674 million estimated Internet users, in second place is India with 354 million Internet users. The USA is now third in the world, with 281 million Internet users. China, India and the United States are by far the top three countries in Internet with a total of over 1,308 million Internet users.

NOTES: (1) Top 20 Internet User Statistics were updated for June 30, 2015. (2) Additional data for individual countries and regions may be found by clicking each country name. (3) The most recent user information comes from data published by Nielsen Online, International Telecommunications Union, Official country reports, and other trustworthy research sources. (4) Data from this site may be cited, giving the due credit and establishing an active link back to

Next comes a group of 3 countries with almost 336 million Internet users. They are Brazil, Japan and Russia. Internet use in these three countries is well established and mature. Japan has over 90% Internet penetration.

It is interesting to point out that the group of the Top 20 Internet countries has grown from 268 million users in year 2000 to 2,417 million users in 2015, a 801.8% increase in 15 years.
Source: Internet World Stats.
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