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The Boolean Life
Things are either True or False. Or not.
Nairaland: The Nigerian craigslist
By Olibe.nu

Things have been quite busy in the Nigerian twitterverse.

A lot of new startups like @tiketmobileapp and @efikoapp have launched. We also have been counting down to BB10 and its apps. Also, @celestocalculus has been teaching the Nigerian public how the movie isn't Dee-Jango Unchained. Besides all this, nothing much has happened recently. Maybe I do not follow enough interesting people. I would sure love to change that. (Let me know here)

So when @pystar tweeted that Nairaland hurtles towards its millionth user, I popped into my account there. I snorted when I saw the user count was 999697. Hurtles indeed. I could not believe that about 300 new users could be got that fast. So I asked, was Nairaland doing any promo like gifts for its millionth user? Nope, they weren't. At least not to my knowledge or a lot of old users would have created a new account (not me though, I never win such, ask @MrBankole of @OTEKBITS about #TEKnewyear).

I was then surprised when TechLoy's @okeziely wrote about Nairaland hitting their millionth user. In just a few days? Without a promo? That was fast!

nairaland

Then it hit me! @seunosewa's Nairaland is the craigslist of Nigeria! They really look alike. No. Seun is not as bald as Craig Newmark if that is what you thought. But there are strong similarities.

  • it has a lot of users (1million+ check)
  • it is pretty ugly just like craigslist.com (check)
  • it has no API (check)
  • it believes in keeping things extremely simple (see the article: no registered office or employees)

I know Nairaland is not specifically into buying and selling as craigslist is. But I can guess that many of its users want it to be more than it is. Convinced enough? Good.

I then thought, if it is really Nigeria's craigslist, what is next? Of course, @pystar had to be bored while waiting to watch Dee-Jango (sorry @celestocalculus, it is stuck on my brain!). He cooked up an Unofficial Nairaland API in python. Last time I checked it here on github, it could

  • login
  • logout
  • post to any board
  • change user email
  • and change user password

The API is definitely still in its infancy. Already, @pystar has hinted at a 'Post to Nairaland' button. When it becomes all it can be, others would now be able to prettify Nairaland. It would be interesting to watch how much Nairaland is similar to Craigslist when the Nigerian versions of 3taps and PadMapper come out of the works.