The Importance of a Website in Nigeria
Earlier this year, I asked a question on LinkedIn via a poll. I asked if people saw a job posting, what would be their first destination as a search tool?
It’s probably important to point out that 78% of my first degree connections are Nigerian, so that would be reflected in the result.
60% said they would look for a website.
The remaining 40% included 25% said they would search for the LinkedIn profile (some might say it was unfairly weighted, since the question was actually asked on LinkedIn)… 8% said they would search on “ social networks” (this would be in the sense of platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok (for example).
7% said Glassdoor (known for its employer ratings feature).
LinkedIn only allows four options in surveys…if there were fewer limits on options, I might have included Fiverr and Upwork.
Now you might be thinking that LinkedIn, social media and some other online platforms would reveal a more unbiased opinion than a company’s website, so what could be the reason why 60% of people want to search for a website , while only 40% are looking for all other options combined?
Getting a broad opinion about a company can clarify your own questions about company culture, company behavioral expectations, and other things, but it says nothing about the type of employee or business partner you they want people to be.
A LinkedIn Company Page Helps, But the World Isn’t the “LinkedIn Nation”
Companies have their own perception of themselves…where they fit in the world, where they fit in the markets, where they are and want to be with products and services, and above all, who they see as a prospect of being one of their people.
Only their website has the potential to tell you that.
VISIBILITY, TRANSPARENCY AND RESPONSIBILITY.
One of the problems with online platforms and social media is the possibility of creating people who really don’t exist or creating fake accounts of people who do exist.
I like to ask random questions to professionals in my network about technological advancements. If there’s something new or cutting-edge going on, and I want to know more, I’ll do a search on LinkedIn, choose the top 5 first-level contacts who seem to be SMBs (expert in matter) and ask some DM questions and see what comes up.
In three months, one person had a strong profile against five different survey scenarios, but their responses were weak and evasive compared to others whose profiles were weaker, but provided much more meaningful responses.
Looking at the participation on LinkedIn, I also noticed that the person frequently commented on “being human”, trying to “inspire and motivate”, sought to resonate emotionally and frequently gave opinions on HR issues, but did not mention never anything technical, according to the profile.
The person had 70,000 followers and over 300 mutual contacts with me, but when I contacted my contacts, no one actually knew this person.
It’s very easy to get a web-based email address and create online identities without proving who you are. Indeed, most email, social media, and other web-based platforms all operate on a “free” model. (A fremium model implies a free basic service, with paid additional services). As long as the services are kept at the free-to-use level (no card payments involved), it’s possible that someone could create an entire online ecosystem around them without ever proving who they are.
Owning a website leaves a clear chain of custody for transactions through payment to the web hosting service provider. The registrar can be identified by doing a “who is” search online. Civil and criminal courts, as well as other authorities, depending on the country, can compel a registrar to reveal the identity of the owner of a website.
It is so much harder for an entity present on a website to completely disappear without a trace as a result of fraudulent behavior. The existence of a website is the “Gold Standard” when it comes to credibility for online presence.
Are Web 3.0 (i.e. blockchain) websites likely to offer the same lack of traceability that is possible with social media and online platforms?
The simple answer is no. There are basically three types of Web3 domain operators:
- “Handshake” domain providers – These are already web 2.0 hosts and domain sellers. They have just added Blockchain Domains to their existing product portfolio. They do business the same way they always have, in FIAT; and so a legal or public authority may ask them for transaction details to identify a website owner.
- Providers with their own blockchain and crypto. These usually require payment in “house” crypto to purchase a domain, so a payment in FIAT from someone’s bank account is not made directly to pay for the domain, but the provider still has records which are traceable.
- Domain providers to associate with a third-party blockchain (not ‘Handshake’). These have their own business records and bill for services in FIAT.
There is an endless supply of Web 2.0 domain hosting and domain sellers, and none have a monopoly on selling ‘.com’ or ‘.net’ domains etc. This is why the “Who-is” system should be used to find out who the registrar is. Blockchain (Web3) TLDs (top-level domains), however, are unique to the provider and are easily identifiable with a simple online search.
Web3 domains are state of the art and not yet commonplace. This makes their owners visible, which those intending to defraud would want to avoid.
Also see: johnmckeown.tiny.us/web3-domains
Building fraudulent capabilities online starts with using an untraceable web email address to sign up for services, then using those accounts, such as Google or Facebook, etc., and then s sign up for other “freemium” online services. Lack of trust is rooted in the “freemium” nature of the services as long as the participant never pays anything.
Traceability occurs when the participant opts for paid services in any part of its online ecosystem. However, due to the visible nature of a website, it is the best tool for building trust between online/remote associates or peers, and the wider metaverse.
Are there other conclusions and lessons that companies can draw from the survey?
As people, we generally have common practices when thinking about the credibility of others…validating things…doing due diligence.
It transcends finding a new employer, finding a business partner, or finding products or services.
Typically, a website will be part of their checklist, but not the decision maker. A business without a website can be considered to be below a certain sense of business maturity at a very basic level, and cannot be trusted. However, that doesn’t make every website that owns a merchant or business a winner. Everyone must fashion their own “quick fix”
It also means that a company’s website is its best advertising agency. Companies with a promotional budget should try to see how to strengthen their own online ecosystem with its website at the epicenter.
It also raises questions about why companies bother to pay influencers, and even if they do, how they choose them.
I was once asked who is an example of a great influencer in Africa?
I paused for a moment, then said:
“A person whose yelling and scolding from someone else’s pet hyena gets them to do whatever they want”
Please visit johnmckeown.eu
YouTube Video – Influencers Have No Value – ‘Really Strategic’ – Tara Hunt.