On believing things we do not understand

People, don’t be baited into fighting. I’ve noticed that a lot of us don’t read articles, care little about history, and have but extremely shallow knowledge of the things we believe in or fight for.

Let’s be cognizant of the fact that all the things we see around us, society, politics, government, language, social constructs etc. we’re created by people just like us, not likely any smarter than we are.

Always seek to challenge the basis of what you see; the context that surrounds it in history and the reality of our world today. In the famous words of Texan artiste, Meat Loaf – objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are. History always tends to repeat itself because we are not diligent enough to dig in and form opinions based on our own values and/or ideals. Not how things have been staged to look like, or how things have been marketed or explained to us.

Lets be better. Don’t throw your weight behind something if you’ve not done some background work to form your opinion.

Hooking on to the Nigerian twitter firehose

nigeria360-firehoseAs most people who know me are aware of, I’m originally Nigerian. In fact, I spent the early 19 years of my life in Nigeria, growing and being bred. As I’ve grown older and embraced my sense of identity more intimately, I’ve found myself asking a lot of questions about Nigerian history, and just being more curious altogether about what is going on there and how I can be more aware, for my benefit now, and in the future when I’m in a better position to use my resources to solve pervasive problems there.

Meet Firehose. With the help of Matthias’s BirdWatch clojure app from Twitter, my fairly beefy VPS, Redis, and Elasticsearch, I came up with a pretty neat project to help archive and index tweets by and about Nigerians. I’ve spent a good chunk of time sweeping through and refining my search terms and stop words to get the most relevant tweets archived and analyzed. I can say based on what I’m seeing so far, that I have a good firehose of tweets that can help me notice trends and discussion topics among Nigerians in real time.

To see a good example of this, visit – http://firehose.nigeria360.com

I’m open to feedback and comments on what I have so far. The long term plan is to also archive content from specific credible blogs, news outlets and other social networks as well, so that there is a well rounded firehose of content out of which some good real time analysis can be done. What can I say, big data and technology for the win!

5 Things You Should Do To Earn That Promotion

Since I’ve gone off the road of being an individual contributor on teams to being a business leader, I’ve found myself getting a lot of requests for adviceĀ from my direct reports and other members of the organization who trust me or have good working relationships with me. One of the most popular questions I get from people is, “What can I do to get promoted and progress in my career?” That is 100% understandable, after all, everyone wants to work on something meaningful and be rewarded with opportunities to grow and do bigger things in the process. I’ve been fortunate to be offered a lot of responsibility in my short career so far, and have been fortunate to have given people opportunities for growth, help mentor them to fill in skill or behavioral gaps and offered them promotions. Here are the few surefireĀ things that makes someone a prepared candidate for promotion in my books, and that of most of the executives I have worked with.