27 inactive (but influential) African Twitter accounts
Today was housecleaning day here at oAfrica. After nearly two years, the Twitter account had gradually followed more and more projects, initiatives, and the like. It was time to “trim the fat,” so to speak. Using UnTweeps, a Twitter application designed to show followers who haven’t tweeted in X amount of days, we (regrettably) removed inactive accounts from our radar. Surprisingly, a report for @oafrica showed that 17% of all accounts that we followed have remained inactive for at least 60 days. Many were followed upon creation of the @oafrica account in 2009. Many others have simply lost steam over the last year or so. A few are most likely in hibernation.
What did we learn from eliminating once-valuable information streams from our dashboard? For one, it drove home the effort needed to maintain a website or developmental project. Life often gets in the way, or new projects compete for sacred man-hours. Secondly, we were reminded of the power of a single initiative to reach a substantial audience. Many of the now-inactive accounts once fueled spirited debate and contributed to unquantifiable progress. They are gone, but not forgotten thanks to the archival power of the Internet. Lastly, we remember the need to be passionate while a project is in progress. One year of high energy is arguably worth multiple years of average dedication.
Perhaps a handful of the following accounts will return to life. If not, we wish them the best and feel they have made left a positive impression in the ICT for Development realm.
- StartUpAfrica – @StartUpAfrica – 540 followers. Reports on African entrepreneurs. Blog is still going intermittently, but Tweets have ceased essentially since 2010.
- Africa Action – @AfricaAction – 1,764 followers. Mirrored website content on activism. The site has been silent since August 2010.
- eMobilis Mobile Tech – @eMobilis – 48 followers. Run by the mobile training academy in Kenya. Blog has some activity, but the Twitter account has only been used once.
- Building Ethiopia – @BuildEthiopia – 130 followers. Engineering capacity building program. Active through March.
- Mobiles4Development – @mobiles4dev – 820 followers. Active through October 2010. Perhaps funding ended?
- OECD Centre – @OECD_Centre – 9,769 followers. Works on innovative solutions to the global challenges of development, reducing poverty and encouraging equality. Unusually quiet since June.
- Afrilabs – @afrilabs – 338 followers. Network for African tech hubs. Typically retweets content, but has not done so since late June.
- Rwanda Works – @RwandaWorks – 1,621 followers. An NGO focused on building a healthy society. Nothing since January.
- ecapacity – @thinkethiopia – 51 followers. Produced some quality tweets about Ethiopia in September 2010. Silent all year.
- Renesys Corporation – @renesys – 560 followers. Monitored Egyptian Internet outage earlier in the year. Silent for over 2 months now.
- Youth Assets – @YouthAssets – 656 followers. Connects orphans in Southern Africa to knowledge. No activity since April.
- Millennium Campaign – @mcampaign – 6,432 followers. United Nations campaign to end poverty by 2015. Daily tweets through March 2011.
- Faso International – @Faso_Inter – 164 followers. Encouraged diasporans to contribute to Burkina Faso’s economic development. No activity since March.
- FOSSFA – @fossfa – 256 followers. Promotes use of open source software. The organization has a 3-year plan, but Tweets have ceased.
- apps4africa – @apps4africa – 584 followers. Used for last year’s developer competition. A shame that it isn’t utilized anymore (or for another contest).
- Google Africa DevRel – @GAfricaDev – 119 followers. Once used to promote Google events in Africa. Silent since September 2010.
- afrigadget – @afrigadget – 4,251 followers. Showcases African ingenuity. Hasn’t been too active this year.
- Africa Grows – @africagrows – 1,040 followers. Covers Southern Africa’s business news. Quiet since June 2010.
- Uganda Wire – @ugandawire – 1,098 followers. Stream of news from Uganda. All of the ‘wire’ accounts except for Kigali seem to have ceased.
- mlearningafrica – @mlearningafrica – 798 followers. News about mobile learning in Africa. The website has been suspended for some time.
- UgaBYTES Initiative – @UgaBYTES – 115 followers. Telecentre support network that has been quiet for a few months.
- Literacy Bridge – @LiteracyBridge – 45,777 followers. Promotes the ‘talking book’. No Tweets in over 2 months.
- Maneno – @maneno – 3,119 followers. Open-source blogging platform that has been missing in action for over a year.
- Africa_2020 – @Africa_2020 – 638 followers. Promotes a sustainable vision for Africa. Nice theme, but quiet since March 2010.
- Fixing Africa – @FixingAfrica – 1,937 followers. Seems to have promoted an e-book. No Tweets since July 2009.
- Africa Newswire – @AfricaNewswire – 3,647 followers. Has a high number of followers despite only 127 Tweets, mostly back in 2009.