Google's "get online" campaign reached Nigeria this week. Nigerian small and micro enterprises will be able to build free websites using a simple site builder on a web interface on the website GNBO.COM.NG . Nigeria has has some 43 million internet users, the largest online community on the continent and millions of SMEs.
Indian Get Your Business Online Campaign was also launched this week. Currently, Google is inviting SMEs in Nigeria for a web fair that will run until 4th of November during which SMEs in Nigeria will create their own free websites using Google's Get Online Site Builder. A very noble venture indeed!
To the Nigerian web designers worried that Google is taking their web design business away, we have this advice to offer, the same advice that we offered in all countries where Google is taking SMEs online:
The service that GNBO.COM.NG is offering does not compete with any professional web design / development individual/agency's offering in Nigeria and any web designer worth their salt clearly understands that. It does not replace the robustness of Joomla or Drupal with all the flexibility and extensions and modules. Besides, which serious Nigerian Company or NGO, your normal client base, would like to host their website on GNBO.COM.NG? Of course they would like to acquire their own domain name like greenbuilding.com.ng or greenbuildingnigeria.org !
The GNBO.COM.NG sitebuilder service is designed to be quick, simple and easy to use. It will generate a basic functional website that is hopefully aesthetically pleasing. From what I see, most of them aren't that pleasing. But it's not aimed at replacing the kind of work that a skilled designer would do for a business in Nigeria. So my friends, you are still in business.
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