What's the business model? I guarantee that's always the first question I get asked whenever I deliver a lecture to journalism students about social media, blogs and publishing kigaliwire.
Simple answer is, I don't have one. At least not one you can easily plan for/quantify/stick in an excel sheet and say X + Y = $$$$. I don't work that way. It's more about transparency, visibility, connections and being reasonably good at what you do.
For the benefit of wannabehacks and business model seekers the world over, I thought I'd try and quantify the opportunities and connections I have made since August, 2009 as a direct result of Kigaliwire.
Note: As a full-time freelance, I also solicit work. However, for the purposes of "quantifying" – none of what's listed below was solicited. This is only stuff that "came" to me.
- Photos for AfrikaPost magazine in Germany.
- Photos and story for BBC Focus on Africa magazine.
- Photos for CNN slideshow.
- Photos for a report for a large, international NGO.
- Speaking gig with IREX in Rwanda.
- Speaking gig with the Rwanda Project.
- Photo assignment in DR Congo with a large, international charity.
- Photo assignment in northern Rwanda for a U.S. NGO.
- Possible training gigs with two government bodies.
- Foreign correspondent gig for two very well-known newswires.
- $1,000 per month part-time gig writing/editing/designing an NGO newsletter.
- Current Intelligence online magazine editorial role.
- Foreign correspondent gig for a weekly subscription newsletter in the U.S.
- A Q&A roughly every other month or so with researchers/consultancy companies.
- Q&A with Global Voices.
- Driver/Muzungu fixer
- At least 10 lectures at UK universities and across the BBC.
- Photos for a UK-based architectural consultancy.
- Discussions with three mainstream media outlets about working as a foreign correspondent.
- Offered speaking gig with a UK Ministry in London.
- On average, around 1 NGO per week contacts me about something – normally PR for them, but sometimes work for me.
- A journalist or editor I've never met contacts me roughly every week or two.
- Invites to various events & debates both in Rwanda and overseas.
I've probably forgotten a few things from this list, but you get the general idea. Also, I didn't end up taking on all of the work offers and wotnot mentioned. Also, not all of these opportunities were paid and not all of them ended up panning out. However, in a nutshell,
If you've got the drive, you're reasonably talented, you go somewhere odd, meet lots of people, get to know your patch, keep a blog, tweet a bit too, then – at least in my experience – stuff comes your way.
Originally posted over there, but seemed to make sense here too.