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Nigeria Has Tangentially Missed The Digitization Deadline; We Can Still Achieve It If We Have The Political Commitment So To Do

Being a Paper presented at a one-Day Workshop Organized by the Niger Delta Television, Ggbarantoru, Yenagoa Bayelsa State on Wednesday July 2nd, 2014 Venue: NDTV Programmes Hall; Time: 11 am

We are in the midst of a historic "upload," a frenetic rush to transfer the vast wealth of analog culture to the digital domain. Mass digitization of print, images, sound and film/video proceeds apace through the efforts of actors public and private, and yet it is still barely understood how the media of the past ought to be preserved, presented and interconnected for the future. How might we bring the records of our culture with us in ways that respect the originals but also take advantage of new media technologies to enhance and reinvent them?

Africa has been hard hit with poverty and disease and this has had an immense effect on the quality of social, cultural and political lives of the people. This has made development to move at a very slow pace in the last decades. But the presence of information and communication technologies (ICT) has somewhat carved out an alternative path to development.

There is renewed urgency and enthusiasm for digitization with using this new medium for social and economic change, the Internet has brought about negative as well as positive contributions to development in Africa. These issues of connectivity and networking are some of the fundamental setbacks that the grassroots developing companies.

Introduction:
This year, 2015 marks the threshold of Nigeria’s digitization enterprise. This has become imperative because the world has been atomized into a global village due largely to the unprecedented advances in Information and Communication Technology. Just as globalization became a buzz word in the 1990’s as a definition of efforts at collapsing geographical boundaries following the advent of the internet and info-tech age, digitization has been popularized as a mantra in electronic broadcasting and the social media. Digitization is the current trend in broadcasting, both in Nigeria and the world over. The International Telecommunication Union, ITU, set 2015 for the entire broadcasting stations in the world to go digital. Nigeria set 2012 for broadcast stations in the country to be digitized but shifted the goal post to 2015 in line with global trends.

In Nigeria, government has given enormous attention to digitization. To underscore the importance the digitization drive, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo approved the White Paper on the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting in the country with a deadline of January 2015. This is to synchronize Nigeria’s broadcasting system with the global deadline.

Digitization is the process of converting information into a digital format. In this format, information is organized into discrete units of data (called bit s) that can be separately addressed (usually in multiple-bit groups called byte s). This is the binary data that computers and many devices with computing capacity (such as digital camera s and digital hearing aid s) can process. Text and images can be digitized. Similarly a scanner captures an image (which may be an image of text) and converts it to an image file, such as a bitmap. An optical character recognition ( OCR ) program analyzes a text image for light and dark areas in order to identify each alphabetic letter or numeric digit, and converts each character into an ASCII code. Audio and video digitization uses one of many analog-to-digital conversion processes in which a continuously variable (analog) signal is changed, without altering its essential content, into a multi-level (digital) signal. The process of sampling measures the amplitude (signal strength) of an analog waveform at evenly spaced time markers and represents the samples as numerical values for input as digital data.

Digitization is the representation of an object, image, sound, document or signal in analog form by a discrete set of points or samples. Digitization simply means capturing an analog signal in digital form. McQuail defines digitization as a process of computing ideals and allowing information of all kinds in all formats to be carried with the same efficiency (2008: 28) When information is organized into discrete units or data (called bits) that can be separately addressed usually in multiple bit groups called bytes such that many devices with computing capacity (such as digital camera and digital hearing aids can process).

Audio and video digitization use one of many analog-to-digital conversion processes in which a continuous variable) analog signal is changed without altering its essential content into a multi-level (digital) signal. Translated into the media, digital media and digitized content (text, graphics, and audio/video) is one that can be archived and transmitted over multiple networks such as cable, satellite, telecommunications, and broadband networks to a variety of digital devices from mainframe systems to individual smart phones including social media platforms that are compatible with the content.

Digitization is also used to describe the process of populating databases with files or data. Digitization may use in the field of apparel, where an image may be recreated with the help of embroidery digitizing software fools and saved as embroidery machine code. Analog signals are continuous electrical signals; digital signals are non-continuous. Analog signal can be converted into digital signal by ADC. Almost all recorded music has been digitized, and about 12% of the half a million listed movies on the internet movie database are digitized on DVD. When materials are digitized analog signal becomes easy before modulation and transmission. The conversion of analog to digital consists of two processes: sampling and quantizing.

Digitizing information makes it easier to preserve access and share. For example, a document may be accessible only to those who visit a historical site but if the document content is digitized, it can be made available to people worldwide. Digitalization of personal multimedia such as home videos, movies, slides, and photographs is a popular method of preserving and sharing older repositories.

The shift of digitization in the contemporary media world has created implications for traditional mass media products. McQuail believes that the more technology advances, the more converged the realm of main media will become with less need for norms created more efficiency for not only individuals but also for businesses.

Today, there are many collaborative digitization projects the world over. Two of the earliest projects were the Collaborative Digitization project in Colorado and that of North Carolina Exploring cultural heritage online based at the State Library of North Carolina. These projects are prototypes of best practice for digitization. Other such projects can be found in the U.K. Australia, and the European Union. Now, the broad use of internet and the popularization of “Lean Philosophy” have increased the use and meaning of “digitizing” to improve efficiency of organizational process.

In digitization, the following are components:
1. Analog to digital converter 2. Book Scanning 3. Digital Audio 4. Digital Library 5. Graphics Tablet

6. Optical character recognition 7 Roster Graphics 8. Raster to vector & 9 Raster image.

Conceptual Framework: The conceptual framework of this paper is anchored on the Media Convergence theory. According to Chakaveh and Bogen (2007) “media convergence is a theory in communication where the mass medium eventually merges to a point where they become one medium due to the advent of new communication technologies. The theory is an economic strategy in which communication companies seek to maximize profit for merging to change patterns of consumption. The theory argues that the role of convergence journalism is to look at both the old and the new media using new media tools provided by digital technologies. The new is not replacing the old but transforming it. The digitization drive of states and the international community is underpinned by the media convergence theory.

Spreading digitization phenomenon
Digitization has become a key that unlocks the door to modern information dissemination. The effect of an increasing digitized world has reached every continent and nation. Statistics show that about 4.6 billion phones send information on location to their user carriers. Cisco forecast that connected internet services will outnumber people by 2:1 in 2015. Fully 79% workers in the advanced capitalist countries currently depend on the internet. The push for digitization has led to an increase in the amount of data generated, which is now approaching 35 trillion gigabyte. Digitization would save an estimated 4.2 billion work hours lost and 10.6 billion litres of gasoline burned annually as cars idle in traffic. Digitization is the back born of a wireless broadband society, which will afford billions of con summers services.

There are three DRIVING FORCES OF DIGITIZATION
1. Consumer Pull: Consumers in this InfoTech generation are already fully adapted to the digital environment consumers expect to be connected to the virtual world through social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. The willingness of consumers to share information currency, a huge population of consumers spends a large portion of their time online and the Social Media. Thus, the demand of consumers helps to increase the digitization phenomenon.

2. Technology Path: Over the past two decades, digital technology has made a wild incursion into almost all aspects of our lives. Three quarters of the world’s population is now connected through mobile phones, whereas digital cloud computing has increased internet use and its paraphernalia.

3. Economic Benefits: Economic force is also driving digitization phenomenon. The world over, there is a wave of capital being poured into the new digital technologies leading to a bubble. Transactions in most economies are propelled by digital technologies. Thus, the benefits of digitization created through investments in broadband infrastructure are massive. Digitization has increased competition around the world, forcing companies to contend with cost pressures, transforming value chains spawning new formats and now business models. Digitization provides competitive advantage and generates growth.

The Information Minister Mr. Labaran Maku said this much:

“We would be licensing at least two signal distributors; one will be public signal distributor that will be comprised of the broadcasting access of NTA, FRCN and the VON. We also will be licensing another private signal distributor to provide the necessary competition that will give values to consumers of broadcasting content. By the 1st of January 2015 what should happen is that consumers should be able to get higher quality signals, number two you can have a lot more channels because we are broadcasting digital. “The white paper gave approval for the inauguration of digital implementation team. This team will be comprised of stakeholders in the industry of course including government officials who will have the responsibility of supervising this implementation over the next few years. We have a deadline of January2015 by which time we must have migrated to digital broadcasting and NBC will be the regulator. Some concerned Nigerians assert that Nigeria is on the fast and right track while some others (Oshodin 2009) believe that “Nigeria’s digital broadcast migration a mirage” if certain measures are not taken by government and stakeholders.

Features of Digitization
Digitization has the following characteristics
1. Media Integrity: This implies that data stored in analog formats cannot be reproduced without degradation. The more copies made, the worse the copies get but digital data do not suffer deterioration with reproduction. For instance, movies, videos, music and audio files in digital format can be copied and distributed with a quality that is as good as the original.

2. Media Integration: One of the major limitations of many conventional technologies is their inability to combine media types. Telephones, for example, can send and receive only sound. However, with digital data, it is easy to combine media. Thus, phones with video, or interactive sound with pictures, become possible hence the term multimedia.

3. Flexible Interaction: The digital domain supports a great variety of interactions, including one-on-one conferences, one-to-many broadcasts, and everything in between. In addition, these interactions can be synchronous and in real time.

4. Transactions: This is the ability to combine the transactional capability of computers and computer networks with digital media with the interactive advantage of the digital domain. Placing an order and finalizing a transaction becomes as easy as filling in an electronic form and clicking a button.

5. Tailoring: Software developed for digital communications and interaction is designed so that users may tailor their use of the tool and the media in a manner not possible with conventional analog technologies.

6. Editing: The conventional alternatives for manipulating text, sound, images, and video are more cumbersome and limited than the new digital tools. Computers with the right software and minimal hardware can do today what thousands of dollars’ worth of film and video editing equipment did in the past decades.

The Gains of Digital Broadcasting
Generally, digital broadcasting has enormous benefits. Some of the gains are outlined below:

National interest: Digital transmission enhances “limited spectrum use” However, Baran (2010, p. 227) argues that “if broadcasters devote their entire spectrum space, as technologically required, to the transmission of high definition images, they will lose audience share to cable, the internet and Social Media, all of which offer multiple channels of programming and data.” Frankly, Nigeria is ahead of most African countries in the march towards 2015 switchover date.

Viewers’ Interest: Digital broadcasting will afford the viewer’s broader latitude of choices in the programmes they watch. This is because digital broadcasting plays a vital role in information dissemination due to its high receptivity, vast coverage and efficiency. Verily, the viewers will receive clearer pictures because television pictures/images will be as clear and crisp as a Cineplex feature. (Bunshak; 2006, p. 9) This is in addition to the optimum utilization of multiple channels from one station. The variety will enhance the gratification efficiency of broadcasting. It also promotes media convergence which affords the audience the use of TV in conjunction with telephone, computer and social media platforms. With digitization, broadcast of theater quality sound and picture via cable, antenna or satellite; multicasting are guaranteed and multiple transmission is boosted.

Broadcasters’ Interest: The broadcasters will enjoy a regime of cost effectiveness with digital broadcasting. Stations can carry up to four channels on the same frequency. Also digital programme productions are flexible and faster than the analogue. Besides, stations may generally rely on syndicated programmes because the digitalization process encourages equalization of opportunities that result in healthy competition. When there is competition, the result is content delineation, multiplexing and transmission. It will also reduce the resources spent on personnel emolument and maintenance of infrastructure. The Chairman of DAAR Communication captured this succinctly: “In the master control where we used to have about 12 people working, it’s only one person doing that now. In programme injection, you only need two, now as a result of new (digital) technology.” Ekeh (2009, p. 2-3)

Content Providers’ Interest: Digitization provides content providers many rivers to fish. They can exploit “legitimate avenues for airing programmes, but also increased demand for all genres of programmes to fill the additional programming demands. As broadcast stations start increasing the number of channels resulting from the digitization process, the demand for programme will increase simultaneously. Consequently, the content providers will be adequately engaged with a view to satisfying the needs of the numerous stations that will be yearning for programmes. This will create competition which will result in quality content provision and profit maximization by content providers.

Regulator’s Interest: The regulator – the National Broadcasting Corporation, NBC, will be acquiring increased revenue accruing from additional licenses. On the long run, specialized areas of broadcasting will be encouraged and this will address areas that were hitherto neglected by commercial broadcasters.

Other Interests: Media convergence will create a good avenue for advertisers and many channels will be available for them to market their products and have wider reach to consumers. The migration of television from the traditional television set to the mobile device will portend a whole new world of opportunity to advertisers. Digital broadcasting will enhance the full dissemination of information in the Internet economy within Digital Media. The global online population is currently put at 2.4 billion, the internet has provided a channel for consumers, which has now the first port-of-call for finding information to select or buy the best deal. The internet connects people and information via computers, between different countries, permitting them to exchange opinions and information.

Social Media and Digitization of Information
Let us address some terms commonly used in Social Media. Some Commonly Used Terms in Social Media include but not limited to:

What is cloud computing? Cloud computing (also called “the cloud”) refers to the growing phenomenon of users who can access their data from anywhere rather than being tied to a particular machine

Crowd-sourcing: What is crowd-sourcing? Crowdsourcing refers to the act of soliciting content, ideas or skills from online users outside your organization who collectively help you solve a problem.

What is digital inclusion? Digital inclusion, or e-inclusion, is an effort to help people who are not online gain access with affordable hardware, software, tech support/information and broadband Internet service, so they can begin to use this technology to improve their lives.

The term cyber bullying is a new one that has been defined in different ways by different organizations. According to the US National Crime Prevention Council, it is when the internet, cell phones or other devices are used in cruelty to others by sending or posting text or images intended solely to hurt or embarrass another person. A cyber bully might steal a classmate's online name and spread lies or write hateful comments about them. Cyber bullies often post damaging information on blogs or websites and even secretly record conversations.

Twitter – A micro-blogging site where members post “tweets” or messages of 140 characters or less.

Social Networking – Socializing online through a social-media site, such as Facebook or Linked Open Media – A term referring to any media, including video, text, and audio that can be freely shared online. In, that allows you to create a profile and communicate with other members.

Tele-conferencing holding a meeting without being in the same place, using a network connection and tools like Voice over IP, Instant Messaging, Video, and Whiteboards.

Community building is the process of recruiting potential community or network participants, helping them to find shared interests and goals, use the technology, and develop useful conversations. A number of different roles may be involved.

Content is used here to describe text, pictures, video and any other meaningful material that is on the Internet.

A facilitator is someone who helps people in an online group or forum manages their conversations.

Lurkers are people who read but don't contribute or add comments to forums. The one per cent rule-of-thumb suggests about one per cent of people contribute new content to an online community, another nine percent comment, and the rest lurk. However, this may not be a passive role because content read on forums may spark interaction elsewhere.

GPS is shorthand for Global Positioning System, a global navigation satellite system. GPS-enabled devices — most commonly mobile handhelds or a car’s navigation system — enable precise pinpointing of the location of people, buildings and objects.

Life-casting is an around-the-clock broadcast of events in a person’s life through digital media. Typically, life-casting is transmitted over the Internet and can involve wearable technology.

What is net neutrality? Net neutrality is the principle requiring Internet providers to act as common carriers and not discriminate among content or users — for example, by providing degraded service to rich-media sites, by throttling file-sharing services, by penalizing customers who watch or download a lot of videos or by blocking Internet applications and content from competitors.

• What is a podcast?A podcast is a digital file (usually audio but sometimes video) made available for download to a portable device or personal computer for later playback. A podcast also refers to the show that comprises several episodes. A podcast uses a feed that lets you subscribe to it so that when a new audio clip is published online, it arrives on your digital doorstep right away.

• What is a screencast? A screencast is a video that captures what takes place on a computer screen, usually accompanied by audio narration. A screencast is often created to explain how a website or piece of software works, but it can be any piece of explanatory video that strings together images or visual elements.

• In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.

• Social Pariah; Socio-phobia; Social Outcast etc.

• What is wi-fi? Wi-fi stands for wireless fidelity, a simple system allowing enabled devices to connect to the Internet within short range of any access point without cables or adaptors.

• What is web casting? Webcasting refers to the ability to use the Web to deliver live or delayed versions of audio or video broadcasts. The chief distinctions between web-casting and traditional radio broadcasting include the following: Listeners can tune into webcasts from anywhere in the world, whereas radio broadcasting is generally local; webcasts may be “interactive” (for example, users may rewind the show) whereas radio broadcasting generally is not; listeners may receive textual or visual data (artist and song titles, ads, album artwork, etc.) during a webcast; if music is included, a “copy” is stored in the memory of the listener’s computer and thus webcasters are required to obtain a license from and make payments to a licensing agency.

• A technology steward is someone who can facilitate community and network development. “Technology stewards are people with enough experience of the workings of a community to understand its technology needs, and enough experience with technology to take leadership in addressing those needs.

• Champions: in order to get conversations started in an online community, you need a group of enthusiasts willing and confident to get things moving by posting messages, responding, and helping others.

• Content management systems (CMS) are sometime described as the Swiss Army knives of social media. They are software suites offering the ability to create static web pages, document stores, blog, wikis, and other tools. CMSs have the advantage of offering comprehensive solutions - but can be challenging to configure, and each of the different tools may not be quite as good as a stand-along version.

• Community building is the process of recruiting potential community or network participants, helping them to find shared interests and goals, use the technology, and develop useful conversations. A number of different roles may be involved.

Digitization and the Social Media
The Social Media is like a snowball rolling down the hill. It picks up speed; now social media has become the standard as it permeates all aspects of the ICT age including digitization in the broadcasting industry. Today, social media is being deployed in all components of information dissemination in a world that has been atomized into a global village. The social media has become a clearing house among all reputable broadcasting outfits in the world. It has become fashionable for all Broadcasting outfits to leverage social media to build community, crowd sourcing and bookmaking. The British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, uses the Social Media Platform for collaboration, collective intelligence and innovation. The CNN, Al-Jazerra, SkyNews and Reuters etc - also interface with social media platforms to get a pulse of the listening public by bookmarking, like, comment, and share and test the wisdom of crowds where individuals’ preferences are aggregated to fine-tune their operational dynamics.

In Nigeria, the Nigerian Television Authority, African Independent Television, the SilverBird Group, Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria, BON, and other news organizations use the social media as a potent tool for building online communities, online conference and improve on content creation in text, pictures, videos and other materials on the internet. Digitized broadcasting stations also deploy software suites offering the ability to create static webs, documentary stores, blogs, wikis and other tools. Every broadcaster needs an audience and when digitization is combined with social media, audience building and crowd sources are enhanced.

Digitization and social media are bedfellows in terms of democratizing the media. Social networking and media are potentially attractive to those who want to revive democracy. Social media offers politicians a channel of communication. Most broadcasting stations, (radio and television) obtain useful information or feeds through the blogs, social media sites and also aggregate such information for policy-making. They also have instant messaging (IM) facilities, Microsoft Live Messenger or Yahoo Messenger, while other take to Skype-all in an attempt to update the audience on breaking news, exclusive bulletins and news panorama.

Most of the broadcasting stations including the print media have social media interface. The two are complimentary and the complementarity creates vast digital opportunities and a menu of choices for consumers.

Both social media and digitization are interested in mapping networks and connecting people. These accelerate the process of people getting acquainted with each other to engage in open, fluid discussion and enjoy the benefits of cross-fertilization of ideas. The use of social media to share and collaborate creates a participatory culture, photo sharing is uploading images. Teleconferencing is another advantage of digitization and social media and digitization when mixed into one bundle of life can produce amazing results.

The Challenges of Digitization in Nigeria
In spite of the benefits of digitization, there are several dis-benefits, which are likely to vitiate the realization of our national aspirations. Some of the challenges include:

Deadline: The main challenge of digitization broadcasting lies with the actual migration from analogue to digital. Although, other challenges rest on this one, the issue of meeting the set 2015 deadline is troubling. This position is predicated on the massive erosion of confidence of Nigerians in the economic and political system of the country. As at now, there is neither any institutional framework nor stringent measures put in place to make sure all broadcast stations comply (Ibulubo 2008). Our aspirations to meet the MDGs are elusive and it is on record that NigComSat-1, the Nigeria Communication Satellite, launched into space in May 2007 was shut down in 2008. We may not meet the goals of vision 20: 20:20. Unemployment has soared to the roof tops while insecurity walks on four legs. Amidst these challenges the deadline factor remains utopian.

Technical Challenges: The switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting requires huge investment on the equipment and gadgets, which requires finance. The broadcasters need a huge capital outlay to acquire new digital equipment ranging from equipment to transmission equipment. In this vein, broadcast organizations like Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, will be hit severely let alone State-owned broadcast stations. Similarly, the broadcast audience without digital compliant sets will have to acquire such skills. All these are capable of vitiating the deadline set for the digitization process.

Manpower: As broadcast stations begin to acquire complex and fragile equipment, we also need the requisite manpower with the technical know-how to match. The task of training and retraining personnel to fit with the digital process pose another challenge. Again, digitization will increase the number of broadcast personnel who may likely fit in may not be enough to fill the spaces and as such, pose an initial challenge.

Power Supply: The power sector reforms are still being implemented. Digitization depends on constant power supply and not on standby generators, which is commonplace in Nigeria. Running generating plants impact on the cost of production or service rendering costs, which charges are later transferred to the consumers. Digitization will be very expensive without adequate and steady power supply.

Knowledge Gap: A potential challenge of the digitization processes segment of illiterate population. Most of this population dwells in the rural areas, which do not readily get information concerning the process. There is an obvious knowledge gap between those that are aware of the process and those that are not. This is a major draw backward to the digitization process.

To overcome these challenges, there should be a framework that world separate broadcast content providers from the content distributors. Significantly too, a new licensing structure that will cater for providers and the distributers should be put in place. When this is done, it will lead to efficient digital broadcasting in the face of competitiveness.

Another way to get around the digitization challenge is the sensitization of government policy makers, stakeholders and officials to contribute positively to the process. The idea of convergence of broadcasting with other related technologies should be given priority attention. Whereas awareness creation is important, there should be put in pace enabling legal framework should be put in place to facilitate the digitization process.

Facebook is a social networking service launched in February 2004, owned and operated by Facebook, Inc. As of September 2012, Facebook has over one billion active users,[6] more than half of whom use Facebook on a mobile device. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as "People from Work" or "Close Friends".

How to Create a Facebook Account.
The Facebook is the most popular social media platform driving traffic of 1.6 billion users. Other platforms are YouTube, MySpace, Badoo, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Starting a Facebook page is as easy as going to http://www.facebook.com/pages and following the steps. However there are some things you want to consider before you do so:

1. Create a Page: If you already have your own Facebook profile all you have to do is go to http://www.facebook.com/pages and click on “create a page”. Only if you are not registered to Facebook yet, you can create a business account.

2. Choose your Name Carefully: Be sure to take into account the long-term purpose of the page because once you have 100 fans you will no longer be able to make any changes to the name of your page.

3. Prepare content before inviting friends: Once you sign in to your account and choose the name and category for your page, Facebook will take you through the steps of first uploading your profile picture, and then inviting friends. You may skip this step and invite friends later.

4. Choose appropriate applications: There are many free applications on Facebook that are great for managing the content on your page to make it more dynamic. Facebook has recently removed the Applications Directory, but you can now search for applications directly in the main search bar on top of Facebook and then filter by clicking on Apps on the left bar. Installed applications are managed through Edit page –> Apps. Here are just a few of the most useful page applications for a business:

a. Reviews: Especially when starting a page, having some reviews from loyal fans not only brings credibility to your business but will increase fan growth.

b. Social RSS: Allows you to create a tab that displays the news-feeds of any website you choose. This is great for adding a company blog, and you can set it to post automatically to your wall whenever your blog is updated with standard text like for example, “Check out our new blog” and a link to your blog.

c. YouTube Video Box: There are many different applications for managing how your YouTube videos display on your Facebook page, depending on whether you want to post videos from a specific channel or have the option to collect any YouTube video on this tab. either way, it’s a great option for highlighting your YouTube videos.

5. Landing Tab: One more thing to consider before announcing your page publicly or inviting fans is a landing tab. In your setting you can choose which tab people will land on when they come to your page, the default will be your wall.

6. Track with Google Analytics: Though it is not easy to add the Google Analytics, with a little insight it is possible and will provide valuable metrics. Here is a helpful article that explains how.

7. Invite Customers to become Fans: Facebook provides two ways of announcing the launch of your page. Firstly, by going to Edit page –> Resources –> Tell your fans, you can upload a file from your database. Secondly, by using the “invite friends” option when viewing your page you can let your Facebook friends know. However, it is important to know that neither of these options will create a message, email, or notification. Therefore the most effective and direct way is to announce it to your database/clients through email with a link to your page.

8. Custom domain: Once you have 25 fans you can create a custom Facebook url (i.e. facebook.com/so¬cialbakers) which will be a much nicer and neater way to share your Facebook url. However, be careful! Once you set this name you will not be able to change it.

9. Social Plugins: Now that your Facebook page is running, be sure to include Social Plugins on other marketing channels such as your website and emails in order to turn your customers into brand advocates at every touch point.

10. Monitor: Don’t forget to use Facebook Insights on at least a monthly basis to see how your page is performing against your goals and KPIs. For even more valuable insight as to what content is most engaging your fans, what times of the day/week you should post, and even identifying your most influential fans, sign up for Socialbakers Engagement Analytics.

Advantages of Facebook Use
1. FACEBOOK IS USED FOR NETWORKING: No doubt, Facebook is the most powerful social media and social networking site. You can use Facebook to connect with your family, friends, work colleague and to meet new people. This is the best way to find your school, college or any other old profile. Most of the people, who know how to use a computer and internet, have a profile on Facebook. Moreover, it’s easy to find like-minded people by seeing their interests, and you can easily connect with them using wall updates, private message, poke or text, and video chat.

2. TO MAKE FRIENDS, SHARE IDEAS AND FIND DATES: Facebook is also famous for finding a date. College students and youngsters are using Facebook for dating and to make new friends. Indeed, with a social networking powered by over 2.4 billion active users, it’s easy to find a date for yourself that shares common interest and hobbies. One should be careful about fake Facebook profiles though, as they are usually created by stalkers or spammers.

3. ENHANCES GROUP STUDY & COLLABORATIVE INTEGRATIVE LEARNING: Collaboration with teacher Integration - a positive aspect of Facebook for students is for the promotion of group study and collaboration, along with the further possibility of educators and teachers having a 'watchful eye' and a 'helping hand' in group discussions which that can be taken away from the classroom. Students have the ability to share ideas and their feelings towards a certain aspect and help one another in problem solving and understanding particular concepts.

4. FOR BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS: Talking about Facebook advantages for business, it’s one of the largest sites in the world where we are allowed to connect to everyone. Anyone can take advantage of Facebook to maintain a good relationship with others, who identify with certain tastes or products. This is very important, because later you can sell a product or promote products or services, thus increasing the possibilities of making money on the Internet. Facebook allows the establishment of partnerships between various projects. Moreover, using a Facebook fan page, you can increase your brand value and social media presence for your business.

5. FOR CHATING & WATCHING VIDEOS: Facebook can also be used as video chat tool. Recently Facebook implemented Facebook video chat feature in partnership with Skype, and now you can make video calls to your friends using the Facebook inbuilt video chat app. In case if you are not aware of it, check out how to set up Facebook video chat. You can also use Facebook as an image or video hosting site. You can set privacy for individual album to make your video and image collection private or public. Moreover, you can always download your complete collection of Facebook photos and videos using the Facebook backup account feature.

6. FACEBOOK PROVIDES UPDATES: The best sources to stay updated with latest news and updates are to use the facebook tool. Major news usually goes viral on Facebook and you will not miss important updates. Bloggers and Internet marketers can subscribe to popular blog Fan pages and keep themselves up with latest updates. In fact, I have one profile just to gather news.

7. REDUCES THE COST OF COMMUNICATION: Using facebook is completely free this makes communication between two or more people cheap. People around the world employ the use of facebook which makes it a worldwide commodity. This is very advantageous in the sense that old friends who might have traveled to faraway places. Facebook enable its users to search for new and old friends. This is quite advantageous as long lost friends are able to reconnect after searching for their identities. The security measures that are attached to the site enables communication between friends and no stranger is able to get access to information about an individual unless allowed getting access.

Others are:
• Finding Good People – Social Networking sites like LinkedIn are a great resource for business owners to find new talent or even partners for a new venture.

• Build your credibility – By consistently interacting and posting a person can build trust and credibility amongs their audience which in turn can lead to more business.

• Ease of Communication – Social networking sites allow you a fast and free resource for communicating with your customers and potential customers. Announce sales, promotions, special events and more by simply typing your message and posting it to your page or profile.

DISADVANTAGES
1. One of the major concern and disadvantage of the Facebook is to do with Facebook privacy. In the past, it has created many buzz due to sudden changes in Fb privacy settings but now Facebook has simplified it’s privacy setting. Due to ignorance and lack of understanding of Facebook privacy feature, people make many mistakes. Another situation to consider has to do with the availability of information too personal, whether in video, pictures or text. Never give out too much personal information. As throughout the Internet, we should bear in mind the privacy of your personal data, because after they are placed online lose your control.

2. Facebook is full of fake profiles of girls and guys. You will find tons of fake Facebook profile with beautiful profile picture of a girl. There is no limit to such profile, and most of them are created by stalkers or by marketers to gain more friends and use it for their marketing purposes. There are many ways by which you can find a Fake Facebook profile, which we will cover in upcoming article.

3. Of all the Facebook disadvantages, I believe this is one of the major reasons why people deactivate or delete their Facebook profile. Being, one of the best ways to know what your friends are up to, people spend too much time on this social networking site. Apart from that, Facebook chat and Facebook video chat is another two-time consuming feature. If you want to use Facebook for your advantages, use it for specific time-limit in a day. Spending too much time on Facebook, might make you a Facebook addict.

4. Negatively Impacts on Grades Among Students- Facebook can obviously benefit a student's grade from healthy debate and discussion but it also has the negative effect on a student's grade as a result of potential procrastination and distraction. Having said this -- the 'net' Facebook effect, for students who multi-task (e.g. Switch from revising to Facebook etc.) are said to see a drop by 20% in their grades. This can be rather easily solved -- don't multitask, drop Facebook and start revising!

5. Everything Is Public – The nature of social networking sites is that they are ‘well’ social, so things get shared. And one small mistake can morph into a public relations nightmare.

6. Negative Publicity – People really like to use social networking sites as a place to express their frustration and they dish out trolls. Being on the receiving end of this negative publicity can have dire consequences. This is why some people are socio-phobic.

Conclusion
As we inch towards 2015 – the target date of the Millennium Development Goals, and as the trumpet reaches a deafening pitch for Nigeria to join the league of the first 20 industrialized economies in the world by 20: 20:20, one central tendency that comes to mind is the technological deficit which often conduce to media imperialism and digital Darwinism. This is where Nigeria must make concerted efforts to meet the 2015 deadline on digitization

The power of social media in proffering solution to national problems cannot be over-emphasized. Apart from networking and sharing ideas, social media tools can be used to facilitate communication to improve governance. Educational institutions can use social media to effectively establish their reputation as a cutting-edge research institution, recruitment process, and build relationship between staff, student and the community.

Social media is becoming an indispensable part of the marketing mix for many businesses and one of the best ways to reach customers and clients. Social media platforms, such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have a number of benefits for companies and are fast overtaking traditional media formats such as print and TV ads, brochures, flyers and email campaigns. Social media’s adaptability makes content management generally more flexible. It is measurable when the platform is optimized. Social media is instrumental to contact building and community building. Social Media channels are extremely simple to use as it requires very basic computer skills. Its simplicity has made it a beautiful bride of users. Social media tools are open to anyone, whereas reaching the traditional media often requires a lot of money and a good network of media industry contacts.

I am confident that if there are enabling laws and the requisite institutional framework for digitization to thrive, the broadcasting industry will witness a quantum leap. It will even be more so if digitization carried allow the social media which provides a vast array of opportunities in information sharing. If Nigeria is poised to meet her MGDs, and become one of the strongest 20 economies in the world then digitization must be pursued with vigour. Ultimately, our global technological travel in broadcasting and information management cannot be complete without digitization.

You have been indulgent and I thank you.
July 2, 2014
A number of general principles have been identified to help provide a solid foundation for all digitization projects:

• Collaborate across the organization and with external partners, where possible;

• Digitize at the highest resolution appropriate to the nature of the source material;

• Digitize at an appropriate level of quality to avoid re-digitizing and re-handling of the originals in the future;

• Digitize an original or first generation (i.e. negative rather than print) of the source material to achieve the best quality reproduction possible;

• Create and store a master file that can be used to produce surrogate files in accordance with the requirements of current and future users;

• Ensure originals are maintained, as digital copies are not substitutes for originals, although some original analogue media may not remain viable in which case the digital master will become the best available copy and should be treated as the “original”;

• For master files, use lossless file formats whenever practical;

• Use components that are not specifically dependent on proprietary products and formats;

• Use file formats and compression techniques that conform to existing cultural heritage standards;

• Create backup copies of all files on servers and have an off-site backup strategy;

�� Create meaningful metadata for files and collections;

• Store digital files in an appropriate electronic document management environment (e.g. external hard drives, servers, etc.)

• Monitor data as necessary (e.g. data integrity, checksums, etc.)

• Document a migration strategy for transferring data across generations of technology;

• Plan for future technological developments.
The use of technology has become a core part of the institutional mission of museums, archives and libraries around the world. Computer- based systems are now considered essential for many operational aspects of such Memory Institutions. These include collections man-agement, as in the use of administrative databases and online cata-

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), has set June 17, 2015 deadline for the global industry to go digital. Not wanting to be caught unawares, Nigeria has set December, 2014 deadline for broadcast stations in the country to achieve this goal. Consequently, the Nigerian broadcasting industry is currently undergoing a silent revolution, undergoing a transition from analogue to digital technology.

Digitization is a technological innovation that will change the scope of radio and television broadcasting in this country and beyond, and in line with the transition process, ITU, in the Regional Radio communications Conference, (RRC) held in 2006, set June 17, 2015 for all Ultra High Frequency (UHF) channels to go digital. It also set the digitization of all Very High Frequency (VHF) channels for 2020.

Digital broadcasting has many advantages over analogue. Some of them include better programme presentation in terms of clarity and quality of signals and spectrum efficiency. Again, television sets would perform the tasks of computers and telephone handsets, under digital technology, such that TV sets would be able to provide access to the internet. Further, it would also be able to store data from received audio and visual signals.

A number of countries are already implementing comprehensive digital and long-term preservation strategies, by establishing the necessary digital infrastructure, standards and protocols, together with the required legal regimes. However, more efforts need to be made here.

Advantages
It would reduce ephemeral nature of the broadcast media if not eradicated. The broadcast media would begin to have catalogue value. On the side of broadcasters, digital broadcasting equipment will enable the simultaneous transmission of a minimum of four programmes and four channels from the same station that previously transmitted only one programme or channel in the analogue transmission. Moreover, the possibility of transmitting on a super-resolution hi-def TV is enhanced by digitization of TV signals. National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), look confident to successfully transit from analogue to digital by the end of 2014. The implication is that “a huge spectrum will be available for the telecommunications sector in Nigeria to use for the purpose of driving broadband access”.

Challenges Facing Digitization in Nigeria
Digitization is inextricable weeded to the power sector. Nigeria has to revamp the power sector, infrastructural development, offering political solutions, reversing the brain drain syndrome, etc; the switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting requires huge investment on the equipment and gadgets. The broadcasters need to acquire new digital equipment ranging from production equipment to transmission equipment. These are scarce commodities in most public broadcast stations.

As the complex and fragile equipment are coming in, there will be need to train manpower for their use. The task of training and re-training personnel to fit into the digital process pose another challenge. Thus, the existing broadcast personnel who may likely fit in may not be enough to fill the spaces and as such, pose an initial challenge.

In Nigeria awareness of the audience is still low, of the digitization process. Nigeria has a large segment of illiterate population. Most of these people dwell in the rural areas. They do not readily get information concerning the process. Also in the government offices, the awareness is not yet there.

To maximize digitization capacity, digitization projects must be adequately funded and the component must occupy a space in the budgets of organizations. Some countries in the Baltic and Scandinavia, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia have increased initiatives in this area.

It is essential to ensure wide availability of the digitized materials in open platforms, with appropriate quality, resolution and interoperability features. However, such initiatives remain for the most part scattered and limited in reach and scope.

There is the challenge of accessibility to these resources, which is jeopardized by intrusive watermarking, low resolution or visual protection measures, and its re-use limited by the prohibition of reproduction or use of such materials for other than non-commercial purposes.

Remedies to challenges
Secondly, sensitization of government policy makers, stakeholders and officials will contribute positively to the process. The audience also needs awareness campaigns to reduce the incomprehensibility of information regarding digitization. They should be made to understand the details of the entire process so as to become partakers, and not mere observers.

On the side of the consumers, government should help subsidize the cost of acquiring new sets of Set Top Boxes to create greater accessibility. NTA Enugu broadcasting station is faced with myriads of challenges ranging from the use of obsolete equipment, lack of adequate funds, political constraints and government interference, breakdown of operational equipment among others. NTA Enugu whose major problems are lack of adequate funds/ finance according to the findings of the study, should be provided with adequate funds through the Federal annual budget allocation. Government should provide the broadcast station its full monthly subvention in order to fully operate maximally like other mass media organizations, because of the essential services it renders to the general public.

Government should minimize its interference in the station in order to enable the station run smoothly and generate funds to operate maximally. Although it is the case of “he who pays the piper calls the tune”. It is no secret that the greater percentage of the problems faced by the government owned broadcast outfits is government constant unfair interference, accounting for the reasons private owned broadcast firms in the country thrive to the detriment of the government owned broadcasting organizations.

The prevailing analogues communication and engineering equipment should be replaced with digital communication gadgets such as digital satellite, electronic news gathering equipment (ENG), procurement of Teleprompters, news and programme processing equipment, digital editing studios among others. The researcher believes that the provision of some of these needed facilities will help NTA Enugu performance better. Finally, the researcher also suggest that the management of NTA Enugu broadcasting station should pay proper management functions such as planning, organizing, coordinating etc to bear-on the overall administration of the broadcast stations, so as to optimally boost its productivity.

Until these foregoing remedial measures are met, the myriad of problems facing the NTA Enugu Broadcasting station will still remain, thereby leaving the organization in digital divide. Nigeria has tangentially missed the deadline but digitization is still achievable if we have articulate science and technology policy with the political commitment to effectively implement those programmes with vigour.

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Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Idumange John and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Idumange John