Liberian’s are innovative! And it’s not just because we’re great with entertainment or fashion. When it comes to innovation, the advancement of our culture and livelyhood sparks interest of good judgement while making history. History in the making is what I can resonate with when it comes to my country Liberia. There is no other that I come face to face with that puts so much pressure, give so much love, and exhale so many talents in the universe. Either you accept it or deny it. For me, I accept it, breathe it, taste it, and feel it.
“WLOJII is not a place to download Liberian music”…
This feeling is no different, especially when it come to innovator Lincoln Ward. Not only is he an outstanding creator when it comes to business, but he is ultimately a source paving the way for Liberians with one of the broadest, unique, most extensive, and impactful ideas anyone from Liberia has come up with up to date, personally.
You’ve heard of Pandora, yes? You’ve heard of iTunes, correct? Well, have you heard of WLOJII? “WLOJII is not a place to download Liberian music, it’s an app that allows you to listen to Liberian music.” – Lincoln Ward, Developer of Wlojii
With the kind of unique approach Lincoln has brought to the Liberian community as a whole, it is impossible to discredit the vision and how much blood, sweat and tears that was accumulated during the process of building this platform.
As a person that creates and build websites, I am amazed at how much quality Wlojii possess . How much thought and creativeness that is presented in the visual components, organization, usability, page layout, space, and and the purpose of building this platform is what attracts me the most.
Anyone can create an entertainment blog or a fashion blog, but this right here… it’s something else. It unifies the variety and mixture of Liberia’s voice, spreads the love of Liberia’s artistry- old and new and introduces the meaning of “support”. Support in the sense of listening, not downloading music for free. If you are not sure if you want to purchase an artist song or cd, personally, Wlojii is definitely a great place to listen to it first. Even if you want to just listen to all LIB music throughout your day, Wlojii is where its at. Download the app on Google Play.
While it is still beta, I had the opportunity to talk to Lincoln Ward about Wlojii. His response is quite incredible, because we have so much in common than I thought. Read what this legend have to say:
(Interview Starts Here)
(SaytueSayeWhat) I see that you are a web developer, what inspired you to become one?
(Lincoln Ward) Since I was a kid, I always loved technology and although the resources in Liberia were very limited at the time, coming to the US just gave me the ability to explore my curiosity and to learn more of what I love.
(SaytueSayeWhat) You attended and graduated from the University of Pittsburg, correct? When you attended, what were some of the hardest things you had to learn about web development?
(Lincoln Ward) I actually attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan. Graduated in 2008. The hardest thing I had to learn was the different programming languages that, if I am being honest, I am not even using in web development.
(SaytueSayeWhat)Hmm, that is quite interesting, because it seems like the stuff you learn in school for a particular career, you rarely use them.
(Lincoln Ward) These are all different content management system platform. They are similar in a sense that they all use database to store information but the platforms are totally different. Most people might use WordPress because it’s the simplest among most content management systems.
(SaytueSayeWhat)When dealing with websites, I know that creativity and planning plays a huge part. Do you create drafts first before the actual finish product?
(Lincoln Ward)Where I work the process is divided into three categories. We have Producers, Designers and Developers. I am a developer. The Developers are given a Photoshop design of the website and we have to do the coding to make the website look like the Photoshop design.
(SaytueSayeWhat) Coding is extremely difficult. To me, coding sound exactly like programming language. I mean, with coding, don’t you have to use certain programing languages to create websites? I’m confused.
(SaytueSayeWhat) This may be a secret, but, which software do you use to create your websites?
(Lincoln Ward) It’s not really a secret. When I first started, I used Dreamweaver a lot when dealing with basic html websites but with CMS, no software is really needed. For writing CSS, I mostly use Atom or TextWrangler.
(SaytueSayeWhat) What is the key to writing good cascade style sheets? I guess I’m still at the beginner stage, because I deal with Dreamweaver (lol). It’s very interesting though, because managing a website seem like a lot of work, especially dealing with hackers. I deal with WordPress a lot to, and I’ve gotten hacked so many times. With content management system, does that help stop hackers?
(Lincoln Ward) Lol there are many articles written about the “key to writing good CSS” it just have to be organized and easy to read just incase another developer has to make some modifications. A web site will still work with a sloppy css but it’s good practice to be organized.
Updating your CMS whenever there’re available updates will help protect your site from being hacked. Having strong password and also a server that is well protected will also help.
(SaytueSayeWhat) Also, I hear people say they build websites when in deed they do not. They only create websites. For you, I think you build, because you are a developer, and someone who work with WordPress sites create, because WordPress work with Templates. What is your perspective on that?
(Lincoln Ward) WordPress can also be built from scratch just like any other CMS. It’s just that wordpress makes things a little easier by providing templates that you can modify but if a client didn’t want any of those templates and wanted something custom, you would have to build it. The same goes for other CMS. In my case, I have done both. It depends on what the client wants. Some might already have a template that they have purchased and want you to just modify. Others might have ideas that they want and you will have to custom build their site base on those ideas.
(SaytueSayeWhat) On another note, I know that you recently launched a very interactive website and service for Liberian musicians and fans called Wlojii, can you please explain what it’s all about and what made you create this platform?
(Lincoln Ward) Wlojii is a global, experiential, Liberian Music platform built for fans that are looking for Liberian music. Wlojii members enjoy exclusively curated content that directly connects artists with their fans in multiple ways. The Platform offers high-fidelity, CD sound quality music, an opportunity to discover new artists and new Liberian music.
I have always been a supporter of Liberian entertainment. From my earlier websites, The Liberian Umbrella (TLU) to LibAfrica, “I Rep Lib” and now WloJii, I try to do my part in trying to help uplift Liberian entertainment.
(SaytueSayeWhat) That’s great! And what I love about this platform is that I am actually listening to my own people. It makes me feel great knowing there is so much talent in the Liberian community. I honestly believe that it has potential to become bigger than Pandora. And I can really see it being just like Itunes. Is that the direction you are planning on taking it?
(Lincoln Ward) That is exactly the direction I will like to see it evolve into. I just need the support from Liberians to help make it known.
(SaytueSayeWhat) How can artist add their music to the site?
(Lincoln Ward) Wlojii is centered around “Good” Liberian music so before it is uploaded on there it has to be listened to. In order for music to be uploaded to Wlojii, the artists/managers will have to send me the song(s) along with a cover photo via my email. (Linwilvic@yahoo.com)
(SaytueSayeWhat) Okay, so it’s in the beta stage. When is the official launch?
(Lincoln Ward) Although there are minor glitches with the iPhone app that I am working on fixing, Wlojii has been officially launched.
(SaytueSayeWhat) Out of the submissions you’ve received thus far, which artist is your favorite and their song and why?
(Lincoln Ward) I try to be neutral when it comes to artists and songs but I must say, I am loving most of the music that is currently on Wlojii.
(SaytueSayeWhat) I hear all of the time that Liberians do not support each other, and by this, it’s the reason why Liberians are not as successful as other people in other countries. Do you believe this as well?
(Lincoln Ward) I think that notion is just another way of putting each other down. Yes, it might seem difficult at times but with perseverance people eventually will come along. I don’t think that only applies to Liberians.
(SaytueSayeWhat) Because I consider you to be a professional in what you do, what is one thing that Liberians are lacking when it comes to business?
(Lincoln Ward) I think as a business person, you have to have patience when dealing with people and the professionalism to conduct your business properly.
(SaytueSayeWhat) Okay, let’s go back to you creating websites. Did you have to do a lot of coding on your own when you built Wlojji? I’m asking because it seems like a lot of work?
(Lincoln Ward) A lot of work was put into the development of Wlojii and I am still working on it to make it better and although I have been building web sites for a while, I must say, I am learning new things currently while working on Wlojii.
(SaytueSayeWhat) Okay, so what are the new things you are learning?
(Lincoln Ward) App development, Objective C
(SaytueSayeWhat) Wow! That is very interesting. Isn’t objective C the main programming language that Apple uses for the OS X and iOS? How is Objective C going to work and advance with Wlojii? I mean, what exactly are you trying to do? Can you tell my readers what Objective C is going to do for Wlojii?
(Lincoln Ward) To better understand how to build iOS app and make it better it’s good practice to learn Objective C. Most builders use Swift but Objective C is the foundation. I am still at the beginner stage of app building and as I learn, I can apply that to WloJii.
(SaytueSayeWhat) Okay, you have another website called I Rep Lib. What is the purpose of this site?
(Lincoln Ward) “I REP LIB” strives to promote and shine the spotlight on the rapidly growing entertainment industry in Liberia and its diaspora. We focus on outstanding Liberians and their work inside and outside of Liberia. We also showcase rising stars in Liberia and update people on what is going on in and around the community
(SaytueSayeWhat) You also host a radio show that is associated with it, right?
(Lincoln Ward) Yes, I have a radio talk show call “I Rep Lib” that is broadcast live on Radio Lib in the diaspora and HottFM 107.9 in Liberia.
(SaytueSayeWhat) What is Radio Lib all about?
(Lincoln Ward) Radio LIB was the first Liberian online radio station broadcasting in the United States. Our listeners enjoy live music from various genres including African, Reggae, Hip Hop, R & B and Soul. Songs composed and performed by artists from Liberian, Ghana, Ivory Coast and the rest of Africa are also featured on the station.
Not only do we entertain, RadioLIB also broadcasts news and programs relevant to the daily lives of Liberian citizens in Liberia and the Liberian Diaspora
(SaytueSayeWhat) What are some of your favorite interviews you’ve done this far?
(Lincoln Ward) I have many but the one that really stands out was the interview I did with the artists that were involved in the “Pot not boiling” song.
Xpolay, Romeo Lee, JD Donzo, Takun J, Bentman Tha Don, and Luckay Buckay.
Before the interview, I did a gofundme page in order to raise money as a token of thanks and appreciation to the artists. Liberians all over the diaspora contributed and that made me so proud and give me the zeal to continue to help push Liberian entertainment.
(SaytueSayeWhat) What are some of the things talked about on Radio LIB?
(Lincoln Ward) Many things are talked about on Radio Lib. Radio Lib has different programs during the day. You can hear political programs, religious programs, and much more.
(SaytueSayeWhat) What days and times do you host your show?
(Lincoln Ward) My show comes on every Saturday from 2PM to 3 PM eastern time / 6PM to 7PM Liberian time
(SaytueSayeWhat) It seems like you stay low key. With all of the talents you have, why is that?
(Lincoln Ward) I guess with this day and age, with family and work, life gets really busy and since I am on the computer all the time, it is easier to keep an online presence then a physical one. Work has taken a hold of my social life. But as far as low key, in life I prefer to focus on my passion rather than self-gratification because at the end of the day, your work will speak for you.
(SaytueSayeWhat) Absolutely! I 100% agree. Can you please share the website link to Wlojii and Radio LIB with my readers?
(Lincoln Ward) Sure for “Wlojii” it’s http://wlojii.com and you can all find the Wlojii app in your Google and Apple store. For “I Rep Lib”, It’s http://ireplib.com
(SaytueSayeWhat) How can people contact you?
(Lincoln Ward) I can be reached mainly via facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LegendTheMan or my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you can see, Lincoln Ward isn’t just an average Liberian; he is a legend that is in business for his people, not for show. I have learned so much more about creating and building websites. His knowledge definitely interest me, and I am so grateful to have interviewd him. I am definitely going to research more about this craft that I am so passionate about, and support my Liberian brother by downloading the Wlojii app.
What are your thoughts about this interview? SayeWhat you want to Saye… I’m listening.