We’re not alone

Seems mummy and daddy aren’t happy with just one baby blog anymore…

Fek, I really have been out of the loop. Anyone else know about this?


Feel like I’m about to get retrenched.

Bloggers launch M&G blog site

Bloggers have been flocking to a new South Africa blog portal called Amatomu.com, despite the best efforts of its creators, the Mail & Guardian Online, to keep it a secret. The site was undergoing closed-group testing when word began to spread among local bloggers and new users began registering their blogs.

Amatomu.com in alpha version

According to Vincent Maher, strategist at the Mail & Guardian Online, the purpose of the testing was to get ‘real’ data to work with before the site, which is still in development as an ‘alpha version’, went into public beta testing.

Zeitgeist for SA network

Amatomu, meaning ‘reins’ in isiZulu, encapsulates the goal of steering traffic towards bloggers by acting as a homepage and zeitgeist for the South African blog network. Maher claims that http://www.amatomu.com is a first of its kind in South Africa – and probably the African continent.

‘It was always going to be hard to keep something like this a secret, but those we invited managed to stay quiet for more than a week,’ he says. Word got out when South African blogger and Global Voices author Tyler Reed, who was unaware of the initial secrecy, discovered code on a test blog and wrote a review of the site on his own blog, http://www.tylerreed.co.za.

Amatomu.com collects South African blog content and measures traffic to local blogs, displaying the top 10 and top 100 blogs by their popularity. The site also organises blogs into various categories such as media and marketing, business, politics, technology, life, sport and entertainment, effectively turning it into a searchable blog directory.

Experience diversity

‘We have always had an affinity with the blogging community and want to provide a space for people to go where they can experience the diversity of South Africa’s blogging community. By doing this we have the ability to boost traffic to bloggers and give them a representative yardstick with which to measure their own success’, explains Maher.

The site has been hailed by several bloggers as a ‘Technorati for South Africa’, referring to the popular American blog measurement service. The service is, however, different because the blogs it tracks are exclusively South African, and need to be registered with the site.

‘The rate of adoption of this new service took us by complete surprise,’ comments Maher. ‘We were expecting growth to be gradual but clearly there is a great need to create a destination for blog readers, and bloggers themselves, that reflects the South African community.’

‘We will soon be nearing a position where we can provide measurement statistics for the bulk of the active South African blogosphere, while providing significant traffic to the blogs themselves. We may even begin highlighting the blogs on Amatomu.com on the Mail & Guardian Online and the newspaper. The whole point of this site is to send more readers to the South Africa’s bloggers,’ he says.

Provider to facilitator

The blog aggregator, like The News in Photos, is yet another example of how the Mail & Guardian Online is shifting its role from provider to facilitator.

‘As a media company we are committed to supporting our audience and giving them more powerful tools with which to make their own voices heard,’ concludes Maher. ‘Culturally we have a great affinity to bloggers, being an independent voice ourselves.’

[27 Mar 2007 10:14]


13 thoughts on “We’re not alone

  1. dex says:

    If (when) than one really takes off, I wonder how long ’till they shut down the Mark…

    Can’t see it making sense to them to keep both running.

  2. dolce says:

    that’s what I was thinking…although, the new one seems like a blog portal with an added blog facility. Which is weird. Next there will be rabbits and pink sparkles, I’m telling you.

    And don’t tell anyone, but feeling a teeny bit hurt that we didn’t get a peek. Like an unwanted puppy.

  3. dex says:

    maybe getting back at us for all those nasty comments back when they broke the site…

    Fuckin Andreas. All his fault, I tell you.

  4. dolce says:

    (haven’t had a good *pfffft* in ages!)

    Ja. AJ. Wafts in on his barbiemobile. Mows down the masses with machine gun words. Wafts out again. Leaving us with a few tattered egos and the smell of cordite in the mornin’.

    Bet you he’s given in and married the 23 year old.

  5. dex says:

    …and now only drinks Windhoek Lite, plays bridge on Thursdays, and of course they’re trying for a little bundle of joy of their very own.

    (it does feel good, doesn’t it?)

  6. micatyro says:

    …blogged about a new blogsite about 3 weeks to a month ago… he asked blogmarkers for feedback, but to me at the time the sketchy layout that he posted a link to was very similar to 24.com blog… I was busy so didn’t get time to comment.

  7. dex says:

    this is me feeling slightly sheepish.

    Fuckitt Dolce, can’t you get your facts straight?

  8. bbmatt says:

    … there were no borders in Cyberspace.

    The larger world wide blog sites, or sites such as Flickr, have no such boundaries, but I can see where a specific country may benefit from discussion only about that country, or from members of the country.

    Seems a bit odd though, a Blog area specifically geared toward a single country?
    Would only topics about South Africa be considered, or is it still a “free for all”?
    Do South Africans think and write differently to other people around the world?
    What makes a Blog area specifically South African? – the fact that it’s designed and populated by South Africans?
    All the subject matter is South African?
    The web servers are in South Africa?

    Should I steer clear, as I don’t live in South Africa?

    Worth thinking about.

  9. dolce says:

    Dexter, I’m not responsible for straight facts. Only the bent and wobbly ones!

    [sotto voce]

    And who reads Mahler’s blogs here. It’s like reading emails from HR. You know you should, but….

  10. dolce says:

    An AJ mini me.

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

  11. dolce says:

    we’ve always been a little clique-y…what’s next; the cyber cup?


    (yep, it’s good)

  12. vincentmaher says:

    Amatomu doesn’t have an actual blogging facility, it just tracks the local blogosphere, where possible.

    It’s also not for blogs about South Africa, more for bloggers who are South African. There has been a great need to be able to see what SA bloggers are saying in a bigger context but not as big as Technorati, so we made Amatomu.

    As for shutting down the mark, we have plans for a redevelopment, we’re a little off deadline but we will get to it. The new blogmark will be much much better, I think.

  13. kchasu says:

    how are the local blogs trawled to be on amatomu? am interested because i don’t see any of the lame stuff that has a high view count. this is not the same as asking who you have to sleep with to get on there…

    Then – having logged in (yes, question one was dof) it gives me this line of code to paste in my template. erm… what template? i have one on 24, but i don’t like that blog site. can someone please explain to me in language applicable to a two year old how the hell i do this?

    never mind setting up an RSS feed off blogmark…

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