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.
‘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]