Bloggers launch and develop for

You gotta love the blogging community. Vincent Maher and I were blown away by a new widget developed by Quirk Marketing that we saw advertised on their blog gottaQuirk this morning in a post written by Craig Raw. It’s a browser search plugin for‘s search that works on IE7 and Firefox. Apparently The Scott (Scott Gray) gave them the idea and they went ahead and built it. We had no knowledge of it at all. We’re going to list it on the Amatomu widget’s page with accreditation given to Quirk — hopefully that is ok with the geniuses at Quirk? (PS: Please update the icon for the plugin…ie it is an M&G Online icon not an Amatomu one, which we have just changed).

So far we’ve been blown away by the enthusiasm and support around by the blogging community and the tons of suggestions and bug reports we’ve been sent by the community. This has been more than a website for Vinnie and I, but a passion. It was part of what we call our “Lab” projects at M&G (modelled on the Google Labs concept), which we have created via a rapid development process without the usual project plans, workflow diagrams, specs, storyboards etc etc… It’s not for the faint hearted.

Amatomu is something that has been developed on weekends, early mornings and that has had Vince and I monitoring it late into the evenings from our homes and even Vince rushing to the office on a particular late Sunday evening. What has been particularly great, is to see the same amount of passion for it by the local blogging community. Anyone who wants to get more involved with the Amatomu and help us…. Give us a shout.

This was a site launched by the bloggers, not by ourselves as it was so aptly mentioned in a recent Biz-Comm article interview that Vincent did with them. We’ve been trying to hold off Bizcomm for a while as the site has not even launched yet, but they wanted to do something on it and there is very little we could do as the story was out there.

Just to emphasise, it’s a site that belongs to the South African bloggers. There is so much to do on it still, we’re not going to lift the ALPHA status of it until each and every concern and suggestion by the blogging community has been dealt with, and that we are satisfied that we have corrected some niggles and issues that Vince and I are still unhappy with. The site itself is far from finished. In fact, I don’t think it will ever be finished.

Some issues:
– Improve Latest blog posts to show more (ie up to last 30 days)
– Have a “My favourite” blogs area so you can identify and list your favourit blogs
– Improve the tag cloud… it still needs some optimisation
– Need to look at admin tools for categories
– We can think of other categories to be introduced (any suggestions?)
– Other metrics for measuring blog activity to be introduced such as viewing blogs by number of posts, measuring link relations between blogs and some others
– More widgets to be introduced
– extended bloger profile pages
– a podcast area
– The hot right now can be expanded
– The top 10 is quite dominant on the pages and we are looking at this, perhaps have other ranking metrics with other ways of measuring blog activity…. we’re debating this, give us your feedback!
– Look at more ways of sending more traffic to the south african blogsphere

Any other suggestions?

Comments (7)

  1. I’m far more interested in the linkages than in the raw traffic. Services such as technorati don’t require signup because they can auto-discover new feeds and add them, and those feeds can be ranked on how they’re linked and from whom, and nobody has to add in a tracking code to their web log.

    If you can find a way to make the raw traffic (ie, page views) less important relative to the linkages, then you can auto-discover web logs (or have people suggest them) and have them not have a tracking code, but still be part of Amatomu.

    Besides that, I’d love to see some discussion on algorithms to improve the relevancy of the “top posts” and “top blogs” – to move from “most recent” to “most recently interesting”, as it were.


    Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 5:10 am #
  2. matt wrote::

    hi Neil… yep this is noted. we believe page views are important but it is far from the only metric… so as per yr suggestion above we’ll be introducing other kinds of measurement for the blogs. The idea is to spread around the linklove. matt

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 8:25 am #
  3. alan wrote::


    great work. the local blogosphere really needed this (kick)! let me know when the m&g labs wants to talk blog-engin. we might have something of interest for them… 😉


    Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 8:46 am #
  4. matt wrote::

    why wait? gimme a shout…

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 8:56 am #
  5. shodan wrote::

    Hi Matt, I just discovered your site and consequently Amatomu through another blog ( and wanted to commend you guys on an awesome job!

    Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 12:11 pm #
  6. matt wrote::

    hi shodan — thanks for yr comment…much appreciated! matt

    Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 2:26 pm #
  7. alan wrote::

    matt – can you drop me a mail? i’d like to give you a shout about what i mentioned above, but can’t find your email address on this site!

    Wednesday, April 4, 2007 at 6:35 am #

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