The Mail & Guardian (M&G) Online has just launched a South
African blog aggregator, Amatomu, which ranks and sorts out the
countryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s blogosphere according to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“most-popularÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢, categories, newest
postings and more, according to a posting on the Editors Weblog.
Amatomu symbolizes the paperÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s evolving philosophy, from being a content producer to being a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œfacilitator of knowledge-makers.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Amatomu was born in M&G OnlineÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œLabsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â, a division similar to Google labs, which encourages staff to initiate and develop their own ideas and projects (to be considered by other publications).
The blog aggregator ranks and categorizes blogs, and enables users to search the blogosphere in an efficient manner, whether according to classic newspaper sections (Politics, BusinessÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦), ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“Hot Right Now,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ or simply by looking at the regionÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s newest blogs and postings. Amatomu also provides a blogosphere-wide search function to finally facilitate information gathering across blogs.
"The site has filled a gap in the market in that the blogosphere is a highly segmented community and Amatomu has provided a meeting place and central destination for bloggers,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â says Matthew Buckland, publisher of M&G Online.
Perhaps even better (for newspapers), Amatomu is paving the way towards concrete and sincere collaboration between bloggers and newspapers on a bigger scale. The newspaperÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s offering was built in conjunction with bloggers and has been received extremely positively.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe support we have received from local bloggers has been outrageous. The site is not even two weeks old and not out of alpha development and it has been flooded by local bloggers," says Buckland.
Indeed, Amatomu has been in the blog conversation for the past weeks, ever since its Alpha version was released. The blog even has an online tool to measure and collect feedback about itself.
AmatomuÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s power lies in its ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œcrystallization of the shift that we are going through and that all media companies must go through, from a producer of knowledge to a facilitator of knowledge-makers," says Vincent Maher, M&G Online digital media strategist.
Click here to read the full posting on the Editors Weblog.