Is the SA blogosphere really “arriving”?

Arthur Goldstuck believes his numbers show that the time for “serious blogging” has arrived. I beg to differ. It ain’t here yet.

This is a bit of a rant and a moderated comment combined, but you’ll get the idea:

Mr Goldstuck proclaims Blogging as a fad is over; serious blogging arrives.

He basis this assumption around the emergence of two aggregator and tracking type sites last year, along with a bunch of thinly strung together blogging platforms developed by media houses with very little technical expertise, all coated in a healthy dose of banner ads.

To further state his claims he then crunches together a few numbers in a chart, et voila, blogging has matured.

Um, ja. A time for serious blogging indeed. No space for Vernon Koekemoer jokes in this here blogosphere… 😛

In a little over two weeks has soared to number 4 overall on the amatomu blog rankings. That says a hell of a lot about the performance and seriousness of the SA blogosphere. Or lack thereof. I’m privy to the number of visits taking place on this new site, and it is nowhere near what I thought it would need to be to achieve that top ranking. In a real blogosphere, the fight to the head of the long tail is tough but rewarding.

Screw hiding figures. Let me give it to you straight:
If you want to top amatomu you need around 2000 unique visitors a day with about 10000 pageviews. Probably more as time goes on.

Blogging in South Africa is nowhere near the maturity or professionalism that is present overseas. Some solid examples that absolutely blow away everything we offer blog-wise from South Africa:,,, Make: Blog, Pitchfork. In contrast we have, well, Cherryflava and Thought Leader, that maybe cut close to that rank. Attention is finite, which means we are competing against the best in the world. Lets not pretend we’re not. When top ranked SA sites such as MyDigitalLife, Tectonic, and even ThoughtLeader itself hardly gain traction locally on the interwebs, you can’t exactly claim the “serious blogs have arrived”.

In an age when blogs can be thrown together in fifteen minutes or less, and visits rise and fall on the viral whims of an audience, I’d take a pinch of salt before looking at Mr Goldstuck’s numbers with any sort of conviction.

Technorati Tags: blog, fad, serious, SouthAfrica, blogging, measurement, top, best, amatomu, thoughtleader, boingboing, statistics, arthurgoldstuck

5 replies on “Is the SA blogosphere really “arriving”?”

“If you want to top amatomu you need around 2000 unique visitors a day with about 10000 pageviews.”

If you had a look at the Amatomu Trends Page you’d know that you need about 35k pageviews a day to get to the top.

When Arthurs says its a serious medium, what he means is that volumes are high enough for serious monetisation. Amatomu is tracking about 8 million pageviews a month now, which makes SA blogs a viable place for advertising and that the blogosphere as a whole is a force to be reckoned with.

Sure its not as big as the US but on the other hand we’re doing very well for a country with less than ten percent internet penetration and it needs to be seen relatively.

“If you want to top Amatomu you need around 2000 unique visitors a day with about 10000 pageviews.”

“If you had a look at the Amatomu Trends Page you’d know that you need about 35k pageviews a day to get to the top”

Therein, Vincent, lies the difference in definition of pageviews and visits between Google and Amatomu.

There is a rather large imbalance in the Amatomu system. Blogs registered as “Sport” consist of less than 5% of the total number of Amatomu-tracked blogs – yet they recieve over 46.22% of the traffic.

And I’m willing to bet that most of that traffic is accounted for by and After those two, the remaining 8 slots on the top 10 list only require 14000 pageviews/day. Number 10 has 4000 pageviews/day – so get between 4.5k and 14k, and you’ll be on the top 10.

I’m no expert, but I think 10k sits in that range. And given that there is a massive slant towards browsing for sport-related sites, I’m sure that any other blogs will have a real tough time topping #1 on the list.

No, blogging is far from mature. Hell – we still use dial-up in this country. The most popular internet-related service in the country is definitely in the mobile industry, and I have yet to see a mobile blogging platform take hold in SA.

Hey – there’s an idea. Who wants to capitalize on it?

I think we can only really consider SA’s blogging as “mature” when the audience evolves to the point where usage spreads out more equally, and we have strong growth in very narrow niches. As of this moment, half the country browses sport blogs and does online banking. And that’s about it.

~ Wogan

This is actually quite amusing, because putting this in the same context as say the US/UK markets, you can start up a tech blog and become a player pretty easily if you content is good and regular etc, however in SA all you have to do is talk smack about sport and you can get into a top ten list in no time. Where is all the philosophical blogs, the blogs which take a stance against all things that are right or wrong in SA etc, these barely number a few.

Ironically, there is a blog listed on amatomu which details a woman’s experiences with internet dating yet her most recent post is the fact that she has given up and basically isnt into the whole net dating thing anymore … yet she still ranks far higher than some of the more unique and interesting blogs on the site.

I know it sounds a bit elitest but shouldnt their be like an amatomu elite cllection where in order to actually register you have to meet certain minimums like number of posts, posts of relevance etc, regularity of posts and so on. In fact upon registering your blog is put up for review and based on the responses from the community you are put into the right area etc in the blogosphere.

Knowing what is said above, I could create a fictional blog ( and simply list it under the sport section, have the occasional sport related post and the other 80-90% of my blog is about my fights with my gf or what my dog did funny today. Slap a coulpe of billion adsense links and in no time I am making money and getting the page views just because my site ‘sounds’ sports orientated …

Man I hate people who get online just to read sports … get frigging dstv you morons … there is a wealth of info online like getting a degree or studying metaphysical architecture of the blue breasted cod swaddler … or just learn about new technology or breakthroughs in medical science etc … who in the world let you guys dial up to check that the blue bulls STILL frigging lost against some arb team (tho you knew that cause you (a) watched the game and (b) heard it on the radio already and (c) discussed it over the water cooler with some idiot named Frik (no offense to geeky Frik’s out there intended).

Ye I dislike it how Amatomu only allows one category for ones blog to fall under, meanwhile it may fall under more than just one. Ie
Humour, religion, life, sport etc.

It may fall under humour, but have the occasional post on current events which may not be funny at all.

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