Two new blog directories and a new local blogging service have launched recently. The first blog directory is the South African Blog Directory. It is run on Blogger by Michael, a Capetonian, and features blogs each week as well as covering the local blogging scene. This is how it works:
If you are living in South Africa and have a blog then you need to be on the South African Blog Directory. This is my directory for all the South African Blogs out there. Each Sunday morning I will select a blog to feature as the Blog of the Week. Once you have placed a permanent link to this site in the sidebar of your blog, I will return the favour and do the same. E-mail me to inform me that the link is in place and under which category you wish to be listed (I am quite happy to create a category for you if there is nothing on the list that matches your blog). If you have more than one blog you are welcome to submit them all. You will definitely experience an increase in traffic to your blog and might even be linked to by other members of the South African Blog Directory. If, for some or other reason, I decide not to link to you I will send you an e-mail to inform you please note that I will not debate why you were not selected and the decision is final. Typical examples of blogs that will not be selected are: pornography, hate speech, racism, etc.
The second local blog directory was launched by Justin Hartman, the guy behind SA Top Sites. It is called SA Blog Top Sites and features the ability to add multiple blogs under one account (this feature seems to be a little buggy and wouldn’t let me add additional blogs, instead preferring to ask me to sign in over and over).
The creators of SA Top Sites (www.satopsites.com) now bring you a new kind of Top Site website aimed specifically for Blogging sites with a South African flavour. If you are a Blog owner then you are invited to join in on this initiative which is essentially a central directory for Blogging websites in SA.
So why join SA Blog Top Sites?
- We provide a central directory for SA Blogging websites which is the first of its kind to help promote and market blogging in South Africa.
- You get to go head-to-head with the top blogging websites in South Africa on a ranking basis. We measure all the stats for you and determine the rank according to how many unique visitors you get to your website weekly.
- Ranking on our website is specific to our categories. This means you are only competing with websites in your category for the number 1 spot and not every website listed in the directory.
- Ranking is determined on a weekly basis which means that if your website gets the most hits during a particular week you will be ranked number 1 for the week. This gives new and less traffic based sites a better chance of hitting the top 25.
- Visitors on our website get the option to write a comment about your website or leave a rating based on their experience. The better these figures are for your website the better exposure you will receive.
- The first 25 ranked websites in each category get their rank displayed on our button on your website. Any website ranked higher than 25 will simply show a standard button without the ranking on it so if you are not getting the hits you will not tarnish your websites reputation by being ranked poorly.
- A new change is that as a webmaster you only need to create one account with us. With our new intuitive control panel you can add up to 25 websites under one username giving you easier flexibility in managing your details for your websites.
This site is more of a directory than the South African Blog Directory which feels like more of a blog about South African blogs with a set of links to those blogs. On the other hand, the Michael’s blog has the benefit of having some input from him on the various blogs he features and reviews. SA Blog Top Sites does have a rather nifty rating system and is quite well organised using categories and rankings. Both efforts are pretty good and long overdue. As for the new blogging service, Hartman and his people have introduced blog247, a hosted blogging service aimed at the local market and based on WordPress, the very popular and free blogging engine. The service is similar to a couple other local blogging services, including iBlog which is also based on WordPress although it offers a stripped down version of WordPress to users. I created a test blog and, contrary to iBlog, this service gives you a full WordPress installation which is pretty similar to WordPress.com. This new effort is pretty good and a welcome alternative to some of the other options available.