I just received an email from Nic Haralambous which he sent out to 300 of his closest friends and contacts about a new SA gadget blog he, Justin Hartman and Gregor Rohrig have launched:

The site aims to inform, entertain, and alert South Africans about the gadgets that are available to us. Our gadget reviews don’t just highlight the technical aspects but will also judge how well they work, where one can get them, and if our local technology infrastructure can actually support these electronic toys.

The site offers detailed written reviews, quirky video posts, aggregated gadget news from all across Africa, user ratings, and hot links from popular gadget sites from around the world.

My first thought was “bastards!”. I have been toying with the idea of a gadget blog myself given that there hasn’t been a local gadget/computer online mag worth talking about (no, those are not worth talking about). I clicked on the link and was confronted with this fine piece of design:

Then came my next thought … “bastards!!”

This site has to be one of the best looking gadget sites we have here in SA, if not on the Web generally. Instead of looking yet a blog with a variation of a variation of a common WordPress theme, these guys have put together an online gadget magazine that I can see myself visiting often, if I wasn’t such an RSS junkie lately (which brings me to my one big gripe about the site).

The site pretty much covers the essentials and I can see that the guys have added content going back to last year to flesh it out a bit (always a good thing). I subscribed immediately even while uttering obscenities under my breath because they did this so well while I just thought about doing …

My one big gripe is that the feed is truncated and I am forced to visit the site to read the posts. I understand the desire to drive traffic to the site itself for advertising purposes. This is common when sites rely on advertising but it is not very user friendly. I use NetNewsWire to handle the bulk of my Web consumption. I subscribe to somewhere between 250 and 300 feeds at the moment so I would prefer not to have to actually visit a site unless I really want to view something in my browser instead of in NetNewsWire. This is just a hassle for me and anyone else who works in a similar way. I would much rather see full feeds published and I could even live with ads in my feed.

These days with Feedburner Pro being free, publishers can get quite a bit of information about their subscribers and how they consume the content so I think the argument that users be directed to the site itself isn’t as valid anymore (but then, what do I know?). I actually tend to skip over sites that don’t publish full feeds and only visit the site if something really compelling pops up. I currently have 9 tech blogs I subscribe to (376 unread posts as I write this) so my attention is relatively limited and I tend to prefer the more detailed feeds. But that is just me.

Otherwise this blog is fantastic. It is well designed, has a great focus and I wish the guys well with it. I am really excited to see that the blog is published under a Creative Commons license although the NonCommercial ShareAlike license means I can’t grab content under that license for this blog (I make a whopping 50c a day in ad revenue so this blog is cooking …). Great job guys.

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