Mhambi has been redeployed.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Will amatomu steer the Afrikaanses out of the Litnet lager to 2.0-land?

There is a dearth of good independent websites in Afrikaans on the web. Why? It's Litnet's fault.

It's not as if there's not been allot written in Afrikaans. For years Litnet has been attracting the best minds in the Afrikaans community, where reams of polemic, draadsteek, and considered opinion appear every day.

If you want to have your finger on Afrikaans intelectual life, Litnet is the place to read heavyweightsAndries (Roof) Bezuidenhout, Koos Kombuis, Dan Roodt, Johann Russouw and many many more.

So what's the problem then?

Well this. Litnet is owned by Media24 behemoth (the old Naspers). It is rather odd that a whole community could swarm around a large corporate conglomorate in such an open medium like the internet.

Litnet does not allow its posters any control over their own intelectual output. It does not allow you to link outward, to inbed audio or video, to tag, burn an feed, or place ads to share in the ad revenue. Importantly it hogs all the Google Pagerank, and decides which of its posters to give most prominece to.

While allot of sites link to Litnet, Litnet does not link outward. Link equity has to flow, otherwise search engines cannot judge relevance.

But recently a number of web 2.0 websites have been launched that might start to prise open the closed Litnet. Blik and Muti, the South African recommendation engines are but two where individuall Litnet postings can shoot to prominece outside the control of Litnet. But Yesterday Amatomu was anounced. A rather clever Tecnorati like blog monitoring site built by the Mail and Guardian.

Already there are some Afrikaans blogs and postings amogst the many English ones.

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