It was back in November 2007 when Afrigator beta launched for the first time and Bandwidth Blog attended the unveiling. Later on in February I was assigned first to tell you that the new Afrigator Mobile v2 is live and later on, the Afrigator optimized for the iPhone.
Afrigator has continued to innovate on their platform and today they announced Afrigator BETA 2 with a host of new exciting features and improvements – We sat down with the Afrigator guys and got the low down on what’s new with Afrigator Beta 2 –
The new layout. A new homepage layout was designed and there are now four new tabs to sort articles by Recent, Most Clicked and by Popular Bloggers. The last tab is “custom” and allows you to filter the country or the category but you will have login into the system and click the Customize Homepage link in order to get it working.
Afrigator Beta 2 will also include MyGator on the homepage for more filtering.
Expand/Collapse buttons added to see descriptions and now each blog post will carry a small stats icon to see some ranks. Another interesting thing (at least I missed it) is that now you can easily see who wrote a certain article and the date.
News page is slightly changed because now you can sort articles by most recent or popular.
Another interesting change is the ranking algorithm. They’re now counting on four important factors : visits, pageviews, links from other Afrigator blogs and links from other Afrigator blog posts. This time I think they have the right formula which is a lot more fair and will produce much more accurate rankings. Check out their live blog stats page.
Justin Hartman, CEO of Afrigator, shared his thoughts on the launch
Since launching our public beta site four months ago we’ve focused a lot of our attention on usability, functionality and most importantly relevance. While our first beta version really brought African social media together we figured out over the last few months that finding relevant content on the site was somewhat difficult to achieve.
We’ve now introduced a wide range of features that help combat this issue and the most exciting one is the ability to customize your home page with topics of interest and filter content from selected countries.
From various feedback we received from our loyal users we also realized that removing blog rankings from the site was somewhat of a mistake. We learnt from this experience and not only is blog ranking back but it’s now better than ever. Our unique algorithm now takes blog visits, page views as well as links from other Afrigator blogs and posts and calculates an average based on these results. This average now formulates the basis of blog ranking on Afrigator.
This new model also allows for greater accuracy as we believe that web traffic to a blog shouldn’t be the only factor when determining a rank. For those who think otherwise we’ve also got other ranking methods on the blog stats page such as visits, page views, links and also country.
Stii Pretorius, Chief Technology Officer at Afrigator, had this to say
It has been a while since we did such a major release, so there is quite a lot of changes. We’ll aim in future to release less more frequently!
We also made significant changes to accommodate non-bloggers. People who do not have blogs (yet) might want to take advantage of the customization features Justin talked about. These people are more than welcome! We hope you enjoy the ride with us!
There is quite a few API’s which have to be aggregated, so that will happen the following couple of weeks.