Influence. It’s all about having the authority to control outcomes, persuade, inspire, but mostly effect changes on a massive scale. Citizen journalists are often called the fifth estate, that echo of the fourth estate which serves the public interest as a watchdog to corruption and the abuse of power. With that comes the notion that bloggers could mobilise to influence the world for the better.
But do bloggers wield real influence?
On a global level the heavyweights certainly do. A case in point is The Huffington Post that reaches some 5.7 million readers. Founded three years ago by the prolific Arianna Huffington (she’s published twelve books) this blog has a significant influence on the media, public and political agenda. A Google search of the name yields some 3.6m results, Google news over 2,4 thousand responses this month, and Google blogs close on half a million results. But it’s not just about the numbers, the blog’s readers are highly influential and a lot of them are members of the media who report breaking news citing Huffington as the source.
Bubbling under Huffington are the likes of Kottke, TechCrunch, Perezhilton, Boingboing and Mashable who have turned blogging into formidable empires. If you want a comprehensive list of the global influencers, The Guardian did an excellent feature on ‘The world’s 50 most powerful blogs.
Technorati says it tracks over 112.8 million blogs, excluding the 72.82 million Chinese blogs counted by The China Internet Network Information Center. Locally Arthur Goldstuck puts the number of local blogs at just over 26 thousand saying citizen journalism only went main stream in 2007 “when the number of blogs and media attention around those blogs exploded into the mainstream consciousness. It was all so sudden; it naturally carried all the lightweight baggage of a new fad.” Posts on blogs last year were set at just over half a million while blogs drove 55,757-million page views according to Goldstuck
While bandwidth and accessibility remains an issue until the full effect of the telecoms revolution, laying of new sea cables, and infrastructure in 2010 plays out, it’s clear that our numbers aren’t formidable. But the potency of local blogging is mostly hampered by myopia. Suffer through the fast majority of blogs in the South African blogosphere and for each great blog you’ll find a hundred or more wrist gnawers sprouting odes to angst; cut and pasting bad jokes; rehashing awful emails about “you know you’re a real woman when…”; and keeping boring journals that would be best hidden under mattresses. Yes it’s the freedom to publish but another cutesy kitty image snapped from ICanHazCheezBurger is hardly going to change our world.
That said there are a slew of better bloggers, but their influence too is somewhat muted by ego and self-interest. Blinded by the reflection of their own glory, many local bloggers are too busy serving their own self interest (read self aggrandizing), bitching or blogging about other bloggers (read flaming or circle jerking) to step out from under their own shadow and a make a mark on the global stage.
The world has shown us what can be done so why aren’t there local legends of the likes of a Huffington Post, TechWeb, Robert Scoble or Perez Hilton a run for their money? If we have the talent and will to blog, why are we still sitting on the grandstands of the big game? My money’s on the myopia – inability to break through the boundary of self interest and see our ability to influence a global village.
That said there is cream at the top of South African citizen journalism. People who influence public debate, get tongues wagging, influence the media agenda, take on politicos and big companies like bull terriers and gain great clout. Here then my top ten most influential bloggers followed by a list of influence from some of South Africa’s blogging elite.
- The Outspoken – Justice Malala – Fiercely frank, completely uncensored, Malala is one of the most relevant and bold political commentators of our time. He also writes a hysterical column in the Financial Mail. He should do us all a favour and blog a bit more often.
- The Numbers Man: Launched prior to the 2003 World Cup Mark Keohane’s site rakes in traffic big time. In April this year 64,486 visitors from 156 countries visited the site chalking up 1.1 million page views. Kudo’s to www.keo.co.za for creating the blog/site a sports mad nation is mad about.
- The Author – Ndumiso Ncgobo: Writer of the hilarious best seller “Some of my best friends are white” and resident spear chugger on Thought Leader. He’s the only blogger to report live from Polokwane and live to tell the tale.
- Chris Roper: With Tom Eaton off writing film scripts, Chris Roper is one of the few satirists and columnists that still make us laugh. He’s wickedly funny and way too smart for his own good.
- Super Mom: Tertia Albertyn is a South African blogging success story. She’s built an enviable community, won a host of awards, pumps traffic to her blog and now has a book out.
- The Cultural Blush – Vernon Koekemoer: We all cringe when the ad of his latest CD comes on TV, but he’s a viral wonder whose influence has lasted a lot longer than 15 minutes. For good or bad, he’s ‘moered’ his way into our popular culture.
- The social media stars: Vincent Maher, Matt Buckland, Rafiq Phillips and Mike Stopforth. They should start a cult, a new religion or a rock band.
- The Multi Media Men: The ZA Tech Show and Khaya Dlanga. The upstart tech podcasters and the YouTube vlogger who are obviously having loads of fun and capturing everyone’s attention with cool compulsive content.
- Hayibo – Not strictly a blog, but in a world where satire is outpacing and outnumbering traditional news, Hayibo has grabbed attention with major word of mouth.
- Adii: When designers and bloggers the world over start clicking on your blog for creative inspiration you know you’ve achieved influence.
Mandy de Waal is a columnist, journalist and the Editor of MoneywebLIFE. She microblogs at Twitter, vlogs at Zoopy and blogs at Tech Leader, Thought Leader and her own blog, Artificial Intelligence.
The influential bloggers’ list of influential blogs:
Dave Duarte is a web marketing and communications consultant. He blogs at www.daveduarte.co.za. “Technically, I’d say Influence in the SA blogosphere could be measured with a weighted index of other blogs linking in to a blog, regular visitors, and comments. Index aside, though, influence in blogging really comes down to how much of an impression your blog makes on other people. My top ten – no index was applied.”
•- Jon Cherry: Founder of the SA blog awards, and author of the perennially popular CherryFlava Marketing and Trends blog. Jon has appeared on television and print numerous times as the spokesperson for bloggers in SA.
•- Tertia Albertyn: Mommy blogger extraordinaire, Tertia’s blog has won numerous awards, and has even been turned into a book!
•- Rafiq Phillips: Rafiq’s passion for Google and Mxit, expressed through his blog, has many others addiCTed to the tips and tricks he shares on his blog. His appearance on Carte Blanche as the poster-child for the web2.0 generation in SA also helped cement his place among the most influential.
•- Seth Rotherham: A controversial figure in the SA blogging community (he is avowedly not part of it), Rotherham was one of the first people in South Africa to start drawing a decent income from blogging. His style of tongue-in-cheek style of glam-blogging is now widely imitated in the SA blogosphere.
•- Adii: One of the most popular bloggers in the world, Adii writes mostly about blogging, and his template designs for WordPress blogs, which are used by many other professional bloggers in South Africa.
•- Mike Stopforth: Mike’s influence as a blogger extends beyond his website – he was one of the first, and most prominent blogging evangelists to business in South Africa.
•- Ray Hartley: Probably the first major print newspaper editor to start blogging, Hartley’s opinion on current affairs often inspires debate and discussion in the blogosphere.
•- Vincent Maher: Although he doesn’t blog very often, when Maher blogs about an issue in online media, people pay attention.
•- Bolton DeVenter: The first fictional character to hit the SA blogosphere in a big way. DeVenter had people designing t-shirts in his likeness, and almost had Vincent Maher drive to Ermelo to discover his true identity. Many people now believe that DeVenter is in-fact former MG Online GM, Matthew Buckland (another influential blogger!).
Mathew Buckland is the former GM of Mail & Guardian Online and blogs at www.matthewbuckland.com. One of his proudest moments was when some of the world’s biggest blogs – including Techcrunch, Mashable – tried to break his servers by linking to his blog.
•1. vinnylingham.com: Vinny commands a sizeable audience locally and internationally.
•2. mikestopforth.com: An influential blog on social media and web 2.0 issues. He also hosts the 27dinners.
•3. Michael Trapido at Thought Leader: The indefatigueable Traps is consistently the top political blog on Thought Leader. It’s a down to earth and sometimes humorous take on politics.
•4. Ndumiso Ncgobo: The first blogger locally to attend a major political event (he blogged from Polokwane) Ncgobo is consistently ranked the highest on thought leader
•5. Justice Malala: Ace political commentator, Financial Mail columnist, and blogger at www.thetimes.co.za
•6. 2oceansvibe: This blog is a true original. Hilarious.
•7. Cherryflava.co.za: Enjoys a high Technorati ranking and a large overseas audience.
•8. Vincentmaher.com: Blogs on media issues, but is a good, original writer that has attracted a great audience.
•9. The Wild Frontier: A blog on politics and what is happening at the Times, by the Times editor in Chief Ray Hartley.
•10. keo.co.za: Arguably this isn’t a blog, but it looks like a blog and started out as a blog. Its audience share is massive.
Mike Stopforth is a Web 2.0 entrepreneur who heads up Cerebra and is a co-founder of Afrigator.com and the 27dinner social networking movement. He blogs at www.mikestopforth.com. ‘I’ve chosen a ‘bloggers that influence me the most’ lens, simply because it’s easier to pick them out that way. In doing so, I thought about which blogs I’d most like to own/write and which content I value the most.”
•1. Charl Norman – www.charlnorman.com / www.bandwidthblog.com: Charl is the SA 2.0 guy everyone else wants to be. He’s the kind of person that makes me think ‘if only I knew what I knew now when I was his age’. With all his success and recognition he’s a still a humble, nice guy that I have a lot of respect for.
•2. Jon Cherry – www.cherryflava.com: Cherryflava is still, years down the line, one of SA’s mostly widely read and cited blogs. Jon’s advertising, marketing and branding experience and insight always makes for compelling reading.
•3. Dave Duarte – www.daveduarte.co.za: Dave has cemented his place as a leading thinker in terms of Web 2.0 and it’s impact on society and education – when he writes, people read.
•4. Gino Cosme – www.ginocosme.com: I really envy Gino’s audience – he has made it easy for corporate SA to grasp and embrace online through disciplined research and writing.
•5. Rob Stokes and team – www.gottaquirk.com: Rob can’t take all the credit for the content on his company, Quirk’s blog, but he can take credit for the brand and the vision – it’s a brilliant read.
•6. Fred Roed and team – www.ideate.co.za: Ditto here, Fred and his team publish a brilliant resource for marketers that I am always very happy to recommend to my clients.
•7. Matthew Buckland – www.mattewbuckland.com: Matthew has a keener understanding for the media and it’s intersection with the Web than anyone else in the country – I am intimidated by his intellect.
•8. Andy Hadfield – www.andyhadfield.com: Andy possesses the unique ability to translate complex terms and concepts into accessible language that corporate South Africa has really embraced.
•9. Nic Haralambous – www.nicharalambous.com: Often controversial, never boring, Nic’s properties (both his .com and the very popular sarocks.co.za) are daily reading for me.
•10. Tertia Albertyn – www.tertia.org: Tertia makes me laugh, out loud, as she shares her experiences of being a parent, wife and working mom. I’d really like her traffic too.
Duncan McCloed – Associate editor at Financial Mail and author of FMTech: “I don’t read a heck of a lot of blogs. I tend to scan the Muti RSS feed several times a day. I also scan the digg feed (obviously not local). Local blogs I do check out are: Matt Buckland (outgoing M&G Online editor) who sometimes posts interesting insights on online publishing. Simon Dingle a founder member and host of ZA Tech Show, SA’s premier podcast. Ivo Vegter, a good friend of mine whose opinions I don’t always agree with, but his posts are always thought-provoking and hard to argue against. Commentary SA the country’s best political blog. Hayibo the funniest site on the SA Web. It’s a bit of an Onion rip-off, but who cares? Tectonic is a great blog about Linux and open-source software, run by Alastair Otter. Keo is great, of course, though I must admit I don’t access his site much. When I do, there is always something interesting to read. I also enjoy reading Ray Hartley’s blog at The Times. His posts are always very readable. It’s great to see the editor of a major daily newspaper get new media. I’ll also be keeping a close eye on Jake White’s new blog. I hope he updates it regularly. My former colleague Nic Haralambous runs a cool pro-SA blog.”
•1. Coda.co.za – The best designer in SA.
•2. www.2oceansvibe.com – No list would be complete without Mr Rotherham.
•3. www.tertia.org – A highly successful writer with probably the biggest international readership in the country.
•4. www.keo.co.za – Who has turned his one man show into a mega-media empire.
•5. www.sarocks.co.za – Nic is doing an awesome job of flying the proudly SA flag.
•6. mushypeasontoast.blogspot.com – Laurian has built up an amazing following over the years and a powerful online brand.
•7. www.theworldasis.co.za – An underground online novel that we think is breaking new ground .
•8. www.thoughtleader.co.za – Winning this year’s SA Blog awards has to put them up there.
•9. www.ideate.co.za – Quality small business information that’s a must for entrepreneurs.
•10. www.urbansprout.co.za – In a world going green, this blog is blazing a world-class information trail.
Darren Smith, Managing Director of B2B media concern TechNews: “There is a difference between influential and interesting. Influential changes opinion on something. Very few blogs manage to do this. They’re interesting at best. Influential can also ‘start’ you looking at something. A brand new opinion. New information. I’ve had that with SA bloggers. I’d rather say bloggers in za influence the influencers. As a media professional, I keep my ear to the ground, and listen in to the conversations taking place in the blogosphere … and am indeed influenced by these conversations. In amongst the ‘noise’ of Twitter and personal and professional blogs, is a wealth of breaking news, insightful information and rumour-mongering, which when placed in context and filtered appropriately, is relevant to our own professional communities.” Smith’s 10 SA influential bloggers:
•1. Mark Keohane: Keo.co.za taps into a uniquely South African sporting fixation with rugby, and is arguably the most commented and trafficked blog in the country. Its community engages with its subject daily, in numbers that makes one wonder if any of them hold down permanent jobs.
•2. The Micro Bloggers – http://twitter.com/TylerReed; http://twitter.com/rafiq; http://twitter.com/pauljacobson; http://twitter.com/SimoneBiz: Between them, these 4 have posted more than 20,000 tweets. But what makes them interesting and influential, is how their conversations interplay … Tyler with his development speak, Rafiq with his mobile and SEO orientation, Paul with his legal and iCommons expertise, and Simone in her role as assistant editor of BizCommunity. The Loeries meets the Cape Flats, meets iSummit, meets Facebook.
•3. Vincent Maher: Vincent Maher straddles the worlds of academia, design, media, technology and puts his views across in a way which is engaging, thought provoking, sometimes infuriating. But always entertaining. One word seems to define Maher. Respect.
•4. Ndumiso Ngcobo: A Mail & Guardian Thought Leader, Ndumiso Ngcobo is a self-styled resident Zulu spear-chugger. He is the author of the recently released book Some of My Best Friends Are White, and says stuff that I can’t say … and gets away with it. Well, because he is the resident Zulu spear-chugger. He makes me laugh.
•5. Ivo Vegter: Ivo Vegter has opinions. They amuse, cajol, infuriate, irritate, inform. He is argumentative. Oh, and I did I say that he has opinions. He specialises in the tech and telecoms industries, but keeps a blog on politics, economics and other curiosities. Ivo is a great read.
•6. Simon Dingle and Brett Haggard, both from Hypertext Media; Duncan McLeod from the Financial Mail and FM Tech; Benedict Kelly from Finweek; and Jon Tullett from IHS – The ZA Tech Show: A group of South African tech journos who love their beer and their voices, have got together and produce a regular Podcast called the ZA Tech Show. They love their widgets and gadgets and talk mostly about the state of the local information technology space. When the beer flows, it can get ugly.
•7. QuirkStars: A blog on the convergence of marketing and technology, written by a collection of QuirkStars from around the world, focused on all things related to eMarketing. They’ve also have the distinction of having had a book published – eMarketing: The essential guide to online marketing.
•8. Steuart Pennington: Not strictly a blog … but started in the same conversational spirit as have many blogging stalwarts, SA The Good News highlights the things that we as South Africans NEED to know about, because we bludgeon ourselves with so much of the bad news that the mainstream mass media seems to revel in.
•9. Simon Barber at http://www.izwi.com/ and http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/simonbarber: Taking the good news beyond our shores. Simon Barber does in the US, what Steuart Pennington does in South Africa, and that is talk about why it is good business to do business in South Africa … where the opportunities are, and who is doing what in making things happen.
Muhammad Karim – Marketing Blogs, Blogging Marketing. Karim’s list:
•1. Rafiq Phillips – The quintessential web strategist and expert on new media, his ideas are seminal and he stays on top of the latest trends.
•2. Mike Stopforth – Marketer and blogger, his insights spread far beyond the world of blogging.
•3. Matthew Buckland – M&G stalwart and brains behind some of SA’s greatest blogs.
•4. Vincent Maher – Journalist and blogger behind some of Sa’s biggest moves forward in new media and journalism.
•5. Andy Hadfield – Brilliant blogger and new media thinker.
•6. Dave Duarte – Marketing guru whose latest forays into new media and its applicability to marketing really stand out from amongst the crowd.
•7. Jason Bagley – Fun and energetic web developer, blogger and new media fundi.
•8. Melissa Attree – Another marketer and communications analyst who is hell bent on helping people build brands using web 2.0.
•9. Mandy de Waal – Brilliant writer and blogger who’s work is practically ubiquitous writing for great blogs such as Tech Leader and Thought Leader as well as industry magazines such as Brand Magazine.
•10. Eve Dmochowska – Another journalist and writer whose work in writing for business magazines has spilled over into the blogosphere.
Fred Roed, CEO of World Wide Creative, the SA and UK-based web marketing company. Fred has a healthy appetite for good beer, great pizza, Hawaiian shirts and building brands online. His list:
•1. Jon Cherry at cherryflava.com: He has the attention of just about every savvy advertising and marketing person in South Africa.
•2. David Duarte: He’s hyper-enthusiastic, damn funny and seriously smart. South Africa’s Seth Godin, except he doesn’t write runaway bestsellers… yet.
•3. Chris Roper: As we say in our studio, ‘every sport needs a John McEnroe’. His blog is fairly new, but the fact that he is the Chief Editor of 24.com propels him straight onto this list. If he carries on ruffling feathers, people will refer to David Bullard as ‘the poor man’s Chris Roper’.
•4. Charl Norman: He embodies the new breed of online entrepreneur / blogger.
•5. Rafiq Phillips: He is an unashamed early adopter. Most of the time, I don’t understand what he’s on about, but the penny will often drop somewhere (later) down the line. People follow Rafiq to find out what’s coming around the next corner.
•7. Mark Keohane: Anyone who regularly gets over 500 comments to articles is, er, influential.
•8. Andrew Smith: Andrew and his Yuppiechef.co.za business partner, Shane Dryden, are two of the smartest guys I’ve ever come across. Andrew’s (and Shane’s) influence will gain steadily as e-commerce becomes more prevalent in South Africa.
•9. Eric Edelstein: He’s got a great track record of picking winning online ventures. It’s always going to be interesting to watch what his next step is. Great guy, to boot.
•10. Steve Hofmeyer: Even though he quit blogging, the words ‘Steve Hofmeyr’ instantly adds a couple of hundred visits to your blog. Now that is influence.
•1. Charl Norman: The premier online mogul boy in my opinion – in how many pies does Charl have his hands?
•2. Mike Stopforth: Owner of an established social media company, with a very credible & authoritative online persona.
•3. Dave Duarte:Leading social media / online marketing expert!
•4. Rafiq Phillips: He was born wired!
•5. Tertia Albertyn: SA’s one and only celebrity blogger.
•6. Jon Cherry: Old School vs New School.
•7. Mark Forrester: Widely regarded as one of SA’s foremost designers & design bloggers.
•8. Damien du Toit: Top designer, top blogger.
•9. Nic Haralambous: Always controversial and at the forefront of SA’s blogging community.
•10. Max Kaizen: Max doesn’t blog frequently, but when she does, she produces masterpieces.
Nicholas Haralambous is the general manager of Zoopy.com’s Johannesburg office. He is also a blogger, journalist and entrepreneur.
1. Michael Trapido – www.thoughtleader.co.za/traps – Traps is a voice worth hearing. His opinion and relentless 4th estate approach to his writing is much needed in a dumbed-down political sphere.
2. Rob Stokes – http://www.gottaquirk.com/ – Rob is an important blogger to read because he has true insight and genuine experience that makes his writing worth the read.
3. Ndumiso Ngcobo – http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/silwane – Genuine and honest opinion is hard to come by. The Silwane Files is a blog filled with simple truisms and introspective outwardly-appealing opinions.
4. Fred Roed – ideate.co.za – Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of SA at the moment, Fred and his Ideate partners provide integral insight in to their business experiences.
5. Khaya Dlanga – http://www.youtube.com/user/khayav – Khaya is actually a Vlogger. His insight and no-holds-barred opinion about SA is invaluable.
6 & 7. Glen and Wanda of Urban Sprout – www.urbansprout.co.za – Green is the future and I respect and value anyone talking green in SA.
8. Vincent Maher – wwww.vincentmaher.com – He doesn’t blog often but still remains an essential figure to follow in the online industry.
9. Jarred Cinman – http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/burningpaper – Open, honest and not scared to blog about the “no-no’s” such as religion.
10. Fred Khumalo – http://blogs.thetimes.co.za/khumalo/ – Mainstream media taking up blogging is always interesting. Fred has done a brilliant job of involving himself and his opinion in the blogosphere.
Ramon Thomas, online behaviour expert from NETucation, a leading South Africa online research organisation.
1. Rafiq Phillips: www.webaddict.co.za – the most consistent blogger about new technology and how its relevant in South Africa over the last few years
2. Arthur Goldstuck: www.thebigchange.com – the publisher of several books on technology, and pre-eminent researcher landed on the ground running with this one of several blogs her owns.
3. Nic Haralambous: www.SARocks.co.za – the best postive news source about South Africa from a grass roots movement that couldn’t wait for Proudly South Africa or other campaigns to make an impact.
4. Alan Straton: www.mype.co.za – an great example of an individual promoting a city that is outside the flow of commerce between Johannesburg and Cape Town for the most part.
5. Yusuf Mahomedy: www.worksucks.co.za – the most useful insights on employment and career advice.
6. Sarah Britten: blogs.thetimes.co.za/britten – sharp insight about advertising and social trends.
7. Khaya Dlanga: the leading video blogger from South Africa has over 10,000 subscribers on his Youtube channel and I’m one of them.
8. Vinny Lingham: www.vinnylingham.com – the leading voice in Internet marketing and search marketing period.
9. Tertia Albertyn: www.tertia.org – the leading female blogger in South Africa since the rise of blogging.
10. Paul Jacobson: www.pauljacobson.org – Although I know several other IT attorneys this one is the most authoritative blogger by a long shot.
Mommy blogger extraordinaire, Tertia Albertyn is SA’s most popular personal blogger. Her blog www.tertia.org won top spot at the 2007 and 2008 SA Blog awards. “My top 10 bloggers might not be the popular choice (the young/white/male/geek inner circle is a little too incestuous for my liking), but these are the top 10 local bloggers who have the most influence over my life.”
•1. Mike Stopforth: Mike is young new media entrepreneur who writes well, speaks well and manages to make a decent living out of this blogging business. Although he is young / white / male and slightly geeky, Mike is also a genuinely nice guy. I respect his insight and I love his honesty. Plus he has a wicked sense of humour.
•2. Dave Duarte: Making a name for himself among the academic circles, Dave is a super intelligent guy and all round nice person.
•3. Max Kaizen : Describing herself as “hunter of genius”, Max is a frighteningly clever and utterly sexy woman, one of the most connected bloggers I know.
•4. Rafiq Phillips: Ah, if only I was 17 years younger. Another genuinely nice guy who also happens to be a wizard at this bloggy/webby/geeky stuff. He is someone to watch. If you are a big corporate looking to stay ahead of what is happening in the Web 2.0/new media space, employ this young man.
•5. Melanie Novitzkas: I am totally biased of course. (Melanie is my sister) About as ungeeky as you can get, my sister blogs about the amazing outreach work she does in her community.
•6. Neil Hinrichsen: Now living in the sleepy hollow of Knysna, Neil is the original geek. He was doing all of this long before today’s blogger were even a twinkle in their parents’ eye. The young geek set could learn a lot from him.
•7. Jon Cherry: Owner of the influential site, Cherryflava, Jon Cherry is one of the few local bloggers who manages to cross the divide between blogging and business very well. He knows how to talk ‘corporate’, which is extremely important if local bloggers ever want to make money out of blogging.
•8. Nic Haralambous: Editor of SA Rocks and another one of the young/white/male/geek set. (Perhaps they aren’t so bad after all!) This is a geek who isn’t scared to say what he feels and go against the clique. I love that he gets emotional about what he does – it’s called a personality and he definitely has one.
•9. Sam Wilson: Editor in chief of Women24 and writer of note. She has a huge following and a lot of influence among the women / mommy set. The mommy blogging movement is hugely influential in America. Here in South Africa we should sit up and take notice too.
•10. Paul Jacobson: Paul is a new media lawyer and has extensive knowledge about the legal underpinnings of the blogging world. Well connected and very well liked, Paul manages to have universal appeal among all the different blogging niches. The geeks like him, and the mommy bloggers love him too. He will probably go bright read when he reads this.
Peas On Toast. (www.mushypeasontoast.blogspot.com) I write pretty honestly about my life, and am not adverse to being candid about sex and using some foul, but very meaningful and descriptive obscenities to do it. Because that’s how I roll. With my sh*t off safety.
•1. Things I Hate About My Flatmate: Very unfortunately, this blog is only updated every few months or so. But I visit everyday just in case I missed the RSS. He writes about his flatmates in the most articulately descriptive and anal manner, and since he is a patent lawyer (where he lives is unknown, however he is originally South African), he uses Latin terminology as freely as the construction of his sentences. Always entertaining, educational and hysterical. Always. My favourite. If I could just find him and force him to write every day. And maybe take him out for dinner.
•2. The Other Side Of The Mountain: This Capetonian also has a marvellous way with words, although has since changed the format of his blog since its inception, now creating cartoons. These form a running commentary on his working life, and he has a large fan-base. Very eloquent, likeable fellow. Chicks dig him.
•3. Garfield Minus Garfield: I’m cheating here (But rules are always flexible. Always.) This American blog has taken a simple idea and turned it into a goldmine. Garfield comics, minus the fat cat. Just Jon. Possibly the most random bloke on Earth on his own, it’s as if he’s slightly bipolar, talking to himself and doing strange things without Garfield. It’s classic. Meet Jon Arbuckle, as he battles life in a lonely American suburb. What cat, again?
•4. Chester Pillow’s Jozifornication: Chester’s blog is a soap opera. He’s a dude that analyses and writes like a girl, and yet is still the eligible bachelor with alpha-male tendencies. Hilarious and funny, and most people can empathise when it comes to social implications and ironies in The Village that is Johannesburg.
•5. Gregor Rohrig.com: Gregor has been blogging for some time, and his blog has taken on many forms and functions over the past few years. Always up-to-date on new templates and technology, Gregor’s main focus is his photography. Beautiful pictures and captions, as well as thought-provoking posts.
•6. The Blonde Blogshell: Always funny, light-hearted and sincere, a girly blog, but I find her frankness completely refreshing. She’s high profile too.
•7. Cherryflava.com: Very beautifully-designed and up-to-date marketing blog run by Jonathan Cherry. Very relevant and interesting information on the latest gadgets and brands, and news within the media and marketing sphere that can be counted on as reputable and well-researched.
•8. Twisted Koeksuster: Koeks is a South African girl now living in The Hague. She’s a journalist by trade, and is therefore witty, concise and well-spoken, and always manages to write entertainingly even if she’s commenting on the new furniture she assembled from Ikea, or Dutch idiosyncracies.
•9. The Devine Miss M: Miss M is a South African girl who lives in London and talks candidly about guys, her industry (television), dating dilemmas and more. I like her. I like her a lot.
•10. Stafford Masie: Stafford is the country manager for Google South Africa, and also happens to be my boss. Yeah, me and my boss read each other’s blogs. Stafford is always riding the crest of knowledge when it comes to new technology, the Internet and Google applications. A keen ‘adventures’ guy who is into renewable energy and gives intelligent insight into his endeavours.
•1. Dave Duarte: A great thinker specializing in niche new marketing.
•2. Saul Kropman: Always speaks his mind and provokes thought in the process
•3. Nic Haralambous: Same as the above.
•4. Ideate bloggers: Leaders in small business and marketing
•5. Vincent Maher: One of the authoritative blogs on traditional media vs. new media with a great technical edge.
•6. Mike Stopforth: A great strategist in the social media space
•7. Tertia Albertyn: One of the most successful & influential bloggers in SA.
•8. Charl Norman: Influential blog on what’s hot and new on the SA Online scene as well as the international front.
•9. Matt Buckland: Influential blog on new media.
•10. The Thought Leader bloggers: Very influential on current political affairs.