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Amatomu: South African Blog Aggregator - Hurry up and wait.

Jan14

Written by:
2009/01/14 07:43 PM RssIcon

Amatomu, a dynamic South African blog aggregator hosted by The Mail & Guardian Online. Some bloggers have called it “South Africa's Technorati”. But it is painfully slow and and irritation to use. Hanging most of the times. Is it worth it.

Amatomu, a dynamic South African blog aggregator hosted by The Mail & Guardian Online. Some bloggers have called it “South Africa's Technorati”. Amatomu was designed with the primary objective of providing an organized perspective of the South African blogosphere.

With the ability to give you some sort of stats of your blog as well as a general idea of how other registered blogs are doing. A fantastic idea. Tee stats, by no means a Google Analytics competitor, is not a comprehensive lot, but none-the-less does a good enough job  for its original purpose. I guess you could always use GA if you wanted a more in-depth look at your blog.

Having said that, I do find that it is excruciatingly slow. So much so that often times I have to stop and refresh, stop and refresh, many times before I get any response from Amatomu. This can happen at any place, mostly when I what to look at those blog stats. But also if I choose to look at the various blog categories, or choose any other menu item, the site seems to almost hang.

As I am writing this I have clicked on "myBlog & stats" and requested statistic, ping. I even tried to edit. And I am still waiting. I have stopped and restarted this process about 10 times since I started writing this article.

I though my site was slow. But this is crazy. When I was in the army, the SADF, we had a saying, "Hurry up and wait" this is very much like that.

I can sometimes sit here for a whole day, refreshing, restarting the browser, but actually get nowhere. Eventually I would go to Afrigator, where the response times are much much better. Nowhere near as slow and non-responsive as Amatomu.

Yes its a great service, but one would think that the reputation of the sponsors and owners, "The Mail & Guardian", would have some pride into the service that they are offering. After all its their reputation on the line.

But then again, I might be totally wrong. One could always blame Telkom can't we. But not in this case. Because all my other browsing to other blogs, website, aggregator sites are well with in the expected norm. Yes, I have a ADSL line. Admittedly it is only 384k. But still, one should not have to wait all day for a website to respond.

My dealing in website development and design, has taught me that users expect fast website response. Stats generally tell you that visitors to your website will not wait longer than 20-40 seconds, 60 at most. Then leave.

Could it be my browser? Well I tried this in IE, Firefox and Google Chrome , and got similar results. I was able to log in and do a few thing, but eventually it all just hangs up. I did write an e-mail to the webmaster explaining the problem. I was told that it would be sorted, but am not entirely convinced that he actually did anything. Nothing has changed, in fact if  anything, it has gotten progressively worse.

So I thought, maybe for some reason it is me or my connection. So I did a speed test on my site, which is hosted in the states, and the Amatomu site. Yes, I know we cannot compare the data, but I just wanted to see that the test actually worked no matter what the results may be.

I tried two different services http://www.websitepulse.com, and http://www.alertra.com/spotcheck.php. Both gave me errors when testing Amatomu, either "couldn't connect to host" or just plain "error" result. The latter giving up after 30s.

Yes its a free service. Yes it has lots of hits. Yes, thousands of people are making use of the websites service. But if you are going to offer such a service, make sure you are geared up for it.

I wonder, am I a lone wolf in this? Is anyone else experiencing this very very slow response from Amatomu? What are you thoughts? What have you done, if anything about it?

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2 comment(s) so far...


Re: Amatomu: South African Blog Aggregator - Hurry up and wait.

I've been experiencing this for as long as I can remember. I eventually had to write a javascript function to dynamically insert the tracking code otherwise it slowed my site down. However, it's the only service of its kind in South Africa, and Afrigator lack South African servers, and the ability to ping. They only ping my blog once every 4-6 weeks. This makes news articles all but worthless.

I believe the amatomu servers are being maxed, and this causes the sluggish response, or around 20% downtime. We can only hope they are aware of the problem and looking to fixing this in the near future.

By Steven on  2009/01/15 07:40 AM

Re: Amatomu: South African Blog Aggregator - Hurry up and wait.

You guys aint the only ones, I've been struggling lately with terrible load times on my site!!! I've de-activated the Amatomu plugin. Sure Amatomu is over loaded, but this is stupid - Fast load times and content is way more beneficial to me than a bloated service.

By Andrew on  2009/01/16 02:13 PM
 
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