African social media aggregator Afrigator held a launch party in Johannesburg last night and unveiled the beta of the team's beautiful new website. Several thousand African blogs, podcasts and videos are already indexed and viewable.
The site offers services for both readers and content producers. Visitors to the site can sift through content by keyword, country, time, hot items or hot sources.
The Hotness Formula
Hotness is determined by an algorithm that combines traffic, Afrigator user ranking, Page Rank and incoming links. I'm excited to see some traffic help flesh out the rankings, I've already enjoyed watching several of the top videos.
The ranking is most easily understood by starting with a comparison to Techmeme, I think - but that's clearly a comparison of limited worth as Afrigator is a very original site that goes beyond what Techmeme does in content and the algorithm in this case isn't a black box. In some ways it's like what Technorati is trying to do with its move to multimedia, but better executed in this case.
Site design is a real highlight, though there are a few usability kinks to work out in the Beta and an on-site media player would be a big improvement. South Africa's Charl Norman has a more detailed review of Afrigator, which as of this morning my time was at the top of Africa's Digg-like social news site Muti. Norman was an enormous help in writing this post.
Here at ReadWriteWeb we're huge fans of developers working outside the US. Afrigator is a particularly well executed example of just the kind of service that any region or niche could use to aggregate and filter the growing number of social media sources around the world. This is a project worth spreading the word about.