Art & LifeSocietyDigital media - African bloggers compete for kudos


Posted on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 14:43

Digital media - African bloggers compete for kudos

By Kim Garner in Johannesburg

mike sharman and murray Legg, linking bloggers and brands. Photo©All Rights ReservedThe first African Blogger Awards pick out the continent's influential players in the online publishing game.

All blogs are not created equal, and the inaugural African Blogger Awards recognised the online publishers who are doing it best when they announced their winners on 17 April.

South Africa and Kenya dominate the leader board

Entries were open for four main awards: the Best African Blog, Best YouTube Channel, Best Instagrammer and Best Twitter profile.

There were also 36 categories of blogs focusing on topics like fashion, entertainment and technology.

A key element of the competition is that the winners are based on statistical evidence of their traffic and influence rather than voting.

"Other blog awards use vote farming to garner support: the more friends you have, the more likely you are to win," says South African digital marketing guru Murray Legg, who co-founded the competition with Mike Sharman.

"But our awards strip that element out and only look at verified statistics from Google Analytics."

The analytics are done on Legg and Sharman's platform Webfluential, which is designed to link "influencers" (bloggers, tweeters and so on) with brands for marketing purposes.

The competition received 520 entries from 27 African countries.

"South Africa and Kenya dominate the leader board," say Legg.

Kenyan blog Niaje received the title of Best African Blog. It is a wide-ranging lifestyle blog delivering stories on celebrities, business, career advice, sports and international news.

The top Instagrammer was South Africa's Gareth Pon, a photographer whose feed is filled with striking images of Johannesburg's life, architecture and people.

South Africa's Between 10 and 5, won the art and culture category, which the blog's publisher, Uno de Waal ascribes to having "a broad mix of content – from fashion, design, art and advertising – to keep people interested and coming back."

Event-listing blog Nairobi Now took the top spot in the events and nightlife category.

Fans of celebrity news are still flocking to South Africa's Just Curious, winner in the entertainment category.

Lazy Gamer won the technology prize and First National Bank Blog won Best Finance Blog.

If you are looking to grow a blog, Legg has some advice: "Create remarkable content. The size of the audience matters less than how much they are engaged." ●

For a full list of winners, go to

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