Amatomu is South Africa's own Technorati... In other words it's going to rank, organise and connect the South African blogosphere. For non-bloggers, this will be an EXCELLENT source of the freshest news and hottest topics in SA.
The private Alpha launch was done via an email from Matt Buckland, in which he asked bloggers not to break the story. Eventually though, one of us cracked and Tyler Reed was first to announce it. I somehow suspect that the Mail & Guardian crew knew exactly what they were doing.... and Vincent Maher (who developed the site) even said:
"We asked people not to blog about it and we were surprised to see that no-one actually did"
There's tremendous buzz around this site, which is testament to the fact that we sorely need something like this... You can see a list of Articles referencing Amatomu here.
This, once again, highlights the need for localized versions of popular global sites. It provides a more targeted way of finding information from home. It will also help provide a clearer understanding of the size and shape of the South African blogosphere. (Stats... Yay!)
As Vinny mentioned though, the ranking algorithm for the site may need some tweaking - Cherryflava, for example, one of South Africa's most popular blogs is currently ranked below alot of (presumably) less prominent blogs (76 at present). I'm just guessing here though.
Both Vincent and Matt from M&G are actively involved in the blogosphere, which is why they were able to come up with such a spot-on development, whereas companies like 24.com keep missing the boat.
One feature that would make Amatomu extra useful would be the ability to subscribe by RSS to certain tags. I'm sure Vince is on this already, but I mention it just in case he isn't.