“With Letterdash we hope to grow our community of bloggers and demonstrate that blogging can be fun, easy and a great way to meet other South Africans with similar interests,” says Alistair Fairweather, Social Media Manager at 20FourLabs, 24.com's research and development division focused on Web development and innovation.
Focused on community and conversations relevant to South Africans, the blog platform gives users the opportunity to connect with other 24.com brands' bloggers, including News24, Wheels24, Women24, Sport24, Parent24 and GoTravel24. With one click, 24.com bloggers on Letterdash can also join Afrigator - Africa's leading social media aggregator and directory of online content published and consumed by Africans.
“The revamped platform is very much the result of listening to 24.com bloggers about the kinds of improvements they wanted to see,” adds Fairweather. “Based on dozens of meetings of bloggers, and regular suggestions from our different online communities, we have been able to develop Letterdash so that it's easier for new bloggers to get started and for existing bloggers to create unique places to express themselves.”
The new look and feel of the blog platform includes simpler, custom URLs (for example, letterdash.com/soandso) and customisable headers and backgrounds, with 15 preset design options to choose from. Users can also upload and crop their own images to construct distinctive pages. As more bloggers are on-the-go, Letterdash also includes the ability to view blog posts on a wireless phone with the next version of the blog platform offering the option to post on a mobile handset as well.
According to Fairweather: “Letterdash enhances 24.com's blogging platform to make it more competitive both locally and internationally; effectively giving existing bloggers an upgrade and offering those interested in starting a blog a simpler way to get started.”