Both seem to have died from the same cause -- someone decided to tinker with them to make "improvements", and broke whatever was working before. There's a lot of truth in the old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Amatomu used to be a fairly good guide to South African blogs. You could see who was blogging about what, and the latest posts in various categories. It also gave fairly interesting statistics on one's own blog, showing which posts got the most readers and things like that.
Now I suddenly find that there are blogs that I used to follow fairly regularly that I haven't looked at for a month or more, because Amatomu is dead. It appears that the Mail & Guardian, which used to run it, has pulled out, and are looking to sell it or give it away.
Technorati was good for topical searches. I used to use it to see who was blogging on a certain topic, and to see what they said. I liked to do that when I was planning to write a blog post on a topic, and if I found that other bloggers had already said interesting things on the topic, i could link to there posts as well. But now it's as though one is blogging blind, not knowing who else is writing on the topic, and whether anyone has some interesting angles one hadn't thought of.
I suppose that has now been taken over by Google blog search, because when one goes to Technorati for the last few weeks all one gets is messages like
Welcome to the new Technorati.com! The page requested was not found. It's possible you reached this page because we forgot to update a link on the previous version of our site. We have recorded this event and will be doing our best to repair any broken links.
Well the links have been broken for so long that there is no longer any hope thatr they will be repaired.
I suppose Amatomu is the victim of a common problem in the IT industry -- people who have a good idea and implement it where they are working, and then move on to somewhere else, leaving the Mail & Guardian (in this case) stuck with a service that no one else really knows how to maintain. I rather hope that the community option comes off, and that the original authors may see fit to revive it.