”Auf den reinen Nachrichtenwert der lokalen News kann man keine große Exklusivität beanspruchen”

Here is an English version of this interview.

Die Lausitzer Rundschau ist eine deutsche Regionalzeitung und seit längerem Twingly-Partner. Im Interview berichtet Benjamin Marx, Leiter des Onlinebereiches der Zeitung sowie stellvertrender Chefredakteur, welche Rolle Social Media für den Verlag spielt, wie die Lausitzer Twingly einsetzen und auf welche Weise die Interaktion mit den Lesern erhöht werden soll.

Hallo Benjamin. Bitte erzähle uns kurz, wer du bist und was du machst.
Gern. Ich bin ausgebildeter Redakteur, habe Orientalistik studiert und auch als Webprogrammierer gearbeitet. Nach Tätigkeiten sowohl im journalistischen Bereich u.a. als Auslandsreporter im Nahen Osten als auch im Web- und Portalbereich konzentrierte ich mich auf die Beratung rund um Crossmedia- und Onlinestrategien. Eines Tages bekam ich das Angebot, in dieser Rolle für die Lausitzer Rundschau tätig zu sein, das ich annahm. Nach etwa acht Wochen wurde ich gefragt, ob ich nicht die Leitung des Onlinebereiches übernehmen möchte. Ich sagte zu, und mittlerweile – seit Januar – bin ich zudem stellvertretender Chefredakteur und beschäftigte mich in diesem Zusammenhang mit der cross- und multimedialen Weiterentwicklung der Redaktion.

Benjamin Marx

Wie beurteilst du die Zukunftsaussichten der Zeitung?
Eines der Kernelemente der Arbeit unserer Zeitung ist seit 65 Jahren die lokale Berichterstattung, und ich glaube, dass hier auch für Onlinezeitungen die große Chance liegt. Speziell von einer Regionalzeitung wie der Lausitzer Rundschau erwarten die Leser, dass sie beleuchtet, was in ihrer unmittelbaren Umgebung geschieht, lokale Ereignisse hinterfragt und den Entscheidern auf die Finger schaut. Die Fragen, die man sich aktuell stellen muss, sind die, wie der Content zukünftig konsumiert wird, und wie man das Geschäftsmodell anpasst, so dass man sich auch weiterhin das wichtige Netzwerk an Redakteuren und Reportern leisten kann.

Welches Ziel verfolgt ihr mit eurer Onlinestrategie?
Wir möchten, dass unsere neuen Medienkanäle für die Leute eine sehr hohe Relevanz haben. Wenn man den Wert des Inhalts steigern will, was ja die Voraussetzung dafür ist, dass Leser theoretisch für diesen Geld zahlen, muss man den Mehrwert für das Individuum in den Mittelpunkt stellen. Auf den reinen Nachrichtenwert der lokalen News kann man keine große Exklusivität beanspruchen. Die Zeit, in der man eine Meldung allein hat, ist sehr kurz. Wir versuchen, den Lesern einen Wert zu bieten, der über die Nachricht hinausgeht – durch Hintergrundinformationen, die sie an anderer Stelle nicht bekommen. Als Regionalzeitung besitzen wir ein enges Kontakt- und Informantennetzwerk in der Umgebung. Essentiell ist aber, zu wissen, was die Leute interessiert und was relevant für sie ist. Und da bietet das Web natürlich hervorragende Möglichkeiten. Leserbriefe sind die wohl älteste Interaktionsgattung, die wir im Journalismus haben – Kommentare oder Blogbeiträge führen diesen Gedanken im Netz fort.

Ihr verfolgt also die Reaktionen eurer Leser genau?
Ja auf jeden Fall. Wenn wir über lokale Themen berichten, dann greifen einige Leser diese anschließend in ihren Blogs auf. Wir haben dann auch schon Blogger angesprochen und gefragt, ob wir deren Inhalte abdrucken dürfen, und die Debatte so wieder “eingefangen”.

Zum “Einfangen der Debatte” verwendet ihr ja auch Twingly…
Richtig, wir zeigen unterhalb unserer Artikel über das Twingly Blogstream-Widget, welche Blogs sich mit dem jeweiligen Beitrag auseinandersetzen. Das ist auch insofern interessant, als dass es ein guter Indikator für uns ist, welche Themen in der Blogosphäre auf besonders große Ressonanz stoßen, und welche weniger.

Wie beurteilst du die Entwicklung rund um Social Media?
Mir macht das Thema unheimlich Spaß. Gleichzeitig muss man sich immer überlegen, auf welchen Wegen man es in die redaktionelle Arbeit einbezieht. Große Bedeutung haben für uns Facebook und Twitter. Früher gab es ja bei Zeitungen den Trend, lieber eine eigene Online-Community einzurichten, aber bis auf wenige Ausnahmen hat dies eher schlecht funktioniert. Indem wir Teile der Diskussion zu Facebook, Twitter oder auch studiVZ auslagern, erübrigen sich viele Probleme, die man beim Betrieb einer eigenen Community hat, sowohl technischer als auch organisatorischer Natur. Was Social Media angeht, sind wir noch nicht da, wo wir eines Tages sein wollen, aber haben schon jetzt jeden Monat 5.000 Leser, die über soziale Medien zur Website der Lausitzer Rundschau kommen. Dabei handelt es sich vor allem um die Zielgruppe, die mit der klassischen Tageszeitung auf anderem Weg nicht in Kontakt kommt. Nicht selten erhalten wir auch Themenvorschläge und Hinweise über Facebook oder Twitter, woraus sich mitunter neue Geschichten und Reportagen ergeben.

Wie sieht der Journalist der Zukunft aus?
Es gibt in der brancheninternen Diskussion mitunter eine gewisse Tendenz, im Journalisten der Zukunft eine eiermilchlegende Wollsau zu sehen: Jemanden, der alle Kanäle, also Zeitung, Online, Radio und Fernsehen, gleichermaßen bedienen kann. Ich glaube nicht, dass es ganz so extrem kommt. Sicher muss auch ein Journalist der Zukunft – wie bisher auch – vielseitige Kompetenzen und Interessen haben und ein technischen Grundverständnis mitbringen, künftig noch stärker gerade in Bezug auf online und mobile. Aber ich denke, dass sich zwischen den bisherigen Rollen Editor und Reporter eine dritte Rolle künftig sehr viel stärker etablieren wird, die Rolle des technischen Producers – eine Person mit stärker technisch und gestalterisch ausgeprägtem Know-how, der die Inhalte entgegennimmt und für unterschiedliche Kanäle und Plattformen aufbereitet, Informationen visualisiert, der die Community z.B. über Kommentare und Social Media betreut, sich um Gewinnspiele kümmert, Dossiers und Meta-Informationen aufarbeitet und pflegt usw. Bei der Lausitzer Rundschau verdoppeln wir die Personalstärke in diesem Bereich bis etwa Mai.

Welche Visionen hast du für die Lausitzer Rundschau im Web?
Vor allem, auf möglichst vielen Plattformen vertreten zu sein und die Interaktion mit den Lesern zu erhöhen. Zur Zeit arbeiten wir an einer HTML5-Website, damit lr-online.de von beliebigen Endgeräten aus abgerufen werden kann. Ein anderes, ganz heißes Thema ist die Priorisierung von Inhalten anhand von Nutzeraktivitäten und -reaktionen. So sollen die Meinungen der Leser künftig noch stärker die Sichtbarkeit und Position des jeweiligen Beitrags auf unserer Website beeinflussen. Eine weitere Funktionalität, die wir anstreben, ist das kollaborative Bearbeiten von Artikeln ähnlich des Wikipedia-Prinzips: So wollen wir Lesern die Möglichkeit bieten, direkt in einem Text Änderungen vorzunehmen, diesen z.B. mit eigenen Informationen oder Hintergründen zu ergänzen. Ein solcher Ansatz ist sicher nicht ohne Risiken, weil Personen, über die berichtet wird, so selbst unliebsame Passagen entfernen könnten. Dennoch halten wir diese Art der Interaktion für ein spannendes Experiment und sind, wenn wir damit in diesem Jahr an den Start gehen, natürlich auch sehr auf die Reaktionen aus der Blogosphäre gespannt. Klar ist, dass wir diesen Prozess eng moderieren werden, um den Missbrauch so schwer wie möglich zu machen.

Twingly Team Interviews: “Blogging will become even bigger”

It’s time for another Twingly Team Interview! Today it is Anton Johansson‘s turn, the youngest member of the Twingly team who however managed to be the employee who has stayed with the company for the longest time (apart from the founders). Anton describes what’s so special about working for an Internet startup, explains why he thinks blogging will become even bigger than it is today
and reveals which web trends he currently finds particularly fascinating.

Some of the readers might know you, but please tell us who you are anyway.
I’m Anton Johansson, a happy young guy from Linköping that loves music, dark beer and to talk (which I’m pretty good at). I started my first blog in 2004 and have since then been writing continuously about trends, startups, tech & media. My Twingly journey actually started via blogging. Martin Källström emailed me and a couple of other Swedish media blogs to get some feedback on the Blogstream idea. I kind of ditched the concept (luckily he didn’t listen) but since he understood that I was living in Linköping, he asked me to come up for a cup of coffee. On that first meeting they asked me to work for them and yes, that’s what I still do 🙂

When was that?
In 2006, pre-launch, and I was the very first employee after the founders. I’ve always been the youngest guy at the office (still are!) but one of the oldest in terms of how long I’ve worked for Twingly. It’s still an amazing journey to be part of!

And you directly agreed on working for a startup?
I was still in school when Twingy hired me but I started to work per hour immediately. There aren’t too many people interested in startups, media and blogging in Linköping (not in 2006 and still not too many in 2011) and not too many startups either, so it was a great match between us. The first year I mostly worked with blogging and PR but became more and more involved in all parts of the company afterwards.

You say you ditched the idea of Blogstream. Today that’s one of Twingly’s most successful and revenue generating products.
Haha yes I was obviously wrong. This was pre-launch and Blogstream wasn’t developed, they didn’t even had a demo. As I said, luckily they didn’t listen to me. Blogstream is a great product, concept and idea.

You have been with Twingly for more than 4 years. That’s a pretty long time in today’s fast paced Internet business.
When you join a startup in such an early stage the company, the products and the brand becomes a big part of yourself. But most important are of course the people. I really love to work with the whole team. I learn a lot every single day, have a lot of fun and love our customers, products and ideas. Martin gives me a lot opportunities all the time and I really believe in the awesome products we build.

Your official title says “Product Strategist”. What is your exact role nowadays?
When people ask what I do at Twingly I usually say that I “do all the fun stuff”, which is kind of true. I’ve never really had a precise role at Twingly, I’ve been working with all parts of the company even I’ve had different focuses during different time spans. My title “Product Strategist” or “Business Developer” means that I try to come up with great ideas for new products, analyse the ones we already got and develop business models, sales channels and products. But as I said before, I’m involved in more or less everything. I also work a lot with PR, design and support. Basically, I’m doing everything except coding.

What kind of projects or tasks have you been involved in recently?
I’ve been doing wire frames and design sketches for a new product, market segmentation and PR for the updated Twingly Channels.

You mentioned “awesome” products. Which Twingly tools are you personally most enthusiastic about?
My focus right now is to find a more scalable, light-weight, easy-to-use product that we can sell via self-service or at least without the 2-3 months sales processes we’re having today. But if you look at our portfolio of products we’re very successful in the higher end of the scale, with quite heavy products for big corporations. There’s a lot of opportunity there too, especially if you look at social media enterprise products and we might focus on that in the future as well. It’s fun right now. A lot of opportunities. Great ideas. Many things to come.

That sounds as if Twingly’s enterprise products have a very high priority compared to the consumer focused ones. Is that true?
Our enterprise solutions have always been prioritized. We have some of Europe’s largest brands as customers. They need support. But it doesn’t mean we don’t work with the consumers in focus, they’re the ones using our products in the end. Blogstream, our most successful product so far, is a way to get bloggers noticed. We work closely and hard with bloggers all day long. Still, we are mainly a business-to-business company, our products are b2b oriented. That’s how it has been since the early days. But our free services is a way for us to get traction, better data, new customers and new opportunities. We don’t even have ads on Twingly.com, so the b2b products are currently our only business model.

You have been a passionate blogger back in 2006 and you probably still are. What are your thoughts on the future of blogging?
Yes, since I’ve worked closely with the blogosphere and the blogging phenomena for a long time I’ve seen a lot of trends and changes over the years. When I started it was a few hundred blogs in Sweden and nearly all of them were connected in some way. Today there are hundreds of thousands of blogs only in Sweden and blogs are a natural way of sharing thoughts. It’s pretty much mainstream and even my grandmother understands the concept and possibilities with it. But it’s also the most heavy type of social media, which means that blogging will never be for everyone. Not in the way Facebook and Twitter are for people today. On the other hand, blogging has proved to be a very valuble media type for so many different purposes. It’s open, flexible and is in some ways more of a standardized media type than social networks. You can’t block all blogs in for example #egypt, but you can block Twitter. That’s a huge difference.

I really think blogging will become even bigger than it is today, on many different levels. What comes after Tumblr, Posterous, WordPress and blog search? It’ll be a lot of innovation in the upcoming years now when blogging are mainstream and not a hype.

Name some web trends that fascinate you right now.
There are many but to name a few:

1. Filtration and assortment of contacts: How do you manage thousands of close, loose and professional contacts? What happens when you in the future have an updated contact list of friends from all way down to when you were a child? What social possibilities will it lead to, and how will the social networks handle it? This is a huge question in my generation (born in the 80’s) right now.

2. Touchscreens and all the new cool interaction design those will bring to the world

3. Realtime comments on all sites, not just Facebook and Twingly. When comments and discussions happen in realtime, it will make everything become a social object in a new way. It will create changes and new opportunities in everything from news to events.

If you would have 3 wishes for Internet-related news or innovation in 2011, what would those be?
I actually already have seen a personal Internet innovation wish coming true in 2011: Greplin, a new cool search startup, has recently launched a search for ME. Their search engine indexes my social networks, Dropbox, email etc and gives me a search tool for my own web history. That’s a great innovation in search. Two other things I also hope for are that The Beatles and AC/DC should become available on Spotify.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9iOk8PqkKs&w=480&h=390]

What would you do if you have 24 hours totally disconnected from the web?
It actually happens once in a while ; ). I love to read books, hang out with funny friends and to play badminton. But if i could choose I would probably just partying like crazy with some even crazier friends in a cool city in Europe. Right now I’m in love with London and the Ryanair prices to go there…

You can follow Anton on Twitter here.

CisionWire connects with bloggers

Cision is one of the biggest players worldwide among press services, with businesses in over 150 countries and the world’s largest data base of media contacts.

Their strategy has always been to work closely with their users and business partners to improve their services continuously. That way they keep high standards in terms of usability and easy access to all the latest news.

As part of this strategy they now started involving  bloggers more closely than ever before by giving them the opportunity to be seen on CisionWire-articles in context with topics they blog about. Twingly supplies the technical solution.

For bloggers it means that they can blog about a topic, then link to the related press release on CisionWire, ping their post to Twingly. Their post will then automatically appear below the press release within a few minutes.

Right now, this new service is available on CisionWire.com and CisionWire.se. So go and check it out!

With now both, CisionWire and MyNewsdesk linking to blogs as part of their strategy, we consider this development a big step in terms of press services establishing a new standard of providing information by integrating news and comments from the public via social media services.

Media Monitoring Companies Using Twingly (Part 2 of 2)

Last week we started to present social media monitoring services and research companies that use data about the global blogosphere collected by Twingly. Today we continue with this overview. If you haven’t seen the first part of the list (where we also explain the two APIs that we offer to our partners), you find it here.

Radian6
Radian6 is one of the most popular and best known social media monitoring services in the world – and a client of Twingly, accessing our blog data for integration into their monitoring tools. The Canada-based company was founded in 2006, focuses on businesses and provides them with tools to listen, measure and engage in conversations across the social web. Radian6 has over 1.700 clients worldwide.




Notified
Notified is a Swedish service for social media monitoring that aims at providing its clients with a very intuitive interface and tries to simplify analytics and statistics to make them as clear and easy understandable as possible.

Read more about Notified (in Swedish)

Retriever
Retriever is owned by the Swedish news agency TT and offers different kinds of media analysis, monitoring and research services. With “Pulse” the company has its own social media monitoring offering. Since 2009 they are working together with us to get Twingly data about the global blogosphere.

Read more about Retriever (in Swedish)

Infopaq
Like Retriever even Infopaq has a broad focus on all kinds of media monitoring, news evaluation and analysis. One part of their service includes monitoring of what’s being that on the social web, inventory analysis and even campaign analysis. The company has about 6.500 clients and 500 employees across the Nordic countries, Estonia and Germany.

Read more about Infopaq (in Swedish)

Imente
Even though Twingly is based in Sweden our data covers the global blogosphere. Imente is a Spanish provider of media analytics and monitoring tools that connects to our API to use Twingly data for its social media monitoring services.

Media Monitoring Companies Using Twingly (Part 1 of 2)

Here at Twingly we aggregate a lot of data from the blogosphere since we are crawling blogs worldwide for our blog search engine. Apart from users can being able to find and discover content from blogs, we are working together with a couple of social media monitoring and research services that are using Twingly data for their offerings.

Before we have a look at who these partners are here is a brief description of the two APIs (Application Programming Interface – the way that external sites connect to Twingly data) that we are providing to our data partners:

Analytics API: The Analytics API is based on our blog search engine, comes with a visual search interface and allows for accessing blog content published during the past 4 months.

Livefeed API: This API gives partners access to all raw data our crawlers collect from the blogosphere, separated by language, as XML feed and without any delay. The Livefeed API is more extensive than the Analytics API. Partners choose one of the two APIs depending on their specific data needs.

Every company mentioned below is using one of those two APIs. If you are interested in becoming a Twingly data partner we are glad to hear from you. And if you after having read this postiding did become curious about the data we are collecting from the blogosphere, head to our search engine, try it yourself and maybe start using it for your own personal social media monitoring (here we explained how to do that).

Meltwater Buzz
Meltwater is a global player within the field of news and social media monitoring, serving more than 18.000 clients in 25 countries. With the “Buzz” product Meltwater offers companies and organisations tools to monitor and analyze what’s being said on social networks, microblogging services, video and photo platforms, forums, blogs and other sites based around the concept of user generated content.

Click to enlarge

Read more about Meltwater Buzz (in Swedish)

Silobreaker
Silobreaker was founded in 2005, is headquartered in London but has its development team in Stockholm. Apart from a free news search Silobreaker offers media monitoring based on statistical and semantic analysis to corporate, financial, NGO and government agency users, and monitors content from old, new and social media.

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Read more about Silobreaker (in Swedish)

FindAgent
London-based FindAgent provides its social media monitoring services to companies and brands who want to succeed with their digital marketing initiatives. One of FindAgent’s focus areas is blog monitoring, both in Sweden and on a global scale. The company has developed a technology which tries to understand the meaning of the content monitored and lets its customers ask questions that automatically are being answered.

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Read more about FindAgent (in Swedish)

Nobicon
Nobicon is a company from Sweden specialized within the field of media monitoring providing organisations with extensive data on what clients, competitors, investors and other stakeholders are doing, saying and thinking. Nobicons monitoring tools can be integrated into the client’s intranet, website or ERP system.

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Read more about Nobicon (in Swedish)

We will continue next week with part 2 of the list of Twingly data partners!

Twingly Team Interviews: “Social Media has yet to solve major global problems”

Today we continue our series of Twingly Team Interviews. Pontus Edenberg is Business Development Director, came to Twingly in 2007 and has a background in the music industry. Among other things he explains the main difference between the music business and the Internet startup world and describes the next challenge for social media.

Hi Pontus. Tell us about yourself and what you do at Twingly.
I’m 37, started my first company when I was 17 (my dad had to sign the registration forms). I have run several small companies, mainly within the music sector. In 2000 I was one of the founders of several websites, among them HitQuarters which was at that time the largest directory of people working in the music industry. After that I was employed by a Swedish company supplying US newspapers with different crossword and sudoku services for their websites. We also arranged an Online Sudoku World Championship with the final in London.

One day in spring 2007 I read a story about Twingly and a deal they had done with a South African newspaper. I called them and few days later I had my first day at the company. Today I work with business development. I try to combine the needs of our customers with our assets (products) with the goal of offering solutions that are as beneficial as possible for our customers.

What was your pitch to Twingly that convinced them to hire you?
From my experience with US newspapers I was pretty convinced that I could help Twingly to develop their business, so I called them and said something like “You probably need help in getting media companies as customers. I can do that!”

Did you keep that promise?
I think so… ; ) Within the next couple of years Twingly got major media clients in Sweden, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Norway etc. It was a great ride, since our approach was quite knew, and it was really interesting to learn to understand the differences within the media companies in different countries.

You started your career in the music business. Was it difficult to adapt to the Internet sector?
No not really. But the music industry is very much focused on people’s dreams and to produce hits. If a song didn’t find its way to the charts within 3 weeks, it was useless. It was a good lesson for me to learn thinking in the long term at Twingly. When working at a web startup some of the products need time to reach a critical mass or a certain awareness to take off. Just think about Twitter that took several years to reach the tipping point after which usage numbers exploded.

Do your clients have the right expectations about what Twingly tools can deliver?
Yes usually they do. They have in general a quite good understanding about that it takes time to build good brand awareness in social media. Twingly is a vital part of the mix, and our clients know that they have do a lot of work themselves to make it work.

When you started at Twingly the term “social media” hardly existed. What has changed in the past 3 years?
I believe the most interesting aspect is that major companies and organisations in a much broader way not only have been forced to listen more to their clients, but also have found major benefits in doing so. They are getting much more aware on what people are saying about them out there and that when people gather in the wrong direction it hurts, even if you are a billion dollar company. It also can happen very fast, so it is not enough to just react. Major companies have to be proactive and listen to the chatter in the digital world. By doing that they can handle situations before they turn into disasters. It is also very interesting to see how we can use social media to help one another, just pop a question on Twitter and you get answers that can’t be answered by Wikipedia. However, what we haven’t seen yet, which I think is a great challenge to come, is to solve major global problems through social media. Currently we are solving day-to-day issues, but if we can use that strength on the really difficult tasks, that is when I think it gets really interesting.

On a more personal level, what web trends are you especially excited about?
I’m getting particularly excited about the possibilities of personalized streaming media. When you truly can experience “anything, anywhere, only for you”. We are moving towards that but there is still a long way to go there.

What can Twingly users and clients expect for 2011?
We have some really interesting product developments coming out in 2011 that I think will take Twingly to a new level. I hope I can be a part of that and find even better solutions for companies to communicate.

Since you have been working in the music industry one has to assume that you are passionate about music. True?
Of course! I am a total sucker for top 20 music, especially pop/dance. “Club Can’t Handle Me” with Flo Rida probably got the most spins last year…

Interview with Jan Jasper Kosok of freitag.de: “It’s ridiculous not to link to websites outside of your own”

Der Freitag is a weekly newspaper from Germany which has been focusing a lot on connecting their print to their online product (the print edition actually was nominated as one of the best designed newspapers in the world) and on making the readership part of it, promoting its community and blog network more prominently than most other newspaper websites we have seen. And they are using Twingly. We spoke with Jan Jasper Kosok who is in charge of the paper’s online presence freitag.de about the newspaper’s decision to integrate user generated content, abut the German blogosphere and the importance of social web channels as traffic sources.

Hi Jan. You are in charge of Der Freitag’s website and also for the community.  How did you get into that role?
In 2007 me and a friend ran a blog about Berlin pop culture. One day I was contacted by Der Freitag and they asked me if i could imagine working for them. At that time I wasn’t really ready but we stayed in touch and in April 2009 I joined them.

So it was your blog that created this career opportunity?
Yes. They wanted to hire somebody with a blogger background, who understood the dynamics of the blogosphere and social media.

How do you distribute your time between the two roles – working with the community and with the website in general?
The community part (moderation, commenting, projects involving users) takes definitely less time than working with the day-to-day-tasks as well as with the overall website strategy, especially since we are creating the concept for a relaunch for 2011.

You might be the German newspaper which is focusing the most on blogs and user generated content. How come?
The groundwork for this was laid before I joined. But once the basic mind set was created, the implementation went step-by-step, and today the combination of online and offline and the integration of the readership are part of Der Freitag’s philosophy. Readers like to be able to identify themselves with the product, and they want to have the possibilities to get in touch with it, even contribute to it. About 30 percent of the content consumed on freitag.de is generated by users. Besides our own editorial content and the articles we are syndicating from The Guardian the community has become our third main pillar.

What about the combination of online and offline?
We are actually publishing some of our community content in our weekly newspaper. Our goal is to create a feeling for the people who buy the newspaper that they are part of it, and part of the creation. So far it seems to work: Our readers have a closer emotional connection to us than what readers usually have to other newspapers. For a small-sized company like ours that is a powerfull concept. For the future our main challenge will be to grow the community and at the same time maintain the familiar atmosphere.

What are your thoughts regarding the current state of the German blogosphere?
In my opinion the (few) leading blogs in Germany have become more professional. Some people say the blogosphere is getting smaller and less active. On the other hand I today see a lot of blogs covering the topics that we wrote about in our blog back in 2007 – at that time we were pretty much alone in our niche. So I think your own thoughts about the blogosphere always depend on your personal areas of interests. Different people will tell you different things about where the blogosphere stands in 2010. However, citizen journalism in Germany is still in its early beginnings. I’m convinced that we’ll see a lot happening in the future.

You link a lot to external blogs…
Yes, we pay a lot of attention to the blogosphere and try to connect to external blogs. We also think it is important to not only link to our own articles via our Twitter account but to whatever content the editorial team at Der Freitag thinks is worth reading. It’s kind of ridiculous not to post a link to a good article or important information just because it has been published elsewhere.

When you link out a lot, you probably also get many incoming links from blogs (which you track with Twingly)? Yes that’s true. And since we are still fairly small we really feel the effects of when bigger blogs are linking to our articles. We are using the Twingly widget to show incoming links for everybody.

If you look at the incoming traffic from blogs, Twitter and Facebook. Where do you get the most visitors from?
That’s difficult to measure, because the heavily used URL shorteners make it difficult to track the exact source. But my impression is that Facebook is growing more rapidly than Twitter and is sending increasingly readers to us. On the other hand, in my personal opinion Facebook has become the place very everybody is, but Twitter has successfully gathered opinion leaders, other bloggers, journalist and media profiles which actively are distributing links.

What’s your vision for freitag.de for the next years?
We see our site as permanent work in progress. We want to deliver modern cross medial journalism and to be open for new trends, approaches and experiments. We hope to be able to establish ourselves in that niche.

Congratulations to our partners among Sweden’s 100 best websites

Every year, the renown Swedish industry magazine Internetworld publishes a list of the 100 best websites from Sweden. The ranking gets a lot of attention not only within the digital sphere but also in the Swedish mainstream press, offering indicators for the hottest trends within web development, online marketing, design and usability.

Yesterday Internetworld presented this year’s ranking, and we at Twingly were delighted to find a lot of sites and companies on the list that are using our Twingly enterprise solutions to enhance their web content with social context from the blogosphere.

In fact, the first four sites in the ranking all are using our Twingly widgets: The online shop Halens, the website of Swedish Public Radio Sveriges Radio, the travel site Ving and the destination of Swedish Public TV svt.se.

Halens, this year’s winner of the Internetworld ranking, for example shows reactions from the blogosphere regarding products sold on the site through our Twingly Blogstream widget (there is an article on that on Internetworld as well, although Swedish only, however we blogged about their strategy earlier). Pretty cool!

Even Fritidsresor, ranked 7, and DN.se, ranked 9, have integrated the Twingly widget! So out of the 10 best websites in Sweden in 2010, 6 are using Twingly!

Let’s not forget SvD.se on position 15, Sydsvenskan on 16, IKEA on 23, Lindex on 36, MyNewsDesk on 56, SvenskaSpel on 76, Brandos.se on 86 and Coolstuff on 96 – even those websites are Twingly clients and do now rank among the 100 best online destinations in Sweden!

We would like to take the chance and give our congratulations to all our partners belonging to Sweden’s web elite! We are happy for you and hope to see you in the ranking next year again!

Sweden’s 100 best websites 2010 (in Swedish)

Our latest Twingly Partner in Sweden

We are always happy to see new websites deciding to integrate our Twingly Enterprise tools to enhance their content with feedback from the blogosphere (which as we explained recently might even help websites to generate more money from ads). One of our most recent partners is Startaeget.se, a site dedicated to everyone in Sweden who plans to start a company or who already has made this step. The site offers new and existing founders and self-employed persons a lot of useful information and resources about how to start, maintain, develop and grow a company.

Twingly Blogstream Widget

And as of now, each article in the news section of Startaeget.se will include the Twingly Blogstream widget, which shows blogs that have commented on and linked to the specific piece at Startaeget.se. The goal of including the Twingly widget is of course to encourage bloggers within related topics to link to Startaeget.se and to discuss the information being published there. In return, bloggers have their postings shown and linked next to the article they have mentioned, getting new visitors.

If you are a blogger, try it by linking to one of the articles from Startaeget.se to have your blog shown next to it (make sure before that your blog pings Twingly). And if you are a publisher and would like to add the Twingly Blogstream Widget to your site, use this form to get in touch with us!

Final Voting on for German Social Media Award!

Only two days are left – today and tomorrow – so vote for your favourite project! These are the candidates in the second and final round:

Gute Sache (Good Cause):

Kunst (Art):

Gesellschaft (Society):

Medien (Media):

Wirtschaft (Business/ Economy):

Voting is easy. Go to one of the links above and read what the project is about. If you like it, click the button right under the title. Note – you have one vote per category and per day! Which is great, we think, cos we have real trouble deciding between all these cool sites. So we simply vote on different days if we really like more than one project in the same category. If you haven’t done so, start voting now! You’ve got only today and tomorrow…

The winners will be announced on the 10th of November at 6 pm on the Convention Camp in Hanover!

Like you, we are very curious to learn who won the race in the different categories. But what we know for sure is that there will be a nice little Twingly surprise for each winner. Provided that the snail mail does not decide to cross our plans…

You did not really get what this is all about? Then check out our post from a few weeks ago.