How municipalities use Twingly to connect with citizens

The Twingly Blogstream and Blogwatch widget is used by many leading news and e-commerce sites, but that doesn’t mean that other kind of online projects don’t benefit from it. One example are websites of local municipalities, which Twingly enables to highlight and show the discussion about local matters, issues and projects on blogs to visitors and citizens.

The Swedish municipalities Strängnäs, Borås and Tranemo have chosen to put the Blogwatch widget on their site in order to do exactly that. We asked Strängnäs and Borås a couple of questions about their thoughts on connecting their municipality’s website with the blogosphere.

Twingly integration on Strängnäs municipality's website

Sofia Lacik works with the communication team at Strängnäs municipality.

Hello Sofia. What’s the story behind the Twingly integration on Strängnäs municipality’s website?
I had used Twingly in the past at another organisation. Then at SSCW I met Twingly CEO Martin Källström and we discussed whether Twingly would be a useful solution for Strängnäs municipality.

How was the feedback when you launched the integration?
When we announced that we would show blog posts about Strängnäs, we only got positive reactions. For us it’s a great way to keep tabs on what’s being written about the municipality, and personally, I feel I’m better informed about topics, opinions and thoughts relevant for Strängnäs that are appearing on blogs.

How much time do you invest into working with social media?
It varies, but usually about 15 hours a week. That includes creating and following up on the strategy and various social media activities, answering questions, replying to comments, publishing news and monitoring the different channels. I also quite often meet with colleagues who need help or support regarding using social media. The communication department spends a couple of more hours a week mainly on monitoring as well as publishing and encouraging other colleagues to try using the social web for their work.

And what’s the next step?
Our goal is to increasingly leverage social media for our work at the municipality, and to make other offices and departments aware of the potential this has for the communication with those interested and those living in and around Strängnäs.

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Twingly integration on Borås municipality's website

Marie Ingvarsson is the head of marketing and communication at Borås municipality.

Hello Marie. Tell us why Borås benefits from Twingly.
When we launched our social media activities we realized quickly the advantages of  Twingly’s tools for our monitoring. Apart from showing the Twingly widget with links to blogs mentioning Borås, we also have used Twingly Live and Liveboard, for example during conferences, to show the latest developments and comments in real time. Of course it also helps that Twingly is a Sweden-based company and that the team has always been helpful and quick to reply to our questions.

Do your social media activities require a lot of time?
That depends. We publish quite a lot on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Bambuser, but then this content has been published through other channels as well, so it doesn’t need to be created from scratch. Our monitoring feeds are updating automatically which makes it easy for us to keep an eye on everything that’s being written about Borås. The setup of the whole work flow and of the accounts has taken a while, and naturally replying to questions and participating in the discussions might require some time – let’s not forget that social media is about communicating and interacting.

Will you integrate Twingly even more on your site?
We are thinking about embedding the Twingly Blogstream widget on all of our sites to show incoming links from blogs. Since the content on some of our less regularly updated pages probably isn’t being discussed a lot on blogs, it’s possible that there wouldn’t be a lot of incoming links, so we aren’t sure yet how to do it. In the end, it simply might be a question of being as transparent as possible, which is what we strive for.

What else is on your road-map?
One of the things we are planning to launch are e-petitions, a tool which enables citizens to make suggestions about issues concerning the municipality, to discuss them and to collaborate on them.

Next Stop: Research & Results in Munich

Next week I will be in Munich, attending the market research conference Research & Results (26th + 27th of October) as a visitor.

During the last year I learned really a lot about the entire social media monitoring industry. Thanks to our data clients, who gave me during lots of interesting chats and discussions a great insight into the challenges and beauty of their work!

Now, on the other hand I do not know so much about the classic market research environment. I therefore hope that the quite useful looking sessions as well as meeting lots of people from the industry will give me a deeper insight into that area of services.

The only thing that I do know, though, is that even in classic market research social media sources from Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other communities become increasingly important. When browsing the offerings of the different suppliers exhibiting at R&R, I found that quite some of them even help companies to set up their own communities and blogs and help them to draw their customers to it. That way the companies get an insight of what people there think about their brands and services.

However, not everyone engaging with a brand or service is involved in these especially created environments. It is at least as important, if not much more important, to monitor what is going on outside ones own bubble.

Anyway, I hope to learn a lot more during next week about how market researchers think as well as their methods of collecting the information most valuable to their customers!

Drop me a line if you fancy catching up over a coffee or so, or simply call me. I might also check Twitter once in a while.

Anja Rauch

P.S.: We couldn’t resist setting up a Liveboard for #rr2011

New Twingly Partner: Svenska Spel

Svenska Spel, the largest gaming operator in Sweden, is now connecting their site to the blogosphere using Twingly Blogstream. Being owned by the Swedish government makes them quite a special gaming company with a need of openness and trust, which we think Twingly is a lot about. Overall, it’s great to see an increasing number of companies outside of the media world developing an interest towards bloggers and social media.

So check it out at svenskaspel.se and happy blogging!

A year in Germany (oder so)

Soon it will be one year since Handelsblatt.com as the first German partner ever went live with Twingly – and in total it were twelve exciting and inspiring months for us working in the market of a country that is and has been so close to Sweden in many ways.

One can start with Gustav II Adolf’s invasion of Germany in early 1600, Swedish soldiers during the 30-year war on Saxon soil (battle at Lützen, close to Leipzig, where the same king found his death), the Hanse (Visby was in 1200 an important Hanse-town – and don’t say it is not Swedish, you Gotland critics 😉 ) and one must not forget Swedish soldiers joining the German army in WWII (to name a darker chapter of history).

Nowadays  there are lots of German tourists in Sweden, plus the silent invasion (as I’d like to call it) of Germans working in Sweden or finding their love there (me = one example), Swedes moving to Berlin for working and living (maybe loving, too?), Germans buying Volvos even though most still prefer VW, Mercedes, BMW, loving their Sony Ericsson mobiles, chatting on Skype and longing for Spotify – and maybe even for Twingly. Although we are a little different to Spotify or Skype.

Anyway, Germany in many ways is one of the most important business partners for Sweden. And in 2009 it also became one for us at Twingly.

During 2009 we probably went from “Who the f… is Twingly?” to “What? You don’t know Twingly? Check it out!” if you would have asked someone in the German blogosphere.

Some newspapers online joined us on our path of recognition in Germany by using Blogstream to connect their content with blogs. These are Handelsblatt, Wirtschaftswoche, Karriere, Freitag, Lausitzer Rundschau, BILD and FOCUS. The last two decided to give it a few months try only, though, but keeping in touch and with our further development of services we are pretty confident to welcome them back as partners at some point later soon.

We also welcomed the German first shop to use Twingly to connect to blogs – check out Yomoy.

In 2010 there will be a few more German Blogstream partners joining which really glads us and we feel honoured to be entrusted with supporting them in their online strategies.

The year to come will bring new Twingly products and therefore also a greater variety of business models that will suit different types and sizes of businesses. All new products like i.e. Twingly Channels or Twingly Live (to name the ones already somewhat out there) will incorporate real time web – which has been stated as one of the top trends for 2010, as every digital native by now knows.

Twingly Live already now supports lots of events and conferences. Twingly Channels will be doing the same and a lot more like i.e. Social Media Monitoring for everyone or “channeling” the media around one event or in general givving the opportunity to get all important news in one place. Possibilities with Channels as we imagine it to be will be endless, and that’s why right now we work hard on getting all you want into place before we launch the open version some time in the first half of 2010. Stay tuned.

We will also develop our Enterprise Solutions like i.e. Blogstream further and it goes without saying that the results for Germany on the Twingly blog search will be better and better. Not sure if I have to mention this, but – we do love feedback and we want yours. So let us know if you have a great idea or a problem!

At this point I would like to say thank you to all our German business partners who allowed us helping them to improve their connection with social media.

But the same thank you goes to all the great people that I have met over the year online via i.e. Twitter but also offline and in real life on for example the Microblogging Conference in Hamburg, the re:publica in Berlin and the dmexco in Köln in September. It is just so nice to be a part of the German blog and social media world, although we are located rather remotely in Sweden. But thank goodness Germany is in the end only a couple of flight hours away. So thank you for your friendship, support and trust!

For 2010 the following these events are already scheduled: the MBC (so it hopefully takes place), the re:publica (tickets bought, hotel booked, flight to be booked) and the dmexco in autumn.

Also, since there are some quite innovative things cooking at our end we would be interested in taking part in some more happenings and/or competitions in Germany. Any hot tips, anyone, for what we absolutely should not miss this year? Get in touch.

Let’s bring it on in 2010 then! Or how was that again in German? “Es gibt viel zu tun. Packen wir es an”.

Looking forward to see you soon, in real time and in a brand new decade!

TVI24 new Portuguese Twingly Partner

From today the Portuguese TV-Channel TVI24 is connecting their site to the blogosphere by using Twingly.

This means we now are working with four partner sites in Portugal and we think it’s great to see another TV-partner joining just like SVT, BBC and TV2. Four big partners in Portugal also make it to one of our biggest markets after Sweden, Norway and Germany.

But it’s not just an important market for us, Portugal is also having one of the most interesting blogospheres in Europe with a lot of debate, conversation, engagement and of course – a lot of linking to each other and newspapers. It’s therefore wonderful to see more newspapers and companies understanding the value of connecting to the blogosphere by linking back to the blogs linking to them.

Don’t forget to check out the Twingly Top 100 to see the most influential blogs in Portuguese, lots of these not only being situated in Portugal but also in Brazil.

TopLeague.co.uk joins the Twingly League!

Today we are extremely proud to announce our second media partner in the UK after BBC with BBC Shownar!

The football site TOPLEAGUE.co.uk starts now linking back to the blogosphere using Twingly. Thus they are our first UK partner for Blogstream.

On TOPLEAGUE keen followers of the English Premier League have the possibility to get the latest news and podcasts related to their favourite weekend passtime and their favourite club.

Premier League is not only popular in England but all over Europe, even in Sweden lots of topleaguepeople follow how Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, ManU and the likes are doing during the season.
Naturally, footy is also a widely discussed topic in the blogosphere – and footy fans are passionate. As you might know best from yourself.

So if you’re a football lover and blogger then grasp the opportunity and be seen on TopLeague.co.uk by connecting to their articles.

Happy blogging!

Travelling ‘n blogging with Fritidsresor

FritidsresorAnother great company is joining the partnersphere of Twingly: Swedish travel company Fritidsresor. They have just started to use Twingly Blogstream on Fritidsresor.se and will also implement Twingly on their travel community reslust.se later on.

As you might have noticed lately, many of our incoming customers are non-media-companies. It’s an exciting development, since it shows that a wider range of corporations are starting to understand the importance of bloggers. And more to come, stay tuned!

Help making authorities more open with Twingly

Do you want authorities to be more open for bloggers? Well, now is your chance to make it happen. If you write about the Climate conference in Copenhagen next week, don’t forget to “twingla” www.se2009.eu.

One of our new customers this fall is The Swedish EU Presidency site, se2009.eu, that have been showing bloglinks on their articles for the past couple of weeks. To us, this is not only exciting because they’re a new type of customer, but also because they really are showing the way for how governments and official authorities should work with openess, transparency and social media in the future. As the editorial team of se2009.eu explained in their guest blog post here at The Twingly Blog:

“We are the first holders of the EU Presidency to connect our website to blogs in this way. This is a trial. After the end of the year, there will be no more news reports on se2009.eu and the trial is concluded. After this, we will evaluate our work and how Twingly has worked for us. We can already say that we would be pleased to see more authorities follow suit and try connecting their websites to blogs.”

To get this to work well, we need some help. Next week the Swedish EU Presidency will reach its height with the Climate conference in Copenhagen. We know many of you will blog about this and when you do so – we have a call to action for you: Link to se2009.eu!

We love to announce new Partners, yes we do

We’re happy to announce some awesome new partners launching Twingly today.

First of all it’s a couple of more local newspapers in Southern Sweden that have launched Twingly. Skånskan, NorraSkåne and Laholmstidning are now using Twingly to embrace the discussion around their articles with social media.

But there’s more.

Webbtv.se is a new site collecting all the web tv content from Sweden. Since there’s more and more web tv content out there, it’s a quite nice idea, and we’re glad that they wanted to use Twingly to link back to blogs straight from the start. So why not check it out right away!

Another exciting launch is Coolstuff.se, which is a web shop for “cool stuff”. They’re pretty big here in Sweden and when Mattias was looking at the Twingly Blogstream-integration earlier today he said, while looking at their top list, “wow, this is awesome! I just found the perfect Christmas gift for my dad.” so it seems they already have a new customer because of the Blogstream widget ;).

Coolstuff are also launching Twingly on their Danish and German sites Coolstuff.dk and Yomoy.de.

Happy blogging!

The Swedish EU Presidency goes Twingly

This is a guest post from the editorial team of the Swedish EU Presidency:

Swedish EU Presidency The editorial team for se2009.eu – the Swedish EU Presidency website – has been working since 1 June this year to bring the latest EU news to our readers.

Now we are taking one step further by linking the Presidency website to the blogosphere with the help of Twingly Blogstream. We believe that by doing this we can attract more visitors and new, enthusiastic readers. And we hope that you who are bloggers will discover se2009.eu and enjoy the opportunity to comment on what we write about. 

Time is flying by, and only weeks remain of the Swedish EU Presidency before Spain takes over in the EU driving seat at the beginning of next year. A lot will happen before then though. In a couple of weeks, the Treaty of Lisbon will enter into force. In December we will be reporting from the major Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, where Sweden, as holder of the EU Presidency, will represent the EU.

This week we are attending the jumbo meeting in Brussels, which includes meetings between the EU’s foreign affairs ministers, defence ministers and international development cooperation ministers, a conference on eGovernment in Malmö and, not least, the extra summit taking place tomorrow, Thursday, in Brussels. At the summit, the EU leaders are to reach agreement on who will be given the new top EU posts.

We are the first holders of the EU Presidency to connect our website to blogs in this way. This is a trial. After the end of the year, there will be no more news reports on se2009.eu and the trial is concluded. After this, we will evaluate our work and how Twingly has worked for us. We can already say that we would be pleased to see more authorities follow suit and try connecting their websites to blogs.

We who work with se2009.eu will continuously pre-moderate the comments posted. Read more about moderation in our Netiquette. Therefore there may sometimes be a slight delay before a post is published.

We hope that this trial will have a good result and that it will provide nourishment for what has become our baby – se2009.eu.   

se2009.eu Editorial Team, by
Tobias Nilsson, Project Manager, and Teo Zetterman, Web Editor.
Tobias NilssonTeo Zetterman