How to get your blog linked by major websites with Twingly

If you have been following our recent articles you may have noticed that there is a huge number of websites that uses our Twingly Blogstream widget in order to show blogs that linked to them (here is the full list of partners). The great thing for bloggers: They get an incoming link from a major website which can drive a lot of traffic.

If you are a blogger you might be wondering what you have to do in order to show up on our partner’s websites. In this post we provide you with a step-by-step tutorial for that very purpose.

1. Write a blog post and link to a Twingly partner
You write a blog post containing a link to our partner’s website that’s related to your blog post. It’s important that you link to the address or page where the Twingly widget is located, which most is on specific article/product pages.

2. Ping Twingly
You ping us. That means that you notify us that you published a blog post linking to one of our partners, which we need to know for pushing the link to your article to our partner’s website. Some blog platforms have a setting that allows for automatic pinging every time you have written a new post, for example if you host your own WordPress blog (note: Blogs hosted at WordPress.com do not include this feature). In this case simply add http://rpc.twingly.com/ to your blog tool’s list of ping services.

Ping Twingly from a self-hosted WordPress blog

If your blogging platform of choice doesn’t support automatic pinging, you can notify us manually about your posting containing the link to a partner website. Go to this site and enter the address of your blog or the URL to your RSS feed.

Two things to remember: We index your RSS feed. If you only publish the first parts of your posting via RSS we might not see your links to our partner websites and your blog won’t show up in their Twingly Blogstream widget. So make sure to publish your complete articles as RSS. If necessary, you can change this in your blogging platform’s settings section.

Furthermore, sometimes it takes a while between you publishing a post and your site appearing in the partner’s Twingly widget. So please be patient, it can take up to 1- 15 minutes.

3. Your blog appears on our partner’s website
Our server notices the link from your blog to a Twingly partner and highlights your blog in the partner’s widget (which usually is located somewhere on our partner’s article/product pages).

Incoming links from blogs on adlibris.com
Incoming links from blogs on adlibris.com

4. Hurray! You get a lot of visitors from major websites

Good to know: People can and may report spam or abuse which moderators at the partner site could check out. If they come to the conclusion that it’s spam or something similar they ban the post. They can also ban the whole blog. So behave! =)

Connecting the blogosphere to the bookosphere

Today we’re happy to announce that the two largest e-commerce sites for books here in Sweden, Adlibris and Bokus, have launched Twingly Blogstream on their sites to show blog links. Since Norstedts / Raben & Sjögren already are using Twingly on their sites as well, we can now proudly say that we have connected the blogosphere to the bookosphere.

Books is a huge topic in the blogosphere and both Bokus.com and Adlibris.com have already hundreds of blog links to their sites every month. From now on they’ll be shown on Bokus.com and Adlibris.com as “blog reviews” or “blog comments” on every product page. Check out the product pages for “Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann” (Adlibris) and “De målade grottornas land” (Bokus) to see how it looks.

The Twingly widget makes together with comments, reviews and social networks like Twitter and Facebook the shopping on these sites to a social experience and not just a informative buying experience. Books are perfect social objects, they make people connect with each other. The e-commerce sites for books haven’t been that social before despite that books are one of the most classic examples of social objects but with Twingly and other types of social media these sites have finally created a social environment that the books deserve.

Happy (book)blogging!

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/anna/5390386327/

“The news itself has become a commodity and isn’t of high value anymore”

Hier ist eine deutsche Version des Interviews.

The Lausitzer Rundschau is a local newspaper from Germany and partner of Twingly. We interviewed Benjamin Marx, who is in charge of the newspaper’s online strategy as well as deputy editor in chief. He explains the role of social media for the media outlet, how the website integrates with Twingly and how the editorial department plans to increase reader engagement and interactivity.

Hi Benjamin, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Sure! I have a background within journalism, an university degree in oriental studies and experience as a web developer. I worked both as a foreign correspondent reporting from the Middle East as well as with creating several web portals. After that I focused on consultancy within crossmedia and online strategies. In this role I came to the Lausitzer Rundschau. One day they asked whether I would be interested in taking over the role as Director of online business, which I agreed to. Since January I’m also deputy editor in chief developing and redefining our crossmedia and multimedia strategy and appearance online.

Benjamin Marx

How will the future of newspapers look like?
For 65 years one of the core elements of our newspaper has been the local reporting and I believe this is where even online newspapers have their biggest potential. Especially from a local newspaper like Lausitzer Rundschau people expect to read about news and events from their local town and neighborhoods. They expect us to observe, question and even investigate the actions of local decision makers. There are two big questions any newspapers has to find an answer for though: How will readers consume content in the future, and how can the business model be adjusted to the ongoing change without losing the revenue needed to finance the necessary network of editors and reporters.

What is the goal of your online strategy?
We aim at leveraging new media channels in a way that is highly relevant for the users. We also want to find ways to increase the perceived value of our content, the news itself has become a commodity and isn’t of high value anymore. The time period of having a news exclusively is rather short. Hence we have to find ways to add value – mainly by providing readers with background information which they don’t get elsewhere. Being a local newspaper we can rely on a well established network of local informers and contacts. But what we need to know first is what people want to read and there lies the beauty of the Internet. In former times we only had the readers letters, now we have lots of ways to measure reader activity and preferences, among them comments and blog posts.

So you are paying close attention to what people write in response to your content?
Yes. There are some topics and news types that usually engage a lot of people on the web and that lead to a host of blog posts. In some occasions we even got in touch with bloggers and asked them for permission to print some of their content. By doing that we again ”captured” the discussion that we initially created.

You also use Twingly for the purpose of ”capturing” the discussion…
Correct. We have implemented the Blogstream widget under each article. When a blogger links to a piece on our website it is visible for our readers, who can proceed to the blog post to get an additional opinion. The Twingly widget is a good way for us to find out which topics are especially popular among bloggers.

What are your thoughts on the current social media hype?
Well social media is a lot of fun. At the same time one has to evaluate which tools to integrate into the editorial work. For us Facebook and Twitter are the most important social media channels. By ”outsourcing” your community to those two platforms you get rid of a lot of hassle that you would need to deal with if you establish your own community (which hasn’t worked for most newspapers anyway). We receive about 5.000 readers each month through our Facebook page and Twitter stream, which probably isn’t revolutionary, but we are happy with that particularly because those are people we otherwise wouldn’t reach through our print product.

How does the journalist of the future look like?
There is an industry-wide tendency seeing the journalist of the future as a true multi-talent – somebody who is able to work for and with any channel imaginable, from print to online, radio and TV. I’m not convinced this will happened. For sure journalists will need a different mix of competences and areas of interest (as they even did in the past) and a basic technical understanding might be required, especially regarding online and mobile. But I believe that between the current positions of the editor and the reporter a third role will evolve: the technical producer: A person with an advanced technical and creative set of skills who receives content, formats and adjusts it to different media channels and platforms, takes care of graphical visualisation, meta-information, comment moderation and other kinds of community management. At Lausitzer Rundschau we currently double the manpower in this area until May.

What is your vision for Lausitzer Rundschau online?
For once to be on as many platforms as possible. To achieve this we are developing a HTML5 version of our site which will work on almost any device. Furthermore we are going to experiment more with prioritising content based on user votings and activity. Our readers feedback and opinions will have even more influence on the position and visibility of articles on the Lausitzer Rundschau website. And then there is another functionality we are currently working on: The collaborative editing of articles similar to how Wikipedia does it. We want to offer our readers the possibility to make changes directly within an existing text, for example to add information or background insights. Of course an approach like that is not without risk, since persons we are reporting about might be tempted to change or remove less positives paragraphs. Nevertheless we think this is a very exciting experiment and are curious to see the blogosphere’s reaction towards this move. And of course we will closely monitor and moderate the editing process in order to avoid abuse.

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.

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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!

How websites within the public service and public sector use Twingly

Today we continue our series of blog posts showing you how websites from different online sectors are using Twingly to enhance their content with opinions and comments from the blogosphere. We described earlier how e-commerce websites have implemented the Twingly widget and highlighted how company, event and organisation websites use Twingly. This time we will focus on the websites from the Swedish public sector and introduce you to what public radio, public television (yep even they are Twingly partners) and two other official, non-commercial websites are doing with Twingly technology.

SVT
SVT is the the Swedish public service television. One of their many TV productions is called Debatt, a talk show discussing important news and issues related to the Swedish society. The Debatt website regularly publishes opinion pieces by Swedish politicians, media experts and journalists surrounding the ongoing debates (like this one). Each of those articles is accompanied by the Twingly Blogstream widget, showing blog posts linking to the article. By doing that SVT gives users the chance of either commenting directly below the articles or publishing their response in their own blogs and becoming part of the discussion. SVT are also using the Twingly Blogstream widget on other parts of their website, for example below every article on their news section.

SVT
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Sveriges Radio
Even Sveriges Radio which is Sweden’s public service radio has implemented Twingly Blogstream on parts of its website (example). The widget is located below articles and shows the latest incoming links from blogs. Easy and straight-forward!

SR
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Europaportalen
Europaportalen is the leading, independent platform for the Swedish debate about everything concerning the European Union (EU) and Europe. Similar to how Sveriges Radio has implemented Twingly Blogstream even Europaportalen uses our technology to monitor the blogosphere and to show who has linked to the site (example).

Europaportalen
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Lärarnas Nyheter
This website is targeted at teachers across Sweden, published by the Swedish teacher association and meant to offer any kind of news and information teachers need for their daily work. We find that Lärarnas Nyheter has chosen a very neat way of adding the Twingly widget to their site – it’s included in a dynamic navigation on the right side of the homepage and shows the articles that have been getting the most buzz from the blogosphere. The widget is also located on each article page (example) listing the recent incoming links.

Lärarnas Nyheter
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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.

Swedish retailer Hemtex embraces the blogosphere with Twingly

In our article from a few days ago about how a lot of our Twingly partners were voted into Internetworld’s top 100 ranking of Sweden’s best websites 2010 we explained how this year’s winner Halens is using the Twingly Blogstream widget to highlight what bloggers are saying about the products sold on its website (we also explained the integration in detail a few months ago).

Now another leading retailer from Sweden is implementing such as solution to encourage web users to blog feedback and opinions in regards to furnishings and textiles offered on its web-shop: Hemtex!

What Hemtex has done is straight forward: On each item profile in their store you find the tabs “Start” with the main order information about a product, “Info” with some specific details and “Bloggat” which is Swedish and means “blogged”. By clicking on that tab users are welcomed by the Twingly widget linking to blogs that had something to say about the specific item.

So while the integration of Twingly is great for Hemtex to increase awareness and engagement within the Swedish blogosphere, it will help online shoppers to evaluate whether a specific product is worth buying or not by having access to reviews and comments from blogs.

If you want to see the Twingly integration in action you can for instance go to this page.

We say welcome Hemtex, we are happy to have you with us and to see more and more leading e-commerce services opening up to the social web!

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)