The Washington Post and The New York Times have established a strong relationship with bloggers by linking back to posts linking to their articles. This strategy has created a wealth of new values for both bloggers and the newspapers and has been easily integrated with other new media strategies without any compromises being made in terms of quality or reader value. The advantages for bloggers receiving traffic from newspapers have been numerous:
- Bloggers receive more attention and traffic.
- New bloggers writing about serious subjects get more readers from day one.
- The blogging phenomenon as such receives more attention.
- The widespread but erroneous public image of blogs as inward looking diaries rapidly disappears.
- The general interest in citizen journalism increases and more people are given the opportunity to take part in the public debate.
The advantages for newspapers linking back to bloggers are equally plentiful:
- Editorial value: the newspapers readers can take part in vastly more interesting and relevant discussions than those normally present in discussion forums and article comment systems.
- Articles continue to be read long after they have trickled off the first page of the newspaperâ€™s web site, thereby substantially increasing their lifespan.
- Bloggers have a much stronger incitement to link to a newspaper linking back to them than to competitors not doing the same thing.
- The newspaper establishes its brand towards a dynamic and hard-to-reach market segment.
- It creates a strong community around the newspapers web site without shutting the door on established blog writers with an established reader base by forcing them to migrate to a proprietary blogging platform.
- If newspapers are to remain important to journalism in the future as they have been in the past, they will need to position themselves accordingly in social media today.
The increased number of links to the newspapers articles substantially increases its search engine ranking, thereby drawing additional readers.
Swedish and Scandinavian news sites are well aware of all of the above and are working in the right direction. Newspapers know that they can no longer exist in a vacuum and that they have all to gain from intermeshing with the blogosphere.
Primelabs recently launched the blog search engine Twingly, which provides a robust technical solution for indexing all blogs linking to newspapers. Twingly is a full-scale blogosphere indexing solution. It is therefore able to apply robust spam filtering and authority analysis in ensuring data quality. Twingly exposes a web based API which makes it easy to integrate the service into any web publication system. Twingly does not filter results, but provides tools for preventing abuse to our customers.
In early February 2007, the two largest Swedish dailies (DN, SvD) started using Twingly, thereby becoming the first European dailies linking back to the blogosphere.