The most popular products among bloggers in Norway, Finland and Denmark in 2012

A few days ago we gave our readers an overview about the most popular products among blogggers in Sweden, based on statistics from our Twingly eTrade solution that connects e-commerce sites with blogs. But since we have many clients in the other Nordic countries as well, we can reveal similiar statistics about Denmark, Norway and Finland. We had a look at the data and compiled a list of products at a couple of selected stores that were getting the highest number of incoming links from blogs in 2012. So here they are, the most popular products among bloggers in the Nordics.



1. Marius strikkebok; klassikere, historier og nye oppskrifter

2. Made by me; sybloggernes beste oppskrifter

3. Kathrine Gregersen: Strikk til nøstebarn
. Børnetøj 4-7 år


1. Kåpe

2. Bukser

2. Lue

1. Elise Ryan / Melanie Open Back Dress

2. Jeffrey Campbell / Lita Shoe

3. Elise Ryan / Melanie Open Back Dress (white)


1. Polaroid 300

2. Objektivkruset

3. Blåseape Negletørker


1. Sugarfree Shoes

2. Emma

3. Ugg Australia


1. Gourmet-Pro, 900 ga

2. Ripped Hardcore, 60 caps

3. Stor fitnesspakke for jenter!

Yves Rocher

1. Løst perlemorskimmer

2. Øyenskyggepensel

3. Brun-uten-sol spray for kroppen


1. Max Bollinger & Pavel Kostin: It’s Time

2. Susan B Anderson: Itty Bitty Toys

1. Issue 1.3 / Lou Sweater

2. Jeffrey Campbell / Spike

3. NLY White Label / I Love


1. Chokolade-fontæne

2. Pusteabe Negletørrer

3. Polaroid Z340

Yves Rocher

1. Løst perlemorsglans

2. Øjenskyggepensel

3. Kropspeeling



1. Kirsi Etula, Sunna Valkeapää-Ikola: Mekkotehdas

2. Alexander Gullichsen, Hanna Gullichsen: Safkaa

3. Pyy Outi: Trashion – Tee itse huippumuotia


1. Kaulakoru

2. Yöpaita

3. Viitta

1. Dr Denim / Plenty Denim Leggins

2. Jeane Blush / Leah Parkas (blue)

3. Jeane Blush / Leah Parkas (white)

Yves Rocher

1. Varjostussivellin

2. Itseruskettava suihke vartalolle

3. Kuivaöljy

The most popular products among bloggers in Sweden 2012

Every year, thousands of bloggers link to products on online stores, and with our Twingly solutions for publishers, website owners and online retailers, a lot of added value is created for all parties involved. We decided to dig a bit into the data from 2012 to see which products have been the most popular, most linked to from bloggers. Today we present the results for the Sweden, where Twingly is based. We proudly present: The most popular products among bloggers in Sweden!

The most popular product among bloggers in Sweden 2012

Eld by Mats Strandberg and Sara Bergmark Elfgren at (105 incoming links from blogs)

The most popular products among bloggers in Sweden 2012 by categories

Most popular book

Eld by Mats Strandberg and Sara Bergmark Elfgren at (105 incoming links from blogs)

Most popular shoe

Jeffrey Campbell / Spike at (31 incoming links from blogs)

Most popular clothing

Oneness / Sofie Dress at (25 incoming links from blogs)

Most popular cosmetics product

Eleven 66 Colour Lip Palette at eleven (23 incoming links from blogs)

Most popular movie

Prometheus (Blu-ray+DVD) at (39 incoming links from blogs)

Most popular game

Call of duty: Black Ops 2 – Nuketown Edition (Xbox 360) at (18 incoming links from blogs)

Most popular fun gadget

Dough spreader for cupcakes at (13 incoming links from blogs)

Most popular accessory

Envelope bag at Lindex (10 incoming links from blogs)

The most popular products among bloggers in Sweden 2012 by selected stores

1. Jeffrey Campbell / Spike

2. Oneness / Sofie Dress

3. Elise Ryan / Melanie Open Back Dress


1. Eleven 66 Colour Lip Palette

2. Smashbox Heartbreaker Eye Shadow Palette

3. Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque

1. Prometheus (Blu-ray+DVD)

2. Call of duty: Black Ops 2 – Nuketown Edition – Xbox 360

3. Rasmus Lenefors – Amatören


1. Cape

2. Envelope bag

3. Envelope bag (leather)

Twingly connects Bubbleroom and fashion bloggers

Fashion bloggers regularly link to clothes and accessories on e-commerce websites. With eTrade we offer online shops a great solution to increase the number of incoming links from blogs. Dozens of major e-commerce sites are already integrated with eTrade, and today we have the pleasure to announce one more: The Nordic fashion retailer Bubbleroom. Since this week, every Bubbleroom product page contains the Twingly widget which shows incoming links form fashion blogs (example here). Apart from the benefits for the shop, it’s an added value for its customers as well, who can get opinions on specific fashion items from fashion bloggers.

We used this occasion to ask Kaja Braendengen, project manager at Bubbleroom, a couple of questions about the importance of the fashion blogosphere for Bubbleroom. She is also the co-founder of the Norwegian fashion website/blog, so she is really an expert on this topic.

Why did Bubbleroom choose Twingly? What are your expectations?
We chose Twingly because we want to work closer with bloggers and it’s a really great service that benefits both us and the bloggers. Our goal is to get more links from bloggers and increase the knowledge of our brand. The links we’ll get will hopefully improve our search engine visibility even more.

Kaja BraendengenHow important are blogs for your business?
The blogs and especially the fashion blogs are very important for us – bloggers today have a lot of power in the fashion business and they have a major impact on our target audience, women 15-35 years old.

What would happen if all blogs would disappear from one day to another?
That would not be good at all, and we would lose a big channel that affects what people know about Bubbleroom and which also is a big sales channel for us.

How do you encourage bloggers to link to Bubbleroom?
We have a lot of collaborations with different fashion bloggers and they often write posts about us and our products and link to our site.

How much time does the company invest into the work with social media in general and blogs in particular?
I work with both social media and blog collaborations. Every day we keep in touch with our customers and style setters through social media, it’s very important to get feedback from this channel as people are honest and direct, and we can respond quickly to their questions. I spend at least a couple of hours a day with these channels and in contact with bloggers.

In Sweden, many of the leading blogs are about fashion. Is it similar in Norway? What are the main differences between both (fashion) blogospheres?
Yes, it’s similar, all the biggest bloggers in Norway write about fashion as the main subject and that is the most popular theme. The blogospheres are quite similar is my opinion but the blog phenomenon is much bigger in Sweden.

Do you think that the impact fashion blogs have on the fashion industry and sales will increase even more in the future?
As more and more people get access to the internet, the blogs will become even more influential. Sales will depend on your visibility online so therefore it’s crucial to build loyal relationships with powerful bloggers.

“Biggest reach isn’t always the best choice”

The blogosphere is maturing, but blogs are far from dead. That’s the message of Joakim Nyström from Swedish agency Bloggbyrån. He has created a model for identifying driving forces in blogs and characterised 12 different types of blogs. We had a chat with him.

Hi Joakim. Tell our readers a bit about you.
I’m Joakim Nyström, developer and designer at Bloggbyrån, a Sweden-based digital PR agency. I’m also involved in the strategic work. We help our customers in making decisions on how to engage with social media.

A developer and designer that also works with strategy…
Hehe yes I have quite a broad background. When we started Bloggbyrån me and my fellow colleagues jointly developed the strategies for our first clients, and somehow I kept working with that. But since I also have the coding skills it would be a shame not use them right?! 🙂

With the name Bloggbyrån you emphasize your focus on the blogosphere. How is this reflected in your day-to-day work?
Well, we help companies to spread buzz about issues or products and to raise opinions. We do that by building long term relationships with bloggers. Basically, we are friends with bloggers – much more than most companies. Which is why they come to us when they want to connect with bloggers.

Bloggers can be a challenge to handle, since they usually are very outspoken and not shy on publishing criticism. How do you make sure you keep your good relations with them while helping your clients to reach their (commercial) goals?
By respecting bloggers and educating our clients on how to interact with bloggers and what to avoid. We teach companies on ethical and social rules that are consensus in the blogosphere. We are a bit like a friendly host at a party who introduces people to each other.

Do you get the impression that in 2012, most companies feel confident when dealing with social media?
It varies, but usually there are at least a few people within each organisation that have the required skills and experience.

Some people claim that blogs are dying. What’s your take on that?
The blogosphere is maturing rather than dying. Early on we saw an explosion of blogs because we didn’t have the big social networks to connect and interact. Nowadays, bloggers are more focused and more professional. They might publish less blog posts but when they do, they work harder with that content and their relations. The link recommendations and quick thoughts are being published via Facebook and Twitter. All the ideas and input from those channels is then being transformed into blog posts, often in a well thought-through way. Less quantity but more quality. I think that’s a great trend.

Are blogs underestimated?
Maybe. The good thing with blogs is that you can focus more on long tail content. Blog posts are more permanent than the content posted on social networks, and companies are realising that.

You came up with a model that you call „blog compass“. What’s up with that?
One of the biggest challenges for companies is to figure out which blog is useful in which situation. I tried to develop an abstract model to identify driving forces in blogs. I found three main forces where one is usually more dominant than the other two: awareness/fame, connectivity, niche. Furthermore, I characterised 12 different blog types. You can have a look at the blog compass here.

Would the blog compass have looked differently a few years ago?
There was less connectivity I guess, but now the networks have exploded and blogs and bloggers are using different platforms to connect with each other and with the audience. In the past there was more focus on awareness and niche.

Where would you put the big US tech blogs or The Huffington Post?
I would put them somewhere in between awareness and niche. They are more like educating blogs, more like business media or newspapers. Information that we can benefit from but which perhaps is not always the most entertaining to read.

How do you use the model internally?
We use it as part of our argumentation towards the clients about why we are turning to a specific blog or why we use a specific strategy. Biggest reach isn’t always the best choice. Better is to find a niche, to build better relationships and to find a more engaged crowd. It’s recommended to look at the different types of capital that can be gained during the interaction with blogs: awareness, social capital and knowledge capital. The blog compass helps to understand that and to figure out which blogs to approach.

Are there companies that you wouldn’t recommend to reach out to the blogosphere?
Yes, companies that have dirt to hide should first clean that up. We usually tell our clients that we can direct attention but we can’t take responsibility about how people react.

“Journalism and the knowledge of journalists is too important to be left to stagnation”

Emanuel Karlsten is a well-connected Swedish journalists and social media enthusiast. He thinks that the best way of developing new working concepts and business models in the age of social media is through experiments. According to him, the number of experiments is far lower than what it should be. With Ajour, he and a couple of other personalities from the Swedish web sphere are doing their part to help online journalism evolve. We had a chat with Emanuel.

Hi Emanuel. What have you done to become a well connected, well known figure in the Swedish blogosphere?
I am really not sure. It all started with being hired by a small newspaper called Dagen. I simply tried to be a good web editor. I started reading what people were writing on how to use social media, and follow those suggestions. During that time actively engaging in social media was considered being both brave and radical – most people just wrote about it. So my news site got a lot of attention and recognition, which meant that I also got quite a boost. I realized how easily things could be done without great budgets, if you just try. I collected as much knowledge as possible from every person I understood knew more than I. I tried to understand how they thought, read more, learned more and connected more. It has never been a strategy, it has just been me trying to do my job as good as possible.

Photo taken by Martin Ridne

You work as a journalist but you are also doing social media consulting for clients. How do you make sure there won’t be conflicts of interest?
I have been in conflict of interests. Sometimes I want to write about my clients, but if it is too sensitive I just don’t. But mainly my work as a consultant is with other media houses, so I am not very deeply affected.

How does a usual work week look for you?
Really there is no usual week. It depends on what clients I have and what projects they put me up to. But I invest a lot of time on roaming the web, looking for new things. When I don’t have a big client I work with the news project I created with some others, and I usually have about one or to lectures or trainings for journalists a week. I also spend every other Sunday writing my column for the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, and am a regular on a few radio shows.

What do you like about working with many different things at the same time?
I am a restless soul, so I am really not left with an option. But what pushes me the most is to see change. Journalism and the knowledge of journalists is too important to be left to stagnation and today there is almost no innovation in our business. It is frustrating and that is pretty much the reason I do what I do. I could not stay at a regular job – it moves to slow. I could not just be out educating and lecturing either – I would miss writing too much. And the way you challenge media is not just by talking, you have to show it somehow – so me and five others created an experimental new media site, Ajour.

Tell us a bit more about the project.
I think ultimately all of the co-founders have different goals. Some just want a platform where we can share great stories. For me it is about trying out new ideas. The whole concept of Ajour is to adapt to a social media world where the sender of a message is becoming increasingly important. So we had the idea on putting together a few of the most influential social media people in Sweden to create a newsblog/newssite where the WHO is the main way of drawing attention, not the WHAT. People trust that what we write is interesting, and thereby we could establish a stage which we then could use to give voice to people and stories that haven’t been heard yet but should be heard. So Ajour is about empowering citizens, challenging and encouraging them to pick up the pen, videocamera or whatever and do journalism together with us. But really, we do not know where it will end, we just wanted to experiment with this. Because it needs to be done, since so few others are doing it.

What importance does blogging have in your daily work?
People tend to think that blogs’ relevance has diminished and that it is now microblogging that is hot. That might be true in the sense that it is newer, but not in the way that it is impacting people. Especially in Sweden blogging has really changed the media landscape. Just look at the way young girls consume media today. They went from magazines to mainly blogs. Not just reading, but also writing. It is the big flagship in social media and is so for me as well.

How do blogs and Twitter changed journalism? Can a journalist still do excellent work without at least spending some time with social media?
Sure, a journalist can do a great and excellent work without social media. And a journalist can still do a great and excellent work without using a phone. But really – none of it makes any sense. Why would we not use a phone to reach people in a faster way? And why would we not use social media to connect to people? The biggest issue with social media and journalism is the gigantic gap of knowledge on how to actually benefit from it. There are so many ways social media could make the journalist’s job more effective. Those who have already understood this have experienced great success. It actually just means that we can do the same old work better, faster and more effective.

What are the challenge of social media disrupting journalism?
The challenge is how to develop a solid business model. I hate the word “find” because it suggests that it will just be there for you to pick up. Media has been great in trying to develop journalism online, but when it comes to business models it just got stuck. The problem lies not in that the model necessarily is wrong, it is just that we don’t get the same revenue on advertising online as we do on print. And that might not work, but we (media houses internationally) never really tried! The ones who did try, Facebook and Google, actually succeeded. But we have somehow bought our own lie on “it will not work” instead of trying to innovate. That is really frustrating to me. Another challenge is that while this is happening regular people – “non journalists” – are doing the journalists’ jobs. Often better. Because they are using the relevant tools and they are doing it transparent and many times with more confidence than a traditional journalist. This will probably become a bigger challenge for every day that passes.

“For tech startups and innovation, Stockholm is one of Europe’s hottest places”

We continue our series of interviews with opinion leaders, influencers and well-connected bloggers and social media personalities from our home country Sweden. This time we had a chat with a guy who hardly needs an introduction to anybody following the local blogosphere and twittersphere: Joakim Jardenberg (aka “Jocke”). He set up the first server for Sweden’s formerly biggest media site back in 1994, is a so called “short sleeper” and currently trains CEOs of leading companies to get ready for the digital age. Read on to get to know him more.

Hi Jocke. Who are you?
I’m a senior advisor in most things related to Internet and media and I’ve been working in this field since 1994 when I set up the first server for, Sweden’s biggest media site until Facebook appeared. Back then the newspaper published news on text TV, and I created a solution to translate that content into HTML. For a short while was the only real news site in the world having updated real time news content.

And today?
Currently I work with 5 CEOs of Sweden’s top 25 largest corperations to help them get ready for the digital age. They call me a “CEO whisperer”. The project involves everything from big strategy weekends to them calling me from the toilet asking questions about social media.

That sounds like a rather unusual project…
It is. I once held a presentation at a conference in Denmark and one of the CEOs was there. We hooked up and started to work on a deal that is now running in its third year. The other 4 CEOs are part of his network, which I could tap into. That’s how everything started.

Is that a full time job?
It could be, but I try to spend not more than 40 or 50 percent of my time for this project. My goal is to make myself unnecessary for them.

But then you are unemployed?
Not really. I have some other projects going on with big Swedish corporations. I also work a lot with the Swedish Foreign Ministry and as a business angel – I have invested into 11 tech startups. Furthermore I do some lecturing, public speaking and moderation.

That sounds as if you don’t have the time to sleep a lot…
That’s true. Fortunately, I belong to the one percent of people that are so called “short sleepers”. I sleep approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours a night, and I have been doing that since I was 20.

Many people are probably jealous of the capability.
It’s indeed an amazing feature – not a bug. One can easily handle the work load of two regular work days in one day and still take care of the family, social life and hobbies.

Could that advantage be the reason for why most people in the inner social media circles of Sweden know you?
Absolutely, it has nothing to do with intelligence or creativity, it’s just a lot of working hours ; )

Good to know : ) But seriously, how did you achieve that kind of prominence on the Swedish web?
I think a big part of it is that I try to live by my own motto: to be honest and do good shit. I hope I have been doing that. I want to be around for people, help them out without sending a bill afterwards, answer questions, try to take part in the public debate in a very open and straight-forward way. I would say I have spend a lot of hours trying to support and advocate my peers, listening to them, learning from them, and pushing things forward for them. That might be an explanation for my visibility in that specific niche.

When did you launch your own blog?
I think it was as early as it was possible to do that. If I remember correctly, I ran one of the early versions of WordPress, maybe in 2005 or 2006.

So you were one of the first in Sweden to active on social media?
Yes but I wasn’t that active in the very distinctive blogosphere in the beginning. Not living in Stockholm and not being in the Stockholm social context made it harder to catch the train. I was more looking outwards, out of Sweden.

What’s the status of the Swedish blogosphere in 2012?
For the blog as a social culture phenomenon I think it has peaked because we don’t have the obvious clusters anymore. Many Swedish hubs that connected the blogosphere and differentiated it from traditional publishing and all other media haven’t that big of an impact anymore. There are still political bloggers, tech bloggers, fashion bloggers and so forth. But it’s not that much of a closed community anymore, it’s part of all the other social media and traditional media.

What reputation do bloggers have in Sweden today?
Since the Swedish fashion blog scene is pretty big it has made an impression in the minds of the ordinary Swedes. When they hear the word “blog” they might think of a teenage girl taking photos of herself and writing about her daily outfit. That’s something we have to fight back on.

Would you say that social media in Sweden has an impact on politics and society?
Social Media definitely has an impact on the agenda of civil society. “Bloggbävning” (“blogquake”) is the Swedish word for it, when a topic explodes and is being picked up by the mainstream. Although that covers not only blogs but social media in general, where blogs are only a part of.

How much importance has Twitter for social media in Sweden?
It’s still a niche phenomenon. In some groups it has a lot of users, like among politicians or people working in technology, public relations and marketing. But it hasn’t found its way into my mother’s life. It lags behind the development in the states. In Sweden Twitter simply didn’t have the “Oprah effect”.

That means, an A-celebrity embracing Twitter in a big way could move it into the mainstream even in Sweden?
Yeah, and that might eventually happen. We also have to have respect for the ability and/or resistance of people to manage multiple platforms. Facebook is huge in Sweden in what I would call the Oprah target group. It might not be as easy today as it was in the US when Twitter exploded. But I think we see something happening with the push from younger people, they are embracing Twitter more and more.

Since you are also a tech investor you probably have thoughts about the current wave of Sweden-based startups making headlines on a global scale…
Of course. We had Skype, Rebtel and a few more disruptive companies from Sweden. Now we see the “Björn Borg effect”. You had the shining stars who showed the community that it’s possible to do what Spotify or Skype did in their respective markets. That motivates other entrepreneurs, investors and founders. It’s cyclic and now we are in a very upbeat spiral of tech innovation. Stockholm is definitely one of the hottest places in Europe when it comes to tech startups and web innovation. Daniel Ek is our hero!

Speaking about tech innovation: What are the 3 most exciting tech trends right now?
To start with the most obvious: location. It’s maturing but it hasn’t found its way into the mainstream audience yet. Nevertheless, it will go there, since there are so many benefits for location being tightly integrated into any service.

Another trend I expect to become huge is frictionless sharing, which means, that we don’t have to manually update everything we do and want to share anymore. It’s kind of a mesh between the Internet of things and the Internet of people. I love my twittering scale for instance. Of course, good and understandable privacy settings are a requirement.

Last but not least, my guess is that tactile techniques will become hot. We have learned to interact with our devices by touching or moving them, but it’s always about us interacting with the device. I want o see more devices that interact back to us. It’s pretty abstract but as devices come into every part of our life it becomes necessary for them to have more ways to communicate with us.

WordPress rules the blogosphere

WordPress rules the blogosphere. That for close observers not surprising fact has been proven once again: Our friends at the website monitoring service Pingdom have looked at the current list of Technorati’s top 100 blogs and analysed which software those 100 most popular blogs in the world are running on.

The clear winner: WordPress! 39 of those 100 blogs examined are using a self-hosted version of WordPress, and additional 9 chose the hosted version of WordPress at (which actually contains a special “VIP” self-hosted solution as well).

Half of the world's leading blogs use WordPress

So of the 100 top blogs worldwide, almost half runs on WordPress. That’s an impressive dominance for the open source blogging tool and a huge gain compared to 2009, when “only” 32 percent of the leading blogs used either the self-hosted or the hosted version of WordPress.

14 blogs among the Technorati top 100 created their own custom blogging solution, 7 use Movable Type, 6 Drupal, only 2 TypePad (compared to 16 in 2009) and at least 2 Tumblr, the up-and-coming tool for quick and easy blogging. For 8 sites, the Pingdom folks couldn’t identify the software behind, but chances are high that many of them are self-hosted as well.

Interesting stats! Thanks to Pingdom for sifting through the list, and thanks for reminding us of that Technorati actually still exists ; )

Stats show that users just can’t stop blogging

If you following the public debate about technology on the web, it is very likely that you at least once have stumbled over an article, tweet or comment claiming that blogs are slowly disappearing, and eventually might die. A seemingly obvious argument that would support this theory is the appearance of a huge number of ways for users to publish their thoughts and opinions. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest are growing rapidly and are often being seen as the easier and quicker way for publishing of text and personal media.

And while that might be true in some cases, recent statistics from Nielsen/McKinsey research company NM Incite show that despite the increasing number of competing publishing platforms and the huge amount of time users spend on social media sites, the number of blogs is continuing to grow.

In October 2011, NM Incite tracked over 173 million blogs around the world as source of buzz. At the end of the year, that number had risen to 181 million. In 2006, the company only tracked 36 million. As the graph shows, this growth has been steady, with no slowdown during the past two years, when social media exploded.

So everybody who still thinks blogging has no future should rethink that statement. But what’s certainly going to happen is a fragmentation of the blogging landscape in terms of which platforms and technologies are being used. Just look at Google+ where some users post extensive texts. That might not be blogging in the traditional sense because no typical blog CMS is used, no pingbacks are being sent and no layout customization is possible. Nevertheless it doesn’t seem right to claim those users aren’t blogging just because they do it within a social network.

The NM Incite stats offer some additional insights into who bloggers are: The majority is female and half of all bloggers are aged between 18 and 34. Furthermore, bloggers are well-educated and active social web users – no real surprise here. In the US, the three biggest blog platforms Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr reach 80 million unique visitors per month.

So yes, blogging will evolve and change, and some users might even leave their old-fashioned blog in favour of a better connected social-media-site. But the need for people to express won’t be affected by that. We don’t know which platform they will use in 2, 5 or 10 years. But there is one thing we know for sure: They won’t stop publishing online.

“We can make it more interesting to blog about politics”

Twingly is being used by a host of different kinds of websites. Even political parties such as the Swedish Social Democratic Party integrate with our Technology to connect with the blogosphere. We had a chat with Natalie Sial, responsible for web and social media at the Swedish Social Democratic Party, about how politics, social media and blogs influence each other.

Engaging in social media is being seen as crucial for today’s politics. Do you think it actually is still possible for a party to not interact with the people online?
No, I don’t think it is possible for anyone to mobilise or interact today if you are not present and visible online.

Can you give us a quick overview about your social media activities?
We want to reach voters on their platforms of choice. More than 50 percent of the Swedish population is on Facebook. Therefore it’s an important platform for communication and dialogue. We interact and let people have political dialogues on fan pages and we profile our political leaders on Facebook. Then we have Twitter which plays an important role for transparency and for spreading information. We tweet for example live updates from our press conferences and events as well as about everyday issues. Our YouTube channel is also pretty big and we upload everything from whole speeches to shorter clips about policies and presentations. Furthermore we organise progressive bloggers (red, green, independent) on Sweden’s biggest blog network Netroots. And our own website acts as the main communications platform, where all of our engagements on different social media channels are visible and centralized.

What is the story behind Netroots?
There wasn’t a good gateway to reach progressive bloggers in Sweden, so we are trying to fill that gap with which started in 2006. It is Swedens biggest blog network for progressives, gathering around 700 bloggers. We created the platform to make it easier for them to reach out. There are no representatives or board – it’s a network where blogger can share ideas. Since the network is so big now we saw a need for gatherings in real life. Small gatherings and meetings have been held around Sweden but now we decided to launch a national conference. From April 27 to April 29 in Stockholm we will be arranging the biggest event for progressives. The main topic will be methods on how to become a better net activist, blogger or opinion former using online tools. Special guests such as experts and bloggers from the US, UK and Middle East will be joining. You can read more on

How much influence do bloggers nowadays have on politics?
It’s growing in Sweden. It was the bloggers that raised the health and auto insurance debate in the election 2010 which in the end was the only thing people were talking about. 70 percent of journalists today look at blogs and social media to get inspiration for news (according to Hans Kullin, slide 7). It is certainly growing. A lot of politicians take influences from people’s opinions which happens more often when an increasing number of people interact online.

You use Twingly to show incoming links from blogs. How has that worked out for you and what kind of feedback did you get?
For us it is important to show a bigger picture of political debates apart from the traditional media. We can never tell anyone what to think or write. But we can make it more interesting to blog about politics.

Recently the leader of Swedish Social Democrats was forced to leave his position. The story got a lot of media spotlight. How did this affect your social media activities?
Sweden has seen such levels of political social media activities before. The issues around our former party leader Håkan Juholt had great impact on many people and we saw huge numbers of tweets, blog posts and Facebook updates. We changed strategy and tried to open up as much as possible and tweet updates regularly about what was going on. We got positive reactions about that. The last year has been outstanding in regards to media coverage of our party – we couldn’t reach out in any better way than simply opening up and starting to communicate using all our online channels more frequently and cohesive.

“Without comments, any news site gets a certain PDF feel”

Dagens Nyheter (DN), Sweden’s biggest morning newspaper, has been one the first Twingly partners to integrate our widget solution into its website, back in early 2007. Today, five years later, we spoke with Björn Hedensjö, Head of Digital at DN, about how Twingly worked out for them, his view on the importance of blogs and comments as well as about what’s next for DN regarding social media.

DN was Twingly’s first client and integrated the widget in February 2007. What was the impact of that partnership and with what thoughts do you look back on 5 years of having incoming blog links showing next to your articles?
I started at DN in 2009, but the people working with digital there before me did a great job, and the Twingly partnership is a good example. The impact was big then and today we’re still a very natural environment for bloggers, and it’s important for us to put the incoming links in prominent positions on the site.

How has the role of the blogosphere changed for DN during the past years, and how important is it today?
I think it’s as important or more important today than it was a few years ago, despite the “competition” from microblogs and Facebook. I really feel blogs contribute in a unique way when they’re at their best, with in-depth coverage of current issues.

How much do you at DN actually work together with the blogosphere? What ways do you see for the future to leverage blogs even more for your site?
I wouldn’t say we work very actively with the blogosphere, but we link to blogs in articles when it’s relevant and of course all editors read loads of blogs. Also the Twingly partnership is important when it comes to tying us closer to the blogosphere. A senior editor of ours, Hasse Rosén, has recently started working with social and interactivity issues and eventually we’ll see some exciting results from that.

How valuable are reader comments for your web site?
Very important. Without them any news site get a certain, uncanny PDF feel.

If readers want to comment on one of your articles, they need to log in with Facebook, OpenID or a account. Do you find that to be the best solution to keep the quality of comments up?
It’s not the best solution, but it has proven to be a step in the right direction for us, I don’t think there are any easy or general solutions that fit all. We have plenty of ideas in the backlog, one being a rating or ‘like’ system, where users rate each others comments. That has been very successful on other news sites. Recently we also started working actively to encourage good comments by highlighting them, perhaps writing new articles based on them. But many things could be done to make it better.

How do you see DN develop in the future in regards to social media?
A closer Facebook integration is not an unlikely next step.

How will that look?
A little bit too early to say!

While there hardly seems to be anybody without a Facebook account nowadays, Twitter is still only a niche phenomenon in Sweden. Do you think that will change in the near future?
No, I think Twitter in Sweden is pretty much established as a meeting place for a tiny, influential minority. It hasn’t changed much since I got my Twitter account in 2008.

How much time do you personally spend with social media while at work?
Depends, if I have a not so busy day, which is rare, I allow myself to just enjoy them. Other days it’s strictly work, but I check Twitter and Facebook regularly.

What are the biggest trends in online journalism that you especially look forward to be able to work with at DN?
Open data services and quick, simple and direct ways to broadcast news. A colleague of mine recently shot, edited and published a very professional clip from a bus accident in minutes, all via his iPhone.