derFreitag one of the best designed newspapers of the world!

The Society for News Design (short SND) nominated derFreitag as one of the best designed newspapers in print! They share this award with the names of Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung and  New York Times.

We think this is great, and that not only because derFreitag happens to be one of our customers. The award they got shows that it really pays off to dare doing something new, even when you are not a huge paper.

derFreitag did a complete redesign for its print version in 2009 and they launched almost at the same time their new online concept to go with it. This was a successful step for integrating print and online to one solid media presence.

An encouragement to all traditional media sites online that currently contemplate of how to face the changes in the media world best and how to integrate these.

Be daring and win!

And more important than getting an award is to win and keep the user’s engagement and trust by meeting their needs, entering the waters they wade in, and thus create great user experience for them. Offline and online. With the latter we might be able to help even, but you probably figured that.

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!

Freitag.de now 5th German site with Blogstream

Freitag.de decided to integrate Twingly Blogstream as an essential part of their free publishing strategy. Kind of unnecessary to emphasize how glad we are that they chose us, isn’t it? 😉

Freitag.de has been online since February 2009 and it is really fascinating to see that, as small as they are, bloggers are discussing and referring to them on quite a high level. With their almost 180.000 unique users a month and being that young they already now get more bloggers engaged than some of the bigger traditional German newspapers online in comparison.

From today, Freitag.de is actively embracing bloggers by giving them the opportunity to show up right next  to the context they discuss. Freitag.de see themselves as a big community that aims to engage readers, own and external bloggers and unite them into one big community, where people connect with each other and exchange their point of views. And it seems that the strategy works very well.

Almost a year ago Freitag.de got bought by Jakob Augstein, the son of the already deceased and famous Rudolf Augstein who founded Der Spiegel in 1947. Until today, Der Spiegel is one of the major German  weekly news magazines. Like in the old days, it still influences opinion building significantly and is discussed controversly, not only by bloggers. In its early years Der Spiegel fought and achieved a lot for free press rights in Germany.

Looking at the development that Der Freitag – Das Meinungsmedium (“the opinion medium”) made during this one year under the guidance of Jakob Augstein and the strategy that he pursues, one could actually get the impression that the son steps a little bit into the  shoes of his father and does it all again. A bit different of course and still a lot smaller, but now with all the mighty opportunities at his hand that our modern web world has to offer.

Therefore it will be very interesting not only for us to follow especially the development online of Der Freitag – Das Meinungsmedium over the years to come, and we really are proud to be part of it.

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