One requirement is that you publish your blog posts in full length via RSS, because RSS is what we crawl to find out whether you have linked to one of the websites using Twingly (which in turn can give you the backlink you were longing for).
So if you regularly link to our Twingly partners and want to get backlinks from them, you should check if your blog’s RSS feed shows full articles or only the first few lines.
For WordPress, the most common blogging platform, it’s easy to change from short to full feed: Simply go to your Settings control, click on “reading” and scroll to the section “For each article in a feed, show”. Here you can choose between “Full text” or “Summary”.
Make sure you select “Full text”. Summary only shows the first 55 words of each article, so if the link to one of the Twingly partner websites isn’t located in the first 55 words, we won’t see it and you won’t get your backlink.
This by the way works both for the hosted WordPress blogs at WordPress.com as well as for the self-hosted ones.
We frequently write about the Twingly Blogstream service that we offer to our enterprise partners, but there is another slightly different widget solution for partners that we haven’t been highlighting that often: Twingly Blogwatch.
Blogstream is for all sites that want to show incoming blog links. Blogwatch is also a widget that partners embed into their sites, but it’s not necessarily showing links to the partner’s website. Instead, the Blogwatch widget shows blog entries that contain specific search keywords. Those can be combined with links to specific URLs, but the main purpose is to highlight blog posts that mention specific keywords. Site owners can customize the widget and choose to moderate the blog posts mentioned.
Thus, Blogwatch is a perfect tool for sites that deal with a broader topic and that want to show their visitors what the blogosphere is saying about this topic – even if they don’t link to a specific website.
Let’s show you the Blogwatch widget in action:
Stena Line, one of the world’s leading ferry companies, uses Twingly Blogwatch to show blog posts about its destinations (example):
Stockholmsmässan is a leading organiser of meetings and public fairs. They run a host of websites for their different fairs and offer visitors additional context about those fairs with the help of Blogwatch (example):
The Swedish city of Borås has implemented Blogwatch to help citizen understand what relevant topics about Borås are being discussed in the blogosphere (example):
The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation is transparent about what bloggers are writing about them (example):
Even the Stockholm City Mission has decided to use Blogwatch to support transparency (example):
Right on the heels of Thursday’s interview with Christian Omander, the founder of the gadget online store CoolStuff, here is another chat we did with an e-commerce website that uses Twingly to open up to the blogosphere: Stadium, a leading Nordic retailer within sports equipment and sports wear. We asked Social Media Manager David Bothzén to give us some background on their decision to integrate Twingly.
Hello David. Please tell us why you decided to use Twingly on Stadium’s site? Stadium and the products we sell are being discussed among bloggers whether we want it or not. Instead of ignoring the online conversation or trying to hide what our customers write about us we prefer to put it into the spotlight. We are confident about our products and aim at making it easy for our visitors to find information about what others think. Vi choose Twingly in order to find and highlight those blogs that are referring to our products. On each product page the Twingly widget shows which blogs are linking to it. It’s an added value for our visitors and bloggers get more traffic.
What importance do you think social media has? How does it influence e-commerce? I expect social media to have a growing importance and an growing impact on e-commerce, both from a marketing perspective but also as a sales channel. Social media enables companies to reach out with targeteded messages to a huge crowd of people who have chosen to receive this kind of information. Furthermore you can quickly gain feedback from your customers. If you offer great products and maintain a close dialogue with your customers they will spread your message and products across the web.
What trends in e-commerce are you currently seeing? One significant development is the trend towards increasingly personalized products to suit individual needs. One example is Nike ID where you can design your own football shoe. Another trend that I believe will have a big impact on the online shopping sector in the near future are check-ins and location-based marketing activities like Facebook Deals.
What’s your vision for the Stadium online store? Our goal is to continue being the leading site within sports equipment and sports wear and to grow even bigger.
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.
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.