Citizen Media Watch

december 2nd, 2006

Magazines in Sweden far behind

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Recently the Bivings group, a republican-supported PR firm with a somewhat bad reputation for applying unorthodox marketing methods, conducted an investigation into the state of American magazines online. They found that most of the top 50 magazines in the US are not making use of web 2.0 features.
What astonished me the most was that only eight percent let the readers comment on articles. Six percent use tags, and 38 percent offer reporter blogs, though not all of those allow comments. 46 percent of the sites offer message boards or forums.

Inspired by this study, Swedish blogger Olle Lidbom at Vassa eggen made a similar study of Swedish magazine websites, picking out the 20 largest subscribed magazines and the 20 largest non-subscribed ones. And – lo and behold – it’s even worse here. Only 5 percent use RSS, compared with 48 percent in the Bivings study, and far below the newspaper sites in Sweden, most of which have embrased RSS in one way or another by now.
Lidbom writes (translated):

Pod radio, forums and web tv are not used by Swedish magazines.

Swedish magazines are good at one thing though, Lidbom states. They often allow readers to comment on articles.


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4 Responses to ' Magazines in Sweden far behind '

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  1. Lidbom said,

    on december 3rd, 2006 at 11:17 f m

    Thanks for the attenion!

    I want to add one thing: smaller magazines are often way more successive in using web 2.0. Look at http://www.idg.se or http://www.mkf.se to see that the state of magazine making online is worse among the top magazines.


  2. on december 3rd, 2006 at 11:29 f m

    That makes sense though, doesn’t it, from a sort of narrow-minded point of view. Smaller magazines are more dependant on offering the visitors what they want in terms of participation/interaction since they don’t have that many visitors to start with and sure want to keep them. AND it is easier for them in a way – for a big site like IDG it takes a lot of development (having a big site structure perhaps not that easily changed) and also staff, taking care of abusive content etc. I’m not defending them, just pointing out some reasons behind it.
    And hats off to the smaller ones who have the understanding that embrasing web 2.0 is really the only way to go if they want to survive.


  3. on december 3rd, 2006 at 11:37 f m

    Though perhaps you meant IDG was a good example? They do allow comments, they’ve got plenty of RSS feeds, allow users to review products etc… but they could do so much more. Where are the reader blogs? Tagging? Pinging opportunities?

  4. Lidbom said,

    on december 3rd, 2006 at 3:35 e m

    Yeah, IDG has got a lot left to do – as most magazines. Though smaller magazines (as IDG and MKF) are closer to the best newspapers and US magazines than the large swedish magazines.

    But everybody has a got lot left to do. They neeed more courage and willing to risk, but on the other hand: who doesn’t?

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