Citizen Media Watch

mars 11th, 2009

Interesting times ahead at the tabloids in Sweden

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Today Thomas Mattsson was appointed editor-in-chief of Expressen, the 2nd largest tabloid/evening paper in Sweden. Great news, as Mattsson has made a name for himself being web2.0 friendly, listening to people and using social media to connect with his users/readers. Very exciting, and a very good choice.
Second great news is the response from the largest tabloid/evening paper Aftonbladet‘s editor-in-chief, Jan Helin. He immediately reached out a hand to Mattsson, suggesting a collaboration on the campaign to free Dawit Isaak, Swedish-Eritrean journalist imprisoned in Eritrea since 2001. Mattsson agreed to work together on this.

The two rivalling tabloids joining forces is interesting in itself, though it’s not the first time it’s happened. Campaigns in the past has made them join forces.
What’s really exciting is how this exchange took place, and where – on Twitter, where anyone could and did see and comment on the initiative. A lot of retweets tonight. Having two social/citizen media friendly editors in chief at the two main tabloids promises an interesting time ahead. Looking forward to seeing where this development will lead.

A piece of media history

Jan Helin on Twitter
Thomas Mattsson on Twitter

Update: More collaboration across publishing house borders, through Twitter – read this post from Publishing 2.0: Networked link journalism: A revolution quitely begins in Washington State


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januari 28th, 2009

Major migration of the Swedish microblogosphere to Bloggy

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Bloggy is the new microblogging site of choice for Swedes. In a short time the site has gained about 3 000 users and continues to grow.
– I was thinking: Can I do this better?, says Jonas Lejon, the man behind the service, to Citizen Media Watch.

Jonas Lejon, BloggyIn Sweden Jaiku has to a large extent been the microblog of choice. But with frequent downtimes, no new features for a long time and Google’s recent announcement that they’re turning it into an open source project, people were ready for an alternative.
In steps Jonas Lejon, an entrepreneur who’s behind several blog-related services in Sweden, who puts together Bloggy, a microblogging service in Swedish. He gets enthusiastic cheers, good feedback, and he responds. More than that, he responds quickly, adds new features, tweaks them, and does in a few months what Jaiku with all its Google backup hasn’t done in years.

When he announced a function for importing all your Jaiku contacts into Bloggy, there was no holding back the migration anymore. Over the weekend my mailbox has been flooded with friends requests from Bloggy users who have imported their contacts.
While it’s a bit sad to let Jaiku go, Bloggy is clearly where the action’s at for the Swedish microblogosphere at the moment. One of the great features is that you can easily follow and update both Jaiku and Twitter from within Bloggy, so you’re not really missing much, even if Bloggy still lacks support for channels. It has adopted many of Jaiku’s features, but it is a bit more like a community than a pure microblogging service.
I asked Jonas Lejon what made him develop the service.
– I was using Pownce, Twitter and Jaiku and I was tired of em all. I was thinking: Can I do this better? So i started developing Bloggy 8 months ago and implemented all the functions I liked from the other microblogging platforms, he says.
How come you decided to do Bloggy in Swedish?
– I think that the English language still feels uncomfortable for many Swedes and that providing a service in Swedish makes it more friendly. ”By Swedes for Swedes”.

So far, we haven’t seen how it performs under heavy load. Monday provided one challenge with Thomas Mattsson at Expressen writing about it and giving it lots of space on their front page.

Thomas Mattsson on Bloggy and Twitter in Expressen.se

Also Bloggy was mentioned in Dagens Nyheter the other day.
There were a couple of downtimes Monday, but Jonas Lejon assures those problems are now taken care of.
– I’m working very close to our datacenters and they are helping me out with upgrading the server all the time when I reach the limits and I’m fixing performance bugs all the time and now it seems that all problems are gone.
You deserve praise for the way you handle feedback quickly and keep on improving the features. You seem to be online on Bloggy 24/7. Do you ever sleep? : )
– Thanks! I’ve been working a lot the last few days but I’m trying to take some offline time now and then and relax.


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januari 20th, 2009

Twingly offers microblog search

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Twingly expands its search engine with a brand new microblog search tool. They’ve been working on it for six months and today it was released.
In the Twingly blog, they write:

When we last summer started to see the microblogging-hype we felt that a search dedicated to microblogs would be a quite natural development for us. We like Twitter Search and been using it a lot, especially at conferences and when news like Mumbai were having the best news source at Twitter. But because we used Jaiku ourselves it wasn’t what we needed in many cases.

Microblogging services covered by Twingly’s search engine are: Twitter, Jaiku, Identi.ca, Pownce (which is dead, but a six month archive remains searchable), Swedish Bloggy.se and the German Bleeper.de.
They will keep adding new services, and aim to cover all microblogging services out there.


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november 11th, 2008

Camilla Lindberg: You need to be right – and earn the trust

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Over at Same Same But Different there’s an interesting guest post by politician Camilla Lindberg, the only member of one of the government parties in Sweden who voted against the new and controversial wiretapping law, commonly known as the FRA law.
The debate about the law was a real breakthrough for the Swedish blogosphere (which to a large extent celebrated Lindberg as a hero for voting against her own party), but in her guest post Camilla Lindberg says this does not mean that bloggers can always rely on being taken more seriously from now on.

Lindberg writes (my translation):

The blogosphere won the FRA debate because it was right. It was an issue that was pretty much dead everywhere else. It touched a nerve, it made people react. And – although not each individual blogger could get all the technical facts of a very complex issue right – it was possible to discuss it on a fundamental level.

Lindberg expresses criticism against the mass-emailing staged by evening paper Expressen, which urged people to copy a text about the FRA law and send it to all the members of the Swedish Riksdag. She thinks this is a form of spam rather than a good way to communicate people’s opinions to decision makers. There blogs are a better option, and Lindberg stresses their role as opinion media.

She writes (again, my translation):

Blogs are first and foremost opinion based media. When competing with tv or papers that have greater resources for investigative journalism, fact checking and the like, they are underdogs, even if they can compensate for this somewhat through networking. But misconceptions and errors can still spread through blogging networks. In such cases you lose credibility.

And she concludes:

The lesson to learn is that the impact of a medium depends on trust. Trust is volatile. You have to nurture it, or you will lose your readers.


(Video clip from the demonstration outside the Riksdag, which to a great extent came to pass because of activism from bloggers)


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mars 14th, 2008

At Facebook Garage Stockholm

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Facebook Garage Stockholm

The usual crowd has shown up for Facebook Garage Stockholm, the third event organized by Nustart in Stockholm. The focus is on Facebook, but also social networking sites in general and their development. The first speaker is from MySpace, for instance.
– This is an audience-generated event, says moderator Beata Wickbom.
That’s what sets these Nustart events apart. Things like backchannels have become an integral part of the events.

All my pics from Facebook Garage Stockholm


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december 23rd, 2007

Hyper local – Åsbro

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

I once more welcome Gitta Wilén as a guest contributor here at Citizen Media Watch. This time she has interviewed a hyperlocal blogger, Alf Fransson.

Alf Fransson, hyperlocal blogger in Åsbro, Sweden.

Map over ÅsbroAlf Fransson, 69, is blogging about a small area 1.3 Swedish miles from Askersund in Närke, Sweden. By putting up his own placards at the local petrol station/grocery store, he has managed to engage the people who are living in the area to read and to give response to his blog material.

The Åsbro blog has been up and running since the beginning of this November 2007. Fransson says that he got inspired to start blogging by his stepdaughter. The address for the blog is estabo.blogspot.com. Estabo is the name of the place in Åsbro where Fransson lives.
– I did not want to use the blog address ”asbro”, because it is Swedish for something else but Åsbro, he laughs.

There are 1.600 people living in Åsbro and Fransson’s blog is about things which concern the inhabitants: ”Do we need efficient street-lighting?”, ”Why is there cable worth over a million lying down by the lake ‘Åsasjön’?” and ”What is going on at the Åsbro kursgård?”

Fransson has been visiting and writing about the companies in the area. One of the companies is Alfapac, which is Åsbro’s largest industry and employs about 80 people.
– It gives me the chance to satisfy my own curiosity as well as getting material for my blog, he says.

BirdThere are some musicians and authors living in Åsbro and Fransson has plans for future blogging:
– I am thinking about interviewing people. I would like to write about personalities in the field of culture, he says.

Fransson also wants to blog about interesting places to visit in the area. Not so well known excursion spots.
– Most of the people do not see the beauty of their own neighbourhood, Fransson says and adds:
– There is an old sacrificial well situated in the forest that I would like to show to you and my readers.


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november 18th, 2007

Hubbub – a half day conference with a mobile focus

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Hubbub 07

Update 2007-11-24: Four more speakers added!

Next Saturday afternoon the nice guys and gals at Nustart will host another conference at Nymble at KTH in Stockholm. The last one, Hej!2007, was a great success, and I am looking forward to Saturday when Hubbub07 takes place.
The focus this time is on fixed to mobile applications in web, voice and IPTV. The six ten speakers represent four interesting companies in this field:

  • Sorosh Tavakoli, Founder of VideoPlaza, will talk about online video advertising
  • Trond Bugge, serial entrepreneur and founder/CEO of Super Local Media, will evaluate the importance of mobile location-based access to information at a global level
  • Henrik Thomé, entrepreneur and CEO of Sonetel, will talk about ”Open source, globalization and Internet technology gives super-powers to the customer-focused IT-entrepreneur. Why have staff? Why have infrastructure?”
  • David Haddad, co-founder of Spontu, will talk about convergence of positioning technologies – mobile internet, smartphones and social networking.
  • Peter Arvai, VP of Product Development at Mobispine, will talk about mobile internet challenges for both operators and content providers
  • Patrick Broman, software architect at Mobile Sorcery, will talk about catalyzing the mobile revolution
  • Niklas Tyllström, CEO and Co-founder of Green hat People, will speak about the timing of convergence.
  • Hjalmar Winbladh, CEO and Founder of Rebtel, who is challenging the telecom giants.
  • Per Mosseby, CEO of Pixbox, will speak about ”why the preferred mobile Internet device among the wealthy will continue to be the laptop computer, and why the smaller-than-subnotebook-revolution is happening – in developing countries”.
  • Per Leine, CEO of Extransit

One of the things I really liked about Hej!2007 was that live blogging and use of backchannels were encouraged and made use of during the day. This is also the case at Hubbub07. Here you can follow the event:

Jaiku Onelinr Flickr

They are all visible on the live Hubbub site. There you can also find live blogs. I will be blogging live here at Citizen Media Watch, so check back during the event!

Encouraging live coverage and backchannel feedback might seem obvious, but far too often it’s an aspect that organizers put way too little effort in facilitating for the audience. Even at the recent SIME event, the backchannels were as far as I understand not official SIME backchannels and the feedback was not used on stage. Unfortunately I could not attend SIME this year, but Joakim Jardenberg’s thread on Jaiku addresses this and other issues.


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november 3rd, 2007

Swedish version of Nettby to launch – but what will it be called?

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

A Swedish version of the Norwegian community site Nettby is to be launched shortly. Nettby is a success story with over 500 000 members. Now there’s a call for Swedish name suggestions at the site. Ironically, mostly Norwegians will name the Swedish site.

Here’s what the post on Nettby says (my translation):

If you have a suggestion for a Swedish name on a service like Nettby, send it to us! We will pick the top 10 suggestions and reward them with a 6 month Nettby Max subscription and Nettby t-shirts.
The person making the suggestion we decide to use will receive an Ipod Touch!


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november 3rd, 2007

How many Swedish blogs are there?

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

I’m trying to get a grasp of the Swedish blogosphere, to answer the simple question of how many Swedish blogs there are. Simple, that is, until you start digging into it. Then you realize immediately that you have to limit yourself to Swedish blogs on Swedish blog services, as there are no country-specific statistics on for example wordpress.com or blogspot.com (none that I’ve found, please alert me if you know of any), and there are countless other services out there.
And also that you will never get an exact number.

I found Anton Johansson’s excellent list of blog portals and services from January this year, and I’ve used it as a starting point, updating the numbers for the different services, withdrawing some that doesn’t exist anymore and adding some new ones.

This is a first draft, and I hope to get comments, contributions and corrections making it better. The numbers are rounded to the closest hundred blogs and are taken from official statistics at the different sites. Note that some of these numbers indicate the total number of blogs whereas others (blogg.se and webblogs.se) show the number of blogs active during the past 30 days.

Blogg.se: 111 200 blogs active in the past 30 days
Passagen: 25 900 blogs
Bloggorama: A total of 19 100 blogs on seven domains, of which Blogspace.se is the largest with 14 400 blogs
Aftonbladet Blogg: 15 400 blogs
Bloggagratis: 10 600 blogs
Blogdog: 8 600 blogs
Weblog.se: 8 400 blogs active in the past 30 days
Expressen: 7 200 blogs
Bloggis: 6 800 blogs
Tjejsajten: 4 900 blogs
Blogtown: 3 900 blogs (members – which seems to be the same thing at this site)
Veckorevyn: 900 blogs

The total number of blogs from these services amounts to 223 000 blogs. Now, that’s quite a lot of blogs. However, there are a lot of issues that makes this number less interesting.

  • It is not a measurement of the number of active blogs
  • There are Swedish blog services not included. I found no statistics on Blogga.nu, Blogs.se or Mobilblogg.nu. I disregarded Egenblog.se which only had 15 blogs.
  • I have probably missed some services alltogether. Please let me know.
  • There’s no way of knowing which percentage of the total number of Swedish blogs this number represents. One vague indication of the number of Swedish blogs on blogspot and wordpress is the number of blogs from these services that are registered on Bloggportalen. There are 4 627 blogspot blogs there, or 26 percent of the total number of blogs on Bloggportalen. There are 605 wordpress.com blogs.
    I can’t even make a qualified guess of the number of blogs on their own domain.

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november 1st, 2007

Joakim Jardenberg on dying papers and the future of journalism

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Joakim Jardenberg
Joakim Jardenberg
Joakim Jardenberg of Mindpark says that papers are dying. All trends show that.
The last paper will be publised in April 2040 according to Philip Meyer.
In Helsingborg newspaper reading has gone from 90 to 60 percent in only a few years.

We compensate by creating new channels, such as the website and free papers.
– We have expanded our reach at HD. The way we connect to people is not important. The important thing is that we keep on delivering eyeballs to our advertisers.

We still idealize paper publishing. Joakim turned to me to give the example of Aftonbladet’s blog service, where the key point is that you can be published in the paper (well, one of the benefits, I’d say having your blog post appear at aftonbladet.se’s main page is just as appealing). Another example is that Beata Wickbom is very happy about the Sime supplement in SvD (the above image).

The day we can utilize our journalists and have them collaborate with their audience we can use their competence much better, Jardenberg says.
– The old and new worlds are at war. Get over it!

Check out Jocke’s slides from Daytona Sessions here.


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