Swedish news sites narrowing the gap to the blogosphere
This week saw the entry of Twingly-powered link boxes on Swedish newspaper sites Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) and Dagens Nyheter (DN). The two competing dailies both link to blog posts that comment their articles, the same functionality that Aftonbladet has in its blog portal, but more automatically integrated in the news sites. So far the link boxes only appear on select articles though.
Twingly is developed by Primelabs, a Swedish research-oriented IT company. Here’s how they describe Twingly (my translation):
Twingly is a blog search engine and ping service which is the missing link between the blogging world and media. Twingly collects blogs from all over the world – already more than ten million blogs.
At twingly.se you can search among the Swedish blogs in our index.
It’s interesting to see that more and more news sites become aware of the importance to get closer to their readers. Linking to blogs is a good way of doing this, and twingly seems like a pretty good tool. Some questions have been raised about the news sites filtering the results though. The blogs featured in the link boxes are supposed to be the “most interesting” among those that link to the specific article. The sorting is done by Twingly, by relevance and what they call “blog authority”, along with the number of links from other blogs. Swedish blog internetbrus writes (my translation):
Whether it really is the most interesting posts [that appear in the link boxes] is hard to tell when you haven’t seen the posts that have been filtered out. Sure you can do a link search to find more posts, but as we wrote yesterday there are flaws in search engines’ link searches.
Media Culpa also reacts against the selection:
Apparently DN does not show all the incoming links that Twingly has in its database. In the Help section on the site, DN writes that you can find “a list of all blogs that link to an article on DN.se”. For some reason DN chooses to list only a selection of links. If this process turns out to filter out negative articles, then I expect an uproar in the blogosphere when bloggers find out they are being “censored”. Should DN continue to leave out a large part of the conversation they will most certainly open up for criticism.