Metro pulls the plug on thousands of blogs

The Swedish free daily newspaper Metro has been hosting blogs on its blogging platform Metrobloggen.se since 2007. Back then it was described as an immediate success, with more than 2,000 registered blogs during its first 36 hours of operation. The original idea was to share advertising revenue with bloggers, but that model was soon ditched. And apparently the blogs have not generated enough revenue to keep the platform running, because Metro announced today that it is shutting down the service on April 25.

Metrobloggen.se is currently home to at least 10,000 blogs, possibly a lot more. Many are of course no longer active, but Metro’s decision comes as a blow to many bloggers who are left with no help in transferring to a new host. In a note today, Metro says:

“You can continue to blog on Metrobloggen as usual until April 25. After that date, the site can no longer be accessed and no content will be available or saved any longer.

Up until April 25, you can manually or in other ways save your content. Metrobloggen can unfortunetely not provide any tools or help in order to automatically copy your content.”

Exporting content to another blog platform

I do not oppose the closing down of this platform per se, I am sure they have looked into the business model and found that it doesn’t make good business sense to continue. But it’s sad that they offer no help for the bloggers who have generated millions of page views and ad impressions. Metro could have come up with some means to export the content and easily transfer it to another blogging platform. Many bloggers will probably not bother to copy and paste every single blog post and move it elsewhere.

WordPress has an RSS importer for self hosted blogs, but I haven’t tried how it works and most of the bloggers at Metrobloggen probably are looking for easier solutions like blogg.se or blogger.com.

Metro says they are working on a solution, but they say there is no guarantee they will find one before they close the site down.

Update: Ted Valentin has developed a solution to help bloggers export their blogs from Metrobloggen to Blogger or WordPress. Check it out here.

Swedish Page Rank 9 domain sells for 120,000 USD

Over the years, the Swedish web designer Andreas Viklund created a large number of free website templates and WordPress themes. And because most people who use his popular templates link back to his site Andreasviklund.com, it has become one of the very highest ranked sites in Sweden. With Page Rank 9 it is possibly the highest ranked Swedish site ever. According to SEO expert Nikke Lindqvist, about 80 million links from 60,000 domains point to Viklund’s site.

However, due to financial difficulties, Viklund has been forced to sell his domain in a bankruptcy auction. The domain was finally sold today to an unknown bidder for 120,000 USD (plus 25% VAT).

Viklund says in a comment on Lindqvist’s blog that he has had bids for the domain via Flippa.com as high as 220,000 USD but different circumstances made it not possible for the bid to go through.