3,000 blogs on Norwegian daily

Norwegian daily Verdens Gang (VG) launched a blog initiative on October 10 and in one and a half month, as many as 3,000 blogs were registered. The users have posted 8,000 blog posts which have received a total of about 30,000 comments.

Looking at the tag cloud it seems that VG bloggers are heavily into football (the sort you play with your feet, not your hands), politics and blogs. Music, sex and school are other popular topics.

I have two minor objections. First, why have a megaphone as a symbol for a communications channel that is more of a dialogue than any newspaper? A telephone would have been slightly more relevant. Second, each blog gets a very short (which is good) URL, starting with www.vgb.no and followed by a number. It would have been cooler if users could have chosen a user name that would also be the URL of the blog (like www.vgb.no/kullin). It is easier to remember and would give potential users a hint of who the blog belongs to and/or what the theme of the blog is. The other way is more “host friendly” than user friendly. Remember that with 20, 30, 40 million blogs around, branding your blog becomes increasingly important.

One could also question the reasons why a newspaper should be a blog host (other than increasing traffic to its web page). At least VG seems to have some form of citizen journalism ambitions (which is more than you can of most Swedish papers) as it is experimenting with ways of incorporating the best blog material on the general site.