Metro’s new blogging service Metrobloggen, which was launched on June 18, has made quite a splash in the blogosphere. The idea to pay bloggers half a cent (3 öre) per page view has lured some 2,300 bloggers to sign up in just three days, according to Dagens Media. But I get just a tad bit suspicious when the service has already closed for new sign-ups in order to expand the capacity. Who builds a system that can only handle 2,000+ users in this day of blog hysteria? I may be totally out of line here, but a more reasonable explanation could be that Metrobloggen hasn’t been able to sell enough ads on the service to finance the flood of users. In a comment to blogger Makan Amini, Mattias Nyman at Metrobloggen says that “Yes, we sell ads but we haven’t really started yet […]”. I would like to get answers to these questions to believe that there isn’t something fishy going on here.
– How many blogs was the system initally built to handle?
– What are the bottlenecks?
– Exactly what capacity is it that needs to be expanded and how long will this take?
All in all, Metrobloggen has done a pretty bad job PR wise. Most bloggers have focused on negative aspects in the user agreement, like:
– You need to have at least 5,000 page views per month to get paid.
– Metrobloggen can introduce a maximum level that a popular blog gets paid.
– Payments are done through a MasterCard with several limitations to it.
– Bloggers aren’t allowed to publish any other (graphic) ads on their blogs.
– Bloggers give Metro permission to use anything you write and publish it without giving you compensation.
Then there was the kerfuffle with a blog that aimed to raise a million kronor for the Swedish Red Cross, but Metrobloggen closed the blog down within 13 hours. I can understand some of the rationale behind closing it down, but the blogosphere isn’t pulling its punches. Makan Amini made a video about the whole thing and posted it to YouTube where it has been viewed at least 2,000 times.
Beas tankar also noticed some striking similarities between Metrobloggen’s icons and Blogger’s icons.
What was really a very good initiative has been given a luke warm reception in part due to bad PR tactics and a desire to own and control content.