Some great reward for bloggers

Swedish blog readers have killed one high profile blog this week and rescued another from being buried. Right wing veteran Dick Erixon came to the point where he couldn’t justify blogging for free any longer so he published an ultimatum – help me collect 100,000 kronor (about 11,000 euro) or the blog dies. In just five days his readers contributed 90,741 kronor via SMS and Erixon has now decided to keep blogging.

At the other end of the spectrum, journalist and Sweden’s self-proclaimed “blog queen” (eh…?) Linda Skugge has decided to quit blogging due to threats, negative comments and emails from her readers. As much as I hate seeing any voice being silenced by hatemongers, it is hard not to think that what goes around comes around. Skugge has built a brand by being provocative and she can stir up a debate with a blog post that is shorter than this sentence.

Thomas Mattsson, editor in chief at Expressen Nya Medier comments (my translation):
– Interactivity pushes media companies to open up for the possibility to criticize journalists. I think it that journalism will benefit from it. There will be a period when journalists will need to get used to it.

Is my blog officially a medium now?

Peter Lindberg sent an email to Observer regarding today’s ranking of the most important blogs in Sweden.

Daniel Nordlund at Observer replied:

“The background to our ranking is that we have come to the conclusion that blogs as channels are so important to monitor that we have added the most important ones as part of our monitoring service.

The list that DN today published is the list that we have started to monitor, in other words, the ones that we have graded as being most important. At the same time we are convinced that the importance of blogs will increase and in turn also monitoring of them. Because of that, looking forward, we are going to invest a lot in this area.”

Does this mean that my blog now is officially considered a proper medium and that all sorts of PR people will start pitching me now (that has already started but not by anyone from Sweden)?

Anyhow, the upcoming blog debate in Stockholm on Monday, is promising to be a historic event, considering that all top 6 on the list of the most important blogs will be in the panel, and 7 of the top 10. That should be an incentive to participate in our debate.

UPDATE: The top ten list has been discussed a lot during the day in the Swedish blogosphere and the main issue has been, not surprisingly why these ten have been chosen. Many don’t have comments activated and may not even be considered blogs. Johan Norberg, PJ Just Nu, Niklas Lundblad, Dick Erixon and Peter Lindberg have all chosen not to have comments. I still consider them blogs, although Erixon probably would be more blog-like if he had permalinks on his posts.

Some critisism to the list today has been around the fact that there are other Swedish blogs with possibly more readers than these ten. So why has Chadie for example been excluded? I think that Observer have ranked the blogs not only on number of readers but also considered:

1. Focus – are they trying to influence readers with a clear agenda?

2. Platform – are they writers that already have influence? If Göran Persson started blogging tomorrow morning he would be the most influential blogger before lunch, simply because of his position. Many of the names on the top ten list already are influential people in media and/or politics.

3. Topic – these blogs are all focused on media and politics and other blogs that comment on a broader variation of topics may lose out in terms of impact.

And because of that, my guess is that Observer thinks that some Swedish blogs may reach a lot of readers, but in regards of their influence over public opinion, they are not influential enough to be on the list.

Timbro in the blogosphere #4

The free market think-tank Timbro continues to secure its grip on the Swedish part of the blogosphere, and the only op-ed blog, Svenska Dagbladet’s PJ Just Nu is naturally happy to report about it. Yesterday PJ Anders Linder reported on a new libertarian blog, by Johnny Munkhammar from the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. Munkhammar has written op-ed pieces together with Timbro’s Johan Norberg and had books published by Timbro. On his blog, Munkhammar links to both Timbro and Smedjan. Maybe there is something in the nature of blogs that libertarians are particularily quick to pick up. Either way, any parties opposing the opinions that Timbro et al are bringing to the market, is way behind in the blogosphere.

Footnote: I have previously reported about libertarian blogs like, Dick Erixon, Johan Norberg and the connections between them and PJ Anders Linder, here, here, here and here.