Expressen stops hosting blogs

expressen-blogIn February, the free Swedish daily Metro said it would shut down all of the thousands of blogs they hade been hosting since 2007. Metro eventually found a solution to keep the blogs running and move them to a new platform (WordPress). Today another Swedish newspaper, the tabloid Expressen, announced they would stop hosting blogs. All blogs except a few reader blogs Expressen considered “worth keeping”, and the blogs of its own journalists, will be shut down.

– Our blogging platform is lacking in functionality, we have been focusing on other things and we are now offering our bloggers to move over to other platforms. We do not have the resources to keep the blogging platform running, says Mattias Carlsson, editor in chief, digital media at Expressen (my translation).

It’s not surprising that newspapers have a hard time competing with other blogging platforms and the question is how long Aftonbladet will continue to host blogs. Since April 2011, bloggers have the ability to export their Aftonbladet blogs to WordPress. Maybe it is a sign of what’s to come?

Footnote: Here’s how Expressen presented the initiative as a success after it launched (in Swedish).

Metro promises to save blogs from deletion

I blogged earlier this week about how Metro had decided to shut down its blogging platform, leaving thousands of bloggers with no other option than to cut and paste, if they wanted to move their content to some other platform. In a statement, Metro now says it is going to “save” all blogs from deletion. My translation below:

“Metro will soon, and well before April 25, offer all bloggers on Metrobloggen the ability to continue blogging. Current content will also be saved. We will get back with further information shortly.”

I think that Metro could have investigated this before they communicated that the platform was being closed. This new statement comes just a few days after the first one. Still, we don’t know if they are offering some tool that enables exporting of content or if they just offer to save the content as is. Either way, it is positive news that they will help bloggers to keep their blogs up in some form.

Metro pulls the plug on thousands of blogs

The Swedish free daily newspaper Metro has been hosting blogs on its blogging platform 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. 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 or

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.

TV brands are the most followed brands on Foursquare

Traditional media make up the majority of most followed brands on the location-based service Foursquare. Metro, the global daily newspaper of Swedish origin, is one of the 30 most followed brands, for example. More specifically, it is the Canadian arm of Metro that holds that position, with in excess of 9,000 friends on Foursquare. By following Metro News, users can find tips and places that Metro recommends and they can also unlock a Metro Foursquare Badge.


According to, the most followed brand on Foursquare is Bravo TV, with 70,000 friends, which is not a whole lot out of a total user base of 3 million.

A blog post on suggests that there are two main reasons why not more people follow brand on Foursquare. First, the site doesn’t do a good enough job promoting sponsored badges, leaving brands with the only option to market them through their own channels. The second reason has to do with privacy concerns. Most people aren’t very fond of the idea of letting brands know where they check in.

As you can see, the top 10 list of brands on Foursquare are dominated by traditional media and especially tv shows/stations:

  1. Bravo (tv)
  2. MTV (tv)
  3. Zagat Survey
  4. History (tv)
  5. Bastard Jeans
  6. VH1 (tv)
  7. Bon Appétit Magazine
  8. TLC (tv)
  9. Wall Street Journal
  10. The New York Times

Metrobloggen a success in trouble

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.

Now one of the “professional bloggers” that were engaged have decided to quit and return to its old blog, Konsumbloggen.

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.

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Metro pays bloggers per page view

It’s been awfully quiet here for a while. I’ve been busy with some other things (like being interviewed about blogs by Svenska Dagbladet) and my broadband connection crashed for a week or so. But the blogosphere doesn’t stand still just because I’m offline. Today, for example, we could see the launch of Metrobloggen, a new blog tool where the free daily Metro offers its hosted bloggers 3 öre (about half a US cent) per page view. If your blog becomes a hit you might actually earn a buck or two.

But there are some caveats of course. Page views are counted on a monthly basis, but the numbers aren’t aggregated. The lowest limit is 150 kronor, which means that you need to have at least 5,000 page views per month to get anything. 4,999 views and you get zilch.

Bloggers aren’t allowed to publish any other ads on their blogs. And by signing up you also give Metro permission to use anything you write and publish it without giving you compensation. Aftonbladet has the same terms of service, by the way. Personally I prefer to own the stuff I write.

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