In Norway the News Comes First

In Norway on June 19, 2011 by @LauraEWilson Tagged: ,

If you’re a company looking to reach Norwegians where they congregate online, news sites are undoubtedly an important place to turn.

Unlike in the US where newspapers own less than 1% of online audience page views, Norwegians continue to spend the majority of their time online with newspaper websites. Norway has the highest per capita newspaper circulation above any country in the world and its media companies continue to play a very crucial role in Norwegian’s  daily lives.

Norwegian newspapers have put significant effort into building a dominant web presence online and play a  leading role in presenting and owning content on the web.  The website Origo, an emerging social network in Norway, has developed out of its country’s fascination with newspaper-like sites and its insatiable appetite for news and niche information online. Origo is a social community for people to join and engage in various interest groups and is an increasingly popular place not only for news sharing and social publishing but also for networking.

The homepage of the social network

Origo  offers Norwegians digital tools for  blogging, photo sharing and social calenders. Origo is also a community tool for local and regional newspapers (approximately 53 newspaper groups belong to it) in Norway. On Origo both newspaper groups, journalists and individual users can establish their own groups  called “zones”  where they can contribute written content, images and other content online.

Some local Norweigan newspapers have set-up these “zones” where readers of their newspapers  can write and contribute their own stories and opinion pieces,upload their own photos and contribute to an events calendar  much of which is eventually used in the printed version of their newspaper.

Many of these local zones that are created include groups specifically dedicated to local sports, culture, events, and local food and drink. Origo could be a real opportunity for companies and brands to openly engage with users that have specific niche interests such as local gourmet food. A company or brand could also benefit from starting a “zone” around a product that it offers in order to give it’s users/fans a place to congregate and exchange information in a forum where the company is able to observe and engage in the conversation.

Origo differentiates itself from some social networks as it is very open and transparent and all of its users are encouraged to  use their full name in order to disclose their societal role and what their possible agenda may be. Because this open dialogue is encouraged on Origo, the opinions of a local influencer may be taken more seriously since their identity is  verified and can not be written anonymously.

Origo is a uniquely Norwegian social network and an opportunity for any company or brand seeking to reach a local market to spend time both listening and engaging in local conversation and issues.

One Response to “In Norway the News Comes First”

  1. Great find of a website and a topic to write about. I enjoyed how you shared the story of Origo and how it answers a need in the Norwegian market and there is plenty of reason for its popularity due to how the Norwegian people find and read their news. The local zones in particular seem like a great opportunity, and you focus in on those as great potential ways for brands to reach local markets. You share that “local gourmet food” for example may be a great category to utilize this type of service, and that helps to bring this concept to life and help the reader to see how a real brand might actually use this service and what type of brand it could work for. The one thing that could have made this post even stronger is if you spent a bit more time digging into how brands could effectively work with Origo and perhaps even offering one or two specific examples of brands that may be great options to work with this site. Even without that, though, this post was a strong addition to the week’s thoughts and an enjoyable read. (5)

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