Kristine Lowe, a freelance journalist, looked at how Norway's leading websites, Schibsted-owned VG, Norway's most read news site and NRK, Norway's public broadcaster, have successfully attracted online audiences. VG has developed Nettby, a social network that's only rivaled by Facebook in Norway, to gain even more readers
VG, with 2.7 million unique users "has the world's ugliest website," according to Torry Pedersen, editor-in-chief of VG online (take a look at this piece about Scandinavian website design). But, as Pedersen explains, while most news sites have an organized layout with clearly defined sections, VG gives its readers the opportunity to read "both a well argued piece on file-sharing and a story on Britney Spears' latest escapade." Nettby, already with 657,000 members, is in the process of expanding to Sweden and Spain.
In the last year, NRK has almost doubled its online traffic with a 42 per cent increase in unique users, mostly because they present themselves on already popular sites such as Facebook and YouTube.
"There are three ways to deal with what is happening with social media," said Bjarne Andre Myklebust, head of NRK's online division. "You choose not to be present; you choose to make your own services that can compete with Facebook, as VG has been successful with; or you choose to be present where people are to increase familiarity with your brand and strengthen distribution."
Source: Journalism.co.uk Editors Blog