Session: Re-connecting:

How to reconnect local communities with digital tools and save the local newspaper?

Print is still where the important money is made in the news business. But how to use the web to improve and enrich the printed newspapers? Through user-created content and interaction. That is the solution for Origo and A-pressen, respectively a Norwegian social network and a media company. Bente Kalsnes from Origo.no will talk about how Origo’s communication tools are used by 53 local and regional newspapers within A-pressen, and how they intend to print 30.000 newspaper pages based on user-created content in 2010.

It might sound impossible, but that is exactly what we are trying to do with Origo.no – a Norwegian social community as well as publishing tool. Similar to Ning and Meetup.com, we create meeting spaces for people with similar interest, with or without geograpic proximity. But differing from the two mentioned companies, we also cooperate with a Norwegian media company, A-pressen, which aims to produce 30 000 user-created newspaper pages (comments, images, calendar info) from the Origo platform next year. I can explain how that is possible. 130.000 people have registered a profile at Origo, of them 1100 local and national politicians – among them our Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg from the Labour Party.