VG News Portal pushes local news
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Verdens Gang (VG) in Norway has become well known for its constant innovation in everything new media and for always pushing the envelope to connect with its vast audience. VG News Portal is a perfect example of how the company has leveraged one of its core assets in a commercial way.
2200 is a number that has become practically ubiquitous among readers and users of VG, Norway’s largest newspaper. For VG, it is a hub for connecting with its new media-savvy customer base: 2200 for text messaging, MMS, and email (firstname.lastname@example.org). As soon as something happens, VG is flooded with notifications to help plan and execute its coverage. One-third of the online news at VG.no is generated through this channel.
It has been so successful that VG decided to offer the underlying software solution, the VG News Portal, to third parties. Vidar Meisingseth, project manager for the VG News Portal: “This is a tool to monitor, manage and distribute user tips to the relevant editorial departments. At VG, two staff are constantly monitoring what comes in through that channel. Speed is crucial: The tool allows us to get in touch with people on an event site immediately.”
VG markets the solution abroad to news publishers; the latest installation taking place at El Colombiano in Medellín, Colombia. Since the installation of VG News Portal, El Colombiano has significantly boosted it local news-gathering and created dedicated pages for this content.
RTL Television in Germany also has gathered considerable amounts of user feedback by implementing the VG solution.
The next steps in the development of the software include enhanced dialogue functions to better communicate with news tippers, the integration of Twitter as an additional back channel, and opportunities to integrate ads (for example, classifieds).
VG now offers the possibility to also rent the software, i.e. the hosting is done in Norway.
Photo: Vidar Meisingseth, project manager for the VG News Portal, offers the UGC software to publishers outside of Norway.