Local media and regional identity are still very strong in Finland.
"Providers would learn from each other, and working together would benefit everyone. It wouldn't take long until the platform could be used for local advertising and other commercial social networking services."
E-commerce opportunities for companies
Viitasaari mentions another Finnish success story that had great expectations – Fruugo, which was set up with many well-known partners who wanted to start an online shopping centre for online retailers. The project went under due to financial and technological challenges, and Finnish online retail business seems like a missed opportunity now with Zalando and others around.
"Still, business-to-business e-commerce is in its infancy. Its value is greater than in the consumer sector, and the Finns are good at working in the B2B sector, including payment systems, user identification and the entire Real Time Economy environment."
"Media could build a variety of online features to accompany their services and provide platforms for e-commerce. In addition to selling their own papers, they could offer a platform for local entrepreneurs, who could set up various operations and local communities."
Yes, communities. Using local communities in the digital world is still an untapped potential according to Viitasaari. Local media and regional identity are still very strong in Finland, and local media enjoy a great deal of trust.
"Companies should apply for the Tekes funding, get their specs right, and just do it. When one company succeeds, their success spreads to others. Large media companies in particular could use their resources to build a base on which smaller companies could develop their differentiated services. Some radio stations have already done this successfully using the Tekes funding."