Ask Jeeves buys Bloglines

Seeking to complement its flagship search engine, Ask Jeeves has acquired Trustic, which owns and operates the Bloglines online content-aggregation service, Ask Jeeves is announcing Tuesday.

Bloglines monitors the content "feeds" that millions of Web sites distribute using technologies such as Really Simple Syndication (RSS) and Atom. After a user decides which feeds he wants monitored, Bloglines aggregates the desired content in the user's Bloglines personal Web page.

"Search is one way to retrieve information on the Internet and this is another. This a very close cousin to search," said Jim Lanzone, Ask Jeeves' senior vice president of search properties.

In addition to Bloglines' core content-aggregation services, Ask Jeeves also found attractive the company's services for creating, publishing and searching blogs, Lanzone said.

As part of Ask Jeeves, Bloglines will have more resources to develop its services, said Mark Fletcher, Bloglines' founder and chief executive officer. At Ask Jeeves, Fletcher will remain at Bloglines' helm with the title of Bloglines vice president and general manager. " Ask Jeeves will be committing resources to Bloglines to help us build out our service even more and accelerate our product roadmap," Fletcher said.

Bloglines will operate independently within Ask Jeeves and will retain its Web site at http://www.bloglines.com, but there will be integration of services and technologies from the two organizations, the executives said. For example, there are immediate and concrete plans to integrate Bloglines' blog search capabilities into Ask Jeeves' flagship Ask.com search engine, they said. Users can expect to see in the future further integration of Bloglines' services across Ask Jeeves' network of Web sites, which also includes portals Excite.com and iWon.com, the executives said.

With its Bloglines acquisition, Ask Jeeves is addressing an area that is becoming increasingly important for Web portals and search engines: providing tools and services to its visitors for aggregating and managing the massive amount of information available via Web site feeds, said Allen Weiner, a Gartner analyst.

No financial details of the acquistion were disclosed.

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