Ask Jeeves buys Bloglines [update]

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Thread Title:
Ask Jeeves Buys Bloglines
Thread Description:

UPDATE: Jeeves have now officially announced the aquisition of bloglines. see the end of this post for the details

No, im not kidding - Ask Have just bought the number one RSS aggregator Bloglines and will be integrating it into the system next week.

Previously there had been talk from CEO Mark Fletcher about the forthcoming manifestation of a business model for Bloglines in the form of contextual ads this summer but now he becomes Ask's newest employee, starting Monday.

This is a very, very smart buy by Jeeves i think, bloglines domination of the RSS aggregator market was reported at 32% by Feedster only last month and is nearly double that of it's nearest competitor. Rafat at pc however says that Bloglines blew it with Google and Yahoo when they myopically named the service - and that this is a desperate attempt from the Butler to not be an "also ran" - this sounds more than reasonable, but it's a good move nonetheless i think...

Good stuff Jeeves, and Mark!

UPDATE:
A couple of quotes from the Jeeves blog

So, what are our plans for Bloglines?

First and most importantly, our primary focus will be on building the Bloglines service to fulfill his vision for it, adding resources to their toolbox to get there faster and better.

There will be no short-term changes to Bloglines that weren't already on their roadmap. Over the long-term, Mark will now, as general manager of Bloglines for AJ, Inc., be responsible for that roadmap in the future.

and on integration with Jeeves?

In terms of integration with Ask Jeeves, one of our first priorities will be to pair the Bloglines team with our Teoma search technology team to build world-class blog search. We'll also help distribute Bloglines to a broader audience, from MyJeeves to the portal properties we own that collectively make Ask Jeeves the 7th ranked property on the Web.

You can also get Mark Fletcher, the CEO of bloglines and now general manager of ASK's Bloglines comments here

Interesting stuff ahead for Jeeves and Bloglines eh?

Comments

The butler gets serious about blogging: Ask Jeeves buys Blogline

Mary Hodder from Napsterization has a scoop on Bloglines:
That's the scoop. Ask Jeeves is integrating Bloglines into their search system (it's not yet live on their main site, til Monday). Ask Jeeves recently started a blog (which hopefully will be updated more than Google's blog) and plans to enter the desktop search space. My personal opinion is that this is a good move as Bloglines is the best online RSS aggregator out there and this has the potential to put Ask Jeeves back in the "interesting" column for folks who have considered them an also-ran in the search game. Reaction in the Blogosphere, of course has already begun:

Scoble congratulates Mark Fletcher
Joseph Hall rings a false alarm
Steve Rubel says he asked earlier in the week about it and was told: "Sorry, we don't have anything to announce."
Nick from Threadwatch also thinks it's wise: "This is a very, very smart buy by Jeeves. I think Bloglines domination of the RSS aggregator market was reported 32% by Feedster."

It is a good move. 1. RSS ag

It is a good move. 1. RSS aggregation is here to stay, 2. A lot of eyeballs hit Bloglines many times a day - that makes it a good platform both revenue-wise but also for public exposure for Ask and users for their different services, 3. it help makes Ask part of a destination just like My.Yahoo and Y! News make Y! a destination, and Google Groups and Google News help make G a destination.

Although it does still bring up the whole portalization question for both Jeeves and Google.

Makes sense all around

Their MyJeeves initiative notwithstanding, Ask has long struggled to gain an understanding of who their users are. Bloglines will obviously provide insight into the broader interests users have, by virtue of the feeds they subscribe to. Jeeves should finally be able to get into the personal search game -- not to mention how the same data can also be used to target ads on Ask.com and the Excite Network even more effectively.

At the same time, the feed aggregation space has been getting rather competitive now that MSN and Yahoo! are offering services of their own. Bloglines is probably better suited as a feature within a larger suite of products than it is a standalone destination.

I've read a few comments that suggest some people are disappointed that a "lame" company like Ask Jeeves made the acquisition. But I think it's good to see someone other than the "Big 3" shake up the search industry every once in a while...

Not noticed but...

Check out the search function at the top of the page on http://blog.ask.com/

That search runs through bloglines - will that make it onto the main jeeves pages? i hope so...

Official

It's now been made official, here's what i've added to the original post above:

UPDATE:
A couple of quotes from the Jeeves blog

Quote:
So, what are our plans for Bloglines?

First and most importantly, our primary focus will be on building the Bloglines service to fulfill his vision for it, adding resources to their toolbox to get there faster and better.

There will be no short-term changes to Bloglines that weren't already on their roadmap. Over the long-term, Mark will now, as general manager of Bloglines for AJ, Inc., be responsible for that roadmap in the future.

and on integration with Jeeves?

Quote:
In terms of integration with Ask Jeeves, one of our first priorities will be to pair the Bloglines team with our Teoma search technology team to build world-class blog search. We'll also help distribute Bloglines to a broader audience, from MyJeeves to the portal properties we own that collectively make Ask Jeeves the 7th ranked property on the Web.

Interesting stuff ahead for Jeeves and Bloglines eh?

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