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Confirmed: AskJeeves Acquired Bloglines

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The owner/founder of Bloglines [Mark Fletcher] confirms the acquisition rumors on his blog this morning. Here’s the post from Mark’s blog.

Yes, the rumors are true and we are all really excited. Now that that is out of the way, I’ll try to answer some questions.

  1. I won’t be going anywhere. I’m fully committed to Bloglines, and we’ve got great things in store.
  2. The Bloglines web site will keep on going, business as usual. One of the things we liked about Ask Jeeves is their multi-brand strategy, and we will be operating as one of their independent brands.
  3. So what will change?

We’ll have a lot more resources available to us. For example, we’ll be integrating Ask’s killer Teoma search engine technology within Bloglines. This will vastly improve our blog search capabilities. We don’t think that world-class blog search exists yet; with Teoma and Bloglines that will happen.

Since we launched in June 2003, we’ve had an organic growth policy, both for the web site and for the company. And that’s worked very well for us. Over the past year and a half, we’ve had many conversations with several great VC firms about funding Bloglines. We’ve also had conversations with many companies about acquiring bloglines.

We’ve been in a very fortunate position where we did not have to take any money, and we turned down all offers. But Ask Jeeves was different than the others that approached us. They wanted us to continue to run Bloglines as a stand-alone property, and also integrate Bloglines into their other properties where it made sense. And they were willing to commit a lot of resources to Bloglines to help us expand our features and capabilities.

Just as important, it was clear from day one that the Ask team understood us, and our service. In fact, many of the execs at Ask Jeeves were already addicted Bloglines users. More subjectively, we thought they had much more of the start-up/fast moving mentality than any of the other companies we talked with, and that approach made them feel like the right partner for us.

Speaking from experience, I know that the acquisition of a service that you use and depend upon can be unnerving. I also know that after acquisition some services wither.I am confident that won’t happen here.

There is a shared passion and vision for Bloglines, and I’m very excited about the future.”

So there you have it. I’m interested to see what happens over the next 2 – 3 months with the bloglines service. I have some enhancement requests but I know they’ll be on hold while they start the scaling process. Good luck Mark!

Jason Dowdell is a technology entrepreneur and operates the Marketing Shift blog.

Confirmed: AskJeeves Acquired Bloglines
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