Two Internet firms are looking to support the current vogue for blogging. VeriSign has bought Weblogs.com’s “ping server” technology from Scripting News for $2.3m and America Online has made a reported $25m swoop for Weblogs, an unrelated company that manages a network of topics focused on a wide range of topics from gadgets to music.
Mountain View-based VeriSign is the biggest name in Internet naming and directory infrastructure services. The company said it will continue to run the Weblogs.com service.
Weblogs.com uses really simple syndication (or RSS) to share headlines and other web content. The system handle around two million pings per day and manages thousands of daily RSS feeds from both amateur bloggers and professional online publishers.
Hopes to apply its knowledge handling an estimated 14.5 billion Internet interactions per day in operating the .com and .net infrastructure to make the Weblogs.com service more reliable and scalable.
AOL, meanwhile, is adding a network of 85 Weblogs-run sites (including Engadget, which is reported to be Web’s third most popular blog in terms of links from other sites) to its own expansive network of online properties.
Unlike VeriSign, AOL has a different agenda – to boost advertising revenue. The company believes that Weblogs’ network of blogs will attract advertisers seeking to cash in. Weblogs’ sites will continue to be managed separately but will linked to AOL.com’s services to tap into advertising opportunities.
This is the third acquisition in recent months for AOL following the restructuring of its business by the online unit of Time Warner. Time Warner is looking to boost AOL’s advertising revenue to offset a declining dial-up customer base.
The deal, if the $25m it is reported to be paying is true, ranks as one of the largest ever paid for a blog network.
Both these deals are however pale in comparison to other recent acquisitions by media companies of Web networks, notably: News Corp’s $580m purchase of Intermix Media, which owns music and social networking sites; and New York Times Co’s $410m takeover of About, for its About.com website which is described as providing practical solutions for everyday problems.