Nobody Expects The Bloglines Askquisition!

Yes, the rumors are true and we’re 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’ll 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. Update: Here’s Jim Lanzone’s take on the acquisition. Also, thanks for all the great emails and comments! I will try to respond to them over the next couple of days.

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