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America Online acquires blogging firm Weblogs

MUMBAI: Internet service provider America Online in the US has announced that is has signed a definitive agreement to acquire blogging firm Weblogs. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Weblogs operates a media network, launched in January 2004, of 85 blogging sites covering a range of subject matters. The company features more than 100 independent, freelance expert bloggers producing over 1,000 blog postings weekly – providing rich, unfiltered content for millions of dedicated blog visitors and contributors.

Weblogs produces blogs in specialized, ‘niche’ consumer and trade markets, with over 30 million monthly web page views and 25 million monthly RSS page views per month. Weblogs’ more popular blogs include: Engadget (technology), Autoblog (automotive), Joystiq (gaming), Cinematical (films), Blogging Baby (parenting), Luxist (luxury), Gadling (travel), The Wireless Weblog, SlashFood, and TVSquad.

Weblogs will become a wholly-owned, stand-alone subsidiary of AOL. It will operate with full editorial control and independence.

AOL members and visitors to AOL.com will be provided with access to Weblogs’ content in a number of areas. Links to Weblogs’ 85 unique blogs will be seamlessly embedded and integrated across the AOL service, such as the Personal Finance Channel, the Autos Channel, the Travel Channel, the Games Channel, the Television Channel, and at AOL News – among others. Weblogs content will also be integrated within AOL’s network of properties, such as Moviefone, AOL Music and Netscape. On AOL.com, visitors will be able to connect to Weblogs via the ‘LiveWeb’ and ‘People Connection’ links on the homepage.

AOL executive VP programming and products Jim Bankoff says, “AOL has always been at the forefront of creating, expanding and celebrating flourishing communities online, where our members’ voice is elevated to new levels of expression, creativity and self-publishing. This exciting and groundbreaking combination allows our audiences to be able to do a ‘deep-dive’ into a vast array of compelling topics that keep them interested and entertained on our network of properties, day after day. Moreover, Weblogs, Inc. provides AOL with the ability to quickly launch websites and communities across areas our audience is passionate about, and advertisers are interested in”.

Weblogs co-founder and CEO Jason McCabe Calacanis says, "Weblogs is delighted to join up with AOL, and in so doing, we’ve reached a milestone in the development of citizen media. Weblogs has made great strides over the past two years building high-profile blogs. Yet, we realised that taking our network to the next level required a partner not only with a significant audience, but the advertising expertise to leverage it. In AOL, we found the ideal company to join."

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