RealTime IT News

Bloglines Welcomes the World

With the increasing use of RSS on blogs and other sites, feed aggregators are gaining in popularity. That's why Bloglines has gone international, it announced Wednesday.

The Redwood City, Calif., company now includes language-specific versions of its Web site in order to accommodate the millions of bloggers and readers around the world who use RSS feeds or search online for the latest news and opinions in the blogosphere.

Six languages are currently hosted on Bloglines.com -- traditional Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish. Founder and CEO Mark Fletcher said Italian and several other languages will soon make an appearance.

According to the Computer Industry Almanac, there are nearly 935 million Internet users. The predominantly English-speaking counties make up little more than one-quarter of the total Internet user population. For the rest of the world, countries like China (10.68 percent), Japan (8.35 percent) and Germany (4.48 percent), English isn't the native tongue.

Fletcher believes that user number breakdown translates to blog readers and publishers, as well, and in order to expand the blogosphere's reach, internationalization is necessary.

"One thing we've seen is that blogging is very popular in Japan and South Korea, for example, and the use of aggregators like Bloglines is really picking up in those countries," he said. "We felt it was really important for us to address this; any service on the Internet really has to embrace multiple languages these days to remain a viable service."

Language support, for the time being, is limited to site navigation and any blogs that already appear in that language. Fletcher said non-English-speaking readers can click on a link that brings users to the Google translation service.

"It's really basic right now, but we'll definitely be looking into enhancing that in the future," Fletcher said.

Outsourced translators, which, according to Fletcher, are a necessity for a six-person company and relatively easy these days, are responsible for Bloglines' internationalization.