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RealTime IT News

Domain Registry Bundles Blogging

Looking to turn an Internet phenomenon into a business edge, .NU Domain, a Top Level Domain (TLD) registry, is offering customers free software to create and maintain their own blogs.

"Blogging has exploded across the world over the past several months, and with good reason," said Per Darnell, the newly appointed director of Nordic operations for .NU Domain. "The simplicity and versatility of the tool means it can be used by many different target groups."

A blog (a shortened version of Web log) is a regularly updated online journal that often reflect the personality of their author. Many writers chronicle their daily routines, while others aspire to provide fresh news and comment about a specific topic. The first blogs began popping up in the late 1990s, primarily within the techie community, but they are clearly mainstream now.

.NU Domain's new service is available in English, Swedish, Danish and Dutch -- the key languages in the company's best market, Northern Europe. The company's founders chose the ".nu" suffix to represent at "new" alternative to ".com." By linguistic coincidence the letters mean "now" in several nordic languages. The result was a address ending that marketers embrace, especially for new product or business launches.

"(Blogging) is something a lot of people want to do, but don't always know how to set up," said J. William Semich, president of .NU Domain's parent company, WorldNames, of Medfield, Mass.

Given the global IT slump, .NU Domain's strategy is to reward the firm's existing customers (mostly small business owners who have registered about 110,000 sites) and to attract new ones. In some markets, such as Sweden, the promotion is introducing the concept itself to Web users who were somehow bypassed when the craze ignited last year.

The software was developed in-house, and is a variation of tools used for .NU Domain's Instant Web offering, which offers blogging technology in addition to support for five Web pages. It allows bloggers to update their pages via a Web-enabled handheld, or even through e-mail.

Another feature that should appeal to would-be bloggers is password protection, which is included in the service. Users have the option of protecting the entire site or particular section.

Other sites offer free or inexpensive blog software and hosting, Blog*Spot for example. Trellix, the Waltham, Mass., maker of Web page publishing software has also added blogging features.

But .NU Domain isn't in the blog business, it's just trying to offer customers a little something extra to earn their repeat business during tough economic times.