RealTime IT News

Read Your Blogs, Check Your Packages

Popular online blog and news feed aggregator site Bloglines.com is one step closer to its goal of a universal inbox for dynamic Web content with the launch of a package tracking service Wednesday.

Bloglines said it would now track and update the status of FedEx, UPS and U.S. Postal Service packages through the user's MyFeeds page, incorporating the API's of those organizations for developers who want to provide the service on their Web sites or portals.

The added feature comes a month after search engine Ask Jeeves acquired the site for an undisclosed sum in order to keep pace with the growing blog influence among search engines like Google and Yahoo .

According to Mark Fletcher, vice president and general manager of Bloglines at Ask Jeeves, work was already underway at Bloglines.com to provide the package-tracking service but was delayed because of the acquisition.

The end goal for Fletcher and the rest of the Bloglines team is to create a universal inbox, capable of tracking any type of dynamic Web information on the Internet.

"The Internet is this vast repository of information and for a lot of it you have to go out on a regular basis and seek it out," he said. "So Bloglines, as being the universal inbox, will do all this work for you and will track all sorts of information for you."

Future updates include a neighborhood weather update service and stock portfolio tracking, though Fletcher would not say when they would be available.

The universal inbox, as officials explained, already tracks and manages a disparate collection of Web sources like text and photo blogs, podcasts and video blogs, e-mail newsletter subscriptions and user-defined saved searches.

According to officials, Bloglines maintains an index of more than 370 million news feeds and blog articles from around the world. Bloglines is available in English, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.

According to an informal study conducted in January, Bloglines maintains a 38 percent market share in the industry, more than double the share of the next-ranked aggregator, NetNewsWire.

Currently, the service is only available in English.