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Google Preps Blogger For The Enterprise

Google  is taking yet another popular feature and retooling it for the enterprise.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based search giant took Blogger out of beta last week, introducing features that are intended to appeal to business users. One such feature is added privacy settings, giving users the ability to restrict access to their blog postings.

Users can do this by going to the permissions tab, selecting "only these readers" and then entering the e-mail addresses for people entitled to read the blog. Users can also enable multiple authors for the same blog account.

Blogger now also supports syndication standards RSS 2.0 and Atom 1.0, and allows for individual feeds for comments to each separate post, allowing customers to create a single location for a conversation and collaboration.

These types of features will allow companies to engage their staff and partners in a manner that is efficient and accessible while maintaining control over the audience for these communications.

Drag-and-drop formatting tools also take Blogger out of the realm of early adopters and make it easy for even novices to use.

Like with Docs & Spreadsheets, Google is focusing on collaboration tools that already enjoy widespread consumer adoption and adding features that make them palatable for corporate use.

Dave Girouard, vice president and general manager of Google's enterprise division, told internetnews.com that the company intends to focus on "applications that have a place in the consumer world and port them over to the enterprise and take advantage of the big Google that everybody knows."

While large companies are more likely to be interested in enterprise-class collaboration tools from companies such as IBM , Google is aiming at smaller companies willing to use tools that are "good enough."

Forrester analyst Charlene Li noted that Google made a mint on paid search by seducing small- and medium-sized companies that couldn't afford to purchase more expensive online banner ads.

"They won't be able to get the Fortune 500 with these tools, but why should they even fight that battle," she told internetnews.com earlier this month.

Google acquired the company that created Blogger in 2003 and spent the next three years preparing it for release.