Weblog pioneer Dave Winer has sold his Weblogs.com ping server to Internet and telecommunications services giant VeriSign Inc.
News of the deal swirled around the blogosphere all day Thursday and was confirmed by Michael Graves, technology evangelist for VeriSigns Real Time Web team.
Financial terms of the deal were not released but bloggers tracking the story speculate that Winer was paid between $2 million and $5 million for the assets of Weblogs.com, a ping server considered a key part of the blog world.
Weblogs.com is a free, standards-based service that lets millions of bloggers send notifications, or pings, when content has been updated.
According to VeriSigns Graves, the company decided to acquire Weblogs.com assets when it became clear that the service needed significant infrastructure investment to cope with the millions of daily blog pings.
"For a long time, a ping server could be stood up as a single box running on a fast business DSL connection. Those days have passed, at least for the popular ping servers; pings are well on their way to requiring serious infrastructure," Graves said.
VeriSign, which runs the DNS registry and the .com and .net top-level domains, said basic pings processed by Weblogs.com will remain free to submit and retrieve.
However, there are long-term plans to monetize the service by offering "value-added services" for publishers and consumers, Graves said.