Technorati, a popular blog finder, on Thursday unveiled an online "kitchen" where users can have a go at half-baked features.
The cupboard is a little bare right now, with just a news-finding application to play with.
The San Francisco-based company has about a dozen features under construction, so expect more to show up soon, said Derek Gordon, Technoratis marketing director.
All Internet search engines are in the midst of adapting to blogs, which are Web sites with a single persons viewpoint and an array links to other Web sites.
Blogs are gaining in popularity among Internet users, and at a very fast pace. At the beginning of the year, about 60 percent of U.S. Internet users didnt know what a blog was.
Now, about a quarter of U.S. Internet users routinely read one, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, a Washington D.C.-based Internet think tank.
Technorati is arguably the largest blog search engine, outdoing even the relatively nascent blog search features of major Internet portals Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and America Online.
Technoratis Kitchen may have a unique name, but its an old business practice. Companies routinely let the public have a go at products or services in the works.
Going "beta", as its sometimes called, is a way to expose a features problems before its unleashed on the general public.
For Internet search companies, going beta means segregating the works-in-progress to an out of the way Web site, so as not to attract newcomers not ready for more sophisticated experiences.