A Blogging Skeleton Emerges

"Structured Blogging" spreads. The great experiment starts: Can search engines wrestle bloggers into control?

SAN FRANCISCO—Yahoo Inc., America Online Inc. and several other online search giants support a relatively new idea to sync up bloggers with powerful Internet aggregators, says a source.

There are now millions of Weblogs, which are Internet sites spotlighting someones particular take on a subject or stream of conscious rants on a number of topics. Each are like snowflakes; no two are alike. The one constant: lots of favorite Web locales to click on.

"Structured Blogs" are based on an open standard meant to wrap every one into a basic format. According to a demonstration of a free software download thats part of the initiative, bloggers work from templates.

/zimages/2/28571.gifRead more here about bloggings enterprise angle.

Blogs based on some standard format could more easily fit into the schemes used by major Internet traffickers, such as search engines or RSS news feed readers, say Structured Blog supporters.

Also, bloggers get more trimmings—ones not usually available to them via mainstream blog publishing services. New wrinkles make it easier to locate blogs related by their kind of content, whether its a book or music review site.

The group StructuredBlogging.org said here Monday night that it recently and significantly expanded the kind of Web publishing software that its software can work with.

"Now we give it to the community to work on," said Salim Ismael, co-founder of PubSub Concepts Inc., an Internet publishing firm thats helping to fund the organization. VeriSign Inc. and 38 others are publicly announced members.

/zimages/2/28571.gifRead here about blogging spam.

The whole idea behind blogging belies structure, so the initiative consisting of Yahoo, AOL (and organizers hints that Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp.s online division MSN) will chafe a bit as it tries to settle in.

Yet, Internet search engines are motivated because each is increasingly being called upon by customers to find blogs. If they cant deliver, they lose customers.

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