Bloglines Adds Shipment Tracking Feature

In a competitive move that extends beyond aggregating general-audience blogs and RSS news feeds, Bloglines this week added package tracking to its free Web-based services.

Bloglines users can now track the shipping progress of package deliveries from FedEx, UPS and the United States Postal Service within their “MyFeeds” page.

“Bloglines is a Universal Inbox that captures all kinds of dynamic information that helps busy individuals be more productive throughout the day — at the office, at school or on the go,” said Mark Fletcher, vice president and general manager of Bloglines at Ask Jeeves. “With unique-to-me news updates, we’re aiming to be the most comprehensive and useful personalized information resource on the Web.”

Personalized, Value-Added Blogging

In addition to blog text updates and RSS news feeds, the Bloglines Universal Inbox can track and aggregate many types of Web and e-mail-based data.

The company, which was acquired by Ask Jeeves in February, said this is the first of more “unique-to-me” informational feeds that will eventually include neighborhood weather updates and stock portfolio tracking.

Bloglines users can add a range of other news sources, like e-mail newsletter subscriptions, newsgroup postings, local news, photo blogs, audio podcasts and video blog content and saved searches that persistently watch for and retrieve new blog conversations and news-feed articles based on user-defined terms.

Headed Toward Portal Status?

At least one industry watcher is unimpressed with Bloglines’ latest move.

Jason Dowdell, who operates MarketingShift, a blog focused on media research and technology, told TechNewsWorld that this is one of the first steps in Bloglines’ journey toward portal status. But he is also unsure as to what shipment tracking has to do with blogging.

“Integrating shipment tracking was not the right move,” Dowdell said. “Bloglines should have started by implementing features that are important to bloggers or important to the larger picture like social networking.

“This is almost like serving hot dogs at a kosher food market,” he said. “It’s completely unrelated to the interests of bloggers and bloggers are probably going to find it offensive.”

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