The Universal Inbox
Bloglines just published a new press release entitled Bloglines is First to Go Beyond the Blog with Unique-to-Me Info Updates which is excerpted below
Oakland, CA -- March 30, 2005 -- Ask Jeeves®, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASKJ), today announced that Bloglines™ (www.bloglines.com), the world’s most popular free online service for searching, subscribing, publishing and sharing news feeds, blogs and rich web content has released the first of a wave of new capabilities that help consumers monitor customized kinds of dynamic web information. With these new capabilities, Bloglines is the first web service to move beyond aggregating general-audience blogs and RSS news feeds to enable individuals to receive updates that are personal to their daily lives.
Starting today, people can track the shipping progress of package deliveries from some of the world’s largest parcel shipping companies—FedEx, UPS, and the United States Postal Servicewithin their Bloglines MyFeeds page. Package tracking in Bloglines encompasses international shipments, in English. Bloglines readers can look forward to collecting more kinds of unique-to-me information on Bloglines in the near future, such as neighborhood weather updates and stock portfolio tracking.
“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 an index of more than 370 million blog and news feed articles in seven languages, we’re already one of the largest wells of dynamic web information. With unique-to-me news updates we’re aiming to be the most comprehensive and useful personalized information resource on the web.”
I've been pitching the concept of the digital information hub to folks at work but I think the term 'universal inbox" is a more attractive term. As a user spends more and more time in front of an information consumption tool be it an email reader, RSS reader or online portal, the more data sources the user wants supported by the tool. Online portals are now supporting RSS. Web-based RSS readers are now supporting content that would traditionally show up in a personalized view at an online portal.
At MSN, specifically with http://www.start.com/2/, we are exploring what would happen if you completely blurred the lines between a web-based RSS reader and the traditional personalized dashboard provided by an online portal. It is inevitable that both mechanisms of consuming information online will eventually be merged in some way. I suspect the result will look more like what Steve Rider's team is building than MyYahoo! or Bloglines do today.
As I mentioned before we'd love feedback about all the stuff we are doing at start.com. Don't be shy send your feedback.