Ask.com, which earlier this month said it was going to kill off its Bloglines RSS reader as of October 1, has extended the life of the web service by 1 month. Customers of Bloglines (of which I used to be one) received email from the Ask.com team announcing:
"Just letting you know that the Bloglines service will remain accessible until November 1 - one month past the original deadline. We have built in extra time to ensure that we address all of our users' needs around exporting their feeds and preserving data. So rest easy for another month, and stay tuned for further details!"
While it’s unclear what "further details" might mean, Ask.com has said it is pulling the plug on Bloglines to focus on its Q&A search service announced in July.
Bloglines, a free news aggregator, was launched in 2003 and was snapped up 5 years ago by Ask.com parent company IAC. Industry watchers say Bloglines failed to keep pace with competitors, including social networks and other aggregators such as Google Reader.
"Not an easy decision, especially considering our loyal and supportive (not to mention patient) user base, but, ultimately, the right one given business reasons simply too hard to ignore," wrote Doug Leads, president of Ask.com, in a blog post.
Bloglines did offer up simple instructions to switch to another reader and it would appear that Google Reader will be the obvious beneficiary. Separately this week, another business that made something of a name for itself in the web organisation field – Xmarks – announced that it too was calling it quits.