Ask Jeeves Adds Package Tracking to Bloglines

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Ask Jeeves Inc. said yesterday that Bloglines, its online blog and news feed aggregator site, now lets users track the progress of items shipped by FedEx, United Parcel Service and the U.S. Postal Service.


Bloglines' free service aggregates and allows for the sharing of 370 million blog and news feed articles, RSS feeds and rich Web content. The feature comes a month after the Oakland, CA, search engine company acquired Trustic Inc., which operates Bloglines for an undisclosed sum.


With package tracking added to Bloglines, "one of a reader's feeds will be their tracking information," said Cathy Thompson, a spokeswoman for Bloglines at Ask Jeeves. "Every time the parcel in route hits a new weigh station where data is input, it will feed a message back to Bloglines that gives the reader that status."


Though users still have to input the package tracking numbers, they won't have to continue going to a carrier's Web site to track a package. Instead, "they will get an alert every time the package's status changes in the system. The information comes to you. You don't have to go and seek it out," Thompson said.


Thompson said that Ask Jeeves set up agreements with the major carrier services to allow this, and it has an integrated software connection with them.


Though Bloglines offers blog and news feed articles in seven languages, the package tracking service is available only in English. It will track international packages "but it will give you the results in English, regardless of what your language might be," Thompson said.


Ask Jeeves said the new feature is one of several capabilities that Bloglines plans to add, including local weather updates and stock-portfolio tracking.


Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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