Internet services company VeriSign Inc. said Friday it has acquired Weblogs.com, a service that automatically alerts people when blogs and other Web sites are updated with new material.
Mountain View-based VeriSign said it paid $2.3 million in cash to Scripting News Inc. to purchase Berkeley-based Weblogs.com, which was started by Web log pioneer Dave Winer.
Verisign said in a statement that it plans to use the service to "provide more stable and reliable communications" for online personal journals known as blogs.
VeriSign said it will continue to operate Weblogs.com, which supports thousands of daily feeds from bloggers and other publishers, as a free service. But a VeriSign spokesman said the company could charge for additional services in the future.
Weblogs.com started as a host for scores of bloggers before Winer changed directions and transformed it into a "ping" service that provides automatic notification to subscribers.
Weblogs.com uses really simple syndication, or RSS, a format designed for sharing headlines and other Web content.
Winer said in a phone interview that Weblogs.com had grown too big for him to handle. The site is sending nearly 2 million pings a day.
"Actually, I would have liked to sell sooner," Winer said. "Keeping the site running was a perpetual challenge. We would scale and it would just grow exponentially."
VeriSign has the size and expertise to handle the growth, Mark McLaughlin, senior vice president of VeriSign's naming and directory services, said in a statement.
"The Internet has experienced an explosion in both the number of bloggers and the number of daily RSS feeds from bloggers over the past 12 to 24 months, but the infrastructure to support that level of Internet communications has not kept pace," McLaughlin, said.