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4/27/2006
08:42 PM
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AOL, Weblogs Launch Financial Blog Network

The new network is a collection of individual blogs, each dedicated to a widely held public company, that provides independent analysis, news coverage, and commentary.

AOL and Weblogs Inc. on Thursday launched a financial blog network, the first joint offering since AOL acquired the latter company last year.

The new network is a collection of individual blogs, each dedicated to a widely held public company. The blogs, which provide independent analysis, news coverage and commentary, are accessible directly or through AOL Money & Finance.

The first companies covered are AOL parent Time Warner Inc., Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., Apple Computer Inc., EBay Inc., Microsoft Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and General Electric Co. AOL plans to add two companies a month, and expects to update each blog several times a day, a spokeswoman said.

In February, AOL Money & Finance showed a 9 percent decline in unique visitors to 8.4 million, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. It was the fourth most popular financial news and information destination behind No. 1 Yahoo Finance, followed in order by MSN Money and CNNMoney. The top three had each showed low double-digit gains in the number of visitors that month.

AOL announced in October of last year that it would acquire privately held Weblogs, which featured more than 100 bloggers covering a variety of topics ranging from technology and hobbies to gaming, movies and travel. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Weblogs claims to generate more than 30 million monthly Web page views and 25 million monthly page views through RSS newsreaders. Among its more popular blogs are Engadget, Autoblog, Cinematical and TVSquad.

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