AOL 9 to include Weblog tools

AOL's software will take advantage of recent developments in the technology to allow people to "audioblog" over the telephone. Subscribers will also be able to update their blog, which typically include references and links to other Web sites and blogs, via AOL Instant Messenger.

The company is calling the tool "AOL Journals" because it said users found the term "blog" confusing. It plans to introduce the tool as part of AOL 9, the next version of its Internet service, which will be available in preview form this summer. Its tool will let users update their blog by phone, over instant messaging connection, or by the more usual method of filling out a form on a Web page.

Users will be able to post pictures to a blog from AOL's "You've Got Pictures" service, which is designed for storing and viewing digital photos. The phone update will post blog entries as MP3 files, and will be available only to subscribers to the "AOL by Phone" service, available for an extra fee on top of the usual monthly subscription charge.

The instant messaging updates will only work over AOL's internal messaging service, but not with standalone instant messaging software available to nonsubscribers. The blogs will support the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) protocol, allowing it to be displayed outside of a Web browser by an RSS-based news-reading program.

News source: MSNBC - AOL 9 to include Weblog tools

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