It was confirmed today that Dave Winer’s weblogs.com has sold its assets to VeriSign. The price has not been officially disclosed but the blogosphere has very efficiently decided the range ($2-5m). Dave has posted his story and his response to the reactions.
Michael Graves – a great guy and heading up the technology side of VeriSign’s Real Time Web team – has posted a significant and detailed overview of the what?, why? and where now? of the deal.
Several commentators, including Dave (thanks Dave) have revealed that Mike Arrington and myself were involved in helping make the deal happen. Mike has a post up on TechCrunch. I have received quite a few requests to clarify and to save time I’ll say a little here.
Firstly, we can claim no credit for the deal. VeriSign bought weblogs.com for two reasons that have nothing to do with us. First, because when Dave designed RSS he built in notification as a key feature. Ping servers are the means of realizing this and weblogs.com is Dave’s implementation. It has always been and remains a key piece of infrastructure for anybody who wants to know what is new in the world of RSS and ATOM. Almost all blogs ping weblogs.com when they have a new post of an update. This is Dave’s work and vision and is a valuable component of any attempt to help organize the real time web. Secondly, because VeriSign have realized that the real time web (a key part of Web 2.0) is here to stay and is literally changing the architecture of information, and will inevitably change the kinds of services and applications we need in the future. That is the result of the efforts of Dave because many of us are building on top of what he created, and of many others.
So our role was quite small really. I worked as a consultant at VeriSign during much of 2004 and early 2005 on a project to understand the real time web and it’s implications for infrastructure. Many of the ideas were new to VeriSign but they were very fast learners and in Michael Graves, and the rest of the team (Ben Turner and Joh Kilberg) they have a knowledgeable and thoughtful technologist and team who get it. By the time the project finished earlier this year I made an introduction between Dave and the VeriSign team. It seemed to me an obvious fit given the vision that was in place. Mike worked with Dave to help craft a deal. Dave, with help from his advisors, and VeriSign did the rest.
We are pleased to have helped, and on a personal note I am excited that the project I played a role in is turning into reality under the leadership of Michael Graves and Mark McLaughlin, Michael’s boss. I think all of us who are building applications that rely on the ping infrastructure are going to be very happy to see VeriSign join the blogosphere as a relied upon partner. Congratulations Dave. I couldn’t be more pleased for you.