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Newspapers buying into blog service

SAN FRANCISCO -- A syndication service that delivers commentary from 600 bloggers for use by newspaper publishers is set to launch tomorrow, further blurring the lines that divide blogs and mainstream media.

BlogBurst, as the service from blog technology company Pluck Corp. is known, includes headlines and articles for use by newspaper publishers in the news or feature sections of their online services, as well as in print editions.

Pluck initially has signed up Gannett Co., Washington Post Co., the San Francisco Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman, and San Antonio Express. Eventually, the Austin, Texas-based company will offer BlogBurst editorial materials to niche business and overseas publications.

Newspapers are looking to BlogBurst to provide expert blog commentary on travel, women's issues, technology, food, entertainment, and local stories -- areas where publishers may not have dedicated staff, Pluck's chief executive, Dave Panos, said.

In return, a select group of popular bloggers are offered wider distribution for their writings, he said. The online syndicate drives traffic to blog sites, allowing featured bloggers to make money from resulting online advertising fees.

''I think you are going to see hundreds of newspapers accessing the content we produce by the end of the year," Panos said.

Blogs distributed by BlogBurst range from technology-focused Micro Persuasion (www.micropersuasion.com) to Teen Fashionista (http://teenfashionista.blogspot.com/).

BlogBurst has its own staff to edit blogs, in effect accrediting them for newspaper publishers and thereby addressing issues of quality control that have often poisoned relations between mainstream media and bloggers. Pluck has also begun to sign up niche business publications in sectors such as aviation and architecture.

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