Damn, I go away for a few days and the web turns into a flea market. Upcoming, Weblogs Inc., and now are all now properties of Yahoo!, AOL, and Verisign (in that order).

I get the Yahoo and AOL deals, they make sense but Verisign’s acquisition, if true, feels like an old .com land-grab-to-value-add because their other business model sucks on drain pipes. Maybe there is more to this than I have read into but it still leaves me feeling 2001.

I think Yahoo got a steal when they acquired Upcoming because the intellectual capital and data genius that Andy brings to the table is worth more than just a website. That would be like Google hiring Jon Hicks to design landing pages for ad text. Sadly I will not get to finish the Upcoming redesign that Andy and I started a few months back but as I’ve already told him, he’s in better hands now.

Most people associate Jason Calacanis with Weblogs Inc. the colossal blog network but I’ve always known it as Brain Alvey’s company. Brian is the other, almost silent half of Weblogs Inc. who formed Happy Cog with Jeffrey Zeldman a long, long time ago, he’s still a strategic partner. I hope an AOL paycheck doesn’t keep Alvey away from his work with Jeffrey and Co. What’s profound about this sale, I believe, is that blog networks have value and are attractive to buyers. Certainly this weeks activity is not normal but anyone who thinks blogs are going away any time soon need to pull their head out.

I’m sure Denton knows this wishes he had his own sales announcement to make.

So who’s next? Six Apart and 37signals have no doubt received more than a few offers. I’m thinking that maybe it’s time to AJAX enable comments on this site and hang a Web 2.0 label next to a price tag.

Breaking from topic, I see that Salon has taken a turn for the worse and re-routed power through ugly engine — it’s dead Jim!

There was a time when Salon’s design was nice, clean, and open while adhering to a simple structure. Now it just looks sloppy and unattended too. How could they possibly come up with this crap when Jim Coudal is still alive and breathing? Those guys in Chicago could have put this site into a fresh trimmed look that would have fit this magazine and it’s community like a glove.