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Most people don’t realize that the popular blog, Techdirt is also a company that is selling a pretty sophisticated information service to large companies. Mike Masnick and four other guys started the Belmont company in 2000, with no financing other than a few thousand dollars of Mike’s own money.

We caught up recently with Mike, who is the main writer over at the blog. Turns out, he’s now about to expand his service.

The site saw its traffic triple over past year, and our bloglines account shows it has more than 20,000 subscribers, more than any other blog we read regularly (BoingBoing, which is probably the biggest blog, has…

40,000).

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So far, he’s been serving mostly Fortune 500 companies, combing through all kinds of publications and other news sources and selecting a recommended diet of reading for their employees. Typically, about 50 to 100 people use the service at each company customer, Mike tells us.

Next month, he’s moving his new product “Techdirt InfoAdvisor,” out of testing mode. It basically provides a tailor made information-news tracker to customers. He showed it to us; it’s a compelling combination of technology to track the most important news within a specific industry and Techdirt’s own personal editing services.

And on March 11, he’ll also be hosting a local tech conference, called “Techdirt Greenhouse,” a sort of idea workshop for start-ups that he wants to make more interactive than the usual conference. Each company will do a five-minute demo, and then attendees will break up into small groups to try to help answer a question or solve an issue the company is facing. He’ll be announcing it shortly…