So, after selling Slate, selling Sidewalk, and shutting down the entire M3P project my friend Lara Stein worked on, Microsoft is back in the content game! Microsoft is funny to watch sometimes they can’t decide if they want to be in the content game or not.
Today we officially launched MSN Filter. Filter has been kind of a labor of love for me as a pet project for us to create more of a dialog with the online community and build a closer relationship with consumers. The model is essentially Nanopublishing as originally championed by Nick Denton at Gawker Media and Weblogs Inc. Both great blog networks with their own audiences that they’ll continue to be successful with.
Days like this are why I love to work at Microsoft. There is nothing more rewarding than watching an idea become a reality through the hard work of a dedicated team who care about making a difference. The people at MSN care about making a difference.
Of course, Yahoo has the same internal debate going on. I’ve heard “we’re in the content business” and “we’re not in the content business” from different folks over at Yahoo for the past year. The issue for Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft is that if they are in the content business should publishers like the New York Times, Weblogs, Inc. or Gawker support their services. It’s a touchy debate, but at the end of the day it’s not a zero sum game. We’re going to test the Yahoo Publisher Network on Joystiq even though it competes with Yahoo’s GamesDomain for example. Now, if I was IGN or CNET I might look at this differently and say that Google is a better partner since they don’t compete. For us, we’re so niche that I’d rather have these folks on our side at least that is my thinking right now.
Now, I’m thrilled MSN is in the game because at some point soon I’m sure they will make these Filter sites and/or Start.com the default homepage for tens of millions of MSN/IE users. Tens of millions of folks will reach our blogs via Microsoft’s RSS reader and meta-blogs. The alternativewhich we are living with right nowis our blogs are no where to be found on the MSN, Yahoo, Google or AOL home pages. Having these big players move blogs to the top level will be huge for blogging.
Right now the big four are all dancing with the idea of putting blogs on the top levelI can’t wait to see which company has the vision to do it first. Google might do it with search, Microsoft might do it with Filter/Start.com Yahoo could put a “add Engadget to your My Yahoo page” on the top level, and AOL has got a pretty slick RSS reader and it would be sick if they connected it to AIM and ICQ.
Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Please do it!!!
The attention blogs are getting from advertisers and Internet portals is a dream I can’t wait to see what happens to the blogosphere when one of there folks pulls the trigger and puts blogs on the front page.
Which one of the big four do you think will put blogs on the front page first: Google, Yahoo, MSN/Microsoft, or AOL? Please pace your answer in the comments below. Which company do you think is the most pro-blogosphere?
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