Tuesday, 7 December 2004

MSN Spaces

So I decided to see what the fuss about MSN Spaces, Microsoft's new blogging product, was about, so I visited the blog of Jay Fluegel, lead programming manager of the product. I thought the freaky part was that Fluegel seemed really, really excited about meeting Steve Ballmer ("Best parts of the night besides the Sonics win: 3) Having a conversation with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer!!!") Um - should someone really be that excited to meet the head honcho of one's firm?

On to the blogs themselves. What's with the look and feel of the sites? I've looked at the sites for Fluegel and Michael Connolly, another programming manager, and the backgrounds are seriously garish. Note to all intending to use this service: I find black on green immensely hard to read.

Also, Connolly notes:
So, we need to do what we can to make our platform available for people to use in the way they like, but we want to keep wildly inappropriate stuff outside of public forums.
How do we do this?
Well, mainly, we ask for your help. If you think something is indecent or inappropriate, there is a “Report Abuse” link at the bottom of every Space. When you submit a problem, we have real live humans looking at your report, and they make an analysis of whether someone has crossed the line.
Personally, I prefer the laissez-faire attitude of Blogger - this seems to suggest that MSN Spaces will pander to the easily offended. I'm thinking they'll err on the live-and-let-live side, but still it makes me dubious. Particularly when lines like this creep into the blog:
Not everyone on the internet subscribes to the same “netiquette” that some of us who have been around for awhile know and understand. (emphasis added)
Sounds condescending. Hey, I've been on the Net for more than 10 years, and I'm still not sure I subscribe to the same Netiquette. There's nothing wrong with keeping it nice, but it's weird to suggest that those who want to use swear words in their blog titles must be inexperienced newbies.

Right now, it looks like MSN has some people signing up (it does have some nice features, including integration with MSN Messenger and RSS 2.0 support, but it lacks any means of adding a site counter or any HTML counter, apparently), but I don't think we'll see anything more than the usual "TeEENs who WrItE LIKE thiS ke ke ke" blogs for a bit. Not saying it won't happen, but certainly not within 24 hours.



Okay, not 24 hours. It took 5 days. MSN Spaces now boasts 5.3 million blogs. More than any other service that I'm aware of...


So 5.3 million MSN Messenger users clicked 'OK' by accident? I'm not surprised.

hee.


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http://sevencastles.blogchina.com
A Shanghai blog featuring news and views of great interest


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