MSN Filters… interesting, but who's doing the filtering?

August 7, 2005

Saw this over at Jason Calacanis’ blog and checked out MSN Filters a little bit.

Interesting stuff, MSN is publishing blogs that point to cool news and tidbits, just like Jason’s network of sites. In Jason’s post, he’s pretty excited about Microsoft getting into the game because it means they are taking blogs seriously. Check out this quote:

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 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 alternative—which we are living with right now—is 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.

While from a user standpoint, I’m also thrilled, but if I were Jason, I would be weary. Is MSN going to put Engadget or Autoblog on their default list of feeds? Why would they, once the corresponding MSN Filter site is up and running? Even if those sites are options in the next MSN homepage, if I were MSN, I’d definitely make the MSN Filter sites the default – and we all know how often people switch the default…

My only other concern is who’s doing the filtering for these MSN Filter sites? If I subscribe to the Technology MSN Filter site, am I only going to hear about how Windows Mobile Smartphones are the bomb and how Portable Windows Media Players are awesome? Am I going to get linked to unbiased reviews of awesome Nokia or Apple products? Sure, people in the community can submit content to the filter channels, but at the end of the day, who’s the moderator?

I wanna see an FAQ where these questions are addressed before I subscribe to these MSN Filters and unsubscribe from WIN sites 😛 In the meantime, I’ll add the MSN Technology Filter to my aggregator and monitor the results I’m being fed…

UPDATE: Jason Calacanis left some comments in response to this post and added a trackback in his original post. He informed me of Engadget’s features, podcasts and other content – I’ll have to keep my eye out for those 🙂 I’ve probably just missed the extra content since Engadget has such a high volume of posts.

And it looks like I’ve been Scobled 🙂


No Responses Yet to “MSN Filters… interesting, but who's doing the filtering?”

  1. Jason Says:

    It is pretty clear from the Filter sites that MSN understands that blogging is about linking out to cool stuff. Microsoft is clearly looking to use this as a way to send people outside of MSN to other sites with cool editorial… if Engadget and Autoblog have the best editorial I’m sure they will send us a ton of traffic.

    If you don’t like out as a blogger you’ll never get anywhere… it’s all about linking out to good things. the more you give, the more you get… so to speak.

    not worried about Microsoft jumping into the pool at all… just validates our model even more!

  2. Often the best stories are those “voted the best” by other people.

    It can be done by linking, which is slow (search engines rely on this), or tagging, which is fast and better for news stories – is a good example.

  3. markjen Says:

    Hi Jason – Totally agree that links are crucial to the operation of the blogosphere.

    However, as I read Engadget, I notice that most of the posts are actually just summaries of news items and links to the full feature articles. There would be no reason for the MSN Technology Filter to link to Engadget – they are providing their own summary of the news item and will link directly to the news item itself.

    MSN jumping into the space definitely validates your model, but it also means you’re now in direct competition with Microsoft. Not something to take lightly in my opinion – if you look at past track records, MSFT doesn’t play nicely with others when they join a marketplace. 😉

  4. jason Says:

    Engadget does a ton of features and breaks a lot of news. I can understand you thinking it just summaries since there are so many posts per day… but did a little deeper and you’ll see a ton of features, podcasts, interviews, and breaking news.

  5. markjen Says:

    Ah sorry about that Jason, I didn’t know there was all that other content as well. I’ll have to keep my eye out for that… I’ll update my post when I get a chance. Thanks!

  6. paul Says:

    The Tech Filter, like Weblogsinc is just another webzine attempting to ride the blog wave.

  7. markjen Says:

    Hi Paul – Are they just another webzine or are they a new form of moderated aggregation? Either way, I find these sites extremely valuable; I don’t have time to scour the web for the latest news/rumors/products in the technology or automotive industries. With Engadget, Autoblog and these new MSN Filters, I don’t have to.

    As a side note, these sources are actually starting to replace traditional media outlets for me. Ever notice how a story on Engadget shows up on Slashdot or days later? I’m actually considering unsubscribing from – almost every story that appears there is something I’ve already read elsewhere on blogs…

  8. paul Says:

    A blog is a person publishing on a subject that he/she is knowledgeable about.

    MSN’s Filter and Weblogsinc are publications that employ writers.

    There are many great blogs out there, go out and get to know a hundred or so…

  9. Aye, Mark. I unsubscribed from quite some time ago for the same reason you mention.

    I’ve also taken the aggregation and filtering a step further — I listen to the Engadget and Diggnation podcasts more than I read either site. They’re a “best of” I can take in during my morning commute, in an entertaining way.

    (I still page-down through Engadget to look at the pretty pictures and pause when something truly cool catches my eye.)

  10. UKguy Says:

    Mark you accurately called it Jason Calacanis is full of it. Weblogsinc Engadget has been caught red handed on several occasions taking stories and refusing to credit the appropriate sources. Until recently the entire network didn’t have links to article in the RSS feeds! The Webloginc sites are practically link farms for Google ad sense.

  11. […] Microsoft Monitor – Neowin – C|NET – Red Herring – Dave Winer – Om Malik – Darren Rowse – Mark Jen – Mike Torres 1 & 2

    Posted: 8/10/2005 by Nathan Weinberg in: General Blogs MSN


  12. Seemingly this filter is as someone said, employing good writers and filtering poor stuff. I think it is a good idea and hopefully, they can tweek it even better in the future.

  13. markjen Says:

    Hmm… I’m not sure if “Brian fast loan guy” is a comment spammer or not. His comment is actually on topic, but his URL is obviously spam.

  14. […] Jason Calcanis, Paid Content, Richard MacManus, MyMarkup, Dave Winer, Om Malik, Microsoft Watch, Plaxoed!, Robert Scoble, Steven Hartwright, Steve Rubel, John Walkenbach, Paul Scrivens, ProBlogger, Technoogle, Guillaume’s Tech Blog Tags: msnfilter, filter, blogs, blogging, gawker, weblogsinc., microsoft, techcrunch, web2.0, RSS Categories: Company & Product Profiles | Bookmark this post with […]

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