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Microsoft copies Digg with new MSN Reporter February 24, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Microsoft.

We recently reported on the controversy surrounding Yahoo’s digg-like Suggestion Boards. Digg enthusiasts complain about Yahoo! copying digg’s voting feature.

The fact is that Yahoo’s Suggestion Boards is not a new digg service, i.e. a site where users can suggest and vote for blog posts and articles. However, MSN’s new MSN Reporter is!

According to TechCrunch Microsoft is testing its new Digg in the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway. Given that Pandia is located in Oslo, we took a look at the Norwegian version. It is veeery much like digg. The lay out is different, the color scheme is brighter, the selection of topics is wider, but as regards the main functions it is the same.

Over the fold MSN Reporter presents the three most popular articles right now. They are marked with two “bullet points”, a green one for the number of votes and a red one for the number of “negative votes” (”Vote it down!”, like digg’s “Bury it!”). Then there is a big green “Add a news story!” button followed by a list of categories:

Bil, Økonomi, Underholdning, Helse, Innenriksnyheter, Utenriksnyheter, Meninger, Politikk, Reise, Spill, Sport, Teknologi, Morsomme nyheter


Cars, Economy, Entertainment, Health, National News, Foreign News, Opinions, Politics, Travel, Games, Sports, Technology, Fun news

When submitting a story you are also asked to provide keywords (”Nøkkelord”), and it is possible to search for relevant stories using the keyword directory on the front page. At the bottom of the front page, you will find a text box presenting the most recently added stories. Tabs let you select lists of the “Most Popular”, “Least Popular” (!), “Climbers”, “Falling stories”, and “Comments”. For each story there are links to the Windows Live blog service, a “mail this to a friend” feature and an “Add comment” button.

It is interesting to note that MSN is already linking to the most popular “Reporter” stories on its Norwegian home page (see under “Mest populært på MSN Reporter nå”).

Unlike digg, this is a service not only for aggressive geeks. The point is to attract a much wider audience, which is why we believe it may succeed. This is definitely an efficient way of harvesting the “wisdom of crowds”, and the level of activity we see at the Norwegian site is already high.

But we really don’t get the branding policy: Why is it called MSN Reporter and not Windows Live Reporter? It seems Microsoft is reversing its controversial policy of branding all services with the Windows Live label.

See also: MSN Reporter – A Digg Competitor from MSN (SE Watch)
MSN enter social news arena with Digg competitor – MSN Reporter (LiveSide)

Source > PandiaSearchEngineNews

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