I Want My MSN (SearchBlog Updated)

    October 20, 2005

Most of the big search engines have an official blog. Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask Jeeves (they’ve still got the butler) all have their blogs where post new and interesting information about the world from their search engine eyes. All post fairly regularly except one, MSN.

Sometime the blogs meander a bit, like in the case of Google’s search for a chef. The only problem I had is they wouldn’t bring me samples of the recipes they posted. In pretty much all cases, they put up content in the blogs relevant to what’s going on with them. The problem is some blogs get more posts than others. Google posts the most often, no question. In a little unscientific comparison, MSN barely posts at all.

MSN has posted about 15 times since August 12th. Ask Jeeves posts go back to August 22nd and they post about 12 times but their posts have become more regular as time has past and their posts are certainly more extensive. While the information MSN does post is generally good, it’s generally not frequent enough to be a tremendous help.

An interesting way to look at this is the approach to public relations of these companies. The most frequent poster on these search blogs, Google, generally doesn’t make as much use of traditional PR tools like the news release. Microsoft uses their PressPass section frequently for all kinds of information.

The jist of it comes down to looking for information and ease of use. MSN’s approach of not updating their blog is a negative in many respects. While there are bloggers like Robert Scoble or Yahoo’s Jeremy Zawodny, they’ve often said they’re not official mouthpieces for their companies and that’s fine. They often put up other content other than what they’re company is saying. While PressPass is quite thorough, sometimes it requires some digging to find what you’re after.

If you’re a tech company, especially in the search/portal business and you’ve got an official blog, use it. It allows your fans to see what’s going on. Microsoft has their Gadget blog and gets update more frequently than the search blog does. October 7th was the last day MSN’s blog got updated. If you want it to be a reliable place for people to look for information regarding all things MSN, then it should be treated that way.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.