MSN tests new blog, search features

MSN on Tuesday evening is expected to quietly begin testing new features for searching and syndicating blogs, in a nod to the online publishing format.

In partnership with Moreover Technologies, Microsoft's Internet division will add features to MyMSN, its personalized Web service, that will let users find blogs and syndicate content using the RSS (Really Simple Syndication) format, according to company representatives.

People will be able to add content feeds to their MyMSN pages so they can view snippets of news and information in one place, without surfing to each individual page. Another feature will let people search for specific content contained within blogs.

"RSS is getting a lot of traction and we see it as a great tool for people to gain immediacy when it comes to information," said Brooke Richardson, MSN lead product manager.

MSN is taking a page from rival Yahoo when it comes to RSS. Last year, Yahoo began supporting the syndication format, allowing My Yahoo subscribers to search for RSS feeds and aggregate headlines from around the Web.

MSN's move highlights the growing embrace of blogging and RSS online. In a recent interview, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said even he was pondering penning his own blog.

In December, MSN launched Spaces, a beta service that lets people set up personalized blogs. At that time, the company added support for RSS 2.0, which allowed bloggers using Spaces to publish their content to a third-party aggregator.

Now, MSN will allow its 1.5 million subscribers of Spaces also to syndicate RSS feeds to their own blogs so that they can tell when friends update their content.

Source: CNet