The MSN Spaces Ghetto

I’ve been puttering around a few MSN Spaces Blogs, and I have to say — MSN Spaces just doesn’t get it . . . 

Why would any blogger use a site that: A) edits/censors what you can post; and 2) uses the same monopoly tactics Microsoft is so (in)famous for in their approach?

First, there’s stuff like this:


I cannot tell what the photo was, but the rest of the site is pretty innocuous. (I’m waiting to hear what from the blogger as to what the offending pornography was).

I guess that’s why they call it MSN Spaces, and not Your Spaces.

Then, there’s the requirement for posting a comment that

"You must sign in using a Microsoft .NET Passport to publish a comment to this website.  Don’t have a Passport? Get one today"

What the net result of that stricture is that no one but MSN Spaces clients posts comments! MSN Spaces is a Ghetto of only its on kind, and no free wheeling "cross blogging" taking  palce. Indeed, all of the comments — not most, but all — are form other MSN Spaces users.

Somehow, one doesn’t quite imagine that the Borg will make for a particularly good blog host.

If they want to be a ghetto, that’s up to them — but its also why I have decided NOT TO LINK to any MSN Spaces blogs . . .


UPDATE:  June 17, 2005  6:10am

The blogger who posted the offending photo responds:   

i replaced the offending picture with the one that you saw
and blogged (the pic is text that says "the picture that used to be
here was deemed to be pornographic in nature by msn and has been
removed").  i put that one there as a bit of satire..  to follow up on
that, a friend modified the original offending pic with this:!1pJCVUf4BCFyG39kVip_XfcA!1842.entry

it’s funny how it works in spaces..  you can have all sorts of explicit
content until someone hits that "report abuse" button and then they
come down on you hard.  never mind that my blog was about experiences
in spain and the culture there..

The original picture had nudity, and that’s what got it banned. 

Which does nothing to answer the question of content editing and communtiy standards "approval." If a large part of blogging’s attraction  is the lack of a formal editor, who wants big brother looking over their shoulder?

There’s lots of choices in blogging software, typepad, blogger, radioland. I couldn’t be bothered with the restrictions and regulations of MSN Spaces.

Prediction: Without the advantage of using its OS monopoly (or its Productivity software monopoly) to leverage its sales ansd marketing, combined with onerous user policies, MSN Spaces remains a minor player in the blogosphere .  . .


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  1. Doc Dan commented on Jun 16

    This week’s cover story in US News & World Report is about China. There’s a paragraph about the MS blogging product that was approved by the government so they can automate the censoring of dangerous words such as “freedom”, “democracy”, “human rights”.

  2. Barry Ritholtz commented on Jun 16

    As much as I trash the Borg-like Seattle behemoth, Google is no better.

    I would have expected more from a company that declared “We’re not Evil”

  3. royce commented on Jun 16

    Regarding Google’s declaration, doesn’t Satan also declare that he’s not evil?

    Would it surpise anyone if a big expose came out that Google has a test database that links users’ search results to their ss#’s, along with satellite photos of their homes and their credit card balances?

  4. Michael commented on Jun 16

    I totally agree with you about Spaces. Funny that Walt Mossberg gave Spaces such a great review the other day. He came at it from an ease of use for a newbie standpoint though and didn’t address any of the things you mentioned.

    So does this mean you’re not linking to the venerable SquawkBlog? :-)

  5. deadites commented on Jun 17

    The irony of this whole situation is they let someone who is clearly being a racist and propagating hate, keep his vile content in full public viewing, despite numerous complaints..

    But post a joke, or even something that is culturally related like my buddy Peabody did, and wham, here come the MSN police!

    Msn Ghetto Spaces… it might be time to move out of the ghetto soon.

  6. peabody commented on Jun 17

    yep, it’s going to be time to move out of the ghetto soon enough.

  7. carla commented on Aug 4

    I myself love msn spaces. The only problem i have is that others can comment and not leave a link back to them.

  8. NabeelC commented on Dec 5


    I think you are trashing MSN Spaces unnecessarily. I am not a lover of Microsoft nor do I want you to be. But when trashing something, you need to be objective and not let your personal bias control you.

    What MSN Spaces provides is the same standard as everyone else. For example, Blogger(Google) also has a button on top “Flag” which reports questionable post from site visitor. Its the same with other online Blog tool like LiveJournal etc.

    As for comments, MSN Spaces does allow anonymous user to comment post but it lets the blog owner to set the setting. And the setting that the owner chose is “only let a registed user post comment”. I use Blogger and did the same on mine. Why? Because witout it, you have spammers comment 1000’s post with links to their porn site and then you have to spend hours to clean it up. Its the same with other Blogging tool/service.

    What you personally do in TypePad with comment is force people to enter their email address and also “preview” their comment before posting. This is one way of stopping spammer, but this process wont last long once spammers figure out the workaround. I am more worried about spammers extracting the email addresses

    Exception to this is TypePad and Movable Type, but they don’t count. Why? Because TypePad is a paid service while MSN Spaces/Blogger/etc etc are not. Movable Type is self setup/hosting (you need to set up mySQL, CGI, Perl on Unix/Linux) and the majority bloggers are not geeks. In fact

  9. Barry Ritholtz commented on Dec 5

    I understand your issue.

    I am not an MSN Spaces user. Because of this, I cannot post comments on MSN blogs

    Perhaps its due to my bad experiences with anything else MSFT has asked me to register for . . .

  10. Deborah commented on Jun 24


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