MSN Spaces Blog Service Review
This review started nearly 10 hours ago when MSN Spaces first went live, and its taken this long to complete due to the continual downtime of the site. It was originally going to be longer and in more depth, but I’d didn’t have all day and night. But I’ll try not to be biased in the review.
After eventually getting through the timeouts, errors and 2 .NET accounts I finally progressed past the sign up and to the choice of two options, customise or “go to your space”. I picked go to your space and was presented with the layout and editing options, similar to some WordPress templates available. Content seems to be divided by blog, photos, “lists” and music, with a main composite page of all four.
Settings allow fairly simple choices: a tag line for the blog, how many posts, categories etc.. what is interesting is that the ability to receive trackbacks to post is set by default to other MSN Space blogs only and user intervention is required to open this setting to all. Much to Dave’s horror the ping to weblogs.com is all set at standard. In one positive the ability to email from a mobile phone is offered as a standard feature.
Customisation is limited to 15 rather boring templates with no ability to provide custom layout or CSS.
Adding a blog entry is through a simple WYSIWYG interface.
Other features of the site include profile boxes and updated sites, none of which can be removed and in the case of profiles requires handing over more information to Microsoft.
Whilst some are saying that Microsoft will help grow the market, which is possible, this service will do little to provide the current and future bloggers with anything other mass produced, standardised rubbish which can be found at our test site http://spaces.msn.com/members/blogherald/