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December 2, 2004 — Microsoft’s MSN introduced an online communication service that allows blogging and photo sharing. The free service, called MSN Spaces, was announced yesterday. With this service, consumers can create and maintain their own personal space on the Web - complete with shared photo albums and personal music lists.
"Communicating with others is the No. 1 thing people do online," said Blake Irving, corporate vice president for the MSN Communication Services and Member Platform Group. "As widely used as our individual services are today, we know we can do more to help our customers communicate across the different modes they use, like blogs, instant messaging and email."
Perhaps Microsoft is catching the blogging fever that has swept the Web this year. According to a yesterday’s BBC News, "blog" was the No. 1 word looked up in 2004 on the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Blog was defined as, "a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer." MSN hopes to expand its blog space with not only reflections and comments, but music and photos. Pictures can be organized into album pages or displayed in a slide show. However, photo space is limited to a tiny 10MB, so crop those pictures to thumbnails! The MSN Spaces service is touted as an easy program to use, opening the online space to millions of novice Internet users. The program even provides 15 backgrounds and five layout templates to make creating the blog easier.
Bloggers can even control the content of their pages from their mobile phones. This includes posting pictures directly from camera phones. Users of MSN Spaces can control who visits their blogs by selecting from three levels of permission: public, contacts only, or private. According to the BBC News, the number of blogs has doubled every five and a half months for the past 18 months. The MSN Spaces service can be found at http://spaces.msn.com/