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MSN APIs

By - September 09, 2005

MSN is offering several new APIs as part of its web platform strategy, the most visible is its search API. More at SEW. Scoble, Microsoft’s informal blogger in chief, has a riff on what MSFT is trying to accomplish, or should try to accomplish, here.

Here’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Google (and MSN and Yahoo) are in the audience aggregation business. Huh? That means that they need to do things to draw in large audiences (so they can sell advertising to those audiences).

This job is very similar to a music group. Say, like, U2. Now, U2, if they are good, will see their audiences continue to get better. Here’s a hint. U2 is good and sells out huge stadiums. But, what if they do something that pisses off the audience? Well, then, the audience will get smaller as those customers try to find somewhere else to spend their money. U2’s job is to thrill their audiences (and they spend a LOT of time and money doing that with everything from lights, to sound, to special effects).

But, does U2 really care about what the Black Eyed Peas are doing?

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3 thoughts on “MSN APIs

  1. David Brake says:

    Umm… If I understand you rightly then your analogy is a little wonky. Lots of people listen to several different bands. Most people stick with one search engine for a long time. Music preferences are based on taste while search engine preferences are (or are considered to be) based on user perceptions of excellence. I can try to persuade a Yahoo user that Google is better because it has less ads, better coverage, relevance etc. But there would almost certainly not be any point trying to persuade a U2 fan not to listen to U2 any more because the Black Eyed Peas are better. At best they would just start listening to both.

  2. David Brake says:

    … sorry I meant to say Scoble’s analogy is wonky.

  3. Lots of people are fans of a single musical group too. Steve Gillmor is a fan of the Beatles, even though that band hasn’t played together in, what, 30+ years?

    But, your point is good. But, here’s a hint: I use multiple search engines all the time. I use Feedster and Google and MSN and Yahoo. I’m a weirdo, I know, but there are things each engine does well.

    But the future of Google or MSN or Yahoo isn’t gonna be the search engine. Look at all the moves each has been making. How many have been in search?