Saturday, June 04, 2005

MSN's start.com/3 is out

MSN's next experiment with a customizable home page, start.com/3, is out.

This latest version looks like a combination of My Google and My Yahoo. It has the simplicity and drag-and-drop of My Google (in IE, at least) and some of the additional functionality of My Yahoo (such as including any RSS feed).

It's a nice effort, on the same level as the new My Google or the venerable My Yahoo. But, as Mark Fletcher said, imitating My Yahoo might not be the best strategy given the problems My Yahoo has with information overload.

Bizarrely, when you first go to start.com/3, they throw up an annoying list of questions you have to answer before you get access. What were they thinking? "Gee, this product is too easy to use. What can we do to make it more painful?"

Update: Steve Rider at MSN talks a little about Start.com and where they want to go with it. [Found on Findory]

2 comments:

Alex Bosworth said...

They are trying to get the cache of Google by making their page 'elite'

that's why they hide the url and make it http://www.start.com/myw3b/

I find their product unsatisfactory, I prefer the bloglines approach to reading blogs.

However what really annoys me is if you press enter after you fill in one of their input boxes, it throws a really bad error that destroys your javascript session. I'm so used to hitting enter very quickly after filling in an input box, I've hit that problem like 5 times just using the page.

Alex Bosworth
Blog: http://sourcelabs.com/ajb

TopRank said...

I agree with Alex, it was a peculiar decision to add the quiz. What's the purpose of the announcement? Soft-force the use of MSN Search or announce their RSS reader?

Scoble mentioned the Start.com/3 release on Friday with a link to Channel 9 where the http://www.start.com/myw3b/ url was posted. I could not access the page then but today is fine.

I posted on start.com/3 earlier today and no, this is no Bloglines replacement by any means, but it's good to see MSN doing something.