Microsoft Recruiting Paid Bloggers
The MSN recruiting ads began appearing on various journalism career sites such as Mediabistro.com and JournalismJobs.com late last week. The ads sought editors to write and produce between 5 and 10 blog posts a day; review user submissions; and monitor comments and feedback.
Rumblings of MSN's planned blogs haven't yet reached the blogosphere as of Wednesday evening, but some bloggers contacted by OnlineMediaDailywere skeptical that MSN could effectively produce blogs.
CooperKatz PR strategist Steve Rubel pointed out that MSN has tried to get into the content game before, with Mungo Park--a travel site that folded in 1998. Mungo Park promoted MSN's travel service by sending celebrities on expensive adventure travel jaunts, and publishing accounts of the trips. "They decided they were going to work with partners who are best of breed, and bring in best of breed content, which I think is smart," Rubel said. "Now it seems they might be trying to hire writers on the cheap." Rubel qualified his statements by saying that he hadn't yet heard anything definite about the form the putative MSN blogs will take.
Blogger baron Nick Denton, owner of the popular blog network Gawker Media, was similarly skeptical of the move. "The idea doesn't seem particularly interesting or new," he said.
Denton acknowledged that MSN's blogs could compete with his own, but only if MSN recruits talented writers. "Anyone who can get good people to write for them and traffic is a factor, but those things are really very hard to do," he said.