MSN proves actionable corporate atmosphere

18 Feb

Microsoft was one of my favorite companies we attended because I was envisioning the organization from both a corporate culture-level and a source of news. Its team structure promoted interaction with the white boards in each room, and employees seem to have their communication skills down perfectly for an effective business environment.

This is proven by the pure fact that MSN News was an action plan and idea in July, and fully fleshed out and developed in October. In the advertising world, companies often leave cutting-edge ideas as theories and beta versions for way too long, but seeing Microsoft be actionable in its ideas proved the validity of its brand name. MSN News continues to follow its mission, and knows not to stray off.

The MSN News model capitalizes on two human insights that will assist in its sustainability.

  • Readers want easy-to-use design. This is enforced with the user experience research and interface, but proven when moving around the site. User and advertiser feedback is respected and quickly incorporated.
  • News organizations must acknowledge media as it is shared today. This discussion arose around the rumors page, with the rationale that users will discover and tweet this information anyway, so the news must 

Microsoft also gave us the excellent educational opportunity seeing dashboards like the Demand Dashboard they showed us. This proves the constant application of the intimidating term—big data—in today’s industry. The fact that Allison, a woman we met, takes the time and effort to produce summary reports 3 times a day shows that they are trying to make meaning from each day’s analytics. I look forward to watching MSN News continue to innovate and observing how MSN as a website diminishes (or limits the use) of its Fox & NBC partnerships and starts sharing its own content across its platforms.

To read more tips I learned from Microsoft and Steve Cvengros, click here to my blog post on the Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) blog.

-Katie Artemas

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