MSN Soapbox and NineMSN User Generated Content?

A few days ago I noticed a new post on Techcrunch about a rumoured new Microsoft service to be called MSN Soapbox.

They say it’s a YouTube clone, to that I say, yeah sure it seems like it. But that’s not the interesting part to me.

The TechCrunchers were also wondering why the service was being branded as a MSN service as opposed to a Windows Live. It still could be in time.

But the thing is, MSN has several localised sites for places like Australia. We call it, NineMSN (a partnership between the local TV network Channel 9, and Microsoft). Windows Live does not have a local equivalent in this market. I doubt Nine and Microsoft would consider replacing the name NineMSN with something like NineLive (though that does sound catchy after awhile).

Anyway, my guess is this MSN Soapbox service will be localised. So over here in Australia, we can expect something like NineMSN Soapbox as the localised brand.

This goes hand in hand with the Internet Video plans by Channel 9 Australia I read in the Australian IT (read the article via Mick Stanic’s blog post last month).

Okay, so if my guesses are on the right track (only time will tell how close to the track the guesses are), we’ll be seeing user generated content (in this case videos/photos/etc) as part of NineMSN before too long. And taking a wild stab in the dark, perhaps a section on tv called “NineMSN SoapBox”. Where they will show a bit of footage from various things people have posted onto the NineMSN soapbox.

One curious thought though, given the recent outtage of Lonelygirl15 as being basically a “fraud” (by that I mean, the product of .

For more information on Lonelygirl15, have a look at the following articles:
http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2006/09/07/lonelygirl15.html
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-me-lonelygirl13sep13,0,7634766.story?coll=la-home-headlines
http://www.boingboing.net/2006/09/12/lonelygirl15_jessica.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/13/technology/13lonely.html?ex=1315800000&en=7eae0c5f86be8939&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

This is one issue that one has to be wary of with user generated content.

A quote from one of the creators of Lonelygirl15 (via the LA Times article)

“We did this with zero resources. Anybody could do what we did,” Flinders said Tuesday. The sum total of the equipment they used to create a sensation on the Internet, as well as perhaps the Web’s biggest homegrown mystery: “Two desk lamps, one broken, an open window and a $130 camera.”

So really, anyone could potentially do what they did. If you look at current mobile phones with in-built cameras, many which also have video recording capabilities and just let your imagination run wild. Would it be that difficult to create a hoax?

A bit closer to home, there’s been reports this year about rumours which start from footy (AFL) fansites and somehow end up in the mainstream media. These rumours could be potentially created as videos and uploaded onto one of these services. Then again, some could actually be real. How do you find out?

Note: Much of this post is mixed with facts and pure speculation on my part 🙂