Microsoft Montage curates the web for you: but why?


We can’t get enough curation these days – and tech leviathan Microsoft has just heaved itself onto the bandwagon with a little enterprise called Montage announced at LeWeb yesterday.

It’s a Magazine-Like, Topic-Based Web App, where you tap a topic in and it whizzes up data about that topic into a smart and pretty magazine style format. The idea is that it makes the internet easier to read and more fun.

We covered social curation a little while ago, and this is also curation, but curation by algorithm. (And yes, that is basically what Google does.)

The end result looks a bit like a site you’ve created yourself – being composed of compartmentalised widgets that you can fill with feeds and info from around the internet. That’s one above for the architect Buckminster Fuller. It’s like a visual scrapbook they enthuse.

Microsoft say:
“Montage is a flexible web-based service that makes it fun and easy to create and share a visual album of the web on the topics you care about. You can design your Montage around any topic you can imagine by adding content that pulls information from a variety of sources, including RSS feeds, Twitter, Bing News, and YouTube. Montage is an expression of you.”

Once again, I find myself struggling to understand this – what’s the point? I know this is a red hot area, but I still just don’t get social curation. You could link to 3 of those articles on Twitter.

Who is it for? is it just for you – like a nicely presented RSS feed? but in which case you’ll get more info in a blog reader and more variety of stuff from Twitter. Is it your friends? why would they look at yours when they could make their own pretty easily, or just google something themselves..

I like this video below, but it doesn’t exactly convince me..

Related: Social Curation: What it is, why it’s hot right now and 10 sites that do it

Anna Leach


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