With everyone buzzing about green issues these days, MSN launched a green channel for its network of sites this week. The channel serves as an aggregator for all of MSN and MSNBC’s environmental news with additional content from outside sources like Environmental International, TreeHugger.com and The Daily Green.
MSN Green contains equal parts fluff (photos of polar bears and children in the rainforest intended to tug at the heart-strings) and substance (news stories on global warming and consumption of natural resources). As can be expected from a major online portal, there’s a pretty well-rounded mix of content that I think will appeal to people with various levels of interest in the environment. I’m not sure that MSN Green is going to change anyone’s opinion or instigate major change, but it fulfills its use as an information provider.
Visitors to the site are invited to “Take action now!”, although that basically involves taking environmental quizzes and signing online petitions. Still, the quizzes are kind of fun. I calculated my Eco-Footprint with a quiz from Conservation International. After checking that off, among other things, I recycle aluminum cans and I don’t litter “in my spare time” (are there people that do?), I learned that I am an Eco-Apprentice — I’ve made a good start, but I have a little ways to go.
The green channel has not really been updated since the launch at the beginning of the week, although this is just the first week and they are dealing with limited content. Overall, the presentation of the information works well and doesn’t seem too dumbed down or agenda driven. However, MSN Green won’t accomplish anything if people can’t find it. There’s no obvious way to access the channel from the MSN homepage; it appears someone neglected to add it to the channel directory at the top. Nice job, MSN.