Thanks to former colleague Mike Goldberg, now with Datran Media, my next piece in MediaPost is on MSN Search & Win, where MSN desperately tries to bribe (err, I mean, reward) people who use its search engine.
One curiosity: the site is redirected via magicsearch-2.com. Checking the WHOIS information, that domain’s owned by someone in France from the Hook Network who seemingly has no connection to Microsoft. I wrote him.
Emmanuel Boutte, Hook Network Director, promptly wrote back, "Actually, Hook Network is the company in charge of the technical realization of the ‘msnsearchandwin’ websites, at the international level, for the account of MSN."
Mystery solved. You can sleep better now.