Thursday, October 20, 2011

Brazil & America, According to MSN is a page I see frequently everyday.  It is my home page, I go to it for news, and every time I log out of my email that is where I wind up.  Yet, if I log my husband out his email I go to msn as well - but the Brazilian version of it. 

I can't help but notice some differences. 

American MSN headings, from left to right:
News, Entertainment, Sports, Money, Lifestyle, Local, Auto, Halloween, More

Top Stories:
Steve Jobs Bio, Gadhafi's Death, 911 Calls from Animal Incident (in Ohio)

Brazilian MSN headings, from left to right:
Autos, Money, Meet-ups, Entertainment, Sports, Newspaper, Style, Horoscope, Games, News...

Top Stories:
Selena Gomez, Movie Trailer for London Boulevard, Music Video from Coldplay

Look at that.  The top one has "IMPORTANT" written all over it.  The bottom -- full of smiles and color.

One could say Americans are too serious (Gadhafi & Tigers running loose?  Steve Jobs' illness?).  Or we might look at the Brazilian page (Selena Gomez?  Autos and Entertainment before News?) and say Brazilians aren't serious enough.  You know what I say?  I am happy to have both in my life.  I like the serious side of life, being in the know.  But I also like focusing on the light hearted things out there. 

It is important to note that beyond this first page you will find the light hearted and humorous on the American page (and a lot of money saving tips, which interestingly enough I did not see on the Brazilian page) and a lot of serious, world-news items on the Brazilian page.  Neither group is one way or the other, to be sure.  I just find it interesting that when the Powers That Be at MSN in either country decide what would be most popular, this is what they came up with.  One more thing that shows me that culture is more than food/clothes/language deep.


  1. I really enjoyed reading your post, which made me curious about MSN Japan. lol. It was even more serious than the US. And I also noticed that American recipe sites have so many desserts recipes being featured while Japan's recipe sites are all about what to make for dinner. I thought it's quite interesting. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Wow! I didn't even think about what other countries might have/not have. But really, I am not surprised, as we know Americans are on one of the, um... plus sized nations while I have yet to meet a fat Japanese person. Now I wonder how all the countries compare. Others who read this comment, find out your country for us and share please!

  3. Interesting how each homepage is customized! I never really thought about it, but I suppose each country has its own preferences and the like so now it makes sense. It makes me want to explore and see the other variations!

  4. "One more thing that shows me that culture is more than food/clothes/language deep."

    You're so right. There are those "intangible" wide-ranging differences that we may not even consciously perceive until we go back to the U.S. after spending a lot of time in Brazil (or vice versa). The MSN homepage is a great example of it!

    I remember two things that leaped out at me during my last trip to the U.S. were:
    - So many more food commercials on American TV
    - American TV humor being more vulgar/sexual/potty humor, and Brazilian TV humor often being "goofy" humor (think "Zorra Total" or "Adventuras do Didi")


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