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Advice site gets MSN nod

Microsoft's Web portal signs an agreement to offer online advice from start-up Keen on topics including tarot card reading, personal finance and computers.

Microsoft feels your pain.

The software giant's MSN Web portal Friday signed an agreement to offer online advice powered by start-up Keen. MSN will link to Keen's home page, where people can then choose from a list of topics offered by the company.

Keen is a service that connects advice seekers with "personal advisors," formerly deemed "experts." For a per-minute fee, Keen connects people looking for counsel to people specializing in certain topics, such as tarot card reading, personal finance and computers.

The 130-person, San Francisco-based company has said in the past that it wanted to partner with portal sites to boost its user base. However, it ran into criticism when eBay users complained that Keen's advisors were questionable in their knowledge and motives. Some Keen experts were found offering advice about their own goods on the auction block.

For Microsoft, Keen becomes the latest service to strike a deal for exposure on MSN, one of the most highly trafficked sites on the Net.