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Spaces.live.com – nice updates in functionality, still room to grow

July 19, 2007

As a blogger on spaces.live.com, I’m happy with the improvements that just happened with an update to Spaces, and I’m also still eager for a few more.

Here is what I have noticed today:

What’s New

The URI for What’s new is mostly great.  For me it is rrelyea.home.services.spaces.live.com.  No QueryString!  Yeah!  "home.services" is a bit weird, but I can live with it…

The useful things for me on What’s new:

  • A link to any messages that people may have sent
  • A link to any friend requests …
  • A "Views today: ####" summary, which links to stats (the same old stats interface)
  • A list of the 10 latest comments, with links that take me to the article.  It used to take me to the article in edit mode..and it was difficult to figure out the URI of the article, etc….  I’m a little frustrated that this list is limited to 10 comments.  If they scroll off the bottom, I now need to go check every comment on every post I’ve ever done.

Your Space

When I am logged in and editing my Space the URI for "Your Space" is great: rrelyea.spaces.live.com.

I don’t need to change these types of settings very often…there is a "More" drop down button that can navigate me to my Blog page…which has the nice URI of http://rrelyea.spaces.live.com/blog.  I still occassionally see some bad querystrings (like when I click on summary: http://rrelyea.spaces.live.com/?_c11_BlogPart_BlogPart=summary&_c=BlogPart) …but I’m sure they will be cleaned up over time.

I suspect there are a few tweaks to the blog page…is the summary/entries view new?  Don’t know.

List Editing

I think they have added the feature to change the order on items in my list.  Very helpful.  http://robrelyea.com/wpf/books was forced to have an alphabetical ordering, if I recall, even though I wanted Petzold’s 3d book to come after the general WPF books.

Big Issues Still Left

I’m happy with Spaces as a blog engine.  I enjoy using Windows Live Writer to author my posts.  I still have 4 major issues that I’d like to see the Spaces team improve.

1) URIs for my posts are hideous…and are an embarrassment to share.  They don’t communicate any idea about the topic or date about my post — in fact some times when I past them in to some blog comment tools, the blog comment tools interpret the "!" as the end of the URI, and so the uri isn’t even functional.  I could go on…

2) Stats could be much improved.  I’d like to see more per posting details.  I’d like to understand where people are linking to me from, etc…

3) It would be nice if the title of every post was a hyperlink to its permalink. (update: Karen on the spaces team told me that when you are on the rrelyea.spaces.live.com/blog page, the titles are hyperlinks.  That is great…I just want that to be the case even when I am viewing one article.  My common scenario is that I want to share a link to an article.  I like copying the title to the clipboard with the URI wrapped inside it, rather than doing 2 copies, a ctrl-k, etc…)

4) Searchability of my posts on Live.Com – I want to use "Relyea" with other search terms to help find when I talked about a specific topic.  Live.com doesn’t do as good a job as Google with that.  I’m not sure if Spaces could do something better here…or if Live Search should.

Bloggers/Readers: What are your thoughts?

If you blog on Spaces, please make sure to tell me and the Spaces team what you’d like to see them do to improve!  If you read my blog on Spaces, is there anything I could do or Spaces should do to make it a better experience

From → Microsoft

7 Comments
  1. Pavan permalink

    On many occasions the images on some of my posts just disappear and instead an image that I used on a recent blog post appears. I tried correcting it a few times but gave up later. Not sure if anyone else has seen this issue.

  2. Rob permalink

    Pavan-
    I\’ve never seen that…but I don\’t use a ton of pictures.  If it still repros from now, please ping me and I\’ll forward the issue to the Spaces team.
    Thanks, Rob 

  3. Michael permalink

    I agree. I think the new updates are pretty good. Although very slow. I posted a major wishlist for Live Spaces on my blog ( http://msftandthefuture.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!1CA34B674D84900!224.entry) although it didn\’t really make it in this update. I tried contacting them but I got no replies. So tell me what you think.

  4. Arthur permalink

    Re: The search, try this:
    http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=meta%3Asearch.pt%28blogs%29+site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Frrelyea.spaces.live.com+search&form=QBRE
     
    Replacing "search" in the query with the  term you want to search for.
     
    I\’m actually in the process of putting together a gadget to do this.

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