October 31, 2006
@ 02:30 PM

I haven't really been blogging much about Windows Live over the past few weeks mainly because none of what I've wanted to write seems like it was worth an entire post. Below is a brain dump of most of the items I've wanted to blog about and haven't for whatever reasons.

  • One of the ideas I'm dabbling with now is how reputation and trust play into social networks particularly in the context of Windows Live. A couple of the things I've been considering are how to define reputation in the varous contexts we have in Windows Live and then how to represent it to users. So far, I've been looking across the various Windows Live services and seeing what they have in place today. When I first looked at a user profile in Windows Live QnA, I thought it was kind of weird that people have 3 reputation values attached to them; their Reputation which is on a five star rating system, their QnA Score and their Level. I read the explanation of scoring and the reputation system which makes sense but seemed to me to be somewhat complicated. I brought this up with Betsy Aoki who works on the team and she pointed out that this isn't much different from the XBox gamer card and people seem to understand that. I dunno, that still feels fairly complicated to me. Also, I'm not sure if the paradigm that seems to work for a video game reputation system translates well to other contexts (e.g. buyer/seller reputation in Windows Live Expo). What do you think? 

  • I heard we've released a beta of Windows Live Barcode which sounds like a pretty cool service. Unfortunately I couldn't get it to work in either IE 7 (beta 3) or Firefox 1.5. I suspect that this wasn't ready to beta but was discovered by some clever sleuths. Unfortunate.

  • I think I finally understand why the business folks would rather call the service Windows Live Local instead of Windows Live Maps. It's an attempt to indicate what the preferred user behavior should be. A maps website isn't very lucrative from a business perspective because when someone is looking for a map it means they know where they are going and ads won't be interesting to them. On the other hand, when someone goes to a local search website they are likely looking for a business near them and ads are very relevant at that point. Now I get it. However I still think we should rename the service to Windows Live Maps. :)

  • Speaking of Windows Live Maps Local, the team is once again taking feature requests for the next version of the product. My #1 feature would be the ability to overlay movie theater locations and movie times on a map. My #2 feature would be simplifying the UI and making it easier to (a) get a permalink to a map and (b) navigate to my collections. Let the team know what you think. A lot of the improvements in this version of the product came out of direct user feedback.

  • Mary Jo Foley has an article entitled Microsoft earns a mixed report card for its year-old Live initiative which gives some perspective from Microsoft outsiders on the entire "Live" initiative. As usual the #1 complaint seems to be that our consumer branding story is still very confusing with the existence of both MSN services and Windows Live services living side-by-side. Maybe we'll do better with regards to this on our second birthday.

  • The Windows Live Expo team have posted some information updates to the Expo API. It looks like the API now allows you to do searches using any combination of City, State or Zip Code which fixes my main problem with the API. Thanks Samir. :)

  • The Windows Live Messenger 8.1 beta is now available. Learn more about it in Nicole's post Messenger 8.1 Beta says: Hello World. Nothing major in this release, just a couple of nice touches such as improvements to the Contact Card and being able to use the same display picture across multiple machines instead of the picture being tied to your PC. The Messenger team continues to be my second favorite Windows Live team*. Keep on rocking.
*My favorite Windows Live team is the Windows Live Local crew.
 

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 7:04:07 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Regarding Windows Live Local, as long as the URL http://maps.live.com/ is aliased to the Windows Live Local, I think you're good. I remember trying maps.live.com and it didn't show up. I tried it now and it works, so I don't remember if I was smoking something or if it was recently fixed.

But it's only natural that people will think to try maps.* rather than local.*. It's an issue of discoverability.

Phil
Thursday, November 2, 2006 10:12:22 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I don't know Dare. Windows Live feels more like a movie long in the making without a director, someone who can weave a coherent interesting and compelling story out of these 'scenes'. Instead, what I see are look-what-we-are-doing 'clips' being released by individual groups without much organization. All the pieces are there but they are all strewn across the floor it seems.
Monday, November 6, 2006 11:27:21 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I now found the fact that they (just!) renamed WLL to Windows Live Maps hilarious.
Michael Griffiths
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