By now it's common knowledge that MSN Spaces became widely available to the general public today. As someone who's currently working on the next iteration of Spaces I've already had time to excercise the existing realease and I've got to day I like it a lot. Below is the list of top 5 things I like about Spaces

  1. Integrated Photo Album: If you visit Carnage4Life's Space you don't just get to see my blog but also a slideshow of various RSS Bandit screenshots I uploaded a few days ago.

  2. Integrated Music Lists:  I get to share my taste in music via music lists where each song is hyperlinked to search MSN Music so one can hear a sample of the music I like. For lazy people like me you can just upload a Windows Media player playlist to create a music list.

  3. MSN Messenger Integration: Words don't do it justice. Here's a screenshot of me viewing Mike Torres' contact card.  Here's a screenshot of my contact card. Yes, the rumors were right. You can post to your blog directly from MSN Messenger.

  4. Access Control: One can specify the level of access they want for their blog. You can choose to make a blog public, private or only accessible by people on your MSN Messenger Allow List. Your Allow List is a list of everyone who you've allowed to see your online presence and IM you via MSN Messenger. This should be everybody on your buddy list and everyone who's asked to put you on their buddy list and you've accepted. This allows you to create a blog that is only accessible by people in your immediate circle of friends and family which for most people are the only ones you want reading your blog or viewing your photos .

    It should be noted that in a number of markets the permissions on your Space default to "Only allow people in my MSN Messenger Allow List view my Space". So it is best to check[yourblogname]/PermissionSettings.aspx and ensure that you have specified the level of access control you are comfortable with.

  5. The Price: It's free. Completely and utterly free of charge.  


Thursday, December 2, 2004 3:10:43 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
And this is a totally biased opinion...
Friday, December 3, 2004 5:40:29 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
How did you get Messenger to post to MySpace?

I'm running beta 7.0 but there isn't an option or is there?
Friday, December 3, 2004 10:26:45 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I like the integrated photo album a lot, as well as the simple way you can add photos to a post. If you're working on the next version, could we have the ability to shrink file size on upload? Please?

In general the user interface is OK for beta. All the functions are easy to find and use, but Google has set the bar very, very high for a rich client. I do like the way you can move things around, like in My MSN (but not resize columns??). At the moment, the site is slow, clunky and unreliable, but I guess that's what you mean by beta? As a (small) example, why does the page scroll when I open comments or trackbacks? Check the "... continues" links on for a good example of what seems to work (I don't know the source behind it).

It would be great if my space (blog?) could provide a simple, non-harvestable way to email me -- a link to a form, for example. The integration with MSN profiles is strange -- I don't see how it helps people communicate with me.

MSN Messenger is useless to me -- my kids all use AOL. You need to be careful about allowing people different levels of buy-in. For example, you can have a Google email account or a Blogger account, and they work just fine separately. If you want to use a single login, that works, but there are no features that depend on it.

I'm happy to use a single login for Hotmail, My MSN and Spaces. With that much buy-in, why do I have to use MSN Profiles or Messenger? As an example, why can't I have an allow list (that uses Passport login ids) that's completely separate from my Messenger allow list.

Posting via email is great. Thank you for not restricting it to Hotmail. As soon as my PDA has wireless, I can use POP to Google and moblog with the best of them.

Outbound trackbacks don't seem to work, even from one space to another (and yes I did create two of them to check). These days many blogs don't allow comments and so trackbacks are the only way to participate in some discussions.

And the price IS right!

Graeme dot Williams at Excite dot Com
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