Sunday, January 28, 2007

Stripping down your Microsoft Windows Life Spaces space to being only a blog

One of the biggest complaints about using Microsoft Windows Live Spaces for "professional" blogging is all of the junk that you get with a "space" compared to a traditional blog. Supposedly you can manually strip off pieces of that junk, but I just found an easier way to get the blog and only the blog.

Here is my Microsoft Windows Live Spaces space URL:

If you go there, the first things you will notice (or be bombarded by) before you even get down to my blog itself are:

  1. The big wide advertising banner (that happens to be empty when I view my space right now)
  2. I have no photo, so you see... a dummy
  3. Details of my profile that you probably don't care about
  4. I have no photo albums
  5. I have no music lists
  6. My custom list is empty

And then, finally, buried down in the middle of all of that junk you eventually find my blog itself.

Who needs all of that junk for a clean and simple blog?

OTOH, use the following alternative URL to get only my blog:

Presto! All of the "space" junk is gone (except for the big wide advertising banner which happens to have a big white empty box when I view it right now) and all you see if my blog and nothing but my blog. Yes, there are a few other links, including back to the overall space, but this is a dramatic improvement.

So, just be sure to tack on "/blog" (one slash after ".com") to the end of your Live Spaces URL when you give out your blog URL and you will no longer have to be so embarrassed about using Live Spaces for blogging. Sure, there are plenty of other improvements that Live needs before I will personally switch to it for my main blogging, but at least they are one step closer to winning me over.

Suggestion to the Live Spaces team: Add an option so that I can optionally flip the relationship between the space and the blog so that the raw URL will take the reader to the raw blog and tack on "/space" to the URL to get directly to the space. Always allow "/blog" and "/space" (which you currently do), but allow me to toggle the default for the raw URL. Thanks in advance for implementing this valuable (and necessary) feature.

BTW, I am simultaneously emailing this post to my Blogging blog on Blogger and my Live Spaces blog from Outlook Express.

-- Jack Krupansky

Posting to Microsoft Windows Life Spaces via email

I wasn't aware of it, but a product manager (PM) at Microsoft (where I work as well) pointed out that you can in fact email posts to your blog on Microsoft Windows Live Spaces.

It works similar to Blogger, but also allows you to give three email addresses from which posts are accepted. You have to specify a secret key that gets used for the blog inbox.

I haven't used my Live Spaces blog much since I don't like having all of those "space" features and only want a clean and simple blog without all the decoration, but gradually the Spaces people will evolve Spaces to be more flexible and friendly to those of us who simply want to blog.

I've also heard that you can have multiple blogs on Live Spaces, but I haven't tracked that down yet. I know you can have multiple Live accounts (ala getting multiple Hotmail email addresses), but I simply want to do multiple blogs ala Blogger. Clean and simple. That's my motto. That's what I want. Live Spaces is not quite there yet, but is making incremental progress.

Here is my Live Spaces blog: Jack Krupansky - My blogging outpost on Live Spaces.

-- Jack Krupansky

Monday, January 15, 2007

Blogger unable to process my email post at this time

A reader commented that Blogger is telling him that

Blogger post failed Blogger could not process your message at this time. Error code: 9.51B46D

I responded that a few weeks ago I was getting his error message frequently when emailing posts to my blog and that the workaround was simply to email the post again and that usually worked, although sometimes I had to email the post two or three or even four times.

I continued that then, just last week I starting getting the same bounceback message from Blogger and resending simply did not work, but resending from a different POP3 email account did work. I then modified my main POP3 email account to use the SMTP server for my ISP for outbound messages (rather than the SMTP server for my web site) and it worked fine and I haven't see this error message since Saturday morning.

Maybe Blogger thinks my web hosting service is a source of splog posts and comments. Who knows.

This post was emailed from an Outlook Express POP3 account.

-- Jack Krupansky