Posts Tagged 'Windows Live Spaces'

Tubblog has a new home – update your links!

Tubblog LogoIt was this time last year that I finally moved this blog from Windows Live Spaces to the much more modern and flexible WordPress.com platform.

In the twelve months since that time, the number of readers who visit the blog every day has almost doubled and I’ve found myself chaffing under some of the restrictions WordPress.com (quite understandably) places on their free hosting accounts.

With that in mind, this blog has now moved across to a self-hosted WordPress site thanks to the good people at Heart Internet. Such a move should give me a lot more flexibility in terms of what I can do with the site.

  • If you’re a regular reader, then you shouldn’t notice any immediate changes. All the articles and comments have been transferred across to the new platform and any links to old articles will automatically forward to the new URL. Sadly, I couldn’t migrate all those Facebook “Likes” – but we’ll just live with that…
  • If you feature my blog on your blog roll – updating the link from https://tubblog.wordpress.com to www.tubblog.co.uk would be appreciated.
  • Screenshot of Feedburner E-Mail Subscription FormIf you’re an e-mail or RSS subscriber to the old site, I’m afraid you’ll need to re-subscribe – click on the RSS link at the bottom of the page, or the FeedBurner link within the right hand column.

I’ll be e-mailing all subscribers to advise them of the changes also.

One of those areas of flexibility is around the fact that the number of blog readers I’ve been getting from France, Germany and other non-English speaking European countries has risen exponentially. Many of you have reached out to me directly, but if you’re a reader in one of these countries, would you be interested in reading this blog in your native tongue? Translating the articles here is an option – but it depends on the demand, so let me know if this would be useful to you.

Finally – a huge thanks to the awesome Tim Carr at N7 Studios who facilitated the move to the new platform – the change happened absolutely seamlessly, and Tim was a consummate Professional throughout the project. A true WordPress expert.

 

Richard Tubb is an IT Business Consultant who works with ambitious IT companies who want to grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL) and the elected chair of the CompTIA UK Channel Community. You can e-mail him at richard@tubblog.co.uk or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Goodbye Windows Live Spaces, Hello WordPress

After over five years and almost 500 posts, I’m finally moving Tubblog from the Microsoft Windows Live Spaces platform, to the more mature WordPress service.

I wrote an Open Letter to the Windows Live Spaces team back in May of this year, bemoaning the fact that the Windows Live Spaces blogging platform had become plagued by spam comments, instability and not only a lack of new features, but the removal of existing features.

Windows Live + WordPress logoI didn’t receive a response from anybody in the Windows Live team, but that may have been because they were keeping quiet about the fact they were planning to withdraw the Windows Live Spaces service altogether. Sure enough, at the end of September an announcement was made that Microsoft and WordPress were teaming up to offer an upgrade, migrating all Live Spaces customers across to WordPress.

Truthfully, I’d already given up on the Live Spaces platform by that time, and it was only the huge task of migrating 5 years worth of my blog posts, along with hundreds of comments and links that had me dithering on moving to a new blogging platform anyway.

Screenshot of Windows Live Spaces upgrade messageSo it was with glee that I learned that as part of the WordPress deal, the Windows Live team had created a easy-to-use migration tool, which made the migration process from Live Spaces to WordPress a painless affair.

As well as migrating all my blog posts across to WordPress, all my existing comments and links are also migrated. What’s more, any visitors to the old Live Spaces URL’s are instantly re-directed to the new WordPress URL. The only thing that isn’t migrated automatically are my lists (I can manually re-create these if I choose), and any pictures not included in blog posts. I can live with that.

I’m happy to say that the process worked without fault. Just about everything that was available at my Live Spaces hosting, is now available at WordPress. I’ve also had my eyes open to the world of WordPress – by far a superior platform, with plenty of opportunities to do cool new things. I’m still chuffed at the most basic of features on WordPress that we never had on Live Spaces – a search box in the top right hand corner, for instance. Wow!

I’d appreciate any feedback on the new blog-setup – how does it look and feel. Any pointers from WordPress veterans, or any features you’d recommend I check out? Drop me a line or leave a comment below.

So farewell Windows Live Spaces – I’ll remember you fondly, even though we had our up’s and down’s. You looked after me for over 5 years, and I’m grateful for your assistance in finding me a new home!

Richard Tubb is an IT Business Consultant who works with ambitious IT companies who want to grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL) and the elected chair of the CompTIA UK Channel Community. You can e-mail him at richard@tubblog.co.uk or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.

An Open Letter to the Windows Live Spaces Team

Dear Windows Live Spaces Team,

Back in August 2005, I decided to start writing blog posts. When looking for a blog platform at that time, I investigated Live Journal, but decided upon using Windows Live Spaces (or MSN Spaces as it was called back then) as it was very easy to setup a blog, and Spaces seemed to have plenty of features.

Since that time, I estimate I’ve written over 500 blog posts, and have built up a modest but loyal following of readers and contributors – many of whom leave comments – of which I am always flattered to have received. Those readers don’t need to take the time to give me feedback, and so I appreciate them doing so.

Like all modern communication platforms, I’ve been inconvenienced by spam – comments with links to spurious sites with products that no sane individual is interested in buying.

On the whole though, this spam has been manageable, a few comments here and there, easily removed to avoid inconveniencing or inadvertently insulting visitors to my blog.

However, over the past few months I’ve seen a horrible trend where my blog (and others hosted on Live Spaces) have been targeted by wholesale comment spam from a specific company – Batteryfast.

We’re not talking just a few spam comments either, over the past few months I’ve had to clear up one or more spam comments from this same company to almost every blog post I’ve ever written – so we’re talking thousands of spam comments, taking a very long time to clean up. My heart now sinks when I realise my blog has been attacked in this way – it’s a massive inconvenience.

Members of the Windows Live Spaces Team – surely, on a platform as mature of Live Spaces, you could find a way to block such obvious spam from such persistent offenders?

To users of Windows Live Spaces, in your “Blog Options” settings, you give a single setting to control Blog comments. Allow or Don’t Allow.

I can therefore turn blog comments off, but then I lose the whole two way communication channel with my readers.

Surely there is a method to only allow comments from Live ID’s, or to check for such obvious spam from such persistent nuisances?

Even your “Report abuse” button takes you to a complicated form – why not make it easy for your loyal end-users to report a frustrating situation, not make it more frustrating for them with dozens of questions?

Searching the Help function on Live Spaces for advice on fighting spam is no better – a search for “spam” yields zero results.

As for www.batteryfast. (com) (uk) (au) – investigation shows that Batteryfast has web-sites in the UK and Australia, but is (no surprises here) ran by a Chinese company – Shenjun of Guangdong, and run through a German registrar – Key-Systems.net

I’m sure this will fall on deaf ears, but to the people at Batteryfast and Key-Systems.net – whilst you are clearly fraudulent losers for having to *repeatedly* turn to spam for business, have you ever considered just what low-life’s you appear to be by spamming a genuinely personal blog article such as this one?

Getting back to Windows Live Spaces Team. Colleagues and peers keep telling me to dump the Live Spaces platform and head across to WordPress or another blogging platform. This is increasingly looking like the best option for me, but before I make that decision, I wanted to give you the chance to respond, as I’ve been a Live Spaces user for over 5 years, love to the Live Tool Suite as a whole, and as the owner of a business that is a committed Microsoft partner, would love to continue to be a raving fan in this way rather than migrating to another platform from a competing company.

Windows Live Spaces Team – can’t we please do something about the comments spam? Please?

 

Richard Tubb is an IT Business Consultant who works with ambitious IT companies who want to grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. He is also a Microsoft UK Small Business Specialist Partner Area Lead (PAL) and the elected chair of the CompTIA UK Channel Community. You can e-mail him at richard@tubblog.co.uk or connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.


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