In late September 2010 Microsoft announced that Windows Live Spaces will be discontinued. With flourish, the notice was titled: “WordPress.com and Windows Live partnering together and providing an upgrade for 30 million Windows Live Spaces customers.” An easy “upgrade” path is offered on each users Spaces page (when signed in).
Before you jump to the opportunity, carefully consider your site and what is offered and what is lost.
Windows Live offers every user a wide array of online services which I have in a past post called “your mansion in the sky” – a home page with quick access to your email account, to online photo albums and documents, stored on your SkyDrive with 25 GB of free online storage.
For friends and the public there was the Spaces page with an easy address in the form of “user.spaces.live.com”. This page could be nicely customized, especially with rolling mini slide shows and a variety of “modules” for lists, a blog, and numerous gadgets. Here is a view of such a Spaces page. This particular page was “Ludwig’s Gallery” with five slide shows providing access to different albums. When a user clicked on any image, a full window slide show of that album would open. Really, really nice.
Because of these beautiful features I recommended the use of Spaces to students and readers of my blog and also readers of my book “Digital Pictures Basics”. This was a way to present a gallery unmatched by most photo sharing sites and marvelously customizable.
This was the front of that “mansion in the sky”. This is was is being discontinued by Microsoft. The only part in the “upgrade” offer is moving the contents of the blog module and a redirect of your Spaces address. Nothing else is moved by the rather efficient process. Other items on your Spaces page will disappear. Once the move is underway the “Space” link on you profile will be removed. There is no going back. Your photos are safe in their albums, however, the address “yourname.spaces.live.com/photos” that in the past took a visitor to your photo albums will now redirect to your WordPress blog. There is no easy address for sharing your photos. This may be a hint of what Microsoft has in mind – tear of the front of the house and the rest will collapse on its own.
Take a close look at your Spaces page. Note down what you think you would like to recreate on your new WordPress site. For now – you have normal use of your Spaces page to the end of 2010 – I suggest you plan your move very carefully. Here are some of the steps:
- Collect all the information and hyperlinks from your modules
- Move your blog – that is the automated “upgrade”
- Create a site with the look and feel that you like
- Add new lists and links
- Add “gateways” to your photos (which can still remain on your SkyDrive)
In my next posts I will go into more detail about how to carry out the tasks of creating a new site on WordPress.
Please also visit my blog on “things photographic”: Café Ludwig