To the point, I would like to discuss RSS. RSS is a great system for publishing news, such as when you update content on your Live Space. There are many ways to search and read them and how you handle them can really fight information overload. Using various RSS sources I can keep track of news about the Windows Live platform (updates, outages, new services, etc…).
An RSS reader is built into most web browsers and e-mails systems and there are applications just for organizing and reading your RSS feeds. Not sure what web sites provide an RSS Feed? If you are using Internet Explorer there is an RSS icon and if it senses an RSS feed the icon turns to a vibrant orange versus a grayed out shade of orange. What does the RSS feed icon look like?
How does this apply to Windows Live? For starters the easiest way to keep up with your friends spaces (my opinion of course) is using the RSS feed. I think it is a hidden feature, did you know that it was available? If you go to a Live Space it is listed in “Tools”. Clicking on that will take you to what appears to be a text version of the Spaces page. Note the address (aka URL), for example http://jkavanagh58.spaces.live.com/feed.rss and copy it to the clipboard. The personalized Live Search, http://my.live.com , is my preferred RSS Reader. Using the “Pages” feature I can organize my feeds. Now taking the web site address/URL click on “Add Stuff”, then select “Advanced Options”, then paste the address/url in the second text box (Add a gadget by URL…) and click subscribe.
The result will provide a listing of the most recent changes to a Live Space. The “Spaces Home” is a very nice way to monitor Spaces activity but it only publishes Spaces activity for “Friends” and there are some Live Spaces that, although extremely useful, they do not respond to Friend requests. Note the appearance of the updates.
Now add this concise view of all of the sites you find yourself reviewing on a regular basis, for me that would be Technet (multiple feeds), Liveside.net, Engadget, Local Newspapers, Sporting News, etc.. Using the “Personalized Live” you can quickly scan all of your news sources quickly and if something catches your attention you can click on the item and go to the source.