Jamie Thomson

Thoughts, about stuff

My thoughts on inline comments in Windows Live wave 3

with 2 comments

Dare Obasanjo has posted a blog entry Some Thoughts on Inline Comments in Activity Feeds where he tells us why the decision was made NOT to include inline comments (a la Facebook and Friendfeed) within the Windows Live What’s New feed. The key reasons he gives are:

  1. If you’re looking at the profile of one of your friends then you don’t want to see lots of comments from people you don’t know.
  2. Comments don’t happen in the place where they should happen (e.g. on a person’s blog entry)

Dare asked for feedback so here’s mine.


Regarding point #1, I completely agree with this. I recently posted a comment on a friend’s status in Facebook and got annoyed by comments from other people that I didn’t know interspersing the conversation that ensued. (Supplemental to that is that I received an annoying email every time someone posted but that’s not relevant here because I could simply opt to turn those emails off).

Regarding #2, here we’re into a bit of a grey area. Dare is correct that comments are moved away from where they would better be written but the counter argument is that its better to receive comments somewhere rather than nowhere at all; you can’t discount the sheer ease-of-use and quality of experience that (say) Friendfeed offers today which results in many comments and many conversations that wouldn’t otherwise occur. I strongly suspect that if inline commenting were enabled on Windows Live then the amount of comments overall would increase and on the whole I think that’s a good thing. I have to be honest and say then when I first set eyes on Windows Live wave 3 and saw that inline commenting wasn’t enabled I was mildly disappointed.

Furthermore, the alternative that Dare and his team chose was to allow us to post notes on a person’s profile so its worth pointing out that in the 3 days since wave 3 went live I have seen a mountainous amount of activity in my What’s New feed (a good thing) but precisely zero notes have been posted on my profile and I haven’t posted any on anyone else’s. It doesn’t feel as though this feature is going to get used much so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it slip to the wayside in the next release.

Perhaps a halfway house is in order where we can define, in our What’s New settings page:

imagewhich type of What’s New update people are allowed to write inline comments for. A simple check-box on each type should suffice.


So dear reader, what do you think? Would you rather put comments against this blog entry in the comments section below or add them into my What’s New feed?




Written by Jamiet

December 5, 2008 at 1:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Jamie, I would far rather comment here about anything that you write. Personally I think that they have made a big mistake moving practically everything away from your actual Space, which lets face it up until this update WAS the main ‘hub’ of everything in my opinion, as it was where someone read your blog, then wanted to get to know you better and so became your friend, everything revolved around your posts and your actual space itself. Now this has been taken away (took me ages to acually find my space!) in favour of a half hearted attempt to ‘bring everything together’ on one page by trying to ape Facebook et al. Nor do I like the melding of my messenger contacts with my friends on Spaces either! I am not a big Messenger user, mine is usually used just for family, and I am not particularly interested in extending this to those who have become friends through my spaces blogs. Now your actual Space, that area that was for me and others so important, has taken a virtual back seat! The other problem for someone like me is the way that I use Windows Live and its applications. I don’t want to go online, that is why I love Windows Live Mail so much because it allows me to access my Hotmail down on my desktop. The same with Windows Live Writer and Messenger. You can write your blog not online but at your desktop, and chat to friends and family at your desktop, yet this just seems to me to end up forcing you to go online, which when you think about it, is the exact opposite of the applications themselves! I did think that being able to see updates to anything that your friends are up to a la the new messenger beta was a good idea, because that then allowed me to see on my desktop just what everyone was up to, if they had made a new post to their blog for example, but this contradicts all the moves that the applications have been allowing you to do.The only time that I ever felt the need to go online was to read someone elses new post or just check mine. As you know Jamie we obviously don’t all use Windows Live in quite the same way that the Live bods think that we do.


    December 5, 2008 at 4:19 pm

  2. Sandra,I’m afraid I don’t really understand some of that."You can write your blog not online but at your desktop, and chat to friends and family at your desktop, yet this just seems to me to end up forcing you to go online"I don’t see how that has changed. Live Writer still exists, Live Mail still exists for email chatting and Messenger still exists for IM chatting. Why are you forced to go online? There’s nothing that you could do offline 3 days ago that you can’t do today."Nor do I like the melding of my messenger contacts with my friends on Spaces either"A matter of opinion I suppose. WHy don’t you like it? I’m afraid I have to disagree. A unified contact list is what I’ve been crying out for for years and they have finally delivered it in a manner that is ALMOST acceptable to me (there are still gaps). In actual fact the contact list was unified beforehand as well -they’ve just bettered the experience around it and given us a dedicated place from where to adminster it (people.live.com). I don’t want to sound rude but I’m having a hard time understanding how anyone could not view this as a step-forward."I think that they have made a big mistake moving practically everything away from your actual Space"Fair enough, they were never going to please everyone with that. Personally I love it – I don’t really like Spaces at all and only use it because of all the OTHER stuff that Windows Live gives you so moving all the social aspects into a dedicated area and de-coupling all that social stuff from the blogging engine is absolutely the right thing to do (in my opinion).None of this (apart from your first sentance) is relevant to this blog post but nonetheless you’re a WL user so your complaints are perfectly valid. You should blog about them – and tag it "feedback" of course.-Jamie


    December 5, 2008 at 4:39 pm

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