Put on a happy face

Feel the love Perhaps the most exciting and forward thinking features of Windows Live are the underused and poorly understood web activities. These allow you to publish updates from other services, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to Windows Live. The net effect is that these updates appear seamlessly on the home pages of your Windows Live friends to let them know what you’ve been up to all over the Interwebs.

That’s great if your friends use Windows Live, but what if they don’t? Perish the thought, I know, but it does happen. For instance, how are all your friends on Facebook going to know what you’ve been up to over here in the more enlightened corner of the social web? You need a kind of “reverse” web activity to effectively push your stream of Windows Live updates out to other services. Luckily Windows Live provides just such a tool.

Your Windows Live Profile page houses a feed that includes your 20 most recent Windows Live updates. Because it’s a standard RSS feed, it can be consumed by any website that understands RSS, including Facebook. Here’s how to pull your Windows Live activities into Facebook:

  1. Navigate to http://profile.live.com, and click the RSS RSS icon. The feed is displayed.

  2. Copy the feed’s URL.

    Copy the feed's URL

  3. Mosey on over to Facebook, and navigate to your Profile page.

  4. Click Magnifying glass Options, and then click Settings Settings.

    Facebook Options

  5. Under Available Sites, click RSS Blog/RSS, and paste the URL from your Windows Live feed.

    Importing Windows Live updates

  6. Click Import. Within a few minutes, Facebook will begin pulling in your recent Windows Live updates.

Pretty much anything you do on Windows Live can be included in your profile’s activity stream, including your:

  • Messenger status updates
  • Spaces blog posts
  • Public SkyDrive photos, links, and other documents
  • Favorite music, books, and movies
  • Profile notes
  • Comments on others’ blog posts, profiles, and shared items

FYI, you can also tailor which types of updates you push into your activity stream here.

Before you go all ga ga, there are a couple of caveats to keep in mind. All updates are imported as Facebook notes, which can be kind of awkward at times. The updates include thumbnail images as appropriate, but only around the first 128 characters of the content (similar to what appears on your Windows Live profile page). The Facebook note does include a link back to the original post on Windows Live, so your friends can follow it to read more if they’re interested. One last thing to consider is that depending on your privacy settings, your friends may be able to add comments directly on your Facebook notes, so you may find yourself replying to conversations in two places instead of one.

– Greg

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8 thoughts on “Put on a happy face

  1. Tried this Greg and it won’t work for me. Just keeps going round and around for ages, the says the RSS feed isn’t valid????

  2. Great tip Greg. I use both Facebook and Widows Live (Spaces). Windows Live is 1000 times better at managing and displaying photos (no video though) whereas Facebook is 1000 times better at the social interaction. It’s a shame Windows Live doesn’t compete better in the social area with thinks like face tagging, pushing an email when friends post comments on your wall or photos. Just like everyone else, I keep my hopes up for what Wave 4 will bring us.

  3. Greg – I’m very aware of Live Alerts but had to turn them off on comment because of unbelievable amount of comment spamming that’s been occurinig. I’ve given up working with the Live support team by reporting the spammers and had to just turned alerts off. It’s very disappointing that Microsoft doesn’t take the comment spamming problem more serious.

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