webDotWiz talks Windows Live

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The easy way to keep up-to-date – webDotWiz column May 7 2009

This week we’ll look at the easy way to share your Windows Live activities with your friends on other social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. As well, for those of you with Facebook and/or Twitter accounts, for example, you’ll find out the easy way to let your Live network friends receive updates from these and similar services.

Remember we’re looking at ways to share by using the least amount of effort!

Using your Windows Live home page

The Live home page (home.live.com) gives you all the news from people in your live network – what they’ve been writing about on their Live Spaces website and new photos they’ve added to their Live photos site (photos.live.com), with the proviso of the owner’s permission settings.

The April update to Windows Live expands on giving family and friends in your Live network more news about what you’ve been doing on your other social networking sites. You may have a Facebook or Twitter account to which you post or you’ve got some of your photos on Flickr. With the latest Live update, you can now use the Live web activities page to add the latest from these other sites so your Live network.

To enable your Live network of family and friends to receive your updates from, say, Facebook, go to the top right of your Live home page and click on Add web activities. Alternatively, if you happen to be on your Live profile page, scroll down until you find Web activities on the left-hand side and click on Add (note you can always change your mind by using the Manage link).

There are about thirty web activities from around the world to choose from and add to your profile so you can share with others. Once you’ve chosen Facebook – to continue our example – you’ll be taken to a page where you sign in to Facebook with your usual Facebook sign-in email address and password. That’s it – now your posts to Facebook will also appear on the Live Home pages of your Live network of family and friends.

Note: webDotWiz has already added web activities for Facebook and Twitter so that’s why they don’t appear on his Web Activities page. To show you how simple the process is, webDotWiz added the web activity for his photos on Flickr.

IE 8 accelerators for Twitter and Facebook

Being a Windows Live devotee, you mightn’t want to spend lots of time updating your Facebook and Twitter accounts with lots of posts but at the same time want to tell people on Facebook on Twitter that you’ve updated your Live Space or Live Photos gallery.

That’s as simple as could be using Internet Explorer 8’s accelerators.

Bring up your Live Space site, choose one of your entries so it loads by itself, highlight the title and immediately you’ll see a small blue icon popup – this is IE8’s accelerator icon. Click this icon to bring up a whole range of accelerators, that is, quick and easy ways to pass information to another site.

At the bottom of the popup menu is the All Accelerators option. Click this to bring up more accelerators. Look in the list for Facebook or Twitter. If they’re not there, click Find more accelerators to take you to the IE Addons gallery page from where you can add the Facebook, Twitter and other accelerators to your list.

After installing the Facebook and Twitter accelerators, all you need do to post your latest Live Space entry or a new Live photo album is highlight the title of your entry or photo gallery, click the accelerator icon, click Share on Facebook or Send to Twitter and go through your usual sign-in steps for these services.

You don’t have to do anything else – your Facebook and Twitter services will be passed your latest Live Space blog entry or your new Live Photos album and your friends on these services will see what you’ve been doing on Windows Live.

Getting the latest news in slices

Go to Final Siren at www.finalsiren.com (this site gives all the latest AFL scores, the ladder and lots more), hover your mouse over the results table and you’ll see a green border with a green icon in the top left – this is an Internet Explorer 8 web slice in action. As well, a green icon will appear on IE 8’s toolbar.

So you can automatically get the latest footy results from Final Siren, all you need do is click the green web slice icon and then click Add to favorites bar. Now, whenever the Final Siren updates the scores, the AFL Results tab will turn bold – click it and a small window opens with the latest updated scores. Now you can carry on with other jobs whether it be browsing other sites, checking your friends’ photo albums or writing up a new Live Spaces entry.

There are a whole range of handy web slices you can use with Internet Explorer 8 including news on the spread of the swine flu virus. Visit the IE Addons web slices page for a full list.

Live Writer Twitter notifiy plugin

For those who have a Twitter account, the Writer Twitter notify plugin is a simple way to add each of your Live Spaces entries to your Twitter feed for your followers to know when you have published a new entry. You can download the Twitter notifier from the Live Gallery.

If you have webDotWiz on your Live network, you’ll see this in action when you notice two entries from webDotWiz – one from Windows Live itself because he’s published a new entry on his Live Space, the other from Twitter because he’s added the Twitter web activity to his Live profile.

Further, because webDotWiz was lazy, he linked his Twitter account to his Facebook account some time ago so his tweets would automatically appear on his Facebook page. Since he’s now using the Facebook Live web activity, you’ll see the same post appear from his Facebook account in your What’s new with your network. Phew…

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