An Open Letter to the Windows Live Spaces Team

Windows Live Spaces

Windows Live SpacesDear Windows Live Spaces Team,

Back in August 2005, I decided to start writing blog posts. When looking for a blog platform at that time, I investigated Live Journal, but decided upon using Windows Live Spaces (or MSN Spaces as it was called back then) as it was very easy to setup a blog, and Spaces seemed to have plenty of features.

Since that time, I estimate I’ve written over 500 blog posts, and have built up a modest but loyal following of readers and contributors – many of whom leave comments – of which I am always flattered to have received. Those readers don’t need to take the time to give me feedback, and so I appreciate them doing so.

Let’s talk about Spam

Like all modern communication platforms, I’ve been inconvenienced by spam – comments with links to spurious sites with products that no sane individual is interested in buying.

On the whole though, this spam has been manageable, a few comments here and there, easily removed to avoid inconveniencing or inadvertently insulting visitors to my blog.

However, over the past few months I’ve seen a horrible trend where my blog (and others hosted on Live Spaces) have been targeted by wholesale comment spam from a specific company – Batteryfast.

We’re not talking just a few spam comments either, over the past few months I’ve had to clear up one or more spam comments from this same company to almost every blog post I’ve ever written – so we’re talking thousands of spam comments, taking a very long time to clean up. My heart now sinks when I realise my blog has been attacked in this way – it’s a massive inconvenience.

Please block the Spam!

Members of the Windows Live Spaces Team – surely, on a platform as mature of Live Spaces, you could find a way to block such obvious spam from such persistent offenders?

To users of Windows Live Spaces, in your “Blog Options” settings, you give a single setting to control Blog comments. Allow or Don’t Allow.

I can therefore turn blog comments off, but then I lose the whole two way communication channel with my readers.

Surely there is a method to only allow comments from Live ID’s, or to check for such obvious spam from such persistent nuisances?

Reporting Abuse doesn’t help

Even your “Report abuse” button takes you to a complicated form – why not make it easy for your loyal end-users to report a frustrating situation, not make it more frustrating for them with dozens of questions?

Searching the Help function on Live Spaces for advice on fighting spam is no better – a search for “spam” yields zero results.

As for www.batteryfast. (com) (uk) (au) – investigation shows that Batteryfast has web-sites in the UK and Australia, but is (no surprises here) ran by a Chinese company – Shenjun of Guangdong, and run through a German registrar –

I’m sure this will fall on deaf ears, but to the people at Batteryfast and – whilst you are clearly fraudulent losers for having to *repeatedly* turn to spam for business, have you ever considered just what low-life’s you appear to be by spamming a genuinely personal blog article such as this one?

Should I move to WordPress?

Getting back to Windows Live Spaces Team. Colleagues and peers keep telling me to dump the Live Spaces platform and head across to WordPress or another blogging platform. This is increasingly looking like the best option for me, but before I make that decision, I wanted to give you the chance to respond, as I’ve been a Live Spaces user for over 5 years, love to the Live Tool Suite as a whole, and as the owner of a business that is a committed Microsoft partner, would love to continue to be a raving fan in this way rather than migrating to another platform from a competing company.

Windows Live Spaces Team – can’t we please do something about the comments spam? Please?



  • Goodbye Windows Live Spaces, Hello WordPress « TubbBlog2010-11-15 09:25:56

    [...] wrote an Open Letter to the Windows Live Spaces team back in May of this year, bemoaning the fact that the Windows Live Spaces blogging platform had [...]

  • Nick2010-05-28 08:17:27

    I switched to Wordpress and while I do get spam, it's not too difficult to deal with. At the moment I have it set so I have to approve comments before they're posted. There are also loads of plugins to help reduce spam, I've just not had the chance to try any yet.

  • Richard2010-05-25 18:35:29

    Julian - I agree. Here's a tip for you though. From a Desktop Web Browse, try visiting https://<yourspacesname> Mobile interface is a much more efficient way of deleting spam comments.

  • Julian2010-05-25 17:09:03

    Same problem with my spaces blog. I have turned off comments as a result. Real problem is that managing/deleting comments is hard in Spaces.

  • Tim2010-05-25 00:47:33

    I've never regretted my decision to host my own blog using Community Server. At least it is based on all Microsoft technology - ASP.NET and SQL Server.

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