Farewell Spaces. It was kind of NOT nice knowing you.

Well it looks like I’ll have to be moving to WordPress, because if you haven’t heard, Windows Live Spaces is being killed by Microsoft. I guess it was inevitable, considering there’s been no major update in the past few years. I’m rather disappointed, but considering how I haven’t had much time to post (I’ve made many drafts, but couldn’t finish and publish), it’s not like I visited my own Space that much except to delete spam to preserve my blog’s integrity.

I’ve been a user since the days of MSN Spaces. MSN Spaces was kinda quirky, but it was pretty much on par with all the other simple-to-setup type blogging services. Actually, MSN Spaces was very different from today’s Live Spaces. It was pretty much the epicenter of the social experience on MSN. It was the place where you shared photos, blog posts, etc. and when you updated your blog, a little gleaming star/asterisk appeared on your Contact Card (those were the days!) indicating to your friends you posted something new. Then as it became Windows Live Spaces, it offered even more features and modules (gadgets) to make the Space more customizable and very much like your own personal website.

Then it went downhill! The first obvious change to me was when the main Spaces services site, (Spaces news, users’ Spaces worth checking out, tips etc) stopped getting updated. For like a year or two, it stayed stagnant, and it appeared the 4 owners of the “featured” Spaces stopped updating with a big load of spam comments (and active comments) in their most recent posts. Years passed with no updates or features or any feedback. Even Mike Torres, someone on the team, stopped posting as well, just out of the blue. Then the spam comments came in mass loads. For the remaining active users, it was kinda the last straw. Annoying Chinese spammers dropped in on users’ Spaces posting links to shopping sites in Chinese and such. It’s bad enough there were so many of them, but the fact that it was so difficult to delete multiple (spam) comments, in the tiny module on the homescreen that only displayed the 5 most recent ones, made it very difficult. The Spaces team wasn’t listening to our feedback to reduce spam, and that was just it.

It’s very sad when you’re a user of a service, and you expect a big company like Microsoft would know how to do a better job of maintaining their services. Sure, Spaces was a free site with no paid subscriptions, but I don’t see why they didn’t try harder to provide new features and stop the delusion of spam. Maybe to focus on other Windows Live stuff? Maybe, but that doesn’t mean you should drop your current users like a hot potato.

I was even hoping that with Wave 3 adding some minor improvements, this indicated that Microsoft was still working to keep Spaces going. I was hoping that maybe by Wave 4, there’d be a major overhaul of Spaces to a much improved Windows SharePoint Service base, and maybe virtually a MySpace 2.0.

A MySpace 2.0 in the aspect that it combines a lot of the personal, customization aspects of MySpace (though hopefully clean looks, not the dirty HTML of MySpace) with Facebook’s very social features in where friends who share the same interests in things (books, movies, or whatever) can easily find out. Maybe with a default Metro-style look, significant investment in maintaining a catalog of books/movies/shows/products, better blogging features, various way of socializing and more, it could be the #1 social networking site or at least more relevant to everyone.

Well enough ranting. What’s done is done. What had so much potential to be something great, died off from neglect. It’s just a shame. Well I’ll be moving to WordPress soon. I like WordPress, but it won’t ever be as well integrated as a USER-based service, because WordPress exists mainly to be your own site, much isolated from a real community of users. Oh well.

Anyone else sad to see Spaces go, or are you glad because you never had much hope in Spaces anyway?

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