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Windows Live Profile Arrives

Dare Obasanjo has blogged his excitement about work he’s doing showing up in what’s called Windows Live Wave 3.  Dare has long discussed social graphs, the problems with walled gardens and difficulties of federating in ways that are safe.  That was enough to have me be curious, though not all that impatient.

Tonight, I see Dare’s excitement and I hop over to his Windows Live Profile page in the link to see what it is all about.   I’m thinking, wow it is like Facebook but out in the open.  Well, out in the open for me because I have a Windows Live ID.   So, do I have a Windows Live Profile too?   Yes I do.  And I immediately start customizing it.

The biggest difference, so far, is how open this feels.  It just feels open, even though it is reminiscent of my early Facebook experience, it is somehow more open than that.  Simpler too, I think:

 Orcmid's Windows Live Profile (click for larger image)

I could only add one custom blog (called, of all things, Custom Blog, on my Activities sidebar).  There are a limited number of Web activities that can be integrated.  Of those that I added, each offered a different integration experience.  For Pandora, the link is to my public profile page, so all they needed to know was the e-mail address that I use for my Pandora account.  For twitter, they just needed to know my twitter name (guess who) and they are able to grab my public feed, perhaps.  I haven’t seen any tweets show up yet, but the link is good.  For the Custom blog, they just needed the URL, and they found the feed automatically.  Flickr was as different as I expected it to be, after having configured Windows Live Photo Gallery to upload to Flickr directly.  There is an authorization process that goes on with Flickr that reminds me of a streamlined PayPal authorization.  I was already logged into Flickr, so it wasn’t necessary to do it again.  But I did have to give Flickr my permission to allow Windows Live Profile to access my images.  I like how easily that worked and how it does not involve disclosing my Flickr login information to Windows Live.

I think these are all good signs of useful activities to come along.

I also noticed that once again I have a number and not a name, my profile being identified with cid-33894f6489994ba7.  I have learned to be not surprised by that.

For some, needing a Windows Live ID will feel like yet-another silo.  For, I don’t think it is that, anymore than having a hotmail account puts one inside a silo.  For one thing, my Windows Live Profile is completely open on the Internet and anyone can come play with me or simply be nosy.   It is no small thing that suddenly everyone with a Windows Live ID (the ID formerly known as Passport) has one of these pages ready for their customization.

And I think this can evolve further.  I join in Dare’s excitement.  Nice job.

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