Thursday, March 06, 2008

Let's chat on Windows Live Messenger right here

I've added a Windows Live Messenger IM Control onto my blog the other day. This is to allow anyone reading my blog who I don't personally know or have on my buddy/contact list in Messenger, to know my online presence and initiate a real-time conversation.

I've been using Messenger - in one form or another - for a long time. Pre-NCO days (my current employer), I'd use Yahoo Messenger. But in the past 3 years, Windows Live Messenger is an official communications tool at work. I personally love the custom emoticons!

Back to the point... Over to the right, in pastel orange (?) is what's called an IM control. It willl show you when I'm online on Windows Live Messenger, and if you're browsing through and have something you want me to know right away, you can go ahead and send me a message and I'll respond. The real me will respond, not just some bot. :)

I was really excited when I read about this feature (which has been around for months before I found out!) and tried it out right away, first through my, and then here on the blog when I got home from work.

Anyhoo, when you click on the link to Begin a conversation, you'll be prompted to use a Windows Live ID (msn or hotmail email address) that you are currently signed in with, or you can sign in using a different ID, or you may send an anonymous message. If you choose the latter, you can just enter a nickname and we're all set to chat!

I'm kinda sad though because I haven't actually received any chats through the control, makes me wonder if people come by to visit at all? Nah, as I said before, I post for myself mostly, but getting feedback from people who breeze through always feel like virtual hugs.

Now, if you want to have IM control on your blogs or Web sites too, it's very easy. First, you must have your own Windows Live ID - any MSN, Hotmail or email address is already a Live ID. You can sign up for one over at

Next, you'll need to go to this link to allow others who may not be on your contact list to see your online presence through the Web sites you post the control in. If you don't put a check on the option that says
Allow websites to see your Messenger status and send you messages the control won't work.

After saving that setting, click on the Create HTML link over to the right bar on the same page or click on this link
so you can configure the color and type of IM control you'll use, plus get the code to put on your blog.

You may choose from a chat conversation window like mine (which you could resize on your blog to accommodate more chat history if you want). There's also just a small button and the WLM buddy icon that will announce your online presence. The beauty of those smaller icons is that if a person clicks on it, the conversation window will pop up on it's own window. The person contacting you may continue chatting with you even when they navigate to a different page. I'd probably switch to that control some time.

These instructions, and more about Windows Live Messenger, could also be found over at



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