Windows Live leveraging Activity Streams for many new partners launched today

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Rob Dolin

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Nov 11, 2009, 3:54:05 PM11/11/09
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Hey all,

 

As you may have heard, Windows Live launched 19 new “Web Activity” partners earlier this morning. 

 

There’s a blog entry from Jeff Kunins, one of the senior people on my team posted at: http://windowslivewire.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!2F7EB29B42641D59!43432.entry (and copied below.)  I particularly wanted to point this listserv as fellow Activity Streams enthusiasts to Jeff’s comments about Activity streams being an enabling technology and Jeff’s mention that Activity Streams is not just use in our Facebook and MySpace integrations, but for many others too:

 

From a technology and standards point of view, here are a few additional fun data points about the web activities program:

·         Windows Live is a co-author and active participant in the Activity Streams standards, an effort for safely exchanging activity feed content (with user opt-in) among sites and client applications. The spec is being co-authored by representatives from Facebook, MySpace, Microsoft (us), SixApart, and the DiSo project. Many other key companies like Google, Yahoo, and Netflix are participants and contributors as well.

·         Activity Streams make it easy for partner sites to expose feed information or activity from their sites in a consistent format, once, so that their customers can import or connect what they’re doing on that site to other major services like Windows Live, MySpace, Facebook, etc. without their needing to implement service-specific tweaks to their feed. Likewise, service endpoints like Windows Live can expose a standard endpoint rather than implementing and maintaining custom feed ingestion for every partner.

·         Windows Live is already consuming Activity Streams-compliant feeds from Facebook, MySpace, and about a dozen other of the current web activity partners who have begun publishing using the Activity Streams standard.

 

Thanks—

--Rob

 

P.S. If you haven’t done so, you can add “Web Activities” to Windows Live starting at: http://profile.live.com/WebActivities/

 

 

 

YouTube and 18 more new partners make it easy to share with friends on Windows Live

Beginning today, Windows Live is rolling out 19 new web activity partnerships with leading global and regional web companies – including YouTube and Break.com. This means that if you choose to add, for example, the YouTube web activity to your profile on Windows Live, then whenever you post a video or mark your video favorites on YouTube, the people in your Windows Live network will see an update about your activity in their What’s new feed in Messenger, in Hotmail, on Windows Live Home, etc.  

  Messenger showing YouTube activity in the What's new feed   What's new feed with YouTube web activity on the web

The new web activity partnerships are a great win for our customers, for our partners, and for Windows Live:

  • For customers, they make it easier to let your friends know about the sites you're discovering and the interesting stuff you’re doing on them, even if your friends aren’t using those sites yet.
  • For our partners, they’re great because just like other viral sharing mechanisms, they help new people discover each site’s content within the context of global services like Messenger and Hotmail that are already used by nearly 450 million people a month. And, the content being shared is more relevant and likely to be clicked on by the viewer, because it’s coming directly from their friends.
  • And of course, for Windows Live, partnerships make Messenger, Hotmail, and the rest of our suite an even better companion to all our partner sites that people already use and love.

With today’s update, we now have partnerships with 74 sites from around the world – localized into 35 languages, with broad coverage of leading sites worldwide in social networking, video sharing, photo sharing, blogging, reviews and ratings, and more.

Here is the list of our newest feed partners:

4Travel (Japan), Azbuz (Turkey), Baby Kingdom (Hong Kong), Biip.no (Norway), Break.com (US), BuscaPe (Brazil), CNET (US), L’internaute Copains (France), Doctissimo Community (France), IRC-Galleria (Finland), Libimseti.cz (Czech Republic), lokalisten.de (Germany), Multiply (US), MyVIP (Hungary), Neogen (Romania), PIXNET (Taiwan), Qype (Germany), Wat.tv (France), and YouTube (US)

Note: The region listed in parentheses after each website name indicates where the site originates, but you can add these web activities to Windows Live no matter where you live.

From a technology and standards point of view, here are a few additional fun data points about the web activities program:

  • Windows Live is a co-author and active participant in the Activity Streams standards, an effort for safely exchanging activity feed content (with user opt-in) among sites and client applications. The spec is being co-authored by representatives from Facebook, MySpace, Microsoft (us), SixApart, and the DiSo project. Many other key companies like Google, Yahoo, and Netflix are participants and contributors as well.
  • Activity Streams make it easy for partner sites to expose feed information or activity from their sites in a consistent format, once, so that their customers can import or connect what they’re doing on that site to other major services like Windows Live, MySpace, Facebook, etc. without their needing to implement service-specific tweaks to their feed. Likewise, service endpoints like Windows Live can expose a standard endpoint rather than implementing and maintaining custom feed ingestion for every partner.
  • Windows Live is already consuming Activity Streams-compliant feeds from Facebook, MySpace, and about a dozen other of the current web activity partners who have begun publishing using the Activity Streams standard.

In related news, if you haven’t noticed yet, the newly redesigned MSN home page now has a module where, if you sign in with your Windows Live ID, you can see what’s new from your friends on Windows Live. This, of course, includes any of the activities your friends are sharing with you via our web activities partners.

Windows Live on MSN home page

If you’d like to learn more about sharing videos and other web activities on Windows Live, check out this video by my friend Angus Logan.

cid:image004.png@01CA62B0.D5A077B0 

We hope you’ll add some web activities, try out the new partners, and help your friends on Messenger and the rest of Windows Live discover the great services you’re already enjoying.

Jeff Kunins
Windows Live engineering team

 

Chris Messina

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Nov 11, 2009, 6:31:10 PM11/11/09
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Great news Rob! Congrats!

Now, does that mean that these partner sites are exposing public feeds marked up in the activity streams format? I'd love to start listing them on the website — it'd be a great motivator to make progress on the site... and to promote these new implementations!

Any public documentation we can point to or look at?

Chris

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Rob Dolin

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Nov 12, 2009, 10:06:29 AM11/12/09
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Thanks very much for the congrats Chris. 

 

As most of these sites are in languages I don't speak, I've asked some colleagues who helped on-board these partners to try to gather the info.

 

One quick data point I can share is that over our releases of new "Web activities" (December 2008, April 2009, September 2009, and November 2009) we've moved from:

* Dec. 2008: mostly RSS or Atom

* Nov. 2009: mostly Activity Streams (either Atom+ASms or RSS+ASms)

 

I'll see if I can get more detailed info when I get into the office.

 

Thanks all--

--Rob

Rob Dolin

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Nov 13, 2009, 2:09:25 AM11/13/09
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Adding a bit more info after chatting with a colleague who oversaw our partner onboarding:

* None of the partners onboarded in this last round had an Activity Streams feed when we started working with them

* ~40% of the partners who implemented Activity Streams added the ASms elements to an existing Atom or RSS feed

* ~60% of the partners who implemented Activity Streams created a new feed with ASms elements

* One of our existing partners (China-based MClub) migrated from an older feed format to Activity Streams

 

As many of these partners are non-English (or Spanish) it’s hard for me to personally verify which partners are exposing ASms feeds externally.  (I know that for YouTube, we used their Atom 1.0 feed.)  If folks on this list have language expertise in any of the below partners’ locales and can check a profile page to see if it has an ASms feed, that would help to answer Chris’s original question.

 

Thanks—

--Rob

David Recordon

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Nov 11, 2009, 5:37:14 PM11/11/09
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Awesome, congrats to your team Rob!

On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 12:54 PM, Rob Dolin <robd...@microsoft.com> wrote:

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