After reading this entry by Chris “Long Tail” Anderson (as opposed to Chris “Avalon Architect” Anderson) I went back to play with my MSN Space. In addition to the blog, my MSN space supports photo albums and lists – both of which show up in the RSS feed. Cool, so MSN Spaces solves the issue that Chris is having with Movable Type (though MT expects to support this soon). Since I’m using NewsGator Outlook, each change to the list shows up as a new entry, but I imagine other news readers simply update the content and mark the post as unread.
However, there is one slight issue with the MSN Spaces RSS feed – at least for photo albums. The RSS item’s description is a snippet of HTML showing the thumbnails of the photos – or at least, the thumbnails of the first ten photos. I understand not pushing every thumbnail down to the client automatically, but once you get past ten photos in a photo album, the RSS decription doesn’t change when you add more pictures and the people syndicating your site don’t have any way to know you’ve updated the album. There needs to be some other snippet of HTML, maybe showing the time and date of the last update, that will change so that the news readers can tell the album has been updated.
Otherwise, my only real quibble with MSN Spaces is the unfriendly URLs. The url for my Patrick photo album is huge and ugly. Ouch! Why can’t it be something like http://spaces.msn.com/members/devhawk/photos/patrick_pics?
Update: I deleted the actual URL to the Patrick Photo Album as it is huge and was causing scrolling issues with my blog template. Feel free to click on the photo album link and then you can observe the url from the comfort of your own browser address bar.