Messenger certainly has grown into one hell of a social networking desktop client. When properly configured and linked to your various profiles, it allows you to control almost every aspect of your social experience in one convenient interface. In this post, I’ll discuss how to quickly create a small Windows Live Group from Messenger.
First, a little background on groups. Originally, Messenger used the term group to refer to a collection of friends that shared a common thread. These days, Messenger uses the more meaningful term category to describe such a collection. The term group now refers to a formal Windows Live Group, which provides members with:
- A dedicated group website at http://groups.live.com
A shared discussion forum
- 5 GB of shared SkyDrive storage, including a documents powered by Office Web Apps
- A group calendar that integrates with Hotmail and other calendars
- A group e-mail address that members can use to quickly communicate with each other
- Group instant messaging for groups with up to 40 members
Sure, you could build such a group by visiting http://groups.live.com, but that is a multistep process that requires you to create the group, select members, send invitations, and tweak group options. If your primary use will be group chat, then Messenger can makes your life so much easier.
- In the main Messenger window, click Contacts 4 Create a Group. A prompt is displayed to provide a name for your group.
- Type a friendly name for your group (it doesn’t have to be unique), and click Next. You’ll be prompted to invite others to join your group.
- You can click the link to select individuals from your Messenger contacts, or you can just type individual e-mail addresses separated by semicolons. When you’re finished, click Next.
- Messenger informs you that the group has been created and the invitees have been notified. Click Finish to close the window.
- The group is accessible under the Groups heading on the right-hand side of the Messenger window. To access this group more easily, however, you can click the drop-down and click Groups.
- Once other members have joined your group, you’ll be able to initiate a group instant messaging session with any other online members by double-clicking the name of the group.
If you want to access any of the aforementioned sophisticated features, such as group e-mail,
forum-style discussions, or document collaboration, you’ll need to hit the group’s website. Just point your browser to http://groups.live.com and click your group.