I was telling someone yesterday about why I love the new messenger control. This is the control that you see on the left-hand side of this page titled “Chat with me” that allows an anonymous visitor to the page to chat with me in real time when I am logged in to Live Messenger.

I love the opportunity this simple control gives me to interact with visitors around the world. I am sure they are finding this easy to use this, rather than writing a comment and it also gives them instant gratification. Today I was having an interesting conversation with a Facility Manager from Saudi Arabia on how he came across my blog (actual chat snippet below):

Visitor to Venkatarangan Blog on how he discovered the blog

Visitor to Venkatarangan Blog on how he discovered the blog

What I like most is the convenience of using and the control I get with this service. I don’t need to sign in to yet another site or install a client application for being available for chatting. The only thing I need to do is to be signed in to my regular Live Messenger. And including this on the blog page couldn’t be easier – other than the Microsoft style of a plethora of different sites you need to go before you understand it.

To include this control on your page, there are three steps.

Step 1: Enable Permission in Messenger settings page to “Show your Messenger Status on the  Web”

Step 2: Click on the “Create HTML” on the left-hand navigation on the same page. In the page select the style of the control you want to display in your page

Step 3: Copy the HTML at the bottom of the page and paste it into an appropriate area in your blog page.

For more details refer to dev.live.com/messenger. But please spare yourself by not starting with this page, it takes you to a complex looking MSDN page which finally redirects you to these 3 simple steps I have said above.

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