BuddySpace Quick Setup Guide


This brief setup guide shows you how to install the Open University's BuddySpace system to get instant messaging and a visual sense of colleagues' online presence.

The result will be a display like this (every dot reflects a live ‘presence status’, is clickable to launch instant messaging, group chat, etc.)

Four Steps

1. Install BuddySpace

Go to the BuddySpace home page at http://buddyspace.org and click on DOWNLOADS (menus on the left):

Once you’ve filled in the registration form and downloaded the relevant installer, run the installer, and install the Java Runtime Environment included with it, unless you’re technical and know what you’re doing! (there are instructions on the download page)

2. Get your first password

OU staff/students: You should omit this step if you are a student or member of staff at the Open University, i.e. go straight to step 3.

Others, i.e. not OU staff/student: You can not perform this step unless your username has been pre-registered by a BuddySpace group administrator!

Go to the BuddySpace home page at http://buddyspace.org and click on the 'Admin' button at the bottom of the menu (just above the Open University logo).

Your BuddySpace login is your email address BUT WITH '%' INSTEAD OF '@' (so David whose email address is d.edwards@anon.co.uk, as shown in the above screen, has username: d.edwards%anon.co.uk).

Enter your Login name and click the radio button for 'need first password'. Press ‘Submit’, and a password will be emailed to you at the address that has been registered for your username.

You can always repeat this procedure to change your password later, update user details, etc.

3. Launch BuddySpace and fill in the preferences form

On the BuddySpace main menu, under Jabber… Preferences… you need to fill in the Login tab as follows:

4. Specify the automatic maps you want to receive

The first question you probably have is, "What maps do I want to receive?".

Maps are made available to you by the BuddySpace group administrator for the groups that you are a member of.  So, if you are a member of a BuddySpace group called 'XYZ' then you'll probably want to see what maps are available for group 'XYZ'. Here's how to do it!

When you have launched BuddySpace, go the menu: Jabber... Preferences... and on the Mapping tab, in the third (bottom) field, replace the entry with this:

(WARNING: CaSe SeNsItiVe, so copy the upper and lower case parts precisely!)

Press 'Save'  to record this change to the preferences.

Now go to the Maps menu and select Get Published Maps... and click on OK

If maps are available for your group, they will be listed as below:

If you click on the Save Selected Images/Maps button, a map for your group should appear in a new tab of the BuddySpace main window.


BuddySpace in Windows works like ICQ and Yahoo by doing different things for 'close' vs 'exit'!!! When you select the [X] in the upper right, it merely 'closes' down to the system tray without really exiting!!!!... so to avoid multiple instances running (which can be highly confusing, and require annoying 'kill javaw.exe in Task Manager'), PLEASE either use the menu choice: Jabber... Exit, or alternatively right-click and Exit from the icon in your system tray.