MySpace and other social networking sites
I dare you to bring up your browser and go to your favorite news source and try to avoid a story about MySpace
, FaceBook or any of the other "social networking" websites. We are buried in stories, some are good stories others, dare I say 'the most popular' are the bad stories.
My exposure to MySpace came when a friend asked me to help him with his profile. In order to answer his questions I needed to create an account. From a technical standpoint, I found MySpace sorely lacking
but that's a different topic.
Once you go through the online forms and procedures to set up your account, you can add as much or as little information as you like. Most people join MySpace at the invitation of another
and feeds the process of learning to add information, photographs and "friends."
Adding friends to your list is as easy as clicking a link (if you can find it through all the layout crap)
. Your interest in being a friend is sent to the friend for approval. Since people judge each other's popularity by the number of friends
on the list, most requests are approved without question, (this leads into another topic about safety).
So here you are on your MySpace home page with a few dozen friends, most of which you don't know but added them because they were linked on other friends profile and you wonder, now what?
Visit your friends and make comments, post a bulletin message to all your friends at once, try your hand at customizing your website adding graphics, music and more personal information about yourself... are we having fun yet?
I've watched the new users list and the age groups or demographics of new members and the trend I am seeing is that more and more adults are being enticed to join
... especially singles because it's a free way to publicize one's "aloneness." There are some graphics being posted with the term, "from MySpace to your place." More or less, it is becoming a way for adults to 'hookup'
or find potential partners for long term, short term or momentary relationships.
Then there's the "top friends" list. This is interesting and one of the more impressive features as far as user interface goes. Using a drag and drop DHTML feature (sorry... too technical), you can sort the top 4 to 24 friends on your list. This is interesting as people strive to get as high on their friends top rank
as they can. I always thought it humorous until I found my name in the top of some friends... it felt good. Then I saw my name drop down or off... it felt bad. Surprisingly bad. It seems more emotional than I gave it credit.
So I've played with MySpace for most of 2006. I'm up to about 90 friends, most of which are other small businesses or small business people. I've added and removed a number of friends over the months because of bulletin abuse, too many comments, or just a decision of incompatibility. My interest in MySpace has been communicating with other small business and observing how small businesses are using MySpace
. (Which technically is against the rules by the way.)
Then I ran across this AP story today.
Some Youth Rethink Online Communications
Oct 6, 11:50 AM (ET)
By MARTHA IRVINE
CHICAGO (AP) - For some, it would be unthinkable - certain social suicide. But Gabe Henderson is finding freedom in a recent decision: He canceled his MySpace account.
No longer enthralled with the world of social networking, the 26-year-old graduate student pulled the plug after realizing that a lot of the online friends he accumulated were really just acquaintances. He's also phasing out his profile on Facebook, a popular social networking site that, like others, allows users to create profiles, swap message and share photos - all with the goal of expanding their circle of online friends.
After reading the article I find that I agree. Social networking is fun and all, but when the novelty wears off, you're still sitting by yourself
staring at a glowing screen. Most people desire to be around other people, social networking is way to meet others and interact, but in the end the desire to be around others remains.
Two more points... sorry.
I've recently accepted a new client in the entertainment industry.
I've been hired as the webmaster for Ellis Place but also as a marketing consultant per se. Steve seeks my advice on a number of things, accepting some, discarding some, listening to all. I like it! Since their target market is the you adult party crowd, I've been considering ways the I can use this networking appliance as a tool to make my client more money.
I have some ideas and will post the results... or at least commentary.
The prediction! MySpace will continue to evolve or die.
They need to fix their data structure and their user interfaces as well as the core technology they rely on. They will expand the features of MySpace or be replaced by another popular site (and there are many in the works) that takes the next logical step in social networking.
Fact is, I have the next application in my head and ready to go. The other sad fact is that I don't have the time nor the resources. I'm working on a couple of projects that could very well change all that and allow me to assemble my team of database administrators, web application designers, content producers and graphics artists. My hope is by July 4th '07
I will have the staff, until then, I'll keep my ideas to myself and my nose to the grindstone so that one day, "DaveSpace" may become reality.
No, not the intended name.
This was posted on my personal blog but included in its entirety at the advice of Robert.