Myspace, Fad or Here To Say

I have been a website designer/owner for a long time. Being so, I have to try and keep up with the trends; seeing where they are going, what is a fad and what trends seem to be working. At first I thought the “MySpace” thing was another “GeoCities” from back in the days when the internet was young..

I was a bit skeptical about trying it out and seeing what it was all about. I had heard about some of the security risks that were popping up and getting discussed in various newsletters and on programs on TV. It peaked my curiosity.. What is this “MySpace” excitement all about?

For those of you reading this on my “MySpace” blog, obviously you have already discovered this interesting way of hooking up with old friends, and meeting new ones.. For those of you reading this from my website, I have to admit there are good and bad with everything. Not to mention addictions that come in lots of forms..

I have played with Myspace for a couple weeks now.. Finding an old friend here and there. Finding some friends I already had and didn’t know participated. I found alot of people signed up started a page and never use them for anything but adding people and possibly emailing back and forth. True blogging seems to be only a small part of the whole thing.. (I thought blogging was what Myspace was all about).

I found that most people seemed to have many many friends added to their Myspace. I have to wonder how many were really friends and how many people just left their accounts to accept anyone who comes along and wants to add themselves. Maybe they didn’t do anything with the settings at all.

I guess that is where the security risks start coming into play.. When you don’t monitor who joins as a friend a real friend might investigate a few of your friends and find out they are really in strange or bad places, bordering porn, exploits bugs, bad scripts, or other unscrupulous things that are unexpected..

Surfing thru one of my real life friends pages I found strippers, musicians that I had never heard of, sado masochists. All kinds of women scantily clad saying provocative things.. Did I really know my real life friend as well as I thought I did?. Or were they just not paying attention or just collecting people to see how many “myfriends” they could collect.

I actually wondered if I wanted to add my real life friend as a myspace friend to my page at all. Would people surfing past my site reflect who I am by “friends” of those I associate with?

While surfing around I also found some really pretty graphics in some comments that seemed really much to un-necessarily large. Many had pages with pictures you could comment on. And there was lots of loud obnoxious music with auto starts that hurt my ears.

In another friends space I found a girl I know is a 13 year old who had set up an page saying she was 26. (Danger! Danger! Will Robinson)

When I first set up my account I had accidentally left myself set as single without realizing it. I am very happily married. The first time I checked back to my new account, I had dozens of messages from different men allegedly from all over the world.. Telling me how interesting my Myspace page was and how they wanted to meet me. Calling me Pretty Girl and various eye catching phrases.

After reading a couple of them, out of curiosity, it was obvious that most of them did not have realistic pictures of themselves, they could only speak broken English and had not even read www.myspace/1dreamersreality at all. Where did all these losers come from? REPORT AS SPAM! DELETE!! BLOCK!! DELETE!! BLOCK!! over and over till they were all gone..But still in the trash for at least 10 days.. Please… Just make them go away… Sheesh, that was a job.

I fixed the part in the settings that said I was single to married and added a few changes to my settings. Thank goodness that hasn’t happened again.. Wonder if that happened to that sweet 13/26 year old and if she knew what was happening.

After continuing to play with it a while I found some useful functions like the calendar with notifications. I think this is a great feature for those of us that can’t remember birthdays until we have to admit we procrastinated too long once again and missed it. You could share your calendar and the events or choose to keep it private or do both.

After going to the forum I was able to find ways to personalize myspace to make it look a bit more like me and not just a boring page.. I think there could be a way for them to make it a bit easier to find this sort of info.. Then again I guess those who could not find it probably wouldn’t know what to do with the info anyway. There was quite a bit of trial and error there.

I found some of the settings and tricks mentioned in the forum only worked with IE and not with FireFox (which is really gaining in popularity). I wanted to add my own personal music to my page instead of picking something from the music area of myspace. While my html tweak can be seen and heard in IE, I can’t see or hear it while browsing with Firefox.. Sorry, I still don’t plan on using IE to do my browsing. Shame it will mean some Myspace areas won’t look or work right.. Shame Shame on Myspace’s original designers.

I will be tweaking and changing things around on my page for a while till I get just the right mix of content, that is to my liking. I am sure I will find more interesting things I have not experimented with.

I do find the bulletin board a bit annoying as some people seem to monopolize it with out you being able to be rid of the junk they add to it. or to keep them as a friend and disallow them from posting to it. It is possible I have missed that tweak somewhere.. Tweaking is all trial and error.

Though I was a skeptic of MySpace. I have found it is a fun experience.. Will I continue to like it or will it fall by the wayside after the newness wears off?. I really am not too sure yet. In most cases I like what I see. But in others I see a definite room for improvement.

As with most website communities, Myspace has something for everyone..
But not everything is for everybody.

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