Not My Space

I have a MySpace profile that I use occasionally for comparison purposes. I use the account when I read about some new feature they have or to see how they handle a specific social network feature.

Last week, I got bacn from MySpace saying that “Cathy” wanted to be my friend. Although I know MySpace is rife with spam invites, I actually know a woman named Cathy. Not exactly the social network junkie, but she has a niece who fits the MySpace demographic. So, I decided to log in to see if it was her.

So, after half a dozen cookie requests, I finally got the home page loaded. I tried to login and failed. Like I said, I don’t use the account much, so remembering the password took a few attempts. MySpace delivers a user-friendly message when you fail to match credentials:”You must be logged in to do that.” What? I must be logged in to log in? How does that work?

Anyway, finding out this nugget of information takes several seconds as the MySpace home loads a background ad for Saw 4, along with some creepy music. As a side note, will someone please tell Hollywood that pitching graphic horror movies to young people is a bad idea?

So, I finally remembered my password and therefore was allowed to do that, i.e. log in, and after four more cookie requests, I’m finally in my profile. MySpace has strange UI. Home is your profile home, and in addition, there’s a MySpace.com link, in case you need to see the Saw 4 ads again. Weird paradigm.

Simplicity is often cited as the Facebook mantra, especially when compared to MySpace, which allows users to modify every single aspect of their profiles. However, if you have done nothing to your profile, like me, MySpace is really bare.

More UI fun, MySpace lets me know that “Jake is in your extended network.” Thank you, Captain Obvious. Good to know that I am in my own extended network. Although, I never got an invite. Given the choice, I might not want to be my own friend.

Anyway, I go to “Friend requests” to see if Cathy is my real friend or some other Cathy. Surprise, it’s not. Plus, there are a bunch of other requests in my inbox from accounts that have been deleted. All spam, all the time. So, while I’m in MySpace, I decide to check out the profile of the only friend I have on MySpace.

So, it takes several seconds to load because it’s a full page of Photobucket images, at least six embedded movies, a Cincinnati Bengals background and about eight vertical pages of stuff. I’ve had enough, and this profile doesn’t even have a song playing.

Conclusion, MySpace is not for me, duh. I’ve asked people who have accounts with both Facebook and MySpace to compare them. The main appeal is that MySpace allows complete personalization, which explains its appeal to young people and anyone wanting to build a brand through the social network like bands, movie producers, comedians, extroverts, etc. Having a celebrity or character (e.g. Chazz Michael Michaels) in your top friends seems to be a fun thing.

A lot of people start with MySpace as their first social network, which is still a much larger network than Facebook in terms of members. Maintaining multiple profiles and reinviting friends when you start using a new social network is a chore. So, there is probably room in the social networking game for both Facebook and MySpace in the long run, if only due to their differences.

MySpace isn’t for me, but I guess I can see it’s appeal for some folks. They call it “a place for friends”, but more accurately, it’s a place for you, all you all the time.

AboutJake

a.k.a.:jkuramot

22 comments

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  2. what totally drives me up the wall with most of the social networking sites is their inability to understand that someone might actually want to CANCEL an account!

    The vast majority don’t let you turn off or delete your “own” account. That is so against the most basic rules of web management that quite frankly any of them gets my downed thumb just for that!

  3. what totally drives me up the wall with most of the social networking sites is their inability to understand that someone might actually want to CANCEL an account!

    The vast majority don’t let you turn off or delete your “own” account. That is so against the most basic rules of web management that quite frankly any of them gets my downed thumb just for that!

  4. I signed up for a FaceBook account recently, just to see what it was like, and it was pretty easy to delete the account. I’ve never tried with any of the other sites. And I totally agree that the MySpace pages are more often than not really ugly affairs. Plus I get lots of people hot-linking images and flash off my site to use on MySpace. I know there are ways to stop that, but I haven’t got around to doing it yet! An interesting post Jake – thanks!

  5. I signed up for a FaceBook account recently, just to see what it was like, and it was pretty easy to delete the account. I’ve never tried with any of the other sites. And I totally agree that the MySpace pages are more often than not really ugly affairs. Plus I get lots of people hot-linking images and flash off my site to use on MySpace. I know there are ways to stop that, but I haven’t got around to doing it yet! An interesting post Jake – thanks!

  6. MySpace also allows you to cancel your account. I’m not able to find anything analogous for my LinkedIn profile. Although they did downgrade my completeness percent to 95% now that they support pictures.

    My guess is that the smaller the user base, the harder they make it to cancel/delete your account.

  7. MySpace also allows you to cancel your account. I’m not able to find anything analogous for my LinkedIn profile. Although they did downgrade my completeness percent to 95% now that they support pictures.

    My guess is that the smaller the user base, the harder they make it to cancel/delete your account.

  8. I can understand facebook, linkedin, orkut and all the other sites. I have accounts in all of these. But, I never understand myspace. In this day and age, how can they make such an ugly website and still be the most popular website.

  9. I can understand facebook, linkedin, orkut and all the other sites. I have accounts in all of these. But, I never understand myspace. In this day and age, how can they make such an ugly website and still be the most popular website.

  10. Yeah, MySpace starts you off with such a blah UI that it’s no wonder people like to customize it. There’s a cottage industry solely around MySpace profile templates, which tells you how much time it takes to make your profile fit you exactly.
    I think time is the reason it’s so popular, i.e. working people don’t have it, so Facebook is good enough. Young people have more time to make MySpace fit them, to build an online brand. Time invested is why they stay number 1.
    It’s actually a good, targeted product for the demographic, but we’ll see how they evolve with stiffer competition.
    My main gripe is the UI functions are less than intuitive, esp the messaging.

  11. Yeah, MySpace starts you off with such a blah UI that it’s no wonder people like to customize it. There’s a cottage industry solely around MySpace profile templates, which tells you how much time it takes to make your profile fit you exactly.
    I think time is the reason it’s so popular, i.e. working people don’t have it, so Facebook is good enough. Young people have more time to make MySpace fit them, to build an online brand. Time invested is why they stay number 1.
    It’s actually a good, targeted product for the demographic, but we’ll see how they evolve with stiffer competition.
    My main gripe is the UI functions are less than intuitive, esp the messaging.

  12. Haven’t tried hi5 yet. I’m pretty tapped out with networks on Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, Pownce, Upcoming, orkut, etc. Maybe someday. When I get there, I’ll have one at least friend to start.

  13. Haven’t tried hi5 yet. I’m pretty tapped out with networks on Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, Pownce, Upcoming, orkut, etc. Maybe someday. When I get there, I’ll have one at least friend to start.

  14. Honestly, its easier to navigate myspace than it is to navigate some of oracles products so its like the Pot calling the kettle black 😉 Aside from that myspace thrives because it isn’t a rigid foundation. Social networking is something that should allow for freedom and with freedom comes disparity but between the disparity comes relationships that can build because you discover more. The other social sites are really just boring and too commercial for my likes. I don’t bother with any of them over and beyond some of my hobbies i participate in and marketing thereof but again, myspace allows me to build a more personal community better than anything else because it is myspace.

    Both serve a purpose but as someone who likes seeing expression no matter how wrong it may appear in ones view i’d take myspace over facebook anyday.

  15. Honestly, its easier to navigate myspace than it is to navigate some of oracles products so its like the Pot calling the kettle black 😉 Aside from that myspace thrives because it isn’t a rigid foundation. Social networking is something that should allow for freedom and with freedom comes disparity but between the disparity comes relationships that can build because you discover more. The other social sites are really just boring and too commercial for my likes. I don’t bother with any of them over and beyond some of my hobbies i participate in and marketing thereof but again, myspace allows me to build a more personal community better than anything else because it is myspace.

    Both serve a purpose but as someone who likes seeing expression no matter how wrong it may appear in ones view i’d take myspace over facebook anyday.

  16. byron: Agreed, aside from the comparison of social networking to enterprise software, which is like comparing the digging capabilities of a spoon to a backhoe. Sure the spoon has a more easy to use “interface”, but it’s not a very good digging tool. Sometimes you need more features, which complicates the interface.

    Anyway, the self-expression thing is definitely a plus for MySpace over Facebook, if that’s what you want from a social network. I really think it’s a time/demographic issue, i.e. MySpace users spend more time to brand themselves because they are generally younger and presumably have more time for that exercise. This also appeals to marketing and branding entities that want to target that demographic.

    Facebook’s trim interface focuses on the social features, which shortcuts the UI stuff.

  17. byron: Agreed, aside from the comparison of social networking to enterprise software, which is like comparing the digging capabilities of a spoon to a backhoe. Sure the spoon has a more easy to use “interface”, but it’s not a very good digging tool. Sometimes you need more features, which complicates the interface.

    Anyway, the self-expression thing is definitely a plus for MySpace over Facebook, if that’s what you want from a social network. I really think it’s a time/demographic issue, i.e. MySpace users spend more time to brand themselves because they are generally younger and presumably have more time for that exercise. This also appeals to marketing and branding entities that want to target that demographic.

    Facebook’s trim interface focuses on the social features, which shortcuts the UI stuff.

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