Sunday, July 16, 2006

Creating a MySpace page

A bunch of people have told me that I need to experiment with MySpace so that I can understand what all the buzz is about. Obviously I am not an "early adopter" of MySpace technology... but as MySpace approaches 100,000,000 accounts and overtakes Yahoo in terms of traffic, I have finally created a page on MySpace:

http://myspace.com/marshallbrain

I still have lots to learn about making it look good, and there are things I would like to add, but it is a basic, reasonable attempt at a MySpace page.

The "lots to learn" thing is something that I find interesting about MySpace. If you want to create any kind of custom "look", add images, change fonts, etc. you are immediately plunged into the world of HTML style sheets and HTML tags. I had asked a friend of mine how I should make my page "look", and being a funny guy he sent me these two pages as "samples" and said, "make yours look like one of these!":Ignoring the content of those pages, the problem is that it would take hours, possibly days, to recreate them. There is a lot of work that goes into creating pages like these.

Then you get to the friend problem. Obviously, after creating the page, one of the things I would like to do is connect to my friends... Isn't that what MySpace is all about? The problem is that, as best I can tell, none of my friends have ever gone to myspace. Clearly there is a very strong age filter that applies to people who visit this site. Or perhaps it is an "HTML filter?" -- younger people know HTML and so they find MySpace easy, but older people don't? All I can say is that I searched for about 50 people I know using the MySpace friend finder tool, and not one of them had pages that I could link to. It really is fascinating that MySpace can have so much penetration and traffic in some segments of the audience, and so little penetration in other segments. Someone will have to come along and create the site that appeals to "everyone".

I'm still new at this, so if you have any advice please send it to me or leave it in the comments.

Comments:
The problem that I have with MySpace is that *all* of the pages just look like a jumble of, well, stuff (<-- polite version).

I'm find the blog format much easier for me to read.
 
Once you create a myspace page, what do you do with it? You can connect to friends, do a blog, but then what? There is no there there, is there?
 
Most Myspace sites are poor examples of web page design, puttting everything on one long page, usualy automaticly playing some song I never wanted to listen to, and rarely having any worthwhile content. You can get all of the services myspace provides from different web hosts, and realy, there's no advantage this has over using any of the others. I don't think there's much of an HTML barrier, or at least, there is something else, because there are people who know HTML and don't use Myspace. I think it's just that Myspace is made to attract people who primarily want to socialise, regardless of topic, and this dons't neccisarily appeal to someone like me who would rather make or find a site on a subject that intrests them, and then see if anyone else is interested in the same thing, even if it's only a handfull of people. And realy, sites like Myspace that are made to attract a wide audience are generaly seen as full of immature and stupid brats, because they are. To the point where it can be fun to just look through profiles and see how pathetic it's users can get. If I ever do make a Myspace page, it's main purpose will be to link to other sites I go to, in case anyone who goes to Myspace might somehow be interested in the same things I am but not know how to search for it.
 
I've been on MySpace for a few years (back when there were only a million users, but it still seemed huge then!) so maybe I can help. Not everyone feels the need to customize their page. Mine is standard and a lot of my friends are the same way.

You're right about how interesting it is that MySpace has such a huge marketshare with young (Americans) and almost none with the rest. But since I fall in that demographic, I have to remind myself that there are people who don't fall under the same group.

As someone who knows how to program and appreciates coding standards, my biggest gripe with MySpace is that they make it *so* difficult to make the page design look good. It takes very little effort to come up with horrid results, which is why you see so many poor examples. With proper XHTML coding and some more logical layout, it could be really simple to come up with great stuff. Also having a feature to strip out any custom styles would be something I would dig.

To the anonymous poster, MySpace is really useful when you know other people that use it. It's utility increases every time someone else you know is added to your friends list. I have about a 100 friends and at know at least 90% of them from the "real world". Some I have met on MySpace, some I have met other places, but most I actually have met in person. Once you have that connection, it's a great way to stay in touch with everyone.
 
MySpace is great when you have that nostalgic feeling for early 90's internet.

I'm sure you guys have seen the Daily Show's take on MySpace... but just incase you missed it:
MySpace on The Daily Show

There was also an article on digg today about a "Myspace.com hijack is currently spreading like wildfire"
 
Why would a business/professional person create a myspace page? A place like linkedin.com is the better option.
 
MySpace: Design Anarchy That Works
 
It's great to see one of my inspirations, Marshall Brain, on MySpace!
 
Pimp Web Page
 
Sorry I can't help you. I have a MySpace, and I JUST DON'T KNOW why.
 
it really doesn't have to be all about columns...

myspace.com/cerebrus1
 
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You are truly inspirational. And it's even more great to see you doing your stuff around MySpace too!
 
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