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carrie

Here is what usually happens when I got to myspace.... Check on my profile views, see if there are any interesting bulletins from anyone. Randomly click on a friend (I'm w/you, "real" friends only) check out their friends for mutual acquaintances or people whom look interesting. Laugh about any ridiculous pictures of girls wearing tiny outfits or guys w/o their shirts off. Check my high school and college for any new add's...Seems like all the alumni are from the class of 2002, doesn't really seem like true alumni to me, considering they were in grade school when I graduated. Feel old and log out.

Alexis

Oh yeah, I've found a few friends via my alumni group.

One interesting feature Janelle pointed out is that you can see when others have read emails from you.

Jordan

I really like that feature. It lets me see when someone just didn't notice the message and when they're actively ignoring me. It's just a time saver. You know me - busy busy busy.

Voo

I started using it because I was missing invites to events from another social circle (it's like having another BBS) and then got really into it because of the band thing. Surprising, since I'm soooo not the Music Girl.

But it lets me see if I like a band without having to buy anything or put up with some grinning, nodding friend sitting right next to me going, "See? Yeah? You know? It's good, eh?" Also, MySpace recommends bands, and that can lead me on a goosechase through the whole place and I spend all day looking at bands.

The school thing is pretty cool now that I got my high school added to the list. (Yes, fellow MPAers, that was all me.)

And, occasionally, someone worth talking to finds me and says hello.

Anthony

Why won't the wallpaper scroll with the page content!?!? This part of MySpace drives me insane!

janelle

Yeah, sorry no myspace whore here! FYI: That fellow still has not deleted his friend request. You can do that you know. I think it's a totally rad feature. It allows you to save face when some clown ass doesn't grant your wish for friendship and leaves you pending for days or weeks. I am going to see how long Mr. "Looking for the Right Girl" will wait out my friendship in pending status. It's a fun game! I'll keep you posted...I believe right now he is at week two. Anyone else wanna play?!

Not2Sure

I avoid it entirely. Blogs generally and Myspace in particular are basically draining the creative output of an entire generation and creating in return only a mountain of personal data to be mined, harvested, and sold by a few disreputable insiders.

It amazes me that thinking people give so much information via myspace posts to people with a history of engaging in very dubious business practices and ethics that you would never even dream of giving them a bit of personal information in real life conversation.

Alexis

Not2Sure: I just read the article you link to and fail to see why it would deter the majority of people from using Myspace. Companies using demographic information to sell to advertisers? Say it isn't so! And users agreeing to keep the content clean on their Myspace profiles? Great! I myself reported someone just last week for having an extremely offensive profile that broke the rules of Myspace.

As far as blogging on Myspace, there are plenty of other places on the WWW to exercise one's right to free speech. Who cares if you can't do it there? I have to wonder, too, with 40 million members, does anyone else really care?

It's just a business, I'm not sure why anyone would get so uptight about rules and conduct, especially when the user signs an agreement.

Your statement about blogs in general, well, that's one of the most ridiculous things I've ever read. I couldn't even begin to parse that sentence to where it makes sense. I'm not sure I even understand it.

Not2Sure

You will in a few years. The vast majority of blogs and myspace pages are the World Wide Waste of Time's version of IRC channels with extremely high latency.

The only way blogs, even the few good ones, at all decrease the entropy of the information sphere is ironically by engendering private not public communications, (e.g., people post a comment on a blog and email the owner). This creation of an actual real relationship with its potential profit to the geist happens so rarely as to not be worth the high associated cost of attention deficit and the opportunity cost of lost time. Blogging actually has a chilling inverse effect when it comes to introducing new perspectives or creating broader communities.

RE: Myspace article. I'm afraid I don't understand what point you're making about myspace and censorship. Does the linked article even mention censorship? I think that it summarizes the somewhat shady business dealings that the founders and leaders of myspace have engaged or been associated with in the past including fraud, theft and the promulgation of borderline and sometimes illegal spy and adware.

Perhaps now that they have struck the gold mine they have decided to keep their nose clean, so to speak. If you can trust them to stick to their privacy policy in the complete absence of any regulation or enforcement knowing their very disreputable background, that's your choice. I certainly haven't heard of any direct violations. The shoddy code for myspace.com is however routinely exploited by outside farmers if the company itself is not harvesting data (which I doubt).
Do you remember how easy it was for a script kiddie a few months ago in the course of a few hours to add himself as a friend to about 80% of myspace userbase forcing a complete shutdown? That's nothing compared to what was going on with jscript hacks before.

I gave up some time ago blindly trusting corporations even those involved in actual legitimate businesses in the real world to stick to their policies regarding personal data let alone shady internet opportunists or even worse government agencies. I was going to turn all those nouns in the previous sentence into links to episodes of malfeasance but you already know. Most Americans do. They for some reason don't seem to care or think it affects them. It's bizarre how easy we accept the discounting and commodization of our personal space even though at the same time we use it to underpin basic legal rights such as the right to legal abortion. Don't even get me started on the castration of HIPAA prosecutorial power this year. The rest of the world snickers when Americans mention, and mention quite often and proudly, a so-called "right to privacy."

The US government monitoring phone conversations and library patrons to *ahem* "find terrorists"?!?! OMG!! Burn them. Much gnashing of teeth for a day or two but no real traction. A telecommunications company monitoring phone conversations and tracking GPS positions and giving you a free phone and no charge for unlimited service in "return." OMG!! A bargain! FREE FREE FREE! Tell your friends.

Don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against the founders of myspace or that telecommunications company that will make a killing. If they stick to their published business model, myspace is engaged in the US at least, in a perfectly legal exchange of cheap bandwidth and commodity pc server space for your extremely valuable personal information at an absurdly profitable margin. Those 40 million people you mention however I'd wager have no idea how much they are being ripped off. They are paying the equivalent of hundreds of dollars in exchange for getting a shiny piece of aluminum foil and are I would argue at some risk of losing much more.

I think that you left out another way you and others seem to make heavy use of myspace and other blogs for: To drive traffic here and to your business site. I say, good for you! and good for the other commercial artists and businesses co-opting myspace! You're being fleeced less than most of that 40 million.

DISCLAIMER: I have a myspace profile but have never hooked up with any hot 18-25 year-olds through it and therefore can be easily dismissed as acting out in jealous anger and sexual frustration. Or whatever.

Alexis

You will in a few years.

Well, do tell.

I'm afraid I don't understand what point you're making about myspace and censorship. Does the linked article even mention censorship?

Yes, the it talks about content censorship and how it's a serious issue for free speech advocates. This was the only point I took away from the article.

[the article] summarizes the somewhat shady business dealings that the founders and leaders of myspace have engaged or been associated with in the past including fraud, theft and the promulgation of borderline and sometimes illegal spy and adware.

From the article: "it has yet to be documented anyone has ever received spyware or adware from the MySpace company itself."

I just want to make sure we stay on topic, here.

As for the rest of your argument, I'm sorry, but I really think it's irrelevant, and a stretch.

Not2Sure

Ah I see now the two sentences in that article regarding censoring. Yeah, I agree who cares. Myspace is such a center of important speech that needs protection. /rolls eyes
Schools everywhere are starting to blacklist the domain because it is such a wasteland and no one cares.

"I certainly haven't heard of any direct violations."

My previous post doesn't rely on any false allegations that myspace delivers illegal or trace software at all. The point is about the risks of trusting what myspace does with the data that is out of your control once it enters their database not about what they do with cpu cycles you do control.

Until recently it was relatively easy for the knowledgeable to access your "private" content on myspace as well as redirect it using simple cross-site scripting and other techniques until Samy pulled his idiot move. This rather cavalier attitude towards security and obviously sloppy work combined with past questionable behavior from people in leadership positions is indicative to me of how they view the nature of the relationship you have to your posted content: basically none.
As a result I have little trust that they care much about adhering to a privacy policy when no one is looking behind closed doors.

And what argument is irrelevant or a stretch? That people are being fleeced by myspace? Just because you aren't paying for something doesn't mean it isn't costing you. I don't use myspace for the same reason I dislike real estate agents: I don't like being taken advantage of for the easy grossly marked up profit of others.

That's just math. You are getting about what, a few fully costed dollars a month in hosting from myspace if we're being generous? Definitely more if you are one of the minority of heavy power users but the income generated by heavy users scales with cost almost linearly in that model. Care to wager how much flat out revenue you're generating for myspace a month in ad views? That is in addition to the less tangible but extremely valuable good will created by enhancing myspace's position as a market trend indicator for 12-18 and 18-27 by posting content and spending time there. Especially given recent trends towards age compression marketing and "aspirational" purchasing, that's a bankable asset.

The protection for your data with no advocate or sheperding force is anonymity in numbers or that no one cares to know that who people were sleeping with or what they were sleeping on last month. Neither of which are true anymore. Search platforms can find it and commerce is interested.

There's a reason myspace was paid nearly 3/4 billion dollars US for the property and why they fought tooth and nail not to be forced to sell even at that ridiculous sum of money. It wasn't because the powers that be think internet culture needs more giddy sexual innuendo and garage bands or because Fox wanted to manipulate the minds of impressionable youth.

I do hope the future proves me to be paranoid and overly distrustful. It would be a refreshing change of pace.

Rex

Girl Friday is the new Slashdot!

Apryl Electra

Hey, my sister sent me to this page. Thanx for the free publicity. I wish your link would have worked.

BTW, I wouldn't want to be friends on myspace (thanx industry zine for the feature!) with anyone who doesn't really care for my music.
(PS, Janelle, whoever you are - I have a record label working for me so most likely I didn't personally add you... I'm not too crazy about Lisa Loeb or Cat Stevens. I think they kinda suck. Hope you dig that new "#1 Single" show.)

Look for me in February's issue of Girlfriends Magazine and on the Converse website in the upcoming year.
Peace and Namaste in 2006, Apryl E.

Don't forget to buy a CD!

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