Move over Friendster– Myspace.com is the newest way Mills students, and other computer-savvy hipsters, stay in touch and exchange information. Since its inception in 2003 by a couple of computer programmers in southern California, Myspace has taken over as the Internet’s leading social network.
Myspace has become so huge on the Mills Campus that student Yenn Nolan has created a Mills Women Group. Nolan created the group in November 2004 as a place for Mills women, past and present, to connect. The group has a message board and messaging service for members of the group to interact. People can post pictures of Mills and information about our school for anyone to look at.
Myspace is a free service that uses the Internet for online communication. It contains an interactive network of photos, weblogs, user profiles, webforums, and user groups that are open to every user. By creating a profile, a person can then look at their friends’ profiles, and those friends’ profiles, etc., and thus meet and relate to a friend of a friend of a friend. Myspace currently boasts about 7.5 million users along with 200,000 user groups, and approximately 5 new user posts every second.
People can create an extended network of friends using Myspace and even become “friends” with the main operator and advertiser, Tom Anderson. Anderson automatically becomes a user’s first friend upon creation of a profile.
Sophomore Britt Card said, “I am a Myspace addict. I like it because it’s a good distraction and I love to eavesdrop on people without them knowing. I also really like the blog feature on Myspace.”
With its easy to use interface, even young teenagers can create a profile and a network of friends through Myspace.
Myspace has replaced the older Friendster in popularity in the past two years. People have made the jump to Myspace for a variety of reasons, most of them related to the constant updating and reshaping of Myspace. “I think I like Friendster better, even though everyone tells me it sucks. People are just more wholesome on Friendster,” said Card. Since the shift, Friendster has worked to revamp its image and make it more appealing to the youth audience, but Myspace remains on top.
Myspace does have a few features that Friendster does not. People can easily edit their profiles with various Myspace editors, created by users themselves. For sophomore Nikki DaSilva, this is a big plus. “I really like being able to design my own webspace on Myspace, it gives me the opportunity to make it my own.”
Users can also put music videos and mp3 files up on their profile, which is a definite plus for bands on Myspace. Myspace has a music section where people can look at bands’ profiles by genre, listen to music, and get updates on future shows. While Myspace focuses primarily on social interaction, Friendster offers a jobs section on its site. People can search for jobs through the Web site and contact future employers before meeting in person.
The variety of groups and forums on Myspace is astounding. Groups are formed by hometown, school, interests – anything that a multitude of people might have in common. The Mills Women group on Myspace currently has 10 members to talk to, but those aren’t the only Mills women on Myspace. A simple profile keyword search will produce 3,000 hits.
Both Myspace and Friendster face some competition. Sites like Pixparty.com, PoliticalFriendster.com, and Tribe.net provide the same type of social networking. The popularity of both continues to grow as more users sign up.