Saturday, April 8

I don't know whether I'm pissed off at MySpace or not. Facebook, Xanga and Myspace suck the life out of you. Well they can. I have a force shield that protects my soul from the inherent evils of these sites. People love egocasting. Talking about themselves and broadcasting it in an 'innocent' way. And everybody naively thinks that the only people watching their profiles on these sites are their peers.

Wrong, dildo-face.

Now consider that many employers look up your name on these sites as part of their background checks. Sexual predators? Love these sites. "You love such and such a band too? And you're a sucker for men in top hats? Meet me at the candy shop at 5:00!" Myspace is a heavenly wealth of information:

MySpace knows their users basic info, name, email, age, etc. Then it also knows their friends, their friends data, their favorite bands, the way they speak, who they like, who they don't. Heck it can probably run a simple algorithm and figure out your favorite words (assuming you use MySpace). A more complex algorithm and it can probably imitate they way you talk.

You think the basic questions "favorite books, movies, music" are for your friends to get to know you better? Bullshit. They're for marketing companies. They gather the information from the 60 million visitors on Myspace, even knowing your relationships with all your friends. The friendly get-togethers at the 7-11 parking lots of the early 90's are now conducted on everyone's personal computers after school, on a PUBLIC medium. Marketers are gathering their data to offer you products that define you to a T. Good? Creepy? Nobody that uses Myspace or facebook likely cares, but it would be refreshing if kids today were aware.

Because it might be my space or your space, but it's their data in the end...

That being said, I'd like to encourage anyone interested in this topic to read this paper. It's a paper that gets you to think about motives behind simply being a part of the sites. Myspace really is a genius company. Everyone loves Tom, the Myspace figurehead. Even people without friends can see the profiles of Tom to get accustomed to it and are encouraged to do more. Being a part of Myspace lets you in on culture. It's being with your friends. Commenting rewards both the commentor and the commented. The more you comment, the more people think about you and click back to your profile. Popularity and the 'coolness factor' goes up. Myspace rewards you for putting effort into the site. With customization, learning isn't just for nerds anymore. Myspace rolls with youth culture, the 14-24 year olds. Music is going to be huge in terms of funding for Myspace in the future. I could go on but I'll try to stop myself.

Another thing, not all "friends" are friends and no one bats an eye if someone collects hundreds of people. It's more like a process of namaste - I acknowledge your soul and you acknowledge mine. Where language inflation turns "okay" into "good" and "good" into "great," acquaintances are now listed as friends. This bugs me.

"While many did not come to Friendster to get laid (just as they say they don't go to bars to get laid), places where large numbers of hott singles hang out are bound to attract other singles, regardless of whether or not they want to admit that they're looking for sex. Friendster was a free site where people could meet other interesting people; at the same time, rejection was OK because no one was actually looking to meet someone. Sex is still the reason why people use the site..."

hahaha. I just thought this was amusing in that many people are posting ads of themselves masked as Myspace pages to increase their networking. I think in several respects, subconcious or not, the above quote isn't so far off from the truth.


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In the year 2006 I resolve to:
Blame Canada.