I’ve been rebelling against the MySpace craze for quite some time now. I don’t like the site for a variety of reasons, but recently, I went ahead and set up a profile for myself. ((And no, I’m not providing a link; it’s probably not going to be active much longer, anyway.)) Enough people that I know have their own profiles that I was curious to at least test-drive the service for myself and see what it was all about. And I’m afraid that my worst suspicions were confirmed.
MySpace is, indeed, evil.
There are a number of reasons why I say this. For one thing, customizing site profiles breaks just about every rule for good web page design that there is. The way the site is set up, for instance, margins break all the time. I use a 1024×768 screen resolution on my monitor, and far too often I am forced to sidescroll twice that width in order to view the entire page. This is usually due to the annoying practice that many MySpacers have of pasting images that have no business appearing on a computer screen into the comments. Someone left one such comment on my own profile, and I summarily deleted it. It would be better to completely disallow images in the comments, but I do not see such a thing occurring anytime in the near future.
Apparently, few people have ever been told that it is really bad form to load onto their web pages audio or video files that start automatically. It is not uncommon to surf to a MySpace profile where at least one audio file is playing, and sometimes there are two or three playing on top of each other. Two words – cacophony. Links to files are good; embedded files are bad.
MySpace also gives non-registered users the sense that there is more happening behind the scenes. I was disappointed to find that this is not really the case. Yes, there are image and video galleries that are only accessible to registered users. There is also a pseudo-mail system at work and bulletin boards, but aside from that, there really isn’t a whole lot happening on the backend. What you see on the front page is pretty much all there is. Again, two words – blasÃƒÂ©.
My end conclusion is that MySpace is a lot of fluff and nonsense with no real substance. It’s a social profiling site, and in my opinion, that’s a waste of both time and effort. If I really wanted to get to know someone, I would do it in real life, not through a shoddy, poorly designed web page system. Take part in a discussion forum, chat over Xbox Live, meet people in real life, but by all means, whatever you do, avoid MySpace. There are better ways to socialize over the Internet than via this site. ((By the way, I hold the same opinion about similar sites, like Facebook, etc.))
A well-designed MySpace profile _can_ be a good thing and can be very useful if you want to promote something, like a new novel or a band you’re in, etc., but such profiles are a scarcity. The amount of junk and the number of broken profiles that proliferate the system far outweigh any advantages MySpace holds. As such, it’s best left alone.
Maybe we’ll get lucky and the whole thing will cave in on itself. We can hope.