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Your world, MySpace
At the end of 2003, a few guys in a small-tech company decided to birth an online social networking site called MySpace. It was designed to be a more desirable alternative to a then-popular social networking site called Friendster. Little did this group realize what they had created and what it would become.
In its five-year existence, MySpace has made quite a splash. Appealing primarily to the “younger” crowd, it provides a virtual environment in which friends can meet up, socialize and make new friends — all for free and completely customizable. Think personal expression and let your imagination run wild. Colors, music, photos, links to your favorite Web sites, poetry, likes and dislikes — the list is endless. However, some imaginations may run a little too wild and there are areas of MySpace that are restricted to adults only. So, if you’re a parent with a teen or child who is begging for a MySpace page, I would strongly suggest overseeing the space-development process if you choose to allow this for your child.
In the past, the media has referred to MySpace as “a parent’s worst nightmare,” due to minor-related sexual improprieties generated through inappropriate MySpace contacts. However, while MySpace has been the focus of media attention because of its free-for-all approach to member inclusion and its purported predatory potential, in all fairness it has implemented many precautionary safety measures designed to ensure a protected online experience for its younger members. However, parents should still be involved. Here are two Web sites where you can review software designed to monitor your child’s social networking habits: www.software4parents.com and www.k9webprotection.com.
On a lighter and more positive note, MySpace has become a hub for musicians and singer/songwriters looking to advertise and sell their self-authored music. Quite literally, millions of artists around the world have been discovered and signed because of their MySpace presence. Are you a musician, singer or songwriter with a desire to perform and be discovered? You now have an affordable option and a vast audience of potential fans and music buyers on MySpace. The world is always looking for new music.
In addition, MySpace users have access to classified advertising, bulletin boards, instant messaging, MySpaceTV and blogs. Now, you can even get MySpace on your mobile device. Who says you can’t take it with you?
While MySpace isn’t for everyone, its influence has never been more apparent than in the current political season. Barack Obama and John McCain both have MySpace pages. More importantly, MySpace has been responsible for getting more young voters registered this year than ever before.
Still not sure if it’s for you? Just go to www.myspace.com and take the Full Tour.
If nothing else, you’ll have a better sense of what the hubbub is all about.
Wayne Nelson and Jeremy Self own and operate Wired Northwest, LLC in Redmond. Submit your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org