A few weeks ago I proudly announced that I had joined MySpace much to the chagrin of my three children. I think my youngest daughter said something like, “How gross, Dad”. Nonetheless, I thought it was important that I join this special social network for commercial reasons: there are 200 Million profiles on MySpace and maybe I could connect with some of them.
So, with the guidance of my former student, Neda, I designed my own page on MySpace page. It included my profile with my age and gender. I created a screen name, added pictures of my family, my car, and my horse. Instead of a photo of me on the profile, I chose to use the image of my book cover. I added my blog along with some catchy music (the song from the Caveman commercial for Geico). I posted some of my articles and included a link to my book website and this blog. I was good to go. Now all I needed were friends.
By making my site “public” I allowed unsolicited viewers to read my profile and ask me to be their “friend” and in virtually all cases I accepted. Additionally, I invited others to be my friend including old friends, business associates, and former students. Soon I had over 100 friends, but this took many hours of work. These new friends would occasionally send me messages or bulletins which amounted to short e-mails.
I received an unbelievable amount of spam; most of the spam messages were from porn sites and other low life sources hoping to spread viruses and such. My kids also warned me that MySpace was “lame” which meant that it was prone to problems such as uninvited lurkers, outages, and technical problems. A big problem on MySpace is people masquerading as someone else such as someone famous. Thus, you really don’t know who you talking with on MySpace.
All of this took dozens of hours of work on my part with no discernible benefit to me as a business person. To top it all off, after about three weeks of usage, I could no longer log in for “technical reasons”. For the next two weeks, I emailed MySpace support on six different occasions and was finally told that if I deleted my own profile it was permanent and if they deleted my profile because I violated their rules it was also permanent. To the best of my knowledge I did not delete my own profile and I did not violate their rules (such as offensive photos, threats of violence, etc). Anyway, I was booted off.
How stupid is this? In their defense, with 200 million profiles, I was just a flea on their butt. Yet, their response was late, callous, rude, and stupid. If I did something wrong technically, they should have told me. If I violated their rules, they should let me know what I did wrong.
All in all this was a colossal waste of time on my part. I found MySpace difficult to maneuver in and cumbersome. Customer service was non-existent. Virtually all of my incoming messages were unsolicited advertisements and spam. What a joke. I got zero value out this exercise other than some snappy blog material.
My kids were right. MySpace is lame. End of story.
John Bradley Jackson
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