I remember the first time someone told me to check out MySpace. We were talking about people we hadn’t seen since we graduated high school and how they were on this site called MySpace. I decided to check it out and in no time I had my own profile page and started adding friends. Before long I managed to pick up 74 new friends on MySpace.
It was fun at first. Looking at page after page of MySpace Layouts, MySpace Comments, MySpace Graphics…there was so much for MySpace it was hard to keep up with all the MySpace widgets. I was really quite content with MySpace.
And then began all of the phishing problems. Phishing, for those of you who don’t already know, is when one website pretends to be another site and tricks you into giving them your password or account information. Next thing you know and suddenly it looks like you are posting MySpace bulletins when in fact you may not have even visited the site for a few days. Annoying MySpace bulletins like “get free ring tones” and “check out my new purse”. MySpace phishing and spam became such a problem on MySpace I know many people who have left completely after having page after page in their inbox of junk mail or comments on their profile that were unwelcome.
Another problem exploded during my time on MySpace: the ramifications of having a public profile. Now people were getting fired from their jobs, getting expelled from school – rumors flew hot on every bulletin and every news channel. If you had a MySpace profile you were in for big problems, the experts warned.
MySpace has done a lot in the past few months in trying to improve security and protect its users from spam and phishing. But these new features, while helpful, have also become annoying. You can’t just click on a link anymore; now you’re redirected to a page warning you to not enter your password. They have made it so people can hide their profile and you have to know a person’s last name or email address to add them as a friend. So much for trying to network with people while giving out your personal information!
But there’s another new challenge facing MySpace: users want to be compensated now. No one wants to write a blog for free anymore. They want a blog where they can collect Google AdSense revenue or post their affiliate links. Then emerged Yuwie, a site almost exactly like MySpace except it pays its users to post comments and send messages. I personally didn’t like Yuwie because of all the advertising, but I know many people who love it and use it with the same abandon many people used to use on MySpace.
It’s obvious to me that MySpace is losing popularity just from my use of the site alone. I used to have 5-10 bulletins to read and at least 1-2 messages and comments every time I logged in each day. Now I can check it once a week and there won’t be anything new or different at all.
In some ways it is sad for me. I have friends on MySpace I know I would never be able to contact again if I deleted my profile there. I also think of all the “complimenting” sites of MySpace – the sites that offer MySpace layouts, MySpace comments, MySpace graphics, MySpace codes and whatever else MySpace you-name-it paraphernalia floating around. Surely they too are feeling the decline in traffic and popularity.
These days I hardly ever check my MySpace account. I’ve been spending all my free time on a better fun site: MyLot…where users actually participate in discussions and show sign of a pulse. Not to mention they actually pay me to post on there – I’ve made $15 in just the last month! Far better than not getting paid to wonder if any of my MySpace friends are still actually alive – and definitely more interesting for my mind!