Lots and lots of interesting comments.
I began integrating them into the original post to turn it into the mother of all Uninflected Images Juxaposed posts...but it got to be a bit much - so I tacked on a few more tasty tidbits and leave the rest for you to wade through if you are so inclined.
Thanks to everyone who played along...and if I didn't include a blurb from you please don't take offence - I just ran out of gas.
Plus I had to go check how many 'friends' I have now in MY MySpace network...lol.
Tomorrow I'll attempt a summation of sorts - but all this input and interaction got me thinking...what about trying to write a movie a la the telephone game...as in, someone pick a premise and some characters - one person writes the first scene, sends to next person to write next scene, and so on --- if each writes a 3 page scene x 30 people and...voila - a feature length script by the end of the day...?
Could happen. Could be fun.
Yeah I know, I'm so gay...
EDIT: way way more reader comments added below
Okay, I know I am always about a year or so (at least) behind the times --- geez I only discovered blogs in the past several months --- and so at the risk of sounding like the setup to a lame Seinfeld joke, can someone explain to me the MySpace attraction?
For me, this began with me signing up to read Terry Rossio's MySpace entries about 'Pirates II'...and then I begin receiving via email, several invites to 'Be My Friend' - from people I didn't know...strangers in fact - mostly strippers and webcam girls it seemed (not that there's anything wrong with it).
These two recent CNNMoney articles here and here talk about the phenomenon from a business standpoint. Interesting to know I suppose...
I do realize it can be like yet another advertisement...for actors, celebrities, bands, musicians, artists, models, strippers (LOTS of strippers apparently) - and like YouTube is also a venue for presenting a product or getting it out there....but most of these professional folks already have websites that have the same info that can achieve more or less the same thing.
And they are definitely in the minority.
There are a lot of peeps doing this sh*t...
So what ro make of the millions out there who aren't selling their wares...everyday people, mostly young 'uns - regular folk as we say out west...what's in it for them?
I suppose they are like blogs, personal 'magazines' of sorts...see me smile, hear me roar...but with MySpace, that doesn't seem to be the point.
The point seems to be...friends. Imaginary friends.
And then playing with them.
Or am I missing the point...and should just shut up and say:
Okay, keeping the dialogue flowing...Kelly J Compeau (funny I would've never figured you for MySpacing...lol) enters the fray with her explanation:
It was Terry Rossio that lured me into MySpace just over a year ago as well, Will. Afterward, I kept getting 'Please Add Me' requests from all kinds of folks, 15 year old girls in Britain right on up to 50 year old men in Turkey who want to engage in online sex talk with me via MSN (I still get those almost daily. ugh!). At first, I refused all requests because I had no interest in MySpace, other than Terry's blog.
But, last winter, a few celebrity friends contacted me with 'Please Add Me' requests. Well, it would be pretty damn rude to refuse them. That would be like slamming the phone down when they call to say "Hey, wassup!"
Then I discovered MySpace Music and now I'm completely hooked. With just a click or two of my mouse I can hear everything from Goth rock, New Age and techno-punk electronica to pop, classic rock, pared down acoustic and heavy metal, all from famous musicians as well as struggling no-name artists with tremendous talent -- and still no recording contract.
Slowly, my list of friends got bigger and bigger and now I chat almost daily with these folks. Some of them showbiz newbies who want career advice, others showbiz veterans/stars who just want to shoot the shit with a comrade. Why, just this morning Dave Navarro and I were discussing our thoughts and opinions on who should win Rock Star: Supernova, and writer Lee Goldberg and I are in the midst of a debate about fan-fic. Last week I made preliminary arrangements with Gerard McMann, who wrote 'The Lost Boys' theme song Cry Little Sister, to lend me that song and others for my series when it finally goes into production. Same situation with 40s style crooner Matt Dusk. I also talk almost daily with the stars and writers of Blade: The Series. MySpace just seems to break down that wall and make things more intimate and friendly, like we're all members of a not-so-secret but very special community.
Will, if you're a member of MySpace, please contact me and ask to be added to my list of 'Friends'. I would consider it an honour, sir.
And Chloe pipes up:
i totally agree with you. i can't see the attraction. also i value layouts and nice templates too, and My Space is so ugly!
All interesting stuff - except there obviously is an attraction...what is it?
But wait, there's even more comments...
Good Dog shouts out:
Oh man, this was the first time browsing through MySpace...
And the first response is: My eyes! my beautiful eyes!
At least the various blog templates available were put together by actually designers who understand... well, design. What I saw looked like they were put together by manic kids who had raided the crayon box and used every one just because they can. I'm surprised - actually, glad - there wasn't glue and glitter. (Please don't tell me that somewhere there is).
Not to be the antisocial type but, just getting as many 'friends' out across the ether as you can... So what? I can understand that it can be beneficial. It seems to have worked for Kelly. Good on her. But from what I saw, all I could thing was, what is the point.
People can say the same about blogs. But a good number of blogs - at least the ones I regularly browse through - are informative. As a writer who doesn't always get a change to write, especially when we get a corporate filming assignment - writing my blog gives me the chance to flex the muscle. Even when I am writing, the blog allows me to write something different from what I had been assigned for the day.
Maybe blogs are the new 'Dear Diary...' while MySpace are the new penpals.
The problem is, most people don't have much to say. Instead they just want to be noticed.
Then Dante gets emotional (almost):
To be honest, I hate myspace, but I did sign up for it a week or two ago. myspace.com/dantebk
Why? Well, I figured just in case I need it for networking, I'd rather have it up there and established in the mean time.
Just a few minutes ago, I got my first friend invite from a total stranger/internet whore named Andrea. Very weird. Of course I turned it down, but a part of me felt bad. What if she really was just looking to make a friend?
You know, I found myself starting to wonder the same thing, and also feel bad?
But then Jutratest slams dunks it:
I used it for a while in my stripping days, but it didn't help either, thus my retirement.
You retired too soon, my friend. Retired too soon.
And I asked, and people kept chiming in...
Diane the Optimisic Reader endorses:
I didn't 'get' the MySpace attraction until very recently either. My sister sent me an invite, and as my several siblings are scattered all over the place, it seemed a good way of keeping in touch with them - usually by posting pictures, or making insulting comments on each others space it seems. From the networking point-of-view it is useful though - my artist brother uses it as another avenue to get work seen, and a screenwriter friend puts up script excerpts for feedback. But what I like most about MySpace is just randomly clicking on someone's profile reading about their interests, what they do, favourite films, all of that - I find these little snippets great for building/developing characters. And I'm nosy.
So that's the attraction for me. The downside is that something always seems to be broken and, as others have pointed out, it is brute ugly.
Chopped Nuts also seems to agree:
Well one benefit is catching up with people you haven't heard from in a long time. For example, it allows you to link your old schools (if they havea website), and that way I found an old buddy I haven't spoken to in years. And by doing a name search I found a friend from film school, another lost soul.
On the negative side, I think it's being used for the American Idol way to fame - going from 0 to 60 in the least amount of time possible, as opposed to studying your craft and skinning your knees along the way.
The lovely Maryan Batchellor gets tough:
Terry Rossio also lured me to MySpace. Seems like a lot of us headed there to read his blog -- which he rarely posts on but when he does, it's well worth any grief you get from horny teenagers. Other than that, the whole MySpace thing pretty much gives me the creeps and I monitor my sons' sites closely. In a lot of ways, MySpace is like an online high school bedroom wall or locker with everyone decorating with posters and music and smiley faces.
Kelly J returns for more:
Every person you've ever known, ever met, started out as a stranger. You knew nothing about them and it was only through conversation and the exchange of thoughts and ideas that you developed relationships or frienships with them. Some turned out to be jerks, others your best buddies. But it all starts with an introduction.
Four months ago Will Dixon was just a name I read on Alex Epstein's blog -- and I'm sure I was no more than that to him, also. But over time, our online exchanges became more frequent and friendlier, and now he's on the top of my list for a staff writing gig on my show. It may not have been MySpace that brought us together, but it's the same concept: online blogs.
System Addict pontificates:
Once you get through that mess of millions, unwanted and unloved youths, there are some decent groups/bands displaying their music for the world to hear...
But personally, from a beneficial standpoint- there is none, at least not
any I can see. Blogs are a lil different though- they're more about
observations and experiances that really need little to no contact to continue on. Many blogs I read for informative purposes and never leave a note- Sometimes there's an interesting debate- but you'll rarely find that with myspace.
Scott the Reader, Alex Epstein, and Denis McGrath sound off...
Scott: For a couple of months, I blogged the same blog both there and on blogspot, but myspace was just ugly and clunky to use. Plus I'm married and not a 15-year-old girl, or after one. So I've abandoned my myspace website.
Alex: Yeah, I don't get it either. I have a myspace page somewheres, but I don't use it.
Denis: There's no room for MySpace. There are lots of things that I like to do that I don't have time for. I'd love to be able to play Xbox or Playstation - but I haven't turned either one on in two years. I would love to read more. I'd like to see more movies. Myspace just doesn't hold any appeal to me. I don't understand the social attraction -- but then again, I also don't understand MSN chatting or stuff like that, either. Email to me is as fun and breezy as I get.
I get the feeling if I was 15 I'd feel different. but i'm not. so i don't.
Good Dog is back in the house...
I think Denis nailed it, bringing up the time issue. With all the things going on, I find it difficult enough keeping up with real friends, whether they are in the US, Australia, or here in England.
Having a bunch of virtual friends to do the rounds with would just do my head in.
Diane Kristine is wary...
I don't like the sort of false intimacy to them, with strangers seemingly randomly connecting with other strangers and creating instant friendships. But then I don't quite know how to distinguish it from the fact that I have enjoyed "meeting" interesting people through my blog (or, you know, through DMc's blog), except that we don't pretend to be best friends forever.
I guess it depends on someone's motivation for putting their thoughts out there in cyberspace - I've mostly seen MySpace-like places used more as online diaries and to make friends than for just having a place to sort out your own thoughts or exchange ideas with likeminded or interesting people. There are some interesting blogs on it, but a lot of crap to sort through to get to them.
As is Ellie Tee...
There are two specific things I don't like about MySpace, both of which I learned (by proxy) from the students at school.
1) It is a competition. (Who has the most friends? And which of your mutual friends leaves comments on YOUR MySpace most frequently?)
2) It is a wonderland for stalking people you either used to know or WANT to know. Eeesh.
As neither of these appeal to me, I'll stick with my Blog. Plus yeah, the design of it is big time ugly. ;)
Deep Structure states the reality...
This type of social site isn't anything new - it's just the aol version.
my biggest peeve with myspace? that the "so-and-so is in your extended network" feature is both the most potentially interesting and absolutely useless part of it.
there are currently 105,810,562 people in my network. as of August 9th, 2006, myspace had 100 million members. so essentially everyone on my space is in my network.
But then the Unknown Screenwriter points out the upside...
The MySpace phenom is the FRIENDS thingy... It's like that friend who hit you up at work that day and wanted to sponsor you into SCAMWAY -- I mean AMWAY...
Only one major difference... IT WORKS.
Take for instance, Kevin Smith and his recent use of MySpace for promoting CLERKS II.
It's exactly promotional gimmicks like these that are going to make MySpace even more popular... If you can somehow create a huge network of MySpace friends and KEEP THEM INTERESTED in your MySpace area, then you've got a real shot at promoting just about anything under the sun... Hence, the reason so many bands, musicians, and filmmakers are creating MySpace accounts.
How's this work for screenwriters?
I don't know... LOL.
If I had a few thousand MySpace friends, what do I do... Get them to read my screenplay?
On the other hand... If you sell a screenplay and it's coming out fairly soon... Think about the promotional tool this could be for getting those friends to go out and see your movie.
I see the whole thing as a sort of Reality Internet phenomenon... Like Reality TV.
Everybody wants their 15 minutes (or more) of fame and what better way to do it than through the internet somehow?
So now let me ask you a serious question...
Why aren't we trading links to each other's blogs?
Bill the Pulp Bastard also sees the possibilities...
I actually have friends who are using Myspace to screen their episodes of their tv show, that they will eventually edit into a feature version. It's called SOUP OF THE DAY and it's a romantic comedy.
I am not a big Myspacer, though I can see the possibilities through stringent weeding out of the undesirables who just want to "add me" or something. Do they give out prizes over there or what?
I belong to Tribe Hollywood and the new creative community that CREATIVE SCREENWRITING is launching. I will use them to network as I want to retire one day and be that 'fat old bastard drinking the umbrella drinks' instead of just the 'mad pulp bastard'.
Writing On Spec Dave feels the love...
As an artist, you're in a singular place. You see the world a particular way, you want to express your feelings through your art, but in our local lives, there typically, isn't that many folks who feel the same as you.
Myspace is a way for folks to reach out and find folks with familiar interests. I think it goes beyond just adding friends.
As a writer, all I need are the words. But as an artist or musician, myspace offers so much more.
Myspace allows people from all over the world to find each other. No doubt a bunch of it is worthless or abused or semi-harrassment. Anything that can be used that way, will be. That's just human nature.
But just as blogs have become a way for people to express themselves and vent frustrations, myspace is a place for like-minds to gather and support.
And Mystery Man closes the door...
I resisted MySpace like the frickin' plague because of all the bad press it was getting about the frauds and the scammers on the site. And ya know, I just refuse to allow myself to get sucked into some crazy marketing scheme.
I also prefer to limit my online friends to fellow-writers & like-minded cinephiles, and I try to keep all my other friends "real." Especially girls. I don't know why, but I'm always happier when they're real.
Of course, I eventually caved in like a loser and signed up not because of Terry Rossio (although I occasionally read his blog) or even because of my very dear friend, Anita Liberty, who's bitterness always brings warmth to my heart... No, I signed up just to view the profile of "The Carver" from Nip/Tuck.
Everyone's got their weaknesses.
Thanks again everyone.