Saturday, September 02, 2006

Putting MY Space To Bed...

Well, that was an interesting little experiment.

While soliciting comments from readers last week about their feelings about MySpace, I also embarked on a 'friends' quest under a pseudonym. I didn't put much thought into it, and basically clicked 'add me' to every other person I came across.

As for creating my MySpace home, I went through the motions of filling in the 'about me' sections...did a few short blog posts...put up a few provocative pictures - you know, the usual...

...and after three days I had over 400 'friends' (I realize that term needs to be used loosely here, since only 50 actually checked out my profile). There were a few legit adds like Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, U2, Angelina Jolie, Howard Stern, and Jessica Alba (sarcasm implied) - but most were either adverts for aspiring bands or portals to the world of models, strippers, porn stars or wannabe actresses.

I remained 'friendly', and sent every single 'friend' who added me a note thanking them for their kindness, and asked if they would tell me about MySpace and what it does for them or what they like about it.

I got zero responses to my questions.

I did however get dozens of requests to 'look at my new pics' or 'join the hottie train' or 'check out our new song'. And I got two chastisings - one indignant: 'why are you talking to me - I don't even know you!" {but you added me... :( } and another outraged: "why are you trying to communicate with my 18 year old sister, YOU SICKO!!!!!!" ...{Hey, I was just clicking the add button and not paying much attention to details)

I also was given a password to some kind of cyber virtual 'party' that all seemed very weird. I tried to get more info --- best as I could tell, 'everyone' was 'meeting' as some 'website' on Friday needed the password so undesirables couldn't 'crash' the party...'you remember what happened last time when someone crashed!'...there was a lot of cryptic talk about trading partners and group sex and some S&M and bondage (this is all taking place online, remember...) nevertheless, I quickly found out you should just 'do' on MySpace...asking questions gets you nowhere or into trouble.

I was 'uninvited' from the party.

Aside: I also lost two subscribers to uninflected images juxtaposed during MySpace week...which seemed strange considering all the extra traffic. And had hardly any to begin with - sorry if that little requesting comments thingee turned some people off. I know...I'm too sensitive. But it's hard not to take it personally if someone cancels their subscription. It's not like they're 'moving' or something.

Anyway, I cleaned up the friends list and deleted most of them ...and then things got kinda funny. I began to get 'add me' requests from some of the bloggers that frequent these film/television/screenwriting blogs. So much for being anonymous...obviously my pseudonym wasn't very original.

Not really part of the plan.

So, because it was all just an experiment, I've since closed said MySpace account. Should I ever return to that realm, I promise I'll find those who found me and return the favor.

And in conclusion? Well, you all said it best in many different ways. If you want to set up a personal website for friends and family to check in on and keep in touch through (though I still don't see why email or a personal website can't accomplish the same thing), it was fairly easy to set up and maintain. And if you want to network or correspond with like minds, I suppose it can be okay. And if you want to promote your product/services/wares and try to get yourself noticed, why not. And if you got no time or space for it...totally understand.

But for me, in amongst the silliness and sordidness, well...something happened. It's a little difficult to talk about, but....

All I know is I met someone...on MySpace. It's too soon to tell but I really think he/she might be the one. I liked his/her profile, and really got off on what he/she had to say. Things like:

Think what you will about MySpace, but in my humble opinion, it totally rocks. Even if he/she can't spell.

Blogger? I may never return.


Good Dog said...

Is this true love in the illiterate cyber-world?

Unknown Screenwriter said...

I don't get it.


wcdixon said...

okay - I guess I won't try to be funny in future...

Mystery Man said...

You're plenty funny, Dix! But if you're not feeling it, you can always read my 3,000 word post on Comedy Writing Secrets:



Good Dog said...


No, I thought it was funny.

There’s nothing better than ditching all your principles for the opportunity of true love. Although judging from the literacy of the MySpace sign-ups (or rather lack of), it should be “tru luv”!


Kelly J. Compeau said...

That was a fascinating experiment, Will, with very intriguing results.

Although I am very choosey about the folks I let into my life via MySpace, I have witnessed shades of what you experienced. I get 'add me' requests from people I have zero in common with (teens who are heavy into raves, drugs and video games, right on up to 54 year old truck drivers in Prague), and when I ask them how they found me, and why they want to be my friend I get either no response at all or a suspicious "what's with all the questions?" reply. I've also gotten those "you're invited to a special party/group" notices but turn them all down.

I'm very curious and like to explore new, strange and sometimes dangerous things. But being who I am and doing what I do for a living, I always have to mindful of my public image, because I'm not just representing myself, I'm representing my celebrity clients. I won't befriend anyone with a questionable background or motives (i.e. why does this teen raver use the word "fuck" 30 times in all his blog posts, which are all about violence and destruction, and why does this truck driver from Prague have 327 female 'friends' under age 23?).

While I realize that some of the things I say online here, on various message boards and in my MySpace blog are a little quirky, risque or controversal (i.e. my passion for environmental protection & animal rights) sometimes, I would never do anything that would truly embarrass myself or my clients, or stir up shit that would make a lot of powerful and important people mad at me. After all, no celebrity wants a publicist/career manager that's more famous/infamous than themselves, right? :-)

Unknown Screenwriter said...

LOL. You mean I wasn't funny either?