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Posted: 10/29/2006 8:42:56 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/29/2006 8:43:28 AM EST by raven]
I never got the MySpace phenomenon of putting personal details and photos of yourself up for the world to see, and making vacuous comments and greetings on other peoples' pages. For this, Rupert Murdoch paid hundreds of millions of dollars?

In Teens' Web World, MySpace Is So Last Year
Social Sites Find Fickle Audience


By Yuki Noguchi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 29, 2006; A01



Teen Web sensation MySpace became so big so fast, News Corp. spent $580 million last year to buy it. Then Google Inc. struck a $900 million deal, primarily to advertise with it. But now Jackie Birnbaum and her fellow English classmates at Falls Church High School say they're over MySpace.

"I think it's definitely going down -- a lot of my friends have deleted their MySpaces and are more into Facebook now," said Birnbaum, a junior who spends more time on her Facebook profile, where she messages and shares photos with other students in her network.

From the other side of the classroom, E.J. Kim chimes in that in the past three months, she's gone from slaving over her MySpace profile up to four hours a day -- decorating it, posting notes and pictures to her friends' pages -- to deleting the whole thing.

"I've grown out of it," Kim said. "I thought it was kind of pointless."

Such is the social life of teens on the Internet: Powerful but fickle. Within several months' time, a site can garner tens of millions of users who, just as quickly, might flock to the next place, making it hard for corporate America to make lasting investments in whatever's hot now.

MySpace is one of the most wildly successful sites in recent years, amassing 124 million profiles and transforming teen life online during its 2 1/2 years of existence. The site functions like a cross between a diary, e-mail program and photo album where content can be shared with friends, whose pictures appear on a member's profile.

One key measure of a site's popularity is the amount of time a user stays on the site. Tracked over time, such usage data for older networking sites frequented by young people show how popularity gradually rises then falls, like an inchworm's back.

Take Xanga, the hot social networking site before MySpace: In October 2002, the typical Xanga user spent an average of 1 hour and 39 minutes a month on the site, a figure that declined steadily, reaching only 11 minutes last month, according to Nielsen-NetRatings. Friendster, another older site, hit its first usage peak of 1 hour and 51 minutes in October 2003, and then hit another peak of 3 hours and 3 minutes in February 2006. But last month, the average user was on Friendster for a mere 7 minutes.

MySpace usage ramped up heavily during its first year and a half, hitting 2 hours and 25 minutes in October last year. Then it dropped to about 2 hours and held relatively steady there for the past year. Facebook, a younger networking site, is still on a gradual incline, reaching 1 hour and 9 minutes last month .

It's hard to make an online audience stick. Most Internet services are free and compete for a viewer's time, which most sites then try to parlay into advertising dollars. The more time someone spends on a site, the more ads they see. The successful sites engender habits among their users, but users can -- and historically have -- defected to other services for any number of reasons.

The high school English class cites several reasons for backing off of MySpace: Creepy people proposition them. Teachers and parents monitor them. New, more alluring free services comes along, so they collectively jump ship.

The relatively short lifecycle of a popular site is a terrifying prospect for companies like Google Inc., which this month spent $1.65 billion in stock to acquire the Internet's latest grass-roots favorite, year-old YouTube, whose popularity Google hopes to harness as a loyal video audience.

To a youth market composed of teens like Kim and Birnbaum, MySpace is just the latest online fad. Before MySpace, the place to be was Xanga, and before that, Friendster, MiGente and Black Planet.

"They're not loyal," Ben Bajarin, a market analyst for Creative Strategies Inc., said of the youth demographic. Young audiences search for innovative and new features. They're constantly looking for new ways to communicate and share content they find or create, and because of that group mentality, friends shift from service to service in blocs.

Consider the most popular teen sites tracked by Nielsen-NetRatings. Topping the list last month were Snapvine.com, PLyrics.com, Picgames.com -- none of which appeared among the top 10 for April, or the list a year ago.


Madeline Dell'Aria, another high school junior, has fallen in and out of love with a number of sites. In middle school she started avidly blogging on Xanga. Last year, after most of her friends abandoned Xanga and migrated to MySpace, she followed. "No one was using Xanga anymore," she said.

Initially, MySpace drew her in, and she spent lots of time looking at her friend's photos or leaving comments on their pages, she said. Now, only a year or so later, ennui is setting in. She spends a lot less time on the site, instead listening to music or talking on the phone, she said.


MySpace said it hopes to earn a permanent place in its users' lives, becoming as essential as e-mail and cellphones.

"There will always be anecdotes of people that love MySpace and people that don't," a spokeswoman for the site said, but the site is adding an average of 320,000 new profiles every day and continuing to go mainstream. In the past year it launched new services such as mobile and video channels, and expanded internationally.

Some teens, however, say security and privacy -- already a common concern among parents and teachers -- are dampening their enthusiasm for MySpace.

Over the summer, Birnbaum's friend Chrissy Quantrille discovered an impostor had taken her photos off her MySpace profile, set up a fake page and even used it to establish a romantic virtual relationship with a boy in California.

"It was creepy," said Quantrille, who tried to contact the offender -- "What are you doing?" -- and sent a message to the duped boyfriend. She and her friends filed a form asking MySpace to take down the fake page, which it did within two days.

New fake sites of Quantrille and her friends reappeared three weeks ago, prompting some to move to Facebook, where users have to register using a school or business e-mail, making it feel safer.

MySpace going mainstream also attracts unwanted attention.

Dell'Aria said teachers at her previous high school started logging onto MySpace and reading students' profiles, apparently monitoring the pages for signs of alcohol or drug abuse.

"I was shocked and kind of annoyed, and it was kind of an invasion of privacy," she said. Although no one got in trouble, word spread like wildfire, and many of her classmates reset their privacy settings to block unapproved users from accessing their pages, she said.

Liana Castro, a junior in the literary media department of Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, said having an online social life intesified the drama in her real life.

She routinely heard from people who complained they weren't designated as one of her top eight friends. "People would be like, 'why am I not in your top eight?' " With 279 online friends, Castro caught so much grief she changed the site so it only listed four family members.

Her profile also landed her in hot water when a boy she didn't like kept asking to be her online friend. "I kept deleting the message," she said. "He got mad."

Watching as their peers deal with such fallout, some vow not to engage in the phenomenon at all.

Evan Hansen, a sophomore at Falls Church High School, said he didn't buy into the MySpace hype and is waiting for the craze to die.

"Over time, people are going to get sick of talking to people on the computer," he said. "I just think people will want to spend more time with each other -- without the wall of technology."

Link Posted: 10/29/2006 8:49:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/29/2006 8:50:46 AM EST by Dieselman]
SSHHHH!! Don't tell Roo!

Link Posted: 10/29/2006 8:52:35 AM EST
Teenagers have figured it out, but ARFCOMmers will be going on about it well into next year.


That says something...
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 8:55:52 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 8:55:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
Teenagers have figured it out, but ARFCOMmers will be going on about it well into next year.


That says something...


Link Posted: 10/29/2006 8:57:46 AM EST
Um, they didn't figure out how pointless the myspace thing is. They just decided they like Facebook better.

Sounds to me like Facebook is behind this article.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 8:57:49 AM EST
I like my AR15.comspace better...
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 8:58:54 AM EST

Originally Posted By realwar:
I like my AR15.comspace better...


ARFSpace

Link Posted: 10/29/2006 8:59:06 AM EST

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
Teenagers have figured it out, but ARFCOMmers will be going on about it well into next year.


That says something...

You got that right.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 9:01:53 AM EST

Originally Posted By ORinTX:
Um, they didn't figure out how pointless the myspace thing is. They just decided they like Facebook better.


Yep!.........all too many superficial kids these days.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 9:02:28 AM EST

Originally Posted By ORinTX:
Um, they didn't figure out how pointless the myspace thing is. They just decided they like Facebook better.

Sounds to me like Facebook is behind this article.

What I liked about facebook is that it WAS exclusive, you had to have a school or certain work emails to sign up, now it's open to everyone

At least you can't "pimp" your facebook profile. If they every allow such a thing I will be deleting my account.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 9:05:25 AM EST
Hopefully they'll realize how awfully dumb they look in big fuzzy moon boots at the same time.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 9:06:50 AM EST
That article has no clue what it is talking about. The only stat it is going by is amount of time spent on the site per person. Why doesn't it list the total number of users? That would give a totally different story.

For example it says the follow to show that MySpace is on the decline.

MySpace usage ramped up heavily during its first year and a half, hitting 2 hours and 25 minutes in October last year.


Well I can tell you that I was on MySpace in September and October of last year and I just happend to log back in last week just for kicks to see what the girl selection looked like after seeing Roo's posts. A year ago in my area there were maybe 40 singles girls age 18 to 24 within 20 miles. Last week there were over 200!!!! Yeah, MySpace peak a year ago my ass. Most the girls on a year ago were either ugly, fat, freaks, or had 3 kids! Now there are a ton of hot girls on. Hot girls aren't going to spend 3 hours on MySpace because they unlike the ugly girls, fat girls, or women with 3 kids, actually have a life. So I'll say it again, the person that wrote the article article has no clue what they are talking about.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 9:09:50 AM EST
Having a 17 year-old in the house that went from myspace to facebook, let's just cut to the heart of the matter: they are teenagers!
Thet are going to do whatever is deemed "cool", they never look at the relative pluses and minuses... that would be something that requires them to think and it isn't going to happen with the majority of them. The only thing that is important is what their friends are doing and if they are going to be considered to be "in".

Now, before anyone goes off on me let me get my cards on the table. I have two kids of my own, one is 30 and one is going to be turning 29 next month. I have a 17 year-old stepdaughter still living with us. And I have to say that until they reach the age of somewhere around, oh, maybe 26 or 27 that kids are useless. Absolutely brain-dead. Whoever it was that said kids should be seen and not heard was absolutely, positevly correct.

(Can you tell I don't like young people? And I shudder to think that I was probably the same way.)

Okay, that's my rant for the day. I feel better now. Thanks for listening. Moondancer out.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 9:31:52 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dieselman:
SSHHHH!! Don't tell Roo!



First thing I thought of also.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 9:53:18 AM EST

Originally Posted By MoonDancer:
posted rant

Hmm. 26 or 27 would be, though not middle age, well into adulthood when "seen & not heard" was the custom.
It's nice to hear that I am a blithering idiot incapable of thinking logically. If anything, I have to rely on reason more than anything, seeing as I lack your evidently vast amount of life experience.
At least you had the common sense to avoid absolutes for part of the post; as is it sounds closer to satire than a rant.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 9:54:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By AKvsAR:

Originally Posted By Dieselman:
SSHHHH!! Don't tell Roo!



First thing I thought of also.


Me too.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 9:55:56 AM EST

Originally Posted By Torqued:

Originally Posted By AKvsAR:

Originally Posted By Dieselman:
SSHHHH!! Don't tell Roo!



First thing I thought of also.


Me too.


Ok OK OK...


This article is crap. Teens may be leaving but there are alot of ARFCOMMERS on there and it is GREAT for chicks!
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 10:28:31 AM EST

Originally Posted By KangarooAR-15A3:

Originally Posted By Torqued:

Originally Posted By AKvsAR:

Originally Posted By Dieselman:
SSHHHH!! Don't tell Roo!



First thing I thought of also.


Me too.


Ok OK OK...


This article is crap. Teens may be leaving but there are alot of ARFCOMMERS on there and it is GREAT for chicks!


I don't like it. I had not heard of it until Roo's posts. So I tryed looking at it last week, but everything loads so slow on my dial-up that I gave up waiting for the damn pages to load. And I don't think I understand it. I mean all I got was some sort of welcome pages with options like video and music links or something. Guess I'm techno challenged. I'll stick with my ARFCOM.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 10:41:33 AM EST
I think MySpace still has a future. One of Colorado's candidates for Gov. has a MySpace account.

I do agree about the time spent factor. I used to spend a lot more time there. Now I only go there a couple times a month.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 10:53:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dieselman:
I don't like it. I had not heard of it until Roo's posts. So I tryed looking at it last week, but everything loads so slow on my dial-up that I gave up waiting for the damn pages to load.


Women are not attracted to men with dial-up.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 10:54:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By GreyHat:

Originally Posted By MoonDancer:
posted rant

Hmm. 26 or 27 would be, though not middle age, well into adulthood when "seen & not heard" was the custom.
It's nice to hear that I am a blithering idiot incapable of thinking logically. If anything, I have to rely on reason more than anything, seeing as I lack your evidently vast amount of life experience.
At least you had the common sense to avoid absolutes for part of the post; as is it sounds closer to satire than a rant.



Actually your inability to apply his post to the reality of your situation lends credence to his generailities.

Look at your friends and the people around you. Look one step farther out. If YOU aren't useless then in all likelihood you are in the minority. More likely, you are so offended because you are seeing what he means . . . as it applies to you .

My youngest brother is almost as useful as a lump of coal. Almost. My youngest sister, who is about 25, is even worse off. And she has a kid. And says she had him on purpose. Maybe, but the purpose was to make my parents feel obligated to help her out rather than kick her to the curb.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 10:57:37 AM EST

Originally Posted By SWS:

Originally Posted By Dieselman:
I don't like it. I had not heard of it until Roo's posts. So I tryed looking at it last week, but everything loads so slow on my dial-up that I gave up waiting for the damn pages to load.


Women are not attracted to men with dial-up.

I knew it! That explains everything. Damn dial-up.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 10:59:13 AM EST

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
Teenagers have figured it out, but ARFCOMmers will be going on about it well into next year.


That says something...


Yes, yes it does
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 11:01:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By KangarooAR-15A3:

Ok OK OK...


This article is crap. Teens may be leaving but there are alot of ARFCOMMERS on there and it is GREAT for chicks!



This is nothing new to me, but again, another bit of evidence that the only reason for any social environment to exist is to try to get laid.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 11:12:48 AM EST
Great. There goes Facebook...

So much for being only the domain of college students.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 11:16:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By GreyHat:

Originally Posted By MoonDancer:
posted rant

Hmm. 26 or 27 would be, though not middle age, well into adulthood when "seen & not heard" was the custom.
It's nice to hear that I am a blithering idiot incapable of thinking logically. If anything, I have to rely on reason more than anything, seeing as I lack your evidently vast amount of life experience.
At least you had the common sense to avoid absolutes for part of the post; as is it sounds closer to satire than a rant.


You may not realize it, but by reacting in such a way, you only proved her right.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 11:28:16 AM EST
I was looking through myspace to see whats it all about and I found this hot 22 year old girls page.In it it shows everything about her and on one part she says "come by my salon and I'll cut your hair".Wow its got her business address listed and everything.This could attract stalkers very easily and she could possible be followed home one day.NOT a good thing IMHO.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 11:31:02 AM EST
I never used myspace; it was too cluttered(sp?) for my tastes. Facebook is more uniform and organized, and I like how it (used to be) exclusive...
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 11:40:46 AM EST
Yeah, THOSE kids figured it out. But myspace is going to be around for a long time.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 11:53:35 AM EST

Originally Posted By GreyHat:

Originally Posted By MoonDancer:
posted rant

Hmm. 26 or 27 would be, though not middle age, well into adulthood when "seen & not heard" was the custom.
It's nice to hear that I am a blithering idiot incapable of thinking logically. If anything, I have to rely on reason more than anything, seeing as I lack your evidently vast amount of life experience.
At least you had the common sense to avoid absolutes for part of the post; as is it sounds closer to satire than a rant.



Another problem with younger people is, when you say things that disparage young people, even though you really know there ARE exceptions, they almost all take offense.

Fact is man, YES, younger people (not all of them) are MUCH more prone to being herd-followers, boneheads, make poor choices, and generally be fuckups.

Please note I threw in the 'not all of them' disclaimer.

I've made the same observations, though mostly about younger women... they don't really get out of the teenage/social/fairy tale life type notion of what life is like until they hit about 26 years old.

Think about it... from the age of ~16 to ~26, one's life changes SO MUCH. Highschool, then college, which is a HUGE change right there... then college to working and having to support ones self, which is another HUGE change. Heads get pulled out of asses mostly in the mid 20s. That's just the way life goes.
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 12:02:09 PM EST
myspace = kids, or 'adults' trying to be kids
Link Posted: 10/29/2006 12:34:04 PM EST
the only reasoon teens are leaving myspace is because all the parents know about it now. it could be the greatest internet site ever, but without privacy, they'll go somewhere else. for anyone else, myspace will be fine for a good while.
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