In the past year or so, the online community MySpace has become the staple site of the internet. It has members of all races, creeds, and ages on it (and sadly a few with less than honorable motives). But if you follow your common sense it is a great place to make friends and a fun little hobby to stretch those creativity muscles. We’ll start with the latter.
If you’ve browsed the profiles you’ve surely noticed that many have a distinct feel to them. They have special backgrounds, “online now” icons, contact tables, etc. But how to find theses things and throw them on your page isn’t something that is explained in the initial signup process (by the way, if you need to do that go to www.myspace.com and it’s self explanatory from there).
There are many sites offering these cool little items for your page, but the one that is my favorite by far is http://www.mypimpspace.com. It is very well organized and has a vast variety of content, but how do you use it? Well, I’ll tell you.
First sign in to your profile. When your home-page comes up click on the “Edit Profile” link right next to your main picture. Leave that alone for now, open a new window, and go to the site I mentioned above. First well give your blank, boring default page a different look, but what that look reflects is up to you. Scroll down a little on the page and you’ll see the heading “MySpace Categories.”
The layouts section gives many different genres to choose from, and it’ll take some searching to find the one that’s right for you (if you’re a jock start in the sports category, goths might want to explore scary and horror, etc.). Once you’ve found one that you like click on the thumbnail image (the little picture in the categories page) to bring up the layout’s page. Select all the text in the “Layout code” box and copy it.
Now go back to the window with your “Edit Profile” section open. Paste all the stuff that you just copied in the “About Me” section after the text that actually tells all about you (don’t worry, none of the code will show up, MySpace reads it as code and follows its directions automatically). Now click the “Save All Changes” button and look at your profile. Hooray! No more boring default profile. You can stop here if you want, but there are other changes that you can make as well.
Go back to the main MyPimpSpace page. Below the layouts section you’ll see other sections. The codes section are little tweaks that can get complicated. You can try using them if you like, but I never have. The two that you definitely should use are “Contact Tables” and “Online Now Icons” in the graphics category. I suggest finding ones that go with your layout, so if you have a layout with little hearts as a background, maybe choose something other than a contact box with a skull. But ultimately it’s up to you!
That’s why it’s so fun! Apply these changes in the same way as you did with the layout (for the contact table select the text in the “Myspace Contact Table” box, for the online now icon select the “Replace the Online Now icon” text). There are many options on how to make your page reflect you, these are just some basics. If you don’t find what you like on this page, do a google search for “myspace layouts” and check out some other pages. The process is still the same.
Next, if you haven’t done so already, go through the edit profile section and give people a glimpse of you. You can add graphics, quiz results (there are many sites to take little quizzes about random stuff and at the end they give you a code to copy and paste in either the “About Me” or “Who I’d Like To Meet Section,” it’s up to you where), music videos, whatever. My advice, however, to not add TOO much of these extras as they will increase the loading time, and can eventually turn your page into a jumbled mess.
Also, upload some pictures of yourself. They don’t have to be extravagant, just a couple pics showing what you look like and maybe what you like to do.
Hopefully you now have a spiffy little page for yourself, now comes the serious part. In the online world you have to be cautious of people you don’t know (not paranoid to the point of not speaking to them, just cautious enough to protect yourself). There are a lot of good people on MySpace (I actually first met my current girlfriend of one year on there, but we also ended up living 10 feet away from each other so we would’ve met anyways), but there are some with a darker motive. One example just happened a couple weeks ago when a random guy asked my girlfriend if she would send him some nude pictures.
Another was a guy she chatted with for a little while that ended up revealing the same motive (of course the answer to both was an obscene expression of “no”). Unless you know the person in real life, keep the line between public and private in clear view. Even if you’ve been chatting with someone for a couple months, if you have not met them in person then keep your private things private (exact address, any financial info, intimate pictures/videos, etc.). It’s just a precaution that is worth taking, even if it doesn’t have to be.
But don’t let that scare you away. MySpace is an awesome and fun site when used responsibly. It connects friends, musicians, and random people who like the same things. Hopefully this has given you an idea on how to make MySpace your space.
P.S. – For parents reading this, if your teens are on MySpace there are a few options in the “Account Settings” section to help weed out the nasty people. Don’t be invasive, but be aware of what your kids are doing online.