MySpace is popular, okay? Ridiculously so. In fact, it’s way too popular.
The idea of a social networking site whose appeal is so great that many people actually avoid actual social interaction in order to use the Internet is bothersome to me, and that’s probably not going to change. What’s worse is that I have a Myspace account, and I check it daily; I doubt that anytime in the near future, I’ll stop checking it.
The reason I use Myspace is to promote my band, which is the website’s original intention; I go around to the pages of people that were at my shows and just drop them a line, try to make a connection, maybe learn something about them. Of course, since I’m on so many pages, gradually I’ve noticed one or two things that are so fantastically irritating that I want to bludgeon myself in the head with a blunt object until the top of my head resembles the Appalachians.
So, without further ado, I present: things you definitely shouldn’t do when planning your MySpace layout.
Don’t Make Music Autoload
I know, I know, you really, REALLY want to do this. You want to show the world how much you love Fallout Boy. But there’s nothing more annoying than surfing through a few MySpace pages, happily munching away on a cookie when OH MY GOD I HAD NO IDEA MY SPEAKERS WERE UP SO LOUD AND NOW I THINK I MIGHT HAVE CRAPPED MYSELF.
The exception is for bands; if I’m going to a band page, of course I want to hear their stuff. But for the private users, just give it a rest, or at least pick something soothing enough that my head doesn’t explode like that guy in Scanners when your page finally loads. Maybe some Yanni.
Don’t Make My Cursor Change
There are some programs that allow you to change peoples’ mouse cursors as they’re viewing your page. That’s silly; please don’t do it. I’m really used to my own mouse cursor, and when you turn my normal little arrow into a puppy dog face, it’s a bit annoying. It makes me want to get off your Myspace profile as quickly as possible, only I can’t because I’m not sure whether I should click where the puppy’s nose is or where his ear folds. Yeah. Real cute.
Don’t Make It Impossible To Find Your “Add Comment” Button
C’mon, I just want to say hello! Why do I have to hunt all around your page to find where your wall posts are? Do your friends a favor and leave the “Add Comment” button where they can find it.
You’re not ee cummings, and it’s silly to write your whole page without punctuation or capitalization. There’s no point to this, and it makes you look pretentious and silly.
Unless you actually are ee cummings, at which point you’re not on MySpace because 1. ee cummings wouldn’t be down with the whole online social networking thing and 2. you’re dead.
Don’t Put Light Text Over A Light Background
Or, for that matter, dark text over a dark background. This is common sense, people, but you’d be surprised how many people ruin an otherwise standable myspace layout simply by not realizing that Magenta might not be the best color for text when your background is pink. Luckily, the people that do this are usually just posting silly stuff anyway, so I don’t really miss out on a lot. Oh, by the way…
Don’t Write Silly Stuff
Basicaly, this is anything that’s going to embarrass you if you look back on it in ten years (I’m mainly talking to the high school Myspace users with this one, but I’ve seen some older people with some silly stuff, too). These include, but aren’t limited to: emo song lyrics, survey results, sappy stuff about your significant other, and music videos-especially music videos. These are even worse to put on your page than songs that automatically load, because they’re not always in the same place, so I have to quickly scan through the whole page to find and turn off the offending video while my ears slowly die to the sounds of Switchfoot (nothing against Switchfoot, but that’s always what it seems to be).
Basically, use some common sense, and don’t do anything to your page that might be annoying for other Myspace users that happen by. Make your layout simple and to the point, and everyone will like you better for it. Then, maybe you can make some real friends-you know, the kind that you don’t keep in a Top 8.