Friendster VS Myspace

Just the other day I was commenting to a friend how great Myspace makes it for getting the news on all your friends. In this particular case, if one of my friends had not posted that his band was playing, then I would have missed out on their show. It got me thinking about all the ways I, and countless others, have really taken to friend sites in just a matter of a couple years like Myspace and Friendster.

My first introduction to the world of the internet show and tell sites was Friendster in late 2003. I soon had linked up with a lot of local friends, and kept in touch with those that have moved away. I even took advantage of many a lazy afternoon and browsed around for new potential friends that seemed to have things in common with me, a handful of which have gone from just virtual friends to actual new friends…

About a year later, I was introduced to Myspace. I was skeptical, one because it was new, two, because I didn’t really want to have to look for all my friends all over again, and three, because it was just one more password to have to remember. But again, another lazy afternoon drew me to spend a few minutes and create my first Myspace profile. Almost immediately I was hooked on this new friend finding site. It offered things that Friendster did not at the time. Not only could I find and message friends, I could also use it to post bulletins for events that I wanted to tell them all about. Also I saw the potential that Myspace offered to musicians in being able to post their music and show dates. Also, the interface for Myspace was friendlier, and seemed to take less time to load and search through. Over time, I soon found myself using Myspace more than Friendster.

I still use both, and have noticed the two becoming simila, as they have to compete for users. Both now boast news bulletin announcements, blogs, and groups, but there are still a few features between the two of them that hasn’t gotten me to cross over completely to one or the other just yet…although I lean a little heavier toward Myspace. One of the few treats that Friendster offers is their photo hosting allows for way more photos to be posted to your profile. Friendster offers 50 photos over the 12 that Myspace allows you to post. Also, Friendster allows your friends to share their photos with you, and even organize photo albums. Another more recent feature of Friendster is the friend tracker and birthday reminder window that indicates who of your friends have just updated their profile with new photos or content, as well as keep you informed on which of your friends have a birthday coming up. It’s a nice reminder to get that gift out, or at the least send out a e-card. The last of the recent features that I use now in Friendster is the updated sidebar on your homepage that lets you know who’s living locally, and even who’s stopped by your profile in the last few days. Seeing friends pop up in the living locally menu sometimes feels like bumping into people at the grocery store that you haven’t seen in quite awhile, and in a matter of minutes you can click on their profile and see what they have been up to all this time.

Over all, I like Myspace more for it’s more appealing interface, and it loads a lot faster…um…that’s when it’s not being worked on. It’s just visually easier to use and even modify. The features I use the most there are definitely the bulletins. Granted, I get a lot of random bulletins filled with lame questionnaires, etc., but for the most part they keep me up to date on whose got something going on that’s worth checking out. Plus the people posting the bulletins are friends I have allowed to be put into my profile. A lot of musicians, music venues and art galleries have “friend” profiles and use them to make announcements and invitations to their events. It’s been a valuable way for me to get information regarding art shows and the like to all my friends in a matter of seconds.

Well it seems that Friendster really has a couple more features to offer than Myspace, but what Myspace lacks in features, it makes up for in efficiency, time and design. It just feels like it runs faster…except of course when you have a friend that boasts their amateur web design skills and trick out their Myspace profile with annoying videos and music that practically freezes your computer when you try to visit their profile. There is nothing more annoying than having your computer freeze momentarily, then be scared half to death as both a video and a music track blare at you as your computer finally springs back to life.

Already I check Myspace like I check my email. It’s part of my daily morning routine, at least when I’m in front of a computer. And I’m sure I’m not the only one, since all my friends seem to be posting news and photos each and every day. It’s the way communication technology should be…free and accessible to all. Of course, nothing is ever free. Myspace recently was bought by Fox, obviously a smart buy since millions of people use it, and include all their likes and dislikes, what movies they watch, books they read, TV they watch, etc. It’s a wealth of demographic information that can be harvested and even custom-display advertising directly to all these millions of people, all in one place. Already we can go into a whole other discussion of corporate spying, privacy, etc, but I’ll have to save that for another post. Already I have spent too much time today already talking about something that can be a valuable distraction. Like many of us, I need to get back to work.

2 Comments so far

  1. mark_searcy (unregistered) on February 4th, 2006 @ 9:15 pm

    Haha, I sound like an 8th grader. You’ll have to forgive me of such bad editing, tense structures, and flow issues. So much for my career as a writer or copywriter. :P

    Crap…did I just type a smiley too!?

  2. zayn muhammad (unregistered) on February 20th, 2006 @ 12:11 am

    HEY, I LOVE MYSPACE. i’m a college teacher yet i become childish as soon as i get online. is there an infantile factor at work on those FRIENDS SITES? i’m an addict to myspace. i hate the flesh world now.

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