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The MySpace Phenomenon

These days it seems like anyone who is anyone is on MySpace. In a short time
MySpace has literally exploded from just a few members to millions of members
around the world. This astounding phenomenon has made MySpace one of the most
popular websites around and a virtual necessity for those who want to make
friends through an online community or find old friends with whom they have
lost contact. It has become one of the first places many Internet users turn
when they want to learn more about someone in particular or make new friends.

A few years ago the term, "Google it" became synonymous for the practice of
using a search engine to find more information about a particular person or
subject. Internet users were using the term "Google it" even when they were
using different search engines because the name Google had been branded so well
it became somewhat of a generic term for search engine. MySpace is well on its
way to becoming the brand synonymous with online communities. Although there
are other websites which offer similar services, MySpace is quickly becoming
the most dominant one.

Who is On MySpace?

The answer to this question is just about everyone. While this answer is not
nearly true it is also very appropriate. It is not nearly true because in terms
of factual evidence, despite the large number of MySpace members, there are
still many more people in the world who do not participate in the MySpace
online community. However, an answer of everyone to this question is also
fitting because individuals from different cultures around the world and
different age groups are all using MySpace.

Unlike online message boards and discussion forums where members are usually
somewhat similar and share a particular interest, there are members who are
vastly different in the MySpace community. MySpace members represent just about
all nationalities, sexual orientations, financial levels, occupations, political
beliefs, religions and other variables. While it is true that members who are
vastly different may not be interacting to a tremendous extent on MySpace there
is certainly representation from all walks of life on MySpace.

MySpace Lurkers

We have already discussed the extent of members on MySpace but the MySpace
community is really much larger than the membership of the website. It is
important to note that members' websites are viewable to the public unless they
are specifically designated as private websites. This means many members'
websites can be viewed by those who do not join MySpace. These individuals are
known as lurkers and they effectively increase the size of the community by an
immeasurable number.

Lurkers may be completely harmless individuals who are just looking to read
about others but who have no interest in sharing their own personal information
or they can be predators. The latter is more serious because these lurkers can
use the information they find on MySpace to stalk or otherwise harass members
of their own community. Many members of MySpace include both pictures and their
hometown on their MySpace profile. This information can be used, by unscrupulous
predators, to gather more information about the individual. For this reason care
should always be used when posting information on MySpace.

Why Aren't You on MySpace?

If you aren't on MySpace, many of your friends may wonder why especially if
they use this community. In fact many members of MySpace join simply as a way
to have fun and keep in touch with their friends and relatives. However, there
are number of reasons some individuals may not join MySpace. For many time
constraints is a significant factor which leads them to avoid joining MySpace.
MySpace can become somewhat addicting with members spending increasing amounts
of time updating their website or searching for new friends in the community.

Others may not participate in MySpace because they find some websites in the
community to be offensive. There are guidelines regarding the types of
materials which can be posted on MySpace but there is always the potential for
questionable materials to escape the attention of the MySpace administrators.
There is also the possibility that members will be offended by content that is
permissible.

Sell Yourself on MySpace

MySpace is a wonderful online community which is free of charge for members.
Members of this service are able to create personal websites which can be used
to tell other members of the community about their interests. Additionally,
members can include pictures, video and music on their websites. Members can
also include a blog on their website which they can use to express their
opinions, share their thoughts or vent about their personal affairs. All of
these different components of MySpace enable members to let others learn more
about them. The purpose of creating a website on MySpace may be to find career
opportunities, just make friends or network with those who share their business
interests. In all of these cases it is important for the individual to really
sell themselves through their MySpace website so others will be interested in
joining their group of friends or learning more about them.

Launch Your Career with MySpace

MySpace was created as an online community for people to make new friends and
connect with existing friends but it has turned into so much more. Some have
found they could launch their careers through MySpace. While those with
aspirations in the entertainment industry are most likely to be the ones who
market themselves through MySpace there are others who have more traditional
careers in mind who include resume type information on MySpace in an attempt to
find a new job or career.

In either case the MySpace website should be designed to catch the attention of
those in the chosen industry. For example, an individual seeking a career in the
profession of library science may have outrageous interests and hobbies but
designing a website to reflect these hobbies may detract from those who might
otherwise consider the education and past work experiences of the individual.
Similarly someone who wants to break into the fashion industry should strive to
create a MySpace website which is trendy and edgy as opposed to mundane.

Increase Your Circle of Friends with MySpace

Those who use MySpace just to make friends can also benefit from designing a
website that really promotes themselves. This website design should not only
promote the owner of the website but should also be tailored to suit the tastes
of the type of friends the individual would like to make. For example a diehard
Yankee fan might want to incorporate a Yankee themed background to the website
and include a song such as I Love New York into the website. This will make the
website, and the individual, more desirable to those who share their interests.

Similarly those who want to make friends on MySpace who share a passion for a
particular band might consider including the bands music on the website and
posting new information about the band in a daily blog. This will attract fans
of the band to your MySpace website and can help you to make friends with those
who share your interests.

Network with MySpace

The MySpace community provides members with a wealth of networking
opportunities. Although these opportunities exist, it takes a savvy user to not
only find others with whom they would like to network but also convince these
users to join in the networking opportunity.

Individuals who sell Avon cosmetics can be considered as an example of the
importance of networking online. These salespeople are prohibited by MySpace to
selling their products through the MySpace website but they can certainly find
other members interested in the sale or purchase of Avon products and network
with these individuals. Entering the term, "Avon cosmetics" into the MySpace
search feature may reveal a list of other websites which use this term. Members
can review these websites and determine whether or not they believe networking
with these individuals would be beneficial. If it seems as though it would be
beneficial, the member can either place a comment on the website or send an
email or instant message to the other member. This can help to get a
conversation started and may lead to more meaningful interactions which may
include sales techniques or other industry tips.

Sell Your Products on MySpace

When most people think of MySpace they believe it is merely a community for
individuals to make friends or reconnect with old friends but MySpace can offer
more to savvy Internet marketers who know how to network effectively on MySpace.
Although MySpace is intended to be a noncommercial community and commercial
websites are strictly prohibited there are some opportunities to advertise and
stimulate sales through MySpace. This article will discuss the subject of
advertising on MySpace, the terms of service on MySpace and how MySpace members
can avoid being viewed as dreaded spammers by other members of the community or
by MySpace administrators.

Advertising on Your MySpace

According to the MySpace mission statement, the community is meant to be a
noncommercial one. However, this statement refers to the individuals' pages
created and maintained by members and not the website as a whole. In fact
MySpace is a commercial website with banner advertisements running on many of
the pages and other advertisements appearing in sidebars and other locations.
These advertising opportunities are open to the public and anyone who is
interested in advertising in these areas is urged to contact MySpace directly
for more information. This type of advertising is worthwhile for business
owners who have products or services which may appeal to the members of the
community.

While advertising on individual websites on MySpace is prohibited by the terms
of service there is sometimes room to market products one ones website without
violating the terms of service. Although many visitors to MySpace have
encountered websites which are blatant advertisements, this practice is not
recommended because, if discovered by MySpace administrators, it may lead to
the individual being banned from the community. However, consider an example
where a link to an ecommerce website selling sunglasses is placed in answer to
a question of, "What is your favorite type of sunglasses?" The link certainly
provides a relevant answer to the question and does allow visitors to the
website to learn more about the member. Determining whether or not this is
advertising or not is a matter for MySpace to determine but it is likely they
would not consider this advertising although those who follow the link might
end up making a purchase.

MySpace Terms of Service

The terms of service provided by MySpace were created to offer members
guidelines as to what types of actions are acceptable and what actions are
prohibited. All members should read these terms of service before joining and
should review the information periodically to ensure it has not changed
significantly during the course of the membership. Members who have questions
regarding the terms of service should contact MySpace directly for more
detailed information or an explanation of the terms.

Avoiding the Spam Pitfalls on MySpace

We have already discussed how although commercial websites are prohibited on
MySpace there are some advertising opportunities which still exist. MySpace
reaches a large audience each day and this large audience might tempt some to
try to advertise to all of these members and visitors at once. Unfortunately
this sometimes can be construed as spam. Therefore, precautions should be taken
to avoid actions which might be considered spam by other members or the MySpace
administrators.

As an example of the potential for spam consider a MySpace member who is very
excited about the cosmetics line they sell. This member might really believe in
the products and think they are so wonderful that everyone should learn more
about these products. However, if this user then begins systematically going
through MySpace searching for all users who mention anything even remotely
related to cosmetics and then places a comment on their website directing them
to a link to more information about these cosmetics this would likely be
considered to be spam. The member may think their actions are harmless but the
members who receive these comments and the MySpace administrators may disagree.

Security and Privacy on MySpace

Is there security and privacy on MySpace? This can be a difficult question to
answer because there are many possible answers. There can be a certain degree
of security and privacy available on MySpace but as with any online community
there is also the potential for unsafe situations and violations of privacy.
However, there are a couple of ways MySpace members can ensure they are
receiving the highest levels of security and privacy possible. This includes
being familiar with the terms of service, taking active measures to protect
yourself and making use of the privacy features included in the software.

Read the Terms of Service Carefully

Reading the terms of service carefully can give users an understanding of the
amount of security and privacy available on MySpace. These terms of service
provide members with useful information for the types of activities or content
which are prohibited on MySpace. Understanding these regulations will help
members to understand whether their actions or the actions of other members are
in violation of the terms of service. While the MySpace administrators do not
have a policy of policing the community for content violations, they will
respond to allegations by other members of violations and will take appropriate
actions if the members are in fact found to be in violation of the terms of
service. These actions may include deleting the members account and taking
appropriate legal actions.

The MySpace privacy policy is referenced within the terms of service and this
reference incorporates the entirety of the privacy policy into the terms of
service. As a result members who join the MySpace community and agree to the
terms of services are also, by default, agreeing to the privacy policy.
Therefore, members should carefully review the privacy policy and familiarize
themselves with the terms of this policy.

Protect Yourself on MySpace

Members of MySpace do have a small degree of protection afforded by the
administrators of MySpace but they can provide themselves with a great deal of
additional protection by being aware of how the Internet works and using common
sense. Generic safety tips for protecting oneself on the Internet also apply to
the MySpace community. Just like it is not wise to give out sensitive
information such as your address or social security number on online discussion
boards, it is not wise to list this type of information on a MySpace profile
either.

MySpace members may think the information they post on their profile is only
being viewed by their friends and the members of their extended network but
this is not true. There can be many individuals on MySpace who are lurking and
viewing members' websites all the time. Some of these lurkers may be completely
innocent but others may be harvesting information.

Making Profiles Private

MySpace does have some features which can give members an increased amount of
protection. The ability to make a profile private is one of these features.
Most MySpace profiles are public and are viewable by both members of the
community and nonmembers. However, those who wish to keep their website private
can make it only available to those on their friends list.

Members of MySpace also have the ability to remove members from their friends
list or block other members from sending them emails or instant messages. Only
members in your friends list can post comments on your website so if there are
members who are leaving malicious comments, you can remove them from your
friends list to avoid future problems. Also, if you are receiving harassing
emails or messages you can block users to prevent them from contacting you in
the future.

MySpace Design Features

Creating a MySpace website may seem overly complicated to those who have never
done any HTML design in the past but it is really quite simple. Members who
have advanced HTML knowledge can obviously incorporate more advanced features
into their design but even those with no HTML knowledge may be able to create
an attractive and functional MySpace website. This is possible because much of
the design can be done through the use of templates. This article will focus on
some of the most basic design features of MySpace to give beginners a basic
understanding of the features they can incorporate into a new MySpace website
and the types of changes which can be made to an existing website. This article
will include information on changing the background, importing images, adding
music to the website and posting quizzes for other users.

Adding or Changing the Background

The background color of a MySpace website is very important because it is one
of the first things visitors notice when the website loads. If the background
is garish and makes the website difficult to read, visitors may exit the page
quickly. Conversely if the background is appealing it may make the entire
website more appealing.

Basic HTML knowledge is required to add colors or background graphics to a
MySpace profile. To add colors or background graphics go to the "Edit profile"
section after logging into your account. Next enter the necessary code into the
appropriate section. To get the background to appear on your profile you should
include the code in the "About me" section of your account. If you are unsure
of the code that is needed, there is a wealth of information available online
for those who are learning HTML.

Importing Images

Many members of the MySpace community choose to post their picture on their
website. Again the social aspects of the online community encourage this action
because people who engage in online friendships often want to see what their new
friends look like. Including pictures is the easiest way to let others know what
you look like.

MySpace members are asked to upload a photo of themselves when they first sign
up. This step can be skipped and done later. Photos which are uploaded to
MySpace must be .gif or .jpg files. Additionally they must be smaller than
600k. The filename for photos should also not contain spaces or characters
other than numbers or letters.

Adding Music to the Website

The addition of music to a MySpace website is a very common practice. This is
used both by bands who want to promote their music as well as by individuals
who want to let others know what type of music they like. The process of adding
music to a MySpace website is incredibly easy. 

Members can visit the following web address to listen to music from MySpace 
artists:
http://music.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=music. 

If the artist has granted permission for others to use the music, there will be 
a button that says "Add" next to the song. Clicking on this link, when you are 
logged into this account, will automatically add the music to the background of 
your MySpace website. You are only able to add one song at once to your profile 
but you can change the music as often as you like by adding a new song. If you 
already have one song and add another, the second song will replace the original 
song on your profile.

Posting Quizzes on the Website

Many MySpace members include fun personality quizzes on their website and
publish their quiz results. These quizzes give visitors more information about
the member. The members may also post a link to this quiz so other members can
take the quiz and post their results in the comments page. Different types of
personality quizzes can be found on the Internet and many of these quizzes give
you the code necessary to add this quiz to your MySpace website or another
websites. You can copy and paste the code into the "Interests" section of your
MySpace profile.

Meeting People on MySpace

The process of meeting people on MySpace is extremely easy. MySpace is an
online community which encourages individuals from all over the world to become
involved and create an online profile. Members are able to create a MySpace
website which they can use to provide others with information about them.
Members are also encouraged to view the websites belonging to other members to
learn more about other members of the community.

Those who participate in MySpace can provide as much or as little personal
information as they wish and are not required to give any specific information
when they design their website. Those who are willing to open up more, however,
are likely to be more interesting to other members and may accumulate friends
very quickly on MySpace.

Searching for Friends on MySpace

The search feature can help new MySpace members to find friends in the
community. The search feature allows users to enter in a particular word and
provides search results which include MySpace members' websites which use this
word. This is an interesting way to meet potential friends on MySpace because
you can enter keywords which are associated to a favorite hobby, band, book or
other interest to find others who share this interest.

Those on MySpace can use the search feature to find new friends but can also
use the search feature to meet find friends with whom you have lost touch over
the years. Members can also search through MySpace for users with a particular
name although this not always effective because users are not required to post
their full name on their MySpace website. However, there are many who do
include their full name so trying this search feature is worthwhile if you are
looking to locate someone from your past on MySpace.

Using Caution on MySpace

With any online community, caution should be used when cultivating friendships
on MySpace. The vast majority of those who use MySpace are simply looking to
either make new friends or find long last friends but there are a small
percentage of users who may have malicious intents. MySpace created their terms
of services and makes an honest attempt to enforce these terms but this can be a
difficult task on the Internet

It is important to remember that the Internet allows a certain degree of
anonymity that can allow some unscrupulous individuals to mask their true
identity and convince other MySpace members they are someone who they are
really not. Common scenarios which may occur on the Internet include
individuals obtaining enough information to steal the identity of another or
individuals obtaining information such as an address which enables them to do
physical harm to another member of MySpace. Those who use MySpace should be
careful to ensure their private information is kept private while they are
online. Information which can be used to harm them may include any combination
of the following:

* Full name 

* Place of birth 

* Names of children and information on when and where they were born 

* High school and year of graduation 

* Social security number 

* Credit card numbers 

* Bank account numbers

Some of the information above may seem harmless but it is important to remember
devious criminals can use public resources such as newspapers and library books
to find out more information about an individual.

When you are Being Harassed on MySpace

Harassment is a serious issue which the MySpace administrators take very
seriously. However, the most effective method they recommend for getting those
harassing you to stop is to ignore them. According to the FAQ page on MySpace
99.9% of harassment situations diffuse if harassing emails are completely
ignored. You can also block users which prevents them from contacting you
through MySpace and remove them from your friends list which will prevent them
from adding comments. If another user has created a profile about you with
malicious intent you can contact MySpace customer service and provide them with
a link to the profile and they will investigate the profile and delete it if
warranted.

Where Can MySpace Take You?

MySpace is a powerful online community which can take members virtually
anywhere they want to go. MySpace was designed to allow members the opportunity
to meet friends, reconnect with old friends, network and even meet potential
romantic partners. MySpace may have started as a small project but has
ballooned into a huge community with members from around the world. These
members represent a variety of different races, regions, sexual orientations
and occupations and can lead to all of the members learning so much more about
the world around them.

Friends from Around the World on MySpace

MySpace is an expansive community and there are members from all over the
world. This gives members the ability to meet and connect with members from
different countries. Although these friendships may remain online and never
turn into face to face meetings they can give an individual a greater
understanding of the world around them. Through MySpace friendships with
members from other countries, individuals can learn about the struggles
experienced in other countries as well as the benefits of living in other
countries.

Learn about Different Cultures on MySpace

Many people were raised with limited knowledge of other cultures. They may have
had parents who were different races or another relative who was a different
race or religion but for the most part they might have only learned in depth
about a handful of other religions and cultures while they were growing up.
This does not necessarily foster hate but it can lead to problems which relate
to ignorance.

Members of MySpace come in contact with those of other races, religions and
cultures all the time. In fact MySpace members may spend a great deal of time
getting to know another member before they even know the race, religion or
ethnicity of the other individual. This ability to get to know each other first
and then learn more about cultural backgrounds can lead to more tolerance of
others.

Making Connections Offline

We have already discussed how MySpace can help members to make friends around
the world and learn more about different cultures but MySpace doesn't have to
take you miles and miles away. The fact that there are MySpace members around
the world may give you the opportunity to make friends in other countries but
it also means you have the opportunity to make new friends in your geographic
area. Even those people who live in the smallest towns may find there are other
MySpace members who live in their town. Getting to know these members creates
the opportunity for MySpace members to take their online friendships offline
and meet in person.

Meeting online friends in person can be a wonderful experience which can give
the members the opportunity to really get to know each other better. Some
members of MySpace may have joined the community just to speak to others online
and may have no desire to meet others offline but for some, the opportunity to
meet others offline after fostering an online relationship may be very
appealing.

However, those who plan to meet online friends in person should exercise a
certain amount of caution. Initial meetings should take place in a busy, public
location that is well lit as opposed to a secluded location. Additionally, those
who are meeting an online friend for the first time might bring along another
trusted friend for security.

Uploading Files to MySpace

MySpace websites can be created without only the use of solid background colors
and text. However, this type of website is not likely to be very interesting.
MySpace is an online community which is designed to be a place where members
can make new friends, reconnect with long lost friends, network, share ideas or
opinions or even meet potential romantic partners. This social aspect of the
community makes it almost necessary for members to design websites which
accurately represent their personalities. One of the easiest ways members can
sow off their personality is through the inclusion of photos on their MySpace
website. These photos may be pictures of the members or other photos which
provide insight into the member's personality.

Tips for Uploading Photos to MySpace

One of the most important things to remember when uploading files to MySpace is
that these files may be seen by many people. This is especially important for
those who are uploading pictures of themselves to place on their MySpace
website. Members are not required to place a photo of themselves on their
profile but many users do include a photo so those who visit their website have
a visual image of the member. Users may place an embarrassing photo of
themselves thinking only their friends will see this photo but in reality many
other members and nonmembers may view this photo as well. This other members
may include potential bosses, neighbors or others who might be shocked by these
photos.

Parents of children who use MySpace should also exercise caution when allowing
their children to post their photos on their MySpace profile. There are many
harmful predators on the Internet and many of these predators are seeking young
children to prey upon. Parents should carefully consider whether or not they
want to allow their child to add a picture to their profile. Alternately,
parents might recommend their children use a picture that represents a hobby of
theirs or a favorite cartoon character instead of their own photo. When posting
a picture of an object or character care should be taken to ensure posting the
photo is not a violation of copyrights associated with the photo.

Uploading Photos and Videos to MySpace

Uploading photos to your MySpace account is fairly simple. First you must log
into your account and then click on the links that says, "Add/edit photos." You
then receive a warning stating that photos which include nudity, violent or
offensive materials or copyrighted images are not permitted. You are also given
the option of making photos visible to only you or to everyone. You can then
browse through your hard drive to find the desired photo. Photos uploaded to
MySpace must be .gif or .jpg format and must be smaller than 600k. Once you
find an appropriate photo, click upload and the photo will be added to your
account. Once a photo is added you can create a caption for this photo.

MySpace members can search through existing video clips on MySpace to find
video clips to add to their website. They can also upload their own videos for
use on their website and for others to share. When uploading videos to MySpace,
members should be sure to read the terms and conditions to ensure the video they
are posting is permissible. Uploading pornography or other objectionable
materials may result in the member having his MySpace account deleted.

Tips for Teens on MySpace

A lot of teens enjoy using the MySpace community to communicate with their
friends, meet new friends or just to express themselves. Individuals who are
over the age of 14 are eligible to use MySpace so there is a large congregation
of young people who are creating and maintaining MySpace pages. However, teens
that use the Internet to meet friends are possibly more at risk than adults who
use the Internet for socializing and networking. This is due to a number of
factors including teens being more trusting of others and unaware of the
potential of harmful consequences and predators specifically looking for
teenagers on the MySpace community.

Parents Need to Stay Involved

One of the best ways parents can help to protect their teens on MySpace is by
staying involved in the child's life. Parents should be aware of whether or not
their teen has a MySpace profile and if the teen has created a profile the
parent should let the child know they will be reviewing the profile frequently.

Then parents should follow up on their vow to check the profile periodically to
ensure the teen is not engaging in questionable activities or interactions.
Teens who know their parents will be viewing their MySpace website are less
likely to make poor choices when designing their website. Also, parents who
view their child's MySpace website regularly will see the friends the teen is
making and can put a stop to any potentially harmful relationships such as
budding romance with an adult member.

Teens Should be Taught Internet Safety

Although the Internet is a great resource for teens and they can learn a great
deal through socializing with others online, teens should understand the
Internet can also be full of predators. The Internet allows users to disguise
their identity if they wish to do so and as a result those who use the Internet
might be putting themselves at risk when they befriend these predators.

Providing teens with basic Internet safety rules can help to protect them. Some
of the rules parents should enforce for teens include the following:

* Do not give out personal information such as full name and address. 

* Do not send photos of yourself without your parents' approval. 

* Do not agree to meet someone in person without your parents' approval. 

* Do not respond to threats or other forms of harassment. Instead report these 
  occurrences to your parents or Internet service provider.

* Do not enter online areas which require additional fees without your parents' 
  approval and do not give out credit card information without your parents' 
  approval.

Offline Meetings Should be Chaperoned by a Trusted Adult

Teens who meet friends online may want to meet with their online friends in
person. Meeting online friends in person can be a wonderful experience but it
can also be dangerous especially in situations where the online friend has
deliberately concealed his true identity.

The previous section mentioned offline meetings should not occur without the
approval of the parents. Parents should not only approve all such meetings but
should also accompany their teen on these meetings. Personal meetings should be
arranged to take place in a busy, public location during daylight hours and
parents should accompany their teen to these meetings to ensure their online
friend was honest about his identity.

Advertising on MySpace

MySpace is an online community where users have the opportunity to create
websites where others can view personal information about them and contact
them. However, savvy Internet marketers have found MySpace can also be used to
advertise products or service or for the purpose of self promotion. Care should
be taken to review the terms of use on MySpace to ensure none of your actions
are in violation of these terms but otherwise users can advertise either
directly or indirectly on their MySpace website.

Why Advertising on MySpace is Effective

Advertising on MySpace can be effective as long as it is done correctly and not
in a way that is viewed as spam. The effectiveness of MySpace stems from amount
of users who are currently using MySpace. This includes both members who place
comments as well as nonmembers who only look at other websites. With so many
daily visitors it is likely there will be visitors who are interested in the
products or services you are offering on your MySpace website.

Another reason why MySpace is such an effective advertising tool is there are
no fees associated with using your MySpace profile to create links to your
ecommerce website or to provide more information about the products and
services you offer. The best way to effectively advertise on MySpace is to
follow the same guidelines that would normally be followed by advertisers in
online locations. This includes knowing who your target audience is and how to
effectively appeal to them. This is important because a marketing campaign
which does not follow these simple rules will not likely be effective.

In addition to advertising within a MySpace website there are also
opportunities to advertise in the form of banner advertisements on MySpace.
MySpace is able to not charge a fee to members because they generate their
income through paid advertisements. Contact MySpace administrators directly to
learn more about these advertising opportunities.

Selling Products on MySpace

MySpace can be also be used to advertise products or services. This can be done
either subtly or blatantly. Those who are active participants on MySpace and
invest time in meeting others and making friends are more likely to benefit
from selling products or services through a MySpace account. This is because
most people who use MySpace are not exactly looking for information about
products or services so they are unlikely to seek out this information.

However, if they have online friends who are using their MySpace account to
promote a product or service they may see the advertisements and find the
products or services interesting. In this case they may visit a link to an
ecommerce website and consider making a purchase. However, care should be taken
when advertising online. Links to your ecommerce website on your own profile are
acceptable but placing comments with the same link on other members' websites
will likely be considered spam by both the other members and the MySpace
administrators.

Using MySpace for Self Promotion

In addition to selling products and services, MySpace websites can also be used
for the purpose of self promotion. Models, actors and actresses, bands and other
performers are all realizing the potential for self promotion which exists on
MySpace. Members of the community can include everything which may be useful to
those who wish to hire them in the future. For example, models can include
professional photos while bands can have their music playing on the website for
visitors to enjoy. With so many people visiting MySpace on a daily basis, it can
be easy for members of the community to create quite a following for themselves.

Those on MySpace should also be aware that industry executives are now
dedicating staff members to comb MySpace to try to find new talent on MySpace.
In fact more than one major recording company has admitted to having interns
spend hours each day on MySpace looking for exciting new artists.

Advanced Uses for MySpace

MySpace members can generate a website quickly through templates. These
templates enable users to create a generic website in very little time. For
those who are just interested in making new friends or keeping in touch with
old friends, this may be all the member needs. However, those who want to offer
more on their website or those who simply want to create a more detailed website
may require some more advanced knowledge to achieve the desired effects.

Adding Background Music in MySpace

The majority of websites on the Internet do not have background music. This may
lead many novice MySpace members to believe adding music to the background is a
difficult process but it really isn't. In fact MySpace makes it incredibly
simple for members to add music to their profiles. The steps to add music to a
MySpace profile are as follows:

* Log into your MySpace account 

* While logged in visit this web address: 
  http://music.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=music 

* Listen to the music available and select a suitable song for your profile 

* Click on the link that says "Add" below the song title 

* The music is then automatically added to your profile

It is important to note that users can only add one song at a time to their
profile. Clicking the "Add" link on a second song will result in the original
song being replaced on the profile by the new song. Songs can be removed from a
profile at any time by going to the "Edit profile" section of your account and
entering the "Profile songs" subcategory. Here you have the option to remove
your chosen song.

Adding Videos to MySpace

Adding videos to MySpace is also not as difficult as it seems. Even those with
no HTML skills can add videos produced by other members or even their own
videos to their MySpace profile. The steps to add a video to your MySpace
profile are as follows:

* Log into your MySpace Account 

* From your MySpace homepage, click on the "Add/Change Videos" link 

* You are then taken to another webpage where you can either search through a
  database of previously uploaded videos or upload your own video 

* To search the database, click on the search videos button and browse through 
  the available videos 

* After watching a video you can add the video to your profile in a couple of 
  ways. First you can click on the "Add to my profile" button or you can copy 
  the source code provided and paste this code into the desired location on 
  your profile.

Alternately you can add your own videos to your MySpace profile by first
uploading them to MySpace and then adding them to your profile. When uploading
a video care should be taken to ensure the video does not violate the terms of
service.

Creating Interactive Features on MySpace

Creating interactive features on MySpace is a bit more involved. Members can
create features which allow visitor interaction but these features require more
extensive HTML knowledge. The best way to acquire the information necessary to
design these types of features is to research the subject of HTML code in books
or on the Internet. However, if you find a feature on another MySpace website
you would like to include in your own profile you can contact the member and
ask them how to add this feature.

Networking on MySpace

MySpace is an online community where members can meet to share photos, journals
and interests with an extensive network of friends. The MySpace mission
statement describes the MySpace network as being for everyone including:

* Friends who want to talk Online

* Single people who want to meet other Singles 

* Matchmakers who want to connect their friends with other friends 

* Families who want to keep in touch--map your Family Tree 

* Business people and co-workers interested in networking 

* Classmates and study partners 

* Anyone looking for long lost friends!

From this description it is clear that MySpace is an excellent place for online
networking. This article will take a look at how to find the people you want to
network with on MySpace and will examine whether or not the networking should
remain online.

Who Do You Want to Meet?

When using MySpace to network it is important to consider who you want to meet
in your networking endeavor. There is a misconception that MySpace is just for
kids but many are finding there are all types of people using MySpace. Before
making a decision about whether or not you want to network on MySpace it is
wise to spend some time searching around MySpace to find out whether or not
there is a large amount of individuals who share your interests. Spending some
time doing research before beginning your own MySpace website is helpful
because otherwise you might invest time and energy into designing your website
only to find there are not many members with which you want to network.

Where Can You Find Those You Want to Meet?

Now that you have identified who you are looking to meet online through MySpace
it is time to start finding these individuals. The search feature can be very
helpful for this purpose. Compile a list of keywords which are likely to be
used on the MySpace websites of members you would like to meet. Searching for
these keywords can help you to locate those who share your interests.

Visiting the MySpace websites of your friends' friends can also help you to
meet more interesting individuals on MySpace. Those who you already consider to
be friends likely share some of your interests. Likewise many of their existing
friends may share these interests as well. Investigating websites of those who
are friends of your friends can put you in contact with many more people who
might be potential friends for you.

Do You Want to Take Your Networking Offline?

After networking online the natural progression is to determine whether or not
you want to expand on your network to include face to face meetings as a part
of this networking. Care should be taken when making this decision to ensure
you are not putting yourself, or others, at unnecessary risk by arranging these
networking meetings.

The most important aspect in arranging offline networking meetings with those
who you meet online is choosing a safe location for these meetings. A well lit,
busy, public location is ideal for these types of meetings. These types of
locations not only minimize the chance that any participants in the meeting
will attempt to harm others but also helps to make those who are planning to
attend feel safer. You might think a house belonging to your friend is an
excellent location because you are familiar with the location and will have
friends with you but it is important to note those you are meeting may be just
as suspicious of you as you are of them. They are more likely to be interested
in attending your meeting if it takes place in a public location because they
will feel more comfortable.

Another aspect to consider when deciding whether or not to take virtual
networking opportunities offline is whether or not you think the friendships
will be the same offline as they are online. Many Internet users feel freer to
express their opinions online than they do in face to face meetings. Friends
who have wonderful relationships through MySpace may find their relationship
falters when they actually meet in person.

The Pitfalls of Advertising on MySpace

Many users of MySpace tout the potential for advertising to be one of the most
useful features of this online community. However, there are quite a few
pitfalls to advertising on MySpace. Most importantly those who advertise on
MySpace run the risk of finding themselves in violation of MySpace's terms of
service and facing the consequences of these infractions. In addition
advertising on MySpace can appear very unprofessional to potential customers.
Finally, those who advertise on MySpace may become guilty of spamming. This
article will take a look at these three advertising pitfalls and provide advice
for avoiding these potential problems.

Violating the Terms of Service on MySpace

One of the most serious potential problems with advertising on MySpace is
violating the terms of service outlined by the administrators of MySpace. This
is significant because members who are found to be in violation of these terms
of service can have their websites deleted and may be banned from the
community. The terms of service should be reviewed carefully to determine which
types of activities, in relation to advertising, are permitted and which
activities are prohibited. Special attention should be paid to the section of
the terms of services which specifies member websites are not to be commercial
in nature. It might be necessary to contact MySpace directly for ask for
clarification of this section and additional information on what constitutes a
commercial website.

MySpace or Your Space?

MySpace is quickly revolutionizing the dating scene. MySpace advertises
themselves as a virtual community for users to network, meet people, browse
profiles and make friends around the world. However, some are taking this
ability to meet people even further and are using MySpace similarly to the way
they would use a dating website. While couples are still meeting in more
traditional locations such as nightclubs and bar, more and more couples are
making love connections online via MySpace.

MySpace allows members to create websites where they can post personal
information about themselves and allow others to view this information and post
messages commenting on the website. Through these interactions users can really
get to know each other better and can foster relationships. This article will
take a look at how MySpace users can meet other users, begin courting and
possibly eventually meet romantic partners offline.




Meeting New People on MySpace

Meeting new people on MySpace is unbelievably easy. The search feature allows
anyone to search through the MySpace community to find user websites that
contain the search term entered. Individuals do not have to be members to view
the search results; however, some websites might be private and not viewable by
the general public. Entering search terms relevant to a particular hobby or
interest will generate search results of those who share this interest or hobby.

Once an individual finds a number of websites from those who share their
interests they can review these websites to determine if they wish to meet any
of these MySpace members. One way to open the lines of communication with
another user is to post a comment on their website. Only members of the MySpace
community are allowed to post comments though so before leaving a comment users
have to become members of the community. This also gives the user the
opportunity to generate their own MySpace website. They can then invite those
they are interested in meeting to view their website.

Generating Traffic to Your MySpace Website

MySpace is an exciting online community where members can make new friends,
reconnect with old friends, network or even find potential romantic partners.
While there are some MySpace members who join the community simply for the
ability to stay in touch with their old friends and are not looking to make new
friends. These members may keep their websites private to not allow other users
to view their personal information and may not spend a great deal of time
visiting public websites of other members. However, most MySpace members are
interested in making a great deal of friends online and are always looking to
generate more traffic to their website.

Create an Interesting MySpace Website

One of the simplest ways MySpace members can generate increased traffic to
their website is to create a website which is both aesthetically appealing and
interesting to others. The aesthetic appeal of a website can greatly influence
the amount of repeat traffic a MySpace website receives. For example members
who use garish colors and fonts which are too small or otherwise difficult to
read may not receive repeat traffic even if the content of their website is
very interesting and engaging. This is because other members may lose interest
in the website quickly.

The other part of an excellent website design is interesting and intriguing
content. A website which is aesthetically appealing may entice visitors to
peruse the content but if it is simply not interesting and engaging the
visitors are not likely to spend much time on the website and are also not
likely to return. However, MySpace members who fill their website with exciting
content are likely to keep visitors interested. When visitors are interested in
the content they are likely to return and also to encourage others to visit the
website as well.

Visit Members' Websites

Another way to generate increased traffic to your MySpace website is by
visiting the websites of other members. You can use the search feature to find
other members who share your interests. By visiting their websites you will get
a better idea of whether or not you are interested in being friends with these
members. When you encounter other members you might be interested in meeting
you can sent them an email or instant message commenting on their website and
asking to be added to their network of friends. You can also suggest they visit
your website as well. Those who make an effort to meet other members are likely
to increase their own web site traffic.

Invite Friends to Your MySpace Website

Finally, MySpace members can generate additional traffic to their website by
inviting others to visit them. They can speak directly to friends and family
members and encourage them to view their website. Also, those who participate
in other online communities such as message boards may include a link to their
MySpace website in their signature so those who want to learn more about them
can visit their MySpace profile.

MySpace also has an invite feature which enables members to send messages to
others to encourage them to start a MySpace account. Members who have friends
or family members who do not belong to the MySpace community can send them one
of these invitations to encourage them to participate. The invitation can
include a link to the members MySpace website to give the others an idea of
what MySpace really is.

Finding Old Friends through MySpace

The MySpace community is a wonderful forum which allows members to make new
friends. While most users of MySpace are aware of the opportunity to make new
friends through their interactions in the community, some of them may not
realize MySpace can be used to find old friends with which you have lost
contact. Although most people have the best of intentions of staying in contact
with friends, this often does not happen. There are a number of reasons
including careers, family obligations and social commitments which prevent old
friends from staying in touch. Fortunately, MySpace offers a way for these old
friends to reconnect. Although there are countless ways for old friends to find
each other on MySpace we will describe three methods for finding old friends on
MySpace which are popularly used by members of the community.

Let Them Come to You

The easiest way to reconnect with old friends on MySpace is to let them find
you. Joining MySpace and creating a website profile may be all it takes for
some members to find old friends within the community. If you are looking for
an old friend, chances are they often wonder about you as well. If this old
friend is already a member of MySpace they may occasionally search for you by
name, nickname or interests throughout the community. MySpace has a search
feature which gives users a variety of options which can help them to find long
lost friends.

While this may seem like a passive approach to finding old friends on MySpace
it can be very effective. It is especially effective when the lost friend is
already a member of the community and is actively seeking to reconnect with you
as well.

Do Your Research

A more time consuming way to reconnect with an old friend on MySpace is to
search for them. This process can be incredibly time consuming and possibly
fruitless or it can be extremely easy and rewarding. When searching for an old
friend, begin your search by entering their complete name into the search
feature and using the search by name button. If your old friend is a member of
MySpace and has used his full name you will find him easily. There may be
multiple results especially if your friend has a common name but you will
likely recognize your friend when you come across his MySpace website.

If entering your friend's complete name does not return any useful results you
can also try entering their nickname. Members who do not use their full name
when registering on MySpace often use a nickname as their moniker. Even if they
don't a search of the nickname may lead you to your friend's website if his
other friends refer to him by this nickname in their comments left on his
website.

Finally, you can try using keywords related to your friend's favorite hobby in
searching for an old friend. This method is likely to be the most time
consuming and may return countless result of those who share the same hobby as
your friend.

Make a Plea

If all else fails, in searching for an old friend on MySpace you might consider
making a plea for anyone who knows him to contact you on your blog or elsewhere
on your website. You may find this leads to you being contacted either by your
old friend directly or by someone who knows him and can provide you with
contact information. This may sound like a farfetched search option but it is
actually quite plausible. Many people enjoy the anonymity the Internet offers
and are careful to avoid revealing personal details about themselves online.
This may make it quite difficult for you to find an old friend on MySpace but
it does not mean he is not a member. If he is a member it is likely he will
find a blog posting on another website inquiring about where he is. This is
because humans, by nature, can be quite narcissistic and it is not unusual for
members of MySpace to routinely enter their own name into the search feature on
MySpace to see if anyone is talking about them in the community.

MySpace Precautions

MySpace is an online community where members can create personal websites and
meet new friends or reconnect with old friends. It can be a lot of fun and can
also provide excellent networking opportunities but there are some precautions
which should be taken by all users of MySpace. These precautions include being
aware of the ability for individuals to misrepresent themselves online, knowing
how to avoid being harmed or scammed and understanding the terms of service on
MySpace. This article will discuss these three key concepts which are minimum
precautions MySpace members should take to ensure their MySpace experience is
pleasurable.

Beware of Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

The Internet provides an excellent opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to
deliberately misrepresent themselves. This misrepresentation may be somewhat
innocent such as lying about interest or activities for the purpose of being
more attractive to someone you have a crush on or it can be more series. Those
with criminal intent may lie about a number of factors such as their age, sex
and location in order to lure another member into a harmful situation. There
have been numerous stories which made national headlines about young users of
MySpace being abducted by individuals they met online. Although these cases are
considered to be somewhat rare, they do exist and members of MySpace should be
aware of the potential for this type of activity.

Those who want to do physical harm to another may deliberately misrepresent
themselves but there are other potentially harmful reasons why an individual on
MySpace might pretend to be someone else. This can be done to gain the trust of
other members before conducting a financial scam which will result in a
significant loss of money for the MySpace members who are duped in such a scam.

MySpace members can avoid both physical and financial danger by exercising
caution in their interactions with other members of the community. This
includes emails and instant messages but care should also be taken to avoid
posting sensitive information on MySpace pages as this information can be
viewed by the general public unless the profile is made private.

Know How Much Information is Too Much

One important precaution MySpace members should take is safeguarding their
personal information. This information includes, but is not limited to, the
following pieces of information:

* Full name 

* Social security number 

* Credit card numbers 

* Bank account numbers 

* Physical address 

* Phone number 

* Place of birth 

* High school attended and year of graduation 

* Names of children and location and date of their births

Some of the items on the above list such as social security number and bank
account numbers are pieces of information most people are aware they should not
divulge to the general public. However, other pieces of information such as high
school attended and year of graduation or names of children and location and
date of their births may seem harmless. Unfortunately this is not true. These
seemingly harmless pieces of information can be used to research an individual
and it might be possible to deduce where a person lives from this type of
information.

Understand the Terms of Service

Finally, members of MySpace should familiarize themselves with the terms of
service provided by MySpace. This information is important for a couple of
reasons. First it will help MySpace members to understand their rights as well
as the security features which exist in the community. Members who are aware of
these facts know their course of action if they are harassed by other members of
MySpace. Additionally, being familiar with the terms of service on MySpace is
important because it helps members to understand which actions are permissible
and which actions are prohibited. This is important because it can prevent a
member from inadvertently breaking the community rules and running the risk of
being banned from the community. If after reviewing the terms of service you
have questions, contact MySpace directly for clarification.

Flirting on MySpace

As previously, mentioned MySpace is quickly becoming a location to allow users
to meet potential romantic partners. MySpace gives users the opportunity to
publish photos of themselves as well as personal information making it an ideal
opportunity for users to get to know each other in a safe environment. Users can
also post information such as age, marital status, hobbies and interests so
users can get to know each other better.

For many MySpace allows those who are normally more shy to feel confident about
flirting with potential romantic partners. Those who usually don't feel
confident in crowded nightclub or bar settings may be able to express their
feelings more freely through MySpace. They may also have the confidence to
approach others they would not normally approach in a face to face situation.

Making Romantic Connections on MySpace

With so many opportunities to meet others through the MySpace community, it is
no surprise that many of these users are making these online connections a
reality by meeting their online friends in the real world. These face to face
meetings can be a lot of fun but care should be taken in these situations to
avoid putting yourself at risk.

It is important to remember that the Internet can allow individuals to mask
their true identities. This makes it easy for harmful predators to pretend to
be one person online to attract others who might be interested in meeting them
offline when, in reality, they are a completely different person.

When meeting others online it is important to take precautions to safeguard
personal information. Most people are aware they should not give out their
address, social security number, credit card number, bank account number and
other similar sensitive information but do not realize other information can
also be harmful. For example seemingly innocent information such as the name of
the high school attended and year of graduation can allow criminals to combine
this information with other information such as a first name to determine where
a person lives.

MySpace Just for Fun

There are many who take advantage of the MySpace community for business
purposes such as advertising, self promotion or networking. While MySpace is
certainly useful for all of these purposes, there are others who belong to
MySpace simply for fun. They are not seeking to gain anything from their
involvement with MySpace other than an opportunity to meet friends and have a
good time. For these individuals the joy of using MySpace includes the
opportunity to make friends around the world, the ability to listen to new
types of music and the chance to participate in the age old practice of
flirting.

Making Friends around the World

There are MySpace members who are members for the sole purpose of making
friends online. This may include friends from nearby geographic regions who
might become friends offline as well or friends from faraway countries who can
offer insight into other cultures in addition to friendship. Typically this
type of member is one who enjoys conversation and meeting new people. To these
individuals friendships are usually more important than other types of
relationships such as business relationships.

The use of MySpace to make friends is ideal because it is relatively safe, as
long as certain precautions are taken. Most importantly members should avoid
providing information such as their full name or address to others. This is
important because although two individuals may have a seemingly wonderful
friendship online there is always the opportunity to mask ones identity online
so one of the friends may be a deceptive individual with malicious intent. This
individual may use information such as a home address to stalk, harass or
otherwise harass those they meet on MySpace.

While there is the potential for dangerous situations online, those who follow
safety precautions can enjoy their online interactions without fear of being
hurt by others. In these cases, it may not really matter if their online friend
is actually not telling the truth about his identity because the other MySpace
is still enjoying the conversations and is not putting herself at risk because.

Listening to Music on MySpace

Another fun activity MySpace members can enjoy is listening to music. MySpace
members can place audio files in the background of their website so visitors
hear this music when they enter the website. Alternatively members can place
links to other musical tracks on their website for visitors to enjoy. One use
of music on MySpace websites is for new bands that are looking to promote their
music to place numerous tracks on their website in an effort to build up a
following.

Members of MySpace who want to find some new or different music to listen to
can spend some time searching other members' website in search of music they
may find interesting. Once they find websites with music they enjoy, they might
want to add these members to their friends list and check back frequently to see
if any new music has been posted.

Flirting on MySpace

Finally, members of MySpace may join for the sole purpose of finding others to
engage in flirtatious relationships. For many the act of flirting is an
enjoyable activity and flirting online is especially appealing to some because
they do not have to worry about being nervous. Many individuals find they have
a great deal more of confidence flirting with those they are attracted to in an
online community than they do flirting with those they know in reality. Flirting
can certainly be a harmless activity but when it is done online precautions
should be taken to avoid potentially dangerous situations. The most basic
precaution which should be taken is to keep the flirtations online and do not
let them morph into meetings offline. Take care to avoid divulging any
information which can allow others to determine where you live is very
important. While flirting online may be a fun activity there is no way to be
sure of the intentions of the person with which you are flirting.

Making Connections through MySpace

MySpace is an online community focused on helping individuals to make new
friends or reconnect with old friends. With this type of goal in mind it is not
surprising that the vast majority of MySpace members use the community to make
connections with other members. This may include staying in touch with old
friends and family members, reconnecting with lost friends, making business
connections or even meeting romantic partners. This article will discuss how
all of these opportunities are available on the MySpace community.

Keeping in Touch with Friends and Family

MySpace can be an excellent way for friends and family members to stay in
touch. Encouraging friends and family members to join MySpace with you can help
you to stay in better contact with these individuals. Communicating through
MySpace is a lot of fun and gives users the ability to post pictures, audio
files and video files in addition to personal information presented in a blog.
Members can leave comments for each other or just stay in touch by reading each
others websites and posting personal information on their own websites for
others to read.

Reconnecting with Lost Friends

Overtime we all lose contact with some of our old friends. Whether this is a
trusted friend who was with you through the trying times in high school, a
companion who helped you make it through college or even an acquaintance you
met in passing at a bus stop MySpace can help you to reconnect to these old
friends.

One passive way to reconnect with lost friends is to simply create your own
MySpace website and wait for these lost friends to contact you. This may not
always happen but it is possible. MySpace is an extensive community with
members all around the world and it is very possible your old friend may see
you on MySpace and contact you. Also, if you create a blog entry expressing an
interest in reconnecting with an individual, your blog may be seen by someone
who knows your lost friend and passes along the message.

Another way to find lost friends on MySpace is to use the search feature. The
simplest way to search for someone is by using their full name. However, not
all members post their full name. Other methods of finding an individual
include entering their nickname into the search feature or entering keywords
related to their favorite hobbies, books, movies or entertainers. This method
may require a great deal of research and may be quite time consuming but it can
help you find your lost friend if they have a website on MySpace.

Making Business Connections

MySpace can also be used to make business connections. The search feature can
be used to find others who share your business interests, dreams and goals.
Once you find these individuals you can engage them in conversation by sending
an email or instant message or by leaving a comment on their website. These
connections may lead to potential business relationships but they may also
simply be networking opportunities which allow those interested in certain
business aspects to converse with others who share this interest.

Meeting Romantic Partners

Finally, a large portion of those who are using MySpace are hoping to make a
romantic connection. MySpace is an online community which enables users to post
photos and information about themselves for other members of the community to
view. This effectively makes MySpace very similar to a dating service. There is
also a space for users to enter information regarding whether or not they are
single or looking for a romantic interest. Those who are looking for romance
can spend time searching for others who they find physically attractive, share
their interests and are also seeking romantic companionship. These MySpace
members can contact each other through emails, instant messages or through
comments left for each other on the websites. A courting relationship online
can progress to an offline relationship or can remain online depending on the
wants and intentions of the partners.

Maintaining a Professional Appearance on MySpace

MySpace is an online community which can be a fun way for members to meet new
friends, reconnect with old friends or make romantic connections. MySpace
members who are interested in pursuing these types of activities online are
free to create a website which reflects their personality. This will help
others to understand who they are and to learn more about their preferences.

Although MySpace offers all of these fun entertainment type activities, there
are some members of MySpace who utilize the community for business purposes.
They may use MySpace to network, make business connections or to promote their
business. In these cases care should be taken to create a MySpace website that
is attractive and interesting while maintaining a professional appearance.

Avoid Slang and Abbreviations

One way to maintain a professional appearance on a MySpace website is to avoid
the use of slang or abbreviations. Many MySpace websites feature slang,
abbreviations and terms which are not grammatically correct. While this type of
Internet language may be entertaining and may be considered acceptable among
members of the community, this type of writing is not likely to appeal to
potential customers or business partners. Additionally, not everyone understand
the cryptic language often used on message boards, text messages and emails and
those who do not understand may have trouble reading the information presented
on the website.

Keep the Design Tasteful

As previously mentioned, those who are using MySpace strictly for entertainment
purposes can design a website according to their personal preferences. This may
include unusual fonts, garish colors, offensive images and blaring background
music. While this type of design may provide a great deal of insight into an
individual's personality it is not a good idea for a business related website.
Therefore those who are using their website for promotion of a business should
create a more tasteful design.

There are a few generic tips which can make a website appear more professional.
The use of muted colors that complement each other can make a website
aesthetically appealing. Users are more likely to spend time on websites with
these types of color combinations because it is soothing. Additionally, the use
of a common font type and size which makes reading the text simple is
recommended. The use of background music should also be avoided in professional
websites as many users either do not have speakers or may view the website in a
location where they do not want to hear music.

Avoid Embarrassing Photos

Finally, special consideration should be given to the use of photos on a
website which is striving to maintain a professional appearance. While those
who are using MySpace for entertainment purposes only may opt to plaster their
website with embarrassing pictures of them and their friends, those who have
business intentions should use photos more judiciously.

The photos used on a business website should invoke a professional sentiment.
This may include posed photos of the website owner in a dignified location,
landscape photographs or pictures of products sold by the company. Alternately
those who are using MySpace to promote products or services might consider not
using images as at all. Whether or not pictures are used on a website is a
matter of personal preference but when they are used, care should be taken to
ensure they contribute to the overall design of the website rather than
distract from it.

Keeping Personal Information Personal on MySpace

MySpace is an incredible online community which gives members the opportunity
to make new friends, reconnect with long lost friends, network or even meet
potential romantic partners. While there are many great social aspects to using
MySpace it is also important to not there is the potential for predators to be
lurking on MySpace. These predators may either be nonmembers who simply comb
member profiles in search of useful information or they may be members who
create profiles which mask their true identity and foster online friendship for
devious purposes. In general the harm which can come from using MySpace could be
either physical or financial. This article will discuss how MySpace members can
avoid physical or financial harm by keeping their personal information personal.

Avoiding Physical Harm

Those who agree to meet online friends in person put themselves at risk for
physical harm. Although in many cases agreeing to meet an online friend in
person will not lead to any problems there is always the potential for your
online friend to really be a harmful predator. Not agreeing to offline meetings
is the most obvious way to avoid this type of danger. However, there are other
precautions MySpace members can take to avoid the possibility encountering
their online friends in person.

Not posting information which can be used to track you down can help to
minimize the risk of physical harm which results from interactions with MySpace
members. The most obvious information which can be used for this purpose is a
full name and an address. Additionally, a telephone number can be used to find
out your address. These are not the only ways predators can find you. For
example if you have pictures of yourself posted on your MySpace website and
post a blog entry about your plans to visit Disney Land on a particular
weekend, Internet stalkers can use this information to find and abduct you.

Posting about weekend plans may seem harmless but those who know where you will
be and what you look like can find you even in a crowded location. Also, if you
post a blog entry mentioning you will be out of town and also include your full
name and the city you live in, savvy predators can use this information to
determine your address and burglarize your home while you enjoy your vacation.
Those who use MySpace and do not make their website private should be aware
that any information they post can be viewed by others who may have malicious
intentions. Keeping this in mind helps members to realize they should be
cautious about the type of information they divulge on MySpace.

Avoiding Financial Harm

The information on a MySpace website can also be used, by Internet predators,
to commit identity theft or other types of financial fraud. When using MySpace
care should be taken to avoid giving out sensitive information such as full
name, address, social security number, credit card numbers and bank account
numbers. This type of information can be used to commit identity theft and the
results of identity theft can be financial ruin including bankruptcy and
damaged credit. Also, the result of identity theft can be difficult to reverse.
Even if the predator is caught in his actions, it may be many years before the
victim recovers financially.

Keeping Kids Safe on MySpace

There are a lot of teens who are using MySpace. Individuals over the age of 14
are eligible to use MySpace so as a result there are many teenagers who are
members of the online MySpace community. These young members may appreciate the
opportunity to express their creativity, express their feelings, meet new
friends or stay in touch with their old friends but they should also be aware
that there is the potential for danger on any Internet community. Making kids
aware of this is helpful but there is also a certain degree of parental
involvement which is necessary to keep kids safe when they are online.

Enforcing Household Internet Rules

Kids who use MySpace, or the Internet in general, should be restricted to a few
household rules regarding Internet usage. Putting these rules in place can be
very helpful in reducing the potential for danger. Some of the general Internet
rules parents might consider are:

* Do not post full name and address online or even school location. This will
  help to prevent stalking which could become a problem if online predators 
  know where your child lives or go to school. 

* Restrict Internet usage to specific hours during the day. This can prevent 
  overuse of the Internet. 

* Do not agree to meet online friends in person without consent. Ideally the 
  parents should also accompany their children on these meetings and should 
  ensure the meetings take place in a well lit, public location such as a coffee 
  shop as opposed to a secluded spot such as an individual's home. 

* Do not respond to threats or harassment. Kids should be taught to ignore this 
  type of behavior and report these instances to parents or the Internet service 
  provider instead of responding to the threats. Responding to threats or 
  harassing messages can exacerbate a potentially harmful situation. 

* Internet usage should be restricted to high traffic locations in the house. For 
  example kids should only be allowed to use the Internet in computers which are 
  in locations such as the family room or kitchen as opposed to allowing kids 
  Internet access in their bedrooms.

Monitoring Online Interactions

Parents whose children have a MySpace account should monitor their child's
online interactions on a regular basis to ensure these interactions are not
potentially harmful. Parents should be particularly concerned when children are
interacting with older individuals who engage in activities which are not
appropriate for the child's age or when the children are interacting with those
who might be a negative influence on the child.

Parents should also be aware that those their child is interacting with may not
be honest about their identity. For example a parent may think it is harmless
for their 15 year old daughter to engage in flirtatious banter with a 16 year
old boy but there is the possibility that her online friend is really a much
older individual. Parents should monitor these activities for suspicious
behavior or suggestions of meeting in person.

Reviewing the Terms of Service

Finally, parents who want to keep their kid safe on MySpace should familiarize
themselves with the online community as well as the terms of service and
privacy policy. This will give the parents a better idea of the type of
activities their children are engaging in and being exposed to as well as the
safety precautions which are in place to help you protect your child.

Getting Started On MySpace

MySpace is an online community which offers members the tools they need to
create a website for other members of the community to view. MySpace also hosts
these websites and provides search features which enables visitors to find
information about particular members or members who have certain hobbies.

Opening a MySpace Account

The process of opening a MySpace account is fairly simple and takes place
almost instantly. Members who wish to join the online community only have to
provide some basic information and agree to the terms of service to be granted
membership. The basic information which is required to request membership is a
full name, a valid email address and a password containing alpha and numeric
characters. After supplying this information and checking a box which states
you agree to the terms of service your application process is complete. You are
then sent an email with a welcome letter and a link which will activate your
account. You only need to click on this link and enter your email address and
password to activate your account.

Understanding the Terms of Service

Reading and agreeing to the terms of service is required for membership to the
MySpace community but members should review these terms regularly and should be
sure they understand all of the terms. This is important because violation of
these terms could result in the member's account being deleted or legal action
being taken against the individual. Some of the highlights of the terms of
service are:

* Members must be at least 14 years of age and must report their age
  accurately. 

* Members are responsible for keeping their password secret and reporting 
  suspected cases of others using their password. 

* Commercial use of MySpace is prohibited unless prior authorization from MySpace 
  is received. 

* Users must not publish any copyrighted materials on their website without
  permission. 

* Members may not post content which is prohibited by the terms of service.

Designing a MySpace Website

The process of designing a MySpace website is one of the most exciting parts of
membership for many. It is also one of the most complicated part of the
membership. However, it is not incredibly difficult and even those with limited
HTML or other design skills can create a great website.

MySpace members have a great deal of control over the appearance and content of
their website. They are only limited by their own design skills. The homepage
for your MySpace account features the following links:

* Edit Profile 

* Account Settings 

* Add/Edit Photos 

* Add/Change Videos 

* Manage Calendar 

* Manage Blog 

* Manage Address Book

The "Edit Profile" section is the one which allows members to add the bulk of
the content to their profile. This section is broken down into subcategories
such as interests & personality, name, basic info, background & lifestyle,
schools, companies, networking and profile songs. Some of these subcategories,
such as the interests & personality section, contain titles with text boxes
where members can add text and HTML code to modify the appearance of their
website. During the design process, members can preview either individual
sections or the entire profile. Other sections, such as the background and
lifestyle section, have a series of questions where members can supply answers
with pull down menus or radial buttons. These features make it easy for members
to supply basic information about themselves in a quick and easy fashion. They
only have to answer the questions and MySpace integrates the answers into the
design of the website.

Getting Noticed on MySpace

Getting noticed on MySpace is very similar to getting noticed in real life.
Those who want to create a great deal of interest in their MySpace website
should create an appealing website, offer something unique to visitors and make
a concerted effort to meeting others on MySpace. Additionally, MySpace members
should optimize their website for keywords they wish to be associated with to
ensure other members will find their website when searching for these keywords.

Creating an Appealing Website

The most important step to being notices on MySpace is to create a website
which is both aesthetically appealing and interesting to visitors. This is
necessary because otherwise, members are not likely to spend a great deal of
time visiting your website. Those who find your website will likely only spend
a few moments on your website if you use garish colors or fonts which are
difficult to read.

Conversely, websites which are designed to be appealing to the eye are more
likely to hold an audience's attention. Likewise websites filled with useful
information related to a particular subject are much more likely to be
interesting to visitors than websites which do not offer much useful
information and are not really focused on a particular subject.

Offer Something Unique

A MySpace website can get noticed by offering something unique. Websites which
are created with the help of a template can seem somewhat boring and may not
really stand out among other websites on the community. Try investing in an
original design to attract more interest on MySpace. More advanced website
design on MySpace requires basic knowledge of HTML. Information on this subject
is readily available in a number of locations. Those who are interested in
learning more about HTML to create a more interesting MySpace website can find
useful information on the Internet or in books. This information can be used to
design a MySpace website in a way that will be unique and attention grabbing.

Those who do not have any design skills or the desire to learn about website
design can still find a way to offer visitors a unique website experience.
Websites which are designed with templates can still stand out by providing
unique content. Members who are able to provide in depth information on a
particular subject or a unique take on a situation in their blog can help
themselves get noticed on MySpace.

Meeting Others on MySpace

Another way to get noticed on MySpace is to visit other members' websites and
place comments or send messages to these members. They will be more inclined to
seek out your MySpace website if you left a message on their website than they
would otherwise.

Those who make an effort to meet other members of the MySpace community are
much more likely to attract a greater interest in their own website. The
concept of friends on MySpace includes those who visit your website. Besides
commenting on the websites of other members, MySpace users can also promote
their MySpace website on other Internet locations. Including a link to the
MySpace page in the signature line on discussion forums is just one way to
promote your website.

Optimize Your Website on MySpace

Another way to create a greater interest in your MySpace website is through
search engine optimization (SEO). This includes incorporating relevant keywords
into your website in the hopes of making your website one of the first ones
noticed by members who search for particular keywords. This not only helps to
get a website noticed on MySpace but makes it much more likely that the website
will be noticed by members of the target audience. Those who are searching for
information on particular keywords featured on your website are those who are
also more likely to be interested in the content of your MySpace website. The
SEO step is very important for those who want to attract a particular audience
but for members who are just interested in making a large number of friends
through MySpace, SEO is not really necessary.

Promoting Your Business on MySpace

The question of whether or not MySpace can be used to promote a business is
certainly debatable. MySpace is intended to be a non-commercial website by
nature but there is a different between blatant commercialization and
mentioning a product or service you offer and providing a link as a useful
resource to visitors of your website. This article will take a look at the
opportunities to promote a business on MySpace by providing information on
determining whether or not your method of business promotion is permitted on
MySpace and information on how to promote your business without being accused
of spamming MySpace.

Review the Terms of Service Carefully

The terms of service provided by MySpace can provide the greatest insight into
whether or not there are ways to promote your business through MySpace. Members
of MySpace are asked to review the terms of service before becoming a member.
Each member should carefully read through this entire agreement to come to a
better understanding of which types of activities are allowed on MySpace as
well as which types of activities are prohibited.

One of the stipulations of the MySpace reads as follows, "Non-commercial Use by
Members. The MySpace Services are for the personal use of Members only and may
not be used in connection with any commercial endeavors except those that are
specifically endorsed or approved by MySpace.com. Illegal and/or unauthorized
use of the MySpace Services, including collecting usernames and/or email
addresses of Members by electronic or other means for the purpose of sending
unsolicited email or unauthorized framing of or linking to the MySpace Website
is prohibited. Commercial advertisements, affiliate links, and other forms of
solicitation may be removed from Member profiles without notice and may result
in termination of Membership privileges. Appropriate legal action will be taken
for any illegal or unauthorized use of the MySpace Services."

This section of the terms of service stipulates that MySpace is created for
non-commercial use unless Myspace.com has approved the use of a member's
website for commercial purposes. Therefore care should be taken when designing
a MySpace website to ensure the website will not be deemed to be a commercial
website by MySpace administrators.

When In Doubt, Ask Questions

Those who are unsure of whether or not their MySpace website, as they have
designed it, will be considered a commercial website should consult with
MySpace administrators. This step is not necessary unless the member is
concerned their content will be perceived as being commercial. Reviewing the
terms of use agreement can provide a great deal of information but some users
may still be concerned with the possibility that their website will be
penalized if the administrators deem it to be commercial in nature.

Contacting MySpace is a fairly simple process. Members can use the, "Contact
MySpace" link from the MySpace.com homepage. The contact page enables members
to select a subject and a subtopic and submit this information. Once this is
done MySpace provides some preliminary information which may be relevant. If
this information is not useful to the member they can email a detailed request
to MySpace.

Appearing Unprofessional

Another potential pitfall to advertising on MySpace is appearing
unprofessional. MySpace websites can be created very quickly and easily through
available templates. This may result in some members becoming overly anxious to
start advertising immediately. When this happens the members may be sloppy in
their design and may create a website with many errors which does not present a
professional appearance.

Additionally, MySpace is a rather relaxed community where members often use
slang or abbreviations haphazard. This practice can also create an
unprofessional appearance which may alienate some potential clients. Also,
MySpace members must consider the comments left for them by other members of
the community. The individual who maintains the website should understand the
comments left for them are considered by others to be a reflection of them.
Therefore those who do not think highly of the comments left on your website
are not likely to think highly of you or your business either. For this reason
care should be taken to maintain a lee of control over the comments left for
you. This can be done either by not allowing comments at all or by only
allowing comments that receive your approval to appear on your website.

Engaging in Spamming techniques

One of the most dangerous pitfalls those who advertise on MySpace might
encounter is spamming. Before advertising care should be taken to review
MySpace's policy on spam to ensure the advertising techniques you are using are
not considered to be spam by MySpace. This is important because those who are
found guilty of spamming may have their account and website deleted. They may
even be banned from creating a new account in the future.

Also, potential customers are not likely to think highly of a business that
they view as engaging in spamming techniques. These customers are likely to
purchase products and services from other providers who they believe run a more
honest marketing campaign. Spamming can therefore be a very costly mistake for
business owners.

Avoid Spamming at All Costs

If you determine there is an opportunity for you to promote your business
through MySpace, care should be taken to ensure the promotion does not cross
the line into spam. Spamming is taken very seriously by the MySpace
administrators and it may result in links or content being deleted or the
privileges of membership may be revoked when a member is found to be guilty of
spamming.

Links to your ecommerce website integrated into your MySpace website isn't
considered spamming. Depending on how it is used it may not even be considered
advertising, and therefore prohibited, by MySpace administrators. However,
visiting other MySpace websites and placing a link to your ecommerce website on
each website you visit would be considered spam. These individuals may or may
not be interested in the website you provide but even if they are interested
sending these links to numerous websites unsolicited is often considered to be
spam.





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