Wednesday, April 26, 2006

"Hey! You! Get Off of MySpace!" - Rolling MySpacers

--Updated Monday May 1 (a section mysteriously disappeared)--

The Librarian in Black posted this about library reactions to MySpace. What is MySpace, you may ask? As usual, wikipedia has a decent definition and background (This is the beauty of wikipedia. I would not use it a reference source with a customer, but if I want to know something obscure, it is a great place to go).

MySpace has been mentioned in the news frequently. If you go to InfoTrac Onefile and perform a keyword search for myspace, you will receive 390 articles. Do the same in Newsbank and you receive 2384 results, 20 in the Commercial Appeal alone (19 in the past year).

Do a google search for myspace and you receive 200,000,000 results. Many on the first few results pages are sites that help you create your myspace page. These pages are filled with photos, videos, songs, discussions with friends, individual profiles and such. Also, you can ask to be someone's friend and a list of all of your friends is created with links to their myspace profile.

This site is so popular with teens and twenty-somethings, that a few libraries have created profiles of their own as an outreach effort (go to myspace and search myspace with "library"). Take a look at their profiles and look at their list of friends. Certainly a different take on the "friend of the library" concept.

On the flip side, the risk of sexual predators does exist. Also, some have expressed concern about content issues, behavior issues, etc. One library has banned it because of band-width issues.

So, MySpace. Friend or Foe. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I say, "Friend" and "Foe".

Myspace has allowed me to get back in touch with old friends from high school and college, but at the same time it has also allowed old people from high school and college get in touch with me (not always a positive).

Lately, the negatives of myspace have outweighed the positives. I am inundated with friend requests of men looking for... and teens wanting to have more "friends" than anyone else in their school. Not to mention it takes forever to load.

Many of my friends started on Friendster, then moved to Myspace when it got trendy, but are now moving back to the more subtle and less crowded Friendster. As my dad says, "No one goes there anymore, it's too crowded".

As far as Myspace in the library? Seeing my teens on it worries me because of the aforementioned predators but what is even more frightening is the number of role models on the site behaving like kids. There have been reports of teachers being fired over their myspace accounts. On one hand, teachers could use myspace accounts to reach their students, but not by giving their students a peek into their inappropriate-for-role-models lifestyles.

So, again - "Friend" and "Foe".

Anonymous said...

One should never put anything on myspace that you wouldn't share with everyone. That said, I wouldn't tell teens at the library..."hey, check out my myspace page." I admit when I first found myspace during it's inception there weren't as many members which made it seem less "real". I could be anonymous with a "fake" profile. The anonymity allowed for "devious" behavior from even me (and I consider myself harmless, har har). But now people from my high school, who never talked to me DURING high school, now want to be my "friend" and never talk to me ONLINE.

I love myspace but I agree there are many, many negative aspects. Exhibitionism, voyerism, need for attention and invasion of privacy all make me re-think my glowing opinion.