MySpace is a social networking website where people tell others about themselves and their interests, and interact with other members. This service has now become the most popular online community and the website is among the top ten most visited sites. The membership to this service is free and its 100 millionth account was created on August 9, 2006. Registration can be done from the home page of myspace.com. There are reportedly 230,000 registrations every day.
The present owner of the website Rupert Murdhoch's News Corporation created a stir in the corporate world by purchasing MySpace for US$580 million in July 2005. People use MySpace for a variety of reasons - establishing identity, making friends, socializing, joining and creating interest groups, expressing their views, promoting themselves, promoting their business - to name just a few. Though MySpace is not a commercial organization people use it to expand their business. However, business promotion should not appear as spamming. Any objectionable behavior by a member can even result in cancellation of the membership.
Creating Your Profile There are many features available to the members of MySpace for expressing themselves and for communicating with others. The member first creates his/her profile for which many different formats are available. There is lots of flexibility to what a member can add to his/her profile - personal details, text, links to other web pages, photographs, audio clips, videos, graphics and so on. The member can design his/her profile to make it attractive, reflect his/her personality and convey message to others. The profile can be modified periodically to maintain freshness and change the content.
Any business promotion should be done in a subtle way so that it doesn't appear as advertisement. For example, while explaining about his/her interests the member can make reference to the business. It will be helpful to add keywords in the profile in a natural way because MySpace has its own search engine and the member's profile can come up in the search when someone is looking for those keywords.
Making Friends MySpace is "a place for friends". You can browse profiles of other members to select your friends. The search engine of MySpace can be used for locating other members by criteria such as age group, location, interests etc. Once you locate a person you would like as your friend, you open his/her profile and click on the link "Add to Friends". A message will go to him/her with your MySpace link.
He/she can see your profile and accept or reject your request. If your request is accepted which is mostly the case, you become friends. Otherwise there is no need to feel bad; you simply look for other friends.
You can also get requests for friendship from other members that you can approve or reject. Making friends in this way is a slow process. To speed up the process software programs are available. Many members use software that can add hundreds of friends by click of a button. These members may be interested in promoting their business.
Although MySpace doesn't approve of such software, it is possible to restrict the number of friends made every day to a low level and avoid getting into trouble. There are other programs for adding friends quickly that are generally accepted such as MySpace trains. Communicating With Other Members MySpace offers several ways by which members can interact with one another.
E-mails: Members can exchange personal messages with any of their friends from their member's area by email facility provided by the system. Bulletin: Members can send one-way messages to all their friends by way of bulletins. When you are sending a message to all your friends it will be in your interest to make the message helpful and interesting to others. This is a great way of projecting and establishing yourself in the community. Groups: There are hundreds of groups available in MySpace and each group consists of members interested in a particular area. The groups are segregated by categories that make it easy to locate groups active in your area of interest.
You can send a request to join any groups of your choice. Let us say you are interested in joining groups dedicated to a particular niche. Chances are that you will find groups that are interested in your niche, or in a closely related niche. Once you join those groups you get a highly targeted audience.
By your conduct within the group you can find customers, subscribers or other like-minded people. Each group will have its own set of rules and it is expected that you will follow them when you join the group. You can also start your own groups that will be under your control. Forums: Click on the forum button on MySpace web pages and you will find forums arranged category-wise. Forums provide opportunities to learn from others and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Your forum posts are linked to your profile page and you can attract visitors by posting in forums.
Blogs: You can set up your own blog and make your posts. This is a powerful medium for sharing information. By regular and relevant posts you can increase traffic to your blog and to your profile page.
Also, more content on your blog will improve its searchability by MySpace and other search engines. Classified: You can put your ads free of cost to MySpace classified. The ads in the classified section are arranged city-wise and category-wise.
But you can post to classified only if you have an account for at least 7 days. This is a way of fighting spamming. The classified section has a user-driven flagging system and you should ensure that other members do not consider your ads as spam. These are just some of the options available with MySpace.
There is tremendous scope for members to use MySpace to their best advantage. It is a good idea to explore the site thoroughly and learn from profiles of other members to derive full benefits from this service. The Internet is constantly evolving and a trend is clearly visible - interactive sites are gaining in popularity.
And MySpace is as interactive as you can make it. In fact, MySpace is setting the trend for others.
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of besuccessfulnews.com, a site that provides information and articles on how to succeed in your own home or small business.