Generating-traffic-to-your-myspace-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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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