I hate MySpace. With a passion. Several of my co-workers are MySpace devotees and I trash talk it every chance I get. I know, you can't imagine sweet little 'ol me. Haha... or maybe some of you can! I know my co-workers can.
I've been hearing a lot about Facebook from the various tech podcasts that I listen to and I even played around with an account a little before I deleted it. And for full disclosure I did TRY to set up a MySpace accounts before I deleted that too. But in the last few weeks I've noticed a lot more talk about Facebook among the podcasts and my online geek friends (especially since the widget announcement) and this culminated with Christine talking about it over lunch on Friday.
I decided to try again and guess what? I really like it. It took a few hours of playing with it to really get the hang of it and some of the features didn't become apparent until friends started responding to my requests, but I definitely see the possibilities. The best part? I reconnected with an old high school friend just in time to see pictures of his new baby. That makes me so happy.
So I must eat crow...sorta. I said a lot of things about how the MySpace communication system didn't make any sense. I am very much of the blogging mind set and I want to have conversations with people through my blogs, but I now see the appeal of the social network set-up. Being able to leave quick comments on photos, notes and other people's walls is a nice way to stay in touch.
BUT that is as far as I will go. One of the things I absolutely hate about MySpace is the completely hideous pages that people design. I hate the hard to read backgrounds they chose, the colored text, the ghetto-booty music that starts playing and the glittery graphics that are everywhere. It offends my web design sensibilities. You can't do any of those things with Facebook. You can move some of those new widgets around to some degree, but the user interface is clean and you can't change it. The other thing I like about it is that it discourages anonymity. It is about people that you actually know, your friends from high school, college, your workplace or your region. It isn't about accumulating numbers of random, anonymous friends. You sign up with your full name (no nicks) and that's how people search for you. Because of that you tend to only add people that you really know. Now of course there are ways around that and there are people that are adding anyone who asks, but it seems, at least to me, to be more about real connections.
So social networking? I take back some of what I said. But MySpace? Still evil.